Are We All in Therapy?

My morning routine remains the same as it has been for a few years, read and meditate before consuming outside information. I set my thoughts for the day before I open my mind to others. For me, this is a critical discipline. I have to get my mind right each day as I pursue my intent in purpose to lift others.

I know how I THINK determines how I FEEL, and how I feel affects how I ACT, which influences other’s thoughts, actions, and feelings. I hold myself accountable to be emotionally centered, aware, and open-minded. I say “hello” to fear as I know they will be present in the people I encounter during the day.

Lately, it is taking longer. Occasionally the meditation needs repeating at intervals throughout a day. It’s harder to hold an intentful state in my work.

As forced isolation (or whatever it feels like for you) continues, I am experiencing and engaging with the voices of perspective and hope, while also doing work inside companies where flowery contemplation is not an available luxury. People are experiencing greater stress amidst uncertainty, void of a timeline.

No smelling of the roses or bow of gratitude is going to glue the broken pieces back together.

Many are experiencing a stark paradox. They seek strength and a sense of safety in a climate of over-zealous hysteria and the collapse of livelihoods. Those working are working harder and longer in unfamiliar conditions, with fear tugging at them as if to pull them off the ledge like the tens-of-millions around them – those terminated, furloughed, shuttered stores, restaurants, dentists, hospitals and physicians and surgeons (not treating COVID-19), chiropractors, mental health support groups, ad infinitum… No smelling of the roses or bow of gratitude is going to glue the broken pieces back together.

Yet, I know that my thoughts and actions can be much more destructive and harmful than this paralyzing virus. I cannot be conveniently ignorant of the plight of others and must recognize and embrace the mindset of positive change. It is my responsibility, as hired, to bring change-thinking to the situation and offer peace-of-mind and opportunity to move forward, rather than perpetuate the incessant piece-of-mind rants filling the streams and airwaves.

Helping people and groups navigate through this chaos and challenge, has made me realize that in many ways, we are all in therapy now.

And so, the voices we engage, the people we select to spend time with are more important than ever. We are, to a degree, each other’s therapists.

Outside of problem-solving with client organizations, I surround myself with purpose-driven people. Those that know their positive power and are soul-full rather than stuff-full. The strong, who understand their giftset is their mindset and are not the complaining, blaming, shaming, righteous parroting what everyone “should” be doing, thinking, feeling.

I seek the people that have the capacity to stand with character, embrace ambiguity, acknowledge the darkness, and seek vision on the horizon. Those committed to helping.

As I navigate through, I know my thoughts inform my feelings, my feelings drive my actions, and how I act will affect how others feel and think. As I live fully today, I am mindful that we are all adjusting – we are all in therapy. I focus on my long-standing, core belief: “It is much more than what we accomplish, it is who we become along the journey.”

Let’s get our minds right. Let’s Lift Others.


Mike Vacanti
Mike Vacanti
Mike believes, “It’s more than what we accomplish – it’s who we become along the journey!” His mission is to Lift Others, helping people discover their potential, embrace a growth mindset and achieve at inspired levels. Mike has transformed businesses and inspired people to perform at levels they didn’t think possible. Mike's known as a great listener and collaborative, creative problem solver. For generating speed and confidence through innovation and transformation. His current endeavors as advisor, consultant, and keynote speaker, are shifting the belief in what is possible and opening hearts to a better vision and future of business around the globe. Sharing his extensive career of invention, reinvention and highly complex business combinations, he consistently delivers on the belief that the heart of any organization is People – People drive results. Mike has released his new book, BELIEVERSHIP: The Superpower Beyond Leadership, and is the Founder of HumansFirst, a global community of positive change catalysts. Following many years in advertising and marketing, He launched early-stage start-ups & led M&A initiatives for publicly traded tech companies. Five-times he was thrust into the chaos of transformation and helped people navigate the doubt, fear, and chaos of significant change. His teams exceeded expectations, consistently beat the challenge, learned a lot and had some fun.

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  1. Mike, this is a beautiful piece, and resonates with me. I agree that we are all in therapy. I am grateful for the country roads that allow me to bleed my soul onto them every morning as I welcome the day. It is what recalibrates me and helps keep me centered as I navigate whatever the day has in store for me. And, on a day when exercise is absent, I know it, and I feel it in my core.

