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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

How to Be a Professional Birth Worker

Set goals. Learn how to set personal and business goals for yourself. If you're not taking the time to set goals it's like driving in the dark with the headlights turned off. You will not know where you're going and you will waste precious time. Be sure to also set some time frames in which to meet them. Your goals should be SMART goals -Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Honor your intuition. You can show yourself love by trusting your gut and honoring the message that it's sending. Listening to your intuition, will allow you to make better decisions. Valuing your intuition, by not allowing the thoughts, feelings or statements of others to take away from what you know to be true is very empowering. By paying attention to how you feel, it will help you to make better, smarter and quicker decisions. I know for me personally, if I choose to ignore my gut or intuition when I feel a strong feeling about something, it almost always is a decision or action that I end up regretting. I have learned to always trust my intuition and that is what leads me in my life and business.

Invest time in your creativity. Our creativity doesn't have to diminish as we get older. In fact, it is believed that the peak of creativity in most people is around 30-40 years old. (Lindaur, 1998, Marisiske &Willis, 1998) Creativity can be the catalyst in the manifestation of continual learning and lifelong activity. It allows us to be inspired, have fun and appreciate the beauty in the world.

Invest in building your confidence. People who know their value, have something to say and others will listen. You can invest in yourself by developing an understanding of the value that you possess and offer others. Learn to have the courage to speak your truth. The more you love yourself and own the value that you offer, the more confident you will become in sharing it with others.

Take care of your health. Eat right each day, fueling your body with nutrients. When you focus on making good eating choices, you will feel better and have more energy for birth work.

Exercise daily. Do something every day to get moving and get your heart rate up, even, if it's just walking the dog or with a baby. Exercise gives you the energy to take on the day with confidence because of how it makes you look and feel.

Find a mentor. A mentor can assist you in putting all of these strategies into action, they are your partner in your success.

Goals also help clarify what you want. Instead of having a vague dream or occasional wishful thinking, setting a goal helps uncover what you truly want. More importantly, it’s the first step in figuring out what you need to do to get there. Once you’ve set a goal you can focus your attention and channel your energy to achieve it.

Strengthen Your Current Skills

No matter what you do as a birth worker, you probably have and use a wide range of skills in your box, but are you considered an “expert” in the skills or areas you rely on most?

Probably not.

Honing the skills you rely on most is one of the best ways to invest in yourself. After all, you already have a foundation of knowledge in at least one particular area. It’s far easier to become an expert in a field you’re already familiar with than one that you know nothing about.

If the field you’re in now is one you plan to stay in, then it’s worth your time and energy to become the best at what you do.

You can learn a new skill on your own by reading books or taking online courses like

Seminars, conferences, and workshops are also excellent opportunities for investing in yourself for a few reasons.First, these events help expand your knowledge in an area or field you’re already familiar with. Advancing your knowledge and skills can help you build expert status and make you more effective and productive in your current role.

They’re also great networking opportunities. Meeting and chatting with other professionals in your industry is a great way to make connections and meet other like-minded people, or find a mentor who can help you in your career.

Read some damn books!

Unfortunately, leisure reading is at an all-time low. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, only 53% of Americans say they read a book for pleasure in 2017, the lowest level since the survey began in 1982. Reading offers many important health benefits and is a great way to invest in yourself.

Reading can also help you develop more empathy and compassion and — can help increase your tolerance for uncertainty, take that anxiety!

Read educational books. Books or audio books are an awesome resource to build your knowledge and expertise in any area.

Attend courses and workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in your business and/or personal life. This will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded.

If you want to see a few I recommend check out my book list here.

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