Physician Burnout Mindset – Don’t wait for the shoe to drop!

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Don't wait for the shoe to dropAs a Certified Life Coach for Doctors, I work with lots of physicians who are overworked, overwhelmed and over their limit on the amount of stress they can handle.  But what is very interesting to see is that many of these same physicians are resistant to making a significant change in their work schedule or in their normal routine, even if they want to, because they are afraid of what that change may bring.

Sometimes these same physicians have this lingering negative thought in the back of their mind where they are expecting the “shoe to drop” (that next negative thing to happen that will make their life even more stressful than it already is).  Ahhh yes, the mindset and the role it plays in what comes next!  You don’t realize how powerful you truly are when it comes to creating your life experiences.  But that’s another blog post … the whole mentality of embracing that belief system of “the shoe is going to drop” or “expecting the worse case scenario” before any proof of that has even showed up.  For now, suffice it to say that your beliefs impact your reality.

Let’s go back to those times where you are reluctant to make a significant change in your work schedule or life because you have some disempowering story about what that change will bring (even though you know deep down that this change MUST be made for your own health and wellbeing).

I have seen with some of my physician coaching clients that all of a sudden when “the shoe drops” and something dramatic happens that pushes them over the edge, THEN, they can very easily make that change that they wanted to do for quite sometime.  Very interesting pattern … but why do you have to wait to be pushed to your limit where you absolutely have no choice?

Let me give you an example.  I have a doctor client who has been wanting to change her work schedule so that she can spend more time with her kids at home.  However, she would constantly tell me that she didn’t know if she would be able to change it (fear of telling her partner in her practice, fear of losing her regular patients who are used to the same schedule and seeing her at certain hours and also fear that she would still be running late if she shifted her hours).  Now, of course, we all know that when we have a “fear” of something, we are making that “fear” real and as a result, it will negatively impact the outcome.  So, during our coaching sessions, we worked on eliminating that fear and she started to feel more at peace with her current schedule and her daily routine.  Then, she started having some problems with one of her kids (they think he may have ADD or ADHD), and all of a sudden, my client is telling me “I’m changing my schedule to earlier hours so that I can be home with him more!”

Interesting how the Universe works, isn’t it?  Here, my client has been wanting to alter her schedule for years and now, as a result of the “shoe dropping” at home with this one child, she easily makes the transition.  There was no hesitation – she just did it!

I get it.  We all make decisions based upon the risk that we perceive in making that change or not.  We weigh it out in our heads.  But now, the risk of NOT making this change was far greater for her than the risk of making the change.  All of a sudden, it was easy to speak with her partner in her practice.  She didn’t care about switching her regular patients around.  She just did it with no doubts on whether she should do it.

So, I asked her … what would it take for you to make the next change that you are so desiring to have in your life … just FOR YOU?!

What we sometimes forget is that putting our joy and happiness FIRST does benefit everyone around us.  If Mom is happy, the kids are happy.  If Mom is stressed, the kids feel that and may act out as a result of feeling that stressed energy.

Also, can we be the best physician, parent, lover, spouse, when we are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and overworked?  No.

So, where do your priorities lie?  What do you REALLY want your life to look like?

Weigh out the risks and start asking yourself … what’s the risk of me NOT making this change that my heart and soul so wants me to do?

And then choose the action step that will bring YOU more joy.  You can never go wrong with that!

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