    I’m also thankful for a tribe that supports and encourages me and loves me even when I’m not feeling loveable. It is that stromg sense of community and compassion that helps us get through. This pandemic has indeed brought out the best and worst in people, but at the end of the day we are all in this together. There isn’t an immunity idol, and we need to lean on the best in each other to help us collectively get through the worst. It isn’t an easy feat, but it is achievable with the right tools and resources in our grasp.

    Thank you for writing this one, Mike and for the good that you put out into this world.

  2. Mike — Beautifully expressed. Your first two paragraphs grabbed me by the collar and now won’t let go. I have to put my oxygen mask on before I can help others. I have to be calm inside before I can venture out.

    If we are all in therapy, all I can say is “Good!” It means we’re taking a few precious moments to be with ourselves – to get those self-defeating thoughts out – instead of just rushing around on autopilot.

    Grateful for you, Mike.

  3. “As I live fully today, I am mindful that we are all adjusting – we are all in therapy. I focus on my long-standing, core belief: “It is much more than what we accomplish, it is who we become along the journey.”

    Wow… that just resonates so much with me right now, Mike. I’ve been struggling, too… mindful that I while I don’t have control over what’s going on in the world or when I might get back to work, I do have control over my thoughts and actions.

    You remind me in this piece of something else I have control over. That is who surround myself with, who I reach out to for support and encouragement when I need it, and who I reach out to with strength to give. Thank you, my friend. I needed to read this today. I’m grateful for you!

  4. It is who we become. I like that thought very much. My day starts with 45 minutes of walking, just my dog and I and a pretty quiet neighborhood. I get to empty my mind of stuff before I start my day. I think I might prefer yours though, as the sequences that you lay out surely seem to support the structure that you lay out for your days. I was fortunate to meet up with some awesome people in March, just as COVID mania was spreading out over the fruited plain, at Sarah Elkins’ No Longer Virtual summit in Chicago. I loved how being around smart, focused really inspired me. I try to get daily doses of smart people, as much of who we become is mirrored in who we surround ourselves with. Thank you for your great road map and modeling the good stuff for so many others.

  5. Mike, As always, you set the bar very high in you personal goals and behaviors. I am so glad you came into my life and I learn at every interaction. I realized this morning on the Friendship Bench that this virus is causing everyone to rethink their connections in the world to others. We are isolated and it takes much greater effort to maintain the relationships we have taken for granted. It is equally easy for us to fall off into the abyss of the uncertainty of the future rather than to stay in the present moment and recognize that this is an incredible opportunity to look inward and heal what is broken, nurture what hasn’t gotten the sunlight it deserves and weed our personal gardens, prune our overgrown trees and look to be ready for harvest. The harvest of the seeds we are planting every day; the trick is to realize as you so astutely point out in this piece that we choose with our thoughts, actions, and feelings what seeds are nurtured and watered to grow in us.
    Thank you- You are a blessing to all who know you.

  6. Fabulous article Mike! It not only reflects how many are thinking but ripples… the ripple affect an being mindful of this! I love how you arose these lines as it is truly helpful to read!
    “And so, the voices we engage, the people we select to spend time with are more important than ever. We are, to a degree, each other’s therapists.” This rings so true!
    Thank you for this! P.

  7. Thank you so much for this thoughtful essay, Mike. I appreciate the recognition that the process of shifting internally begins with you (and me-each one of us) to be centered in the quiet of ourselves, to then hold space and presence for others. Gifted therapists know how to listen deeply to the hard truths of their clients, to model healthy compassion, emotional regulation, and to consistently show up, to guide. When we can show up for one another as human beings who are healing, transforming, becoming then wow, what then?

    Your essay reminds me of how important being both vulnerable and courageous really are.

  8. Great article Mike. Absolutely we can’t just say, ‘think positive’, but we can help someone see what they do have going for them.
    This covid period might rightfully be the catalyst that stops our incessant running the treadmill for what I think is elusive unobtainable ‘success’. First, what is success? And, secondly, isn’t life more than striving in our business, or jobs? One of the reasons I left the rat race lifestyle I was living and moved overseas, is because I believed life is more that working. Yet, that’s all I had time to do.
    Our vocations are only a means to live to the standard we need or want and nothing more. A rich person can be very useful, but they aren’t always… So, I’m feeling this era is going to wake up more people to the fact that life is more about how we go through the journey and ‘who we become.’