“Don’t settle for the status quo,” Bratcher-Coleman says. “Sticking with what’s comfortable can hold back your growth.” Bratcher-Coleman has been pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone since she left the University of Delaware’s nursing program to pursue a career as a mental health professional.
She earned a master’s degree and certifications in substance abuse, gambling addiction and trauma, then worked as clinical director of Jewish Family Services of Delaware before launching her own practice, Shaping Minds Therapeutic Services in Newark, in 2019.
Leaving an established organization to form an independent practice is a risk that Brachter-Coleman welcomed. But she doesn’t see herself as a risk-taker. “There were things I didn’t achieve earlier in my career because I didn’t take advantage of certain opportunities,” she explains. “I wasn’t sure how things would work out, so I played it safe.”
Many women do the same thing, Brachter-Coleman says. It’s understandable; having a steady paycheck and benefits make life easier.“But often, women don’t realize our own potential until someone else tells us how great we are,” she says. “We also have to know that it’s okay to fail when we try something new. Plan, plan, plan—then, go for it.”