Punched In The Face

October thru April, baby. It’s the perfect storm for me. Working in mental health for my entire life, this is by far the busy season. Shorter days and longer nights. We see an uptick up of unproductive behavior, bad choices and depression set in. My job in the helping profession, is to help ease some of those pressures. And no matter how prepared I think I am, inevitably, I get punched in the face. Shall we…

I am up early. Everyday between 4:00 and 4:30 in the morning, I rise. A cup of green tea, check emails and then in the gym. A quick shower, a few minutes with the wife and out the door before 7:00. Oh yeah, it’s on. My self care is legendary. I am disciplined, motivated and passionate about what I do. I have done the prep work. I am ready. And then it happens. I get punched in the face.

The famous boxer Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” And working in mental health, we get punched in the face repeatedly throughout the day. I was prepared and had a plan. But the day and my clients have other plans. During the fall and winter months, I don’t think I can ever recall a day playing out like I had planned it. It usually is jumping from one fire to another. It is exhausting. Was it not for my strong self care game, and the fact that I work with the most amazing women, I’m not sure I would be able to pull it off. How about you?

When life doesn’t go as planned, how do you cope? For me, I just know that I will get it done. That I won’t quit. There is a voice in the back of my head that say’s. “Work the problem.” And I do. And I keep at it until I get it done, or I win. It’s not about ego. It’s about purpose. Do you have purpose? Can your mind game outlast the pain? Can you stay positive in the most negative environments? That, has been the biggest game changer for me. If I can win in my head, I now I will outlast the problem.

October thru April, baby. It’s what I do. In a sense, I train for it 365 days a year. And every year, I get punched in the face…repeatedly. It’s about purpose. I’ll take the pain of the punch. But what I won’t do is ignore the calling of my heart. And I hope you don’t either.



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Vance Larson

I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years, and have spent the last decade working as both a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist.