As someone who built my career on being a “hard worker” this took a long time to settle in to my readily used thought pattern. In my old frame of reference, I always told myself that if I worked harder, put in more hours, studied more – I would do better. But then, I reached critical mass, where it did not matter how much I worked or studied, I was just able to do the best I could. I was getting by and by all accounts I was successful and a producer of great work. However, on the inside, I knew that I had hit my threshold and I was at a place that I really was doing the best I could with the resources I had at the time.
I had to realize that it was not me who was not capable of more in life, it was the tools I was using to build my life. I can out work most people. I was not only working really hard long hours and sacrificing myself along the way, I was working with inadequate tools. Once I was able to really firm this idea – I had inadequate tools not that I was an inadequate physician – I gained perspective on how I was approaching my work. In fact, none of the shame I was feeling had anything to do with my worth as a physician.
When we lead our days with the mindset of outworking ourselves and others to gain traction, we are leading with a mindset of lack. We are trying to prove that by putting in more hours our worth will improve. This is much different than the idea of putting in more hours to improve a technical skill-set. My worth is not determined by my skill-set. Yes, I am daring to say this, my worth is not determined by my skill-set. My worth was determined as complete and amazing the day I was born and from this worth I have the capacity to use the gifts I was given for good. This is a vital point for us healers to really process and hold in our hearts. Many hours of our training are spent in this idea of earning worthiness to gain a title, be first assist on a surgery, graduate to the next level and this is detrimental to the potential we hold. Yes, technical skill and knowledge must be obtained – but technical skill and knowledge do not determine worth. These two attributes are just the icing on the cake.
So, if I go back to the idea that I am doing the best that I can and those around me are doing the best that they can, there is no judgement of worth in this statement. What it means is that with the tools I have at my current disposal, I am using them the best way I know how. Here is the fun part, I can learn new tools! I can learn to make my brain work in a different way to serve me better. I can practice and learn the concept that I am worthy no matter what the outcome. I can find new ways to tap into my gifts and serve the world. I can find the sweet spot of joy and serving because I am operating from a place of complete wholeness and my work is just the fun butter cream icing and sprinkles on the cake!
How do you do this? This is my work now, the work that fills my heart because it is the icing on the cake for me. To do this the instructions are simple – choose the thoughts you want to have in your brain on purpose. So many of our thoughts in our brain were put there by life experiences and others. We have just let them sit there and inhabit precious space in our minds. We have let these thoughts own us and piece by piece strip away our potential for greatness. Just like all living things in this world, we have the capacity to heal and to rebuild. If you start to just take the time to ask yourself, “do I like the thought that I am not good enough?” I would have to bet the universal answer would be – no. Then ask yourself – “What if I no longer could have this thought?” – how would you live your life? Now, start living with that mindset.
These instructions may sound loaded or contrite, but in these instructions lies great power. The simple act of being in charge of your thoughts changes the tools that you use to build your life. It does take practice and repetition to create a new default thought pattern. However, if you follow the instructions, you now are the one choosing the tools you want that will help you build the life you want to have on purpose.
I have been where you are - I had always chosen stay on the same safe path. Then, one day, I believed in myself enough and that I was worth it enough to finally start listening to the inner voice that had been calling to me to take a huge leap into the unknown, to bet on myself with so much might - that I could be my most important patient and make any dream a reality. It is amazing to follow your inner voice and dream big.