The Real Me
The Real Me
Coming into this field, I made a commitment to myself. It went something like this. I, Klifton will take all of the lessons learned, from each respective obstacle that I have overcome (and those I still work through daily) and utilize that pool of experience, to benefit others. I’ll combine those life lessons, with the knowledge obtained from my training, schooling and professional life to date, in an effort to assist my counseling clients (when they are truly ready). Only through working together, do we maximize our opportunity for long-term success, whatever that looks like for them. Let me share a little story with you.At 13 years old I was struggling with all of the usual growing pains many go through in their early teens. Being the last of 13 children and growing up in foster homes, certainly didn’t make it easier. At the home in which I resided, there was no room in the family’s budget to purchase underwear for the upcoming school term, so I got my very first job as a helper in an exterminator company. I was hired on a temp/trial basis, and hungry to make that money, and also to make my employer proud! So, with a mission goal to secure new underwear, my lunch packed and a list of tasks to complete, I began my first day of work. Having no experience with machinery, please know I failed miserably at completing any of the tasks on the list. (unless you include eating lunch, which I did very well.) Instead of asking for help and getting guidance from the employer, I professed to know how to use the equipment, told him I would comple all of the tasks on the list. Needless to say, I was unable to deliver on my commitments. Understandably, my employer was not very pleased with me at the end of the day. I learned how the sting of failure is usually precipitated by a lack of clarity. Clarity in vision, direction and understanding of the processes as well as the end goals. Once I humbled myself and got “brave enough” to ask for help…I began achieving results. That has stuck with me. Being trusted to do work for patients and clients often times demands leaning into the current challenges and asking additional clarifying questions, the tough questions, the questions that make everyone glare at the issues, deficits and conflicts that can be unsettling. Armed with this lesson from that very first job, I try to make it abundantly clear to corporate clients as well as private patients, that “We must look at the good, bad and the ugly in order to see what is real versus fantasy in our quest for getting the ‘job’ done!” Also, “Questions are the answer!”, especially when you don’t know what the heck you are doing.
Look, like many people, I’ve struggled through bouts of depression, and at times with self-acceptance. Additionally, drawing healthy relationship boundaries both at work and at home, has periodically posed the same challenges for me, as it does for many of us.
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I experienced self-doubt and loneliness which required the support and guidance of others. And, I learned that no matter what is happening in life, I can choose to do it alone or I can choose to get help. Feeling good about “asking” for assistance has consistently made all the difference because others in my life were able to help me see where I missed the mark, yet still hold my heart while I grew through things while they rallied around me as I fumbled along. The lessons learned in my life serve as a “north star” or compass if you will, for when situations arise that appear to present insurmountable challenges. With that in mind, Should there be any challenge or client issue that I am incapable of properly addressing, I always connect clients in need with another professional who can properly assist them.