In this episode Dr. Cari Wise discusses the concept of life purpose and its relationship to veterinary medicine. Dr. Wise emphasizes the importance of separating one’s career in veterinary medicine from their true identity as a human being and offers resources to support personal and professional growth. She encourages veterinary professionals to disentangle their career definition from their actual identity and not to limit themselves with specific labels.
Resources discussed in this episode
Vet Life Academy: https://joyfuldvmcom.vetlifeacademy
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Hi there. I’m Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career, or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the Joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let’s get started. Well, my friends,
welcome to another reflection Friday here at Joyful DVM. Today is Friday, February 9th, 2024, and today I’m in a bit of a reflective mood, which is kind of funny because this is reflection Friday. So you know, I do this every week, but today in particular, as I was thinking about the last week, and quite honestly, that kind of led me to be thinking about the last few years and decades and just kind of on and on.
I really have been thinking and pondering life purpose. Now, the idea of life purpose is something we’ve probably all encountered before, and maybe some of you have been a little bit lost or confused about what your life purpose is or if you even have one or if that even exists. And I would say that it does, that we do have a reason for being here on the planet at this point in time in the world,
and that if we can start to identify the patterns in our lives and the little indicators, then we will have clarity about that. So this then brought me to pondering veterinary medicine in general. So why did I pursue that career in the first place? And what does that have to do with my purpose? Now, for many of you going into veterinary medicine,
I would say actually not even for many, for all of you who have any kind of degree in veterinary medicine, at some point you made the decision to pursue a career in vet med. And so you were dedicated to that, right? You had that goal, you did what it took to move through to get to that. And then you got out into the real world,
and now you’re living your life as a veterinary professional and all the things that come with it. And so if you’re not happy, if you’re not feeling fulfilled, if you’re feeling like something is missing, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or alone or defeated, then it’s easy to look at that decision to go into veterinary medicine and to believe it wasn’t the right decision.
Because today you’re not having the experience that you thought you were going to have when you started to pursue this career in the first place. So now what does this all have to do with life purpose? As you’ve probably heard me talk about before, I absolutely believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason. There are wins and there are lessons, but every step of the way,
we are moved closer and closer to what we are here to do and what we are meant to experience. And so as I’ve been considering my own journey and thinking about my own career in veterinary medicine, I know for sure and for certain that it was a very intentional decision for me to make. And many of you already know that I wasn’t a lifer.
So I’m not one of those people who’s always thought that I would go into veterinary medicine. It wasn’t even something I considered seriously pursuing until I was already in college. And with that all said, as I look at where I am today and where that career in veterinary medicine has brought me through all the different types of jobs, and I’ve had just about all of them.
I’ve worked in everything from being an associate in private and corporate practices. I’ve worked at spay, neuter clinic, shelter medicine, I’ve worked in industry, I have started my own practice from the ground up. I’ve done all of these different things throughout my nearly 25 years in vet med. And what I can see today clearly that I couldn’t see back then is really how it’s all tied together.
And I can look back at the, the decision that I made to start the company joyful of the DVM back in 2017. And when I asked myself, why did I do that? Why did I think I could do that? It all came down to really one thing. And it was a belief that I had that I could help. I opened Joyful DVM,
this professional development or personal development company for veterinary professionals. It’s kinda a fancy way to say what we do here, right? Personal development, a little bit ambiguous as well. But ultimately, I opened this company because I believed that if I showed up and I shared my journey, that I could help you. And I’m happy to say that that has been the case.
It’s taken a lot for me personally to be able to do this, for me to be willing to share publicly about a lot of the struggles that I’ve had. It’s required me to come face to face with my own demons time and time again. But it’s all been 100% worth it because of the way that it has impacted you. And so when I think about my life purpose today,
I can see very much how my purpose is to help other people, and that that can show up in all kinds of different ways. And for me, it showed up because, or it, it is showing up because of the journey that I had in veterinary medicine. Many of us look at our identity through the lens of our veterinary careers. We identify ourselves as veterinarians or as veterinary technicians,
as practice managers. And we need to take a second. I encourage you to take a second to start to disassemble or disentangle that career definition from your actual identity, because you are so much more than whatever label you put on yourself. So you are so much more than a veterinarian. You’re so much more than a veterinary technician. You are actually a human being.
And I know that you know that. But just listen to me for a second. You are a human being. So you are a being first, and you happen to be a human being who has pursued a career in veterinary medicine. You are a human being who has achieved credentials in veterinary medicine. Achieving those credentials does not then shift your entire identity.
Now, you can choose that. You can choose to identify yourself as a veterinarian or as a veterinarian technician. You could choose to identi, identify yourself as a wife, as a mother, as a husband, as a father, as a sister. We can put all these labels on ourselves, but the more labels that we put on ourselves, the further away that we get from the true essence of who we are,
and it’s all part of the same journey, but we don’t wanna limit it through a specific label because when we start to add labels to our identity, then those can become these limiting belief patterns. So I’m a veterinarian, therefore I can’t, or therefore, I will always have debt, for example. So just notice how those things start to play together.
And so this, how does this all come back to purpose? So as I thought about my own purpose and I thought about joyful DVM and where we have grown over the last almost seven years, and I’ve considered how did I get here through my purpose, through my journey of veterinary medicine and really getting to the point that I recognize that my credential doesn’t define who I am,
then it has allowed me to provide for you tools and skills to help you to make that, create that awareness much more quickly. This is awareness of being separate from my veterinary career and a desire to be separate from my veterinary career. Definitely started within the first five years of being in the profession. But I didn’t have any tools and I didn’t have any skills,
and I didn’t have any mentors or anybody who was talking about life in veterinary medicine the way that I was looking at life in veterinary medicine. And at that point in time, I felt pretty defeated. I felt pretty hopeless. I felt very overwhelmed. And as I was looking at that, my brain, the only way that I could see to feel better was to figure out a way to get out of veterinary medicine.
