Moment # 18 Selfish Courage

Good morning ladies, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and listen in, this is the sassy moments podcast.  Moment #18 Selfish Courage. 

You know what ladies?  This is hard.  It’s really hard to go against the tidal wave of societal accepted norms.  Right?  You know what’s even harder.  Going against the accepted norm of your inner circle.  I did that when I chose to leave medicine.  Don’t get me wrong, leaving medicine was the absolute right decision for me.  

Improving a bad thing is easy, but messing with a good thing?  That is terrifying.  I don’t know who first captured this sentiment but it’s how I felt when I chose to leave medicine against the advice of just about everyone I knew at the time.  Messing with a good thing – that’s terrifying.

I’m not sure if my colleagues were baffled, dismayed or envious.  

Significant change is like that, and takes courage because it involves risk and potential failure.  

Yep.  Improving a bad thing is easy, but messing with a good thing – that’s terrifying.  Isn’t that why we hold our dreams quiet in our heart?  Afraid to dare? Embarrassed to fail? Especially when approaching retirement, you can’t make a career change – such is the accepted societal norm.  But to quote Brene Brown – “Failure can be our most powerful path to learning if we are willing to choose courage over comfort.”   Choose courage.  Choose to prioritize yourself.   

I once argued with a coach that I can’t leave medicine, I don’t have time to fail.  Her answer – you don’t have time not to follow your dreams.   Another doctor-turned-coach gave me some brilliant advice – “There are a lot of reasons – both good and bad – to make a change.  You don’t have to justify your decision, this is your life.  But he cautioned, be prepared for your ‘what have I done moment?’ because it will come, probably more than once.”  After a lot of self reflection and planning, about 2 years later, I mustered up the courage to make a change and closed my pediatric practice.

Both coaches were right.  I am following my dreams, though they remain shrouded in mist and I have had several ‘what have I done moments?’  

What have I done?  As selfish as it might seem – with courage I chose me – I prioritized myself.  There are many ways to share my unique gifts, whatever they may be.  To assume it lies only within the confines of the medical system is short sighted and simply not true.  I am following an uncharted path that energizes me, challenges me and makes me happy.  I’m uncertain where this path ultimately leads and that is okay.  Truthfully all paths are uncharted and the future is uncharted, despite how much I love to converse with my future self. 

As I’ve said before, this doesn’t mean you have to sell your house, ask for a divorce and move to New Zealand to live with the yellow eyed penguins.  Not at all.  Leaving medicine was the right choice for me.  Only you can make the right choice for you.  It might be as simple as committing to a daily exercise program.  It might be to keep doing what you are doing, with a shift in mindset.  It might be a career change.  

It’s not selfish to prioritize yourself.  How would your perspective of your future change, if you believed that, even a little bit?  Truthfully – it’s not selfish to prioritize yourself.  Believe it.

Talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always…