Episode 168 | Prioritizing YOU!

In this episode, Dr. Cari Wise discusses the importance of prioritizing oneself, particularly in the demanding profession of veterinary medicine. 

Dr. Wise emphasizes the significance of self-care for maintaining mental and emotional wellbeing, and challenges the notion that prioritizing oneself is selfish or irresponsible. 

She encourages listeners to focus on their own desires and interests, rather than seeking validation from others, and emphasizes the importance of following one’s own path and pursuing what feels right. 

Ultimately, prioritizing oneself is the path to becoming the best version of oneself and the only way to help others effectively.

Primary topics include:

  1. the importance of prioritizing oneself
  2. self-care for veterinary professionals
  3. overcoming the fear of judgment
  4. following one’s own path
  5. the impact of prioritizing oneself on personal growth and fulfillment




Vet Life Academy




Website: https://joyfuldvm.com



Music Credit: Music by Lesfm from Pixabay


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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos.

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. Hello my friends.

Welcome back to another reflection Friday here at Joyful DVM. Today is Friday, February 16th, 2024. Today, I wanna spend some time talking about prioritizing you because this has been something that has really come up for me over the last week. And so of course, that’s what I wanna bring to you and share what I have really gained from insight over these last few days.

So as many of you know, my birthday was earlier this week and I made the decision to take the day off from work. Now, some of you may work in places where they automatically give you a day off, but I have never actually worked in a place that does that unless I’ve been working for myself. But aside from that, if I’ve been working for other people,

I’ve never worked somewhere where my birthday was an automatic day off. Now, I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, good or bad, but for me, being able to have the day off on my birthday is important. My birthday has always been something that we have celebrated as a family. It is on a holiday. When my dad was alive, it was his birthday too.

So it’s always been a pretty big deal. And so for me, especially this year, turning 50, I really just wanted to have that day to do whatever the heck I wanted to do. And so I requested and received that day off. That day was a fun day. We, it started out nice and slow and nice and relaxed, drinking coffee,

meditating the things that I normally do. And then I had some time and opportunity to spend some time with my family. But why am I actually bringing this to you as a reflection Friday topic? It’s because we very often do not prioritize ourselves. We actually, and this world, we are kind of taught that prioritizing ourselves, putting ourselves first is something to be ashamed of,

that it’s considered to be selfish, and that it means that if you’re prioritizing you, that you can’t actually care for or prioritize anything else. And that’s absolutely not true. The truth is, my friends, that we must prioritize ourselves. We must prioritize what is important to us. We must prioritize the way that we spend our time because at the end of the day,

nobody’s gonna do this for us. We must do it for ourselves. And only when we do that are we able to then fully live into the experience that we are meant to live, for us to recharge our batteries, especially working in veterinary medicine where there’s lots of opportunities to run into situations and people who drain our energy and create some challenges emotionally. We must create that time every single week.

And I would even challenge every single day to recharge, to renew, to step back, and to take some time doing what is important to you. These may be things that are activities, they, these may be more personal things like journaling. It doesn’t really matter. It’s really, again, what is important to you. And if you aren’t taking the time and spending the time in the things that are important to you,

then those things move further away. But then also the relationship with yourself becomes more fractured. This is so important for us to really understand because we tend to be, as humans, very concerned about what other people think about us. And we get really tied up in making right and wrong choices. What if I decide wrong? What if I don’t make the right choice?

But it actually goes a little bit deeper than that. It’s not really about the choice at all, is it? It’s about the consequences of the choice. And if we take a look at the consequences of the things that we are struggling to decide, what we are gonna find is the thing that we are afraid of is what other people are going to believe about the decisions that we make.

This is paramount to start to understand as an adult, because when we are children, of course what our parents, friends, and teachers think about us matter, really, parents and teachers, I would put at the top of the list, maybe clergy as well. It really does matter because when you’re a little human, you’re trying to figure out how to be a human in this world,

there are things that you need to learn. And so as you’re in the the arena of those people who are teaching things to you, you are always looking to them for feedback. Am I doing it right? As and as far as like parenting and thinking about keeping children safe, the same kind of thing. They’re, you’re teaching children and we as children have been taught things that will keep us safe.

Like look both ways before you step out into traffic. And so that habit of looking to somebody outside of ourselves for validation of our decisions is something that we unintentionally carry into our adulthood. And what happens is that as we become adults and as we start to recognize that we want to make choices and spend our time and pursue things that are different than maybe