How To Shift Perspective When You Feel Like Giving Up On What Matters Most

The story of a young mental health professional who found his way back to helping others.

Mental health provider trying to shift perspective airdone | Canva

In a small counseling room for graduate students in a university program, an adult student who was an aspiring health professional sat with a heavy heart, feeling disillusioned and disheartened with the mental health system. He had entered his college program with aspirations of being a mental health counselor and feeling excited to be able to help people. As a person who considered himself sensitive and caring, he wanted to make an impact on the lives of others.


As he progressed in his studies and delved deeper into the practical experience, he began to see flaws in the system. He couldn’t bear the thought of becoming a part of a system that, in his eyes, penalized poverty and perpetuated the marginalization of those simply trying to survive in an increasingly harsh and unforgiving world. His initial aspirations to become a masterful psychotherapist now felt like a distant dream, clouded by the harsh realities of a flawed mental health system. 

He was losing hope. Could we help him find it again so he could do the good work he'd dreamed of doing? 

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The value of shifting focus to help you change the world (or your own life):

Shifting focus from flaws helps you find an avenue to action 

Feeling lost and unsure of how to proceed, he turned to social media to voice his frustrations, creating videos to gain attention for what wasn't working in his life and agitating against the mental health system as a whole. His existence made it clear he needed support and guidance, but he didn't understand where or how to find it. He was at a crossroads, unsure whether to continue his studies or leave a profession that he was beginning to doubt was the right fit for him.

He’s experiencing a moment of deep introspection and doubt. He needs a new perspective. A lens to view himself as a catalyst for positive change rather than a victim of a broken system. He needs guidance to channel his energy into creating the change he wishes to see rather than focusing on what he disagrees with and what he feels is lacking.

Focusing on what you want opens up opportunities for growth and change. 

Perhaps we could offer a valuable lesson In the moment of uncertainty and despair threatening to overtake the young student's journey. One to shape his future as a mental health practitioner. Could we convince him to make the positive change and focus on what he wants to create rather than on what is lacking?


We want him to cultivate resilience and perseverance. We want to encourage him to approach the challenges within the system as opportunities for growth and change. If we are to help him be successful, we want him to understand he needs to shift his focus from fighting against something to working towards something to become an effective change agent.

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two business professionals help each other

Photo: CarlosBarquero via Shutterstock


Seek out a mentor if needed

Sometimes, it's hard to step out of the hopelessness and into making real change. 

As an example, let’s imagine our aspiring mental health professional has sought out mentorship in his decision-making moment, and the mentor has been able to encourage him from his negative perspective.

With this support, the student has a pivotal realization which sparks a transformation within him. By relaxing into a more attuned and receptive mindset, his mentor and the resources offered have helped him channel his passion and energy into proactive, positive change. He’s delved into research on resilience and social change, seeking to understand how he can be a force for good within the mental health system rather than an opponent of its flaws.

This young professional emerges with a newfound sense of purpose and determination. He now recognizes that the challenges within the mental health system are never insurmountable but rather opportunities for growth and transformation. He shifts his focus from criticizing the system to actively working towards solutions and advocating for change from a place of knowledge and understanding.




Shifting focus can help you be an agent for change, not a victim

Ultimately, he may find his place within the mental health field, not as a victim of a broken system, but as a catalyst for positive change. His journey may be a powerful lesson for all university students intending to become mental health practitioners. It can teach them the importance of resilience, perseverance, and being proactive in adversity. It can show them how change comes from within, and the most effective advocates are solution-oriented rather than merely pointing out problems.

The road to becoming a change agent is through perseverance, obtaining the necessary credentials, and focusing on his vision. All while inhabiting his inner being as an exemplar extraordinaire! We can now imagine him graduating and embarking on a career in clinical counseling. He carries with him the valuable lesson that transformed his perspective. He is now a beacon of hope and inspiration for those he seeks to help, embodying the proactive, resilient spirit that he has come to embody.

His journey serves as a reminder to all future mental health practitioners — the power to change lives lies not in criticizing the system but in actively working towards positive, transformative solutions and being an example for those whose lives he hopes to impact.


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Once you've overcome your challenges, you can help others do the same

Once he becomes proficient in assisting others to connect with their essence, as they learn how to stay focused on their aspirations, dreams, and visions rather than focusing on what’s missing, he will be able to reap bountiful rewards from satisfied clients. They will want to share their enthusiasm and gratitude for their newfound lifestyle dreams.

There will be repeated causes for celebration on this journey of assisting former impoverished and marginalized clients and claiming newfound confidence as their visions are repeatedly birthed into being! For some of these clients who might have spent a lifetime feeling helpless and hopeless, such a turning point might represent an entirely new lease on life that might have once been unimaginable.


helping a colleague

Photo: Jacob Lund via Shutterstock

Let’s imagine that our student victim turned change agent has, at last, grasped the true power of creative imagination, and instead of leaving the profession he once felt so passionate about, he has found the strength to adapt his approach. He is a champion of taking proactive steps towards positive change.

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Dr. Liz Zed, Ph.D., MCC, RCC & is a Lifestyle Design & Spiritual Coach who helps clients connect with their intuitive inner wisdom to unlock inner guidance. She is the author of Family Business Blueprint and creator of the Master Coach System