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How Do I Know I'm Making Progress? By Fern Weis, Parent + Family Recovery Coach

How Do I Know I'm Making Progress? By Fern Weis, Parent + Family Recovery Coach, Bergen County Moms

I can feel it. Every day. I’m making progress understanding and transforming myself.

Let me be clear about one thing: I'm not doing it all by myself. The progress is a result of years (should I say a lifetime?) of listening to others, listening to myself, learning, practice and repetition.

The saying goes that you can’t fix something with the same thinking that got you there in the first place. If you could see the sometimes chaotic thoughts that rumble through my mind… well, I’m guessing a lot of you know what I’m talking about.

I needed, and still need the experience, strength and hope of others to help me onto the path and stay there. We are not meant to do this thing called life alone.

So how do I know I'm making progress? Here’s a little story.

A coaching colleague had questions about preparing for an upcoming event and asked them in our group. I had suggestions and shared them. I didn’t address them all, because I lacked specific knowledge.

Another coach filled in the gaps, and then some. My first reaction? Why didn’t I think of that? Ugh. The old ‘not enough, not good enough’ belief popped up.

And then disappeared just as quickly. Why? How?

I was able to quickly pull up a better thought: I shared what I felt knowledgeable to share. It was enough and it was helpful.

I don't have to know everything, be everything, and do everything to feel useful, supported, and valued.

My perspective, experience and knowledge is often just what someone needs to hear. At least it’s part of it.

The ability to do a mindset reset, more quickly and easily over time, is evidence of progress.

Progress isn't always measured with a number. Sometimes it’s a state of mind, a feeling, or the absence of a specific feeling.

It can be a sensation felt or not felt in your body. It can be the reaction of the person in front of you.

Be gentle with yourself. You're making more progress than you realize.

TIP - Keep a list of:

1. AHA moments and mindset resets

2. new and better reactions to others and their reactions to you

3. how quickly you shift your thinking

4. reminders you give yourself (practice makes progress)

You are capable of making progress. So are your children. What you do now matters.

What will you do today?

P. S. I'm always here for you and can support you in getting and staying on the path of progress. Click here to request a complimentary consultation with me.

P.P.S. - As I reread this post, I thought of things to add, then stopped myself. It's enough. I'm enough. 

Fern Weis is a certified life coach who learned that caring and good intentions are not enough in parenting. In fact, they are often the problem! Fern supports parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, including addiction recovery. She helps parents release guilt, end enabling and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life's challenges. Her articles are featured in Thrive Global, Medium, Motherly, The Teen Mentor, and Bergen County Moms.

Learn more about coaching and classes at And then download your free guide, "Five Powerful Steps to Get Your Teen to Talk." For information on Family Recovery programs, visit


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