I’m glad that I didn’t for lots of reasons. And thankfully, I was a bit relentless in my quest to figure this out, to figure out how to create wellbeing, how to manage the anxiety, how to leave work at work. And as I was relentless in that, that journey and figuring that out for myself and taking kind of notes along the way,
that’s really what inspired me to start joyful DVM, because there wasn’t anybody out there that could support us in the way that I found was most helpful to be supported. It was by putting together a lot of different kinds of information. So it wasn’t just the idea of therapy therapy’s very good though. I will just say like if you’ve had any vet med trauma or any kind of trauma in your life,
absolutely consider getting some professional therapy. There’s such a stigma, or there used to be, I think it’s, it’s releasing more and more. We’re getting away from that. But I put that off for a lot of years when I could have really used it because I was afraid of it. I think it’s very helpful beyond therapy. I don’t think therapy is the first step for everybody.
I don’t think everybody needs it, but I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of. But I think coaching has been a huge help for me as I just found people to be able to talk through my experiences with, to help me process my information, to ask better questions about what I was experiencing to guide me that has made a huge difference. And then understanding where all that emotion came from in the first place.
Because the world teaches us that it is our circumstances that create the way that we feel. And so when we start to realize that we are unhappy or we are feeling unfulfilled, and we are in veterinary medicine, our brain automatically wants to connect the two and say, this job is what’s sucking the life outta you. This job is what’s keeping you from being able to fulfill your dreams.
And what I have learned is that’s absolutely not the case. They are two completely different beings, if you will, circumstances if you will. But when we tie them together and then loop on top of that, this belief that we can’t leave this job for all these different reasons, maybe it’s the money, the security, whatever it might be, then we feel very trapped and we feel very stuck.
And so how do we get out of that? Where, where do we go from there? Well, you know where a lot of our colleagues have chosen to go from there. They’re no longer here on the planet with us, right? And that’s not what I want for you. That’s part of what led me to open Joyful DVM because I know that I can help when it comes to these kinds of feelings,
because I’ve been there. I’ve been at the worst of the worst, the darkest of the darks dark. And I have come out of that to where I am today. I’m 25 years in friends, and it doesn’t take 25 years to get here, I promise you that. But what I will tell you is that it does take some intentional focus. It does take some determination and a decision on your part that you are not willing to consider,
consider existing the way that you’ve been existing. If you are feeling discouraged and overwhelmed and defeated in this career and in your life as a veterinary professional, there is absolutely a better way, a way that you could feel better, a way that you can stop dreading going to work, a way that you can stop, start leaving work at work, so that when you do have a day off,
you’re not spiraling in thoughts about work or anxiety about going back the next time you’re scheduled. There is a way to do that. And that really is the heart of why I created Joyful DVM. And those were the starting points of Vet Life Academy. So inside of our Valley Academy program, I teach you all of the things that I have learned that helped make a big difference for me,
that helped me to be able to be who I am and to enjoy veterinary medicine, again, as an aspect of what I do, but not as my identity. And as I started to separate that out, I got my wellbeing back. I got my whole entire life back. And in Valley Life Academy, that is what we do with our students.
And then for those who are interested in digging even deeper, then we go a little bit further into our align program or into our circle program. So there are more places, as I have gone on my journey and I have had this opportunity to grow and to develop and really be who I am, I have picked up those nuggets and kind of tucked them away so that I can share those too.
So if any of what things that I’m talking about with you today, if it resonates with you as far as feeling a little trapped or frustrated, or not having any clue on what your life purpose is on and how to be in your purpose because you feel so stuck in where you are right now, I wanna invite you to join us inside of our Elevate Program.
Our Elevate Program is completely free. It’s a seven day live event. And no matter whether or not you’re listening to this on the day that I’m posting it, which is on February 9th, 2024, or you hear this somewhere down the road, elevate is something that I’m going to start to do a few times a year. So I hope that you will absolutely join us the next time that it’s open.
And right now, we are taking registration because we are getting ready to start a new Elevate series here in just a little bit over a week. So if you wanna join us in Elevate the, which is the place to start, joyful dvm.com/elevate, and you can learn all about that seven day live event where I’m going to be sharing encouraging information, some life altering truths about being in veterinary medicine.
I’m gonna help to relieve so much of the pressure that you feel. And all you have to do is show up, and you don’t even have to show up in real time. You just need to be able to show up at some point. So to watch the replays, ’cause everything inside of re of Elevate gets recorded, and I will be sending out the replays to everybody who registers my friends.
If you’re feeling frustrated, if you’re feeling defeated, if you’re feeling hopeless, if you are feeling okay, you just want it to be better if you kind of wrangled your life in veterinary medicine. But now you’re starting to realize you don’t want VetMed to be all consuming, and there are other things in your life that you wanna pursue, but you don’t know how to disentangle yourself from those obligations to be able to move forward.
Elevate is absolutely for you. It doesn’t matter where you are in your veterinary career. If you’re ready to take your personal life to the next level, you need to join us in Elevate, because what I share there is literally life changing concepts. And those concepts, when you start to apply them, make all the difference in the world. And in just seven days,
you’ll start to see that to be true. So my friends, as you consider what you are here to do in this lifetime, I want you to remember you are a being and you’re not a human doing, which means you are not identified by the job that you have. And so your potential is never limited by it either. My friends, if you’re ready to move forward in your life,
please come. Let me support you. That’s what I do, and I would love to see you inside of firstname.lastname@example.org slash elevate. All right, my friends, if this resonates with you today, please share it with a friend. I’ll see you soon. Bye for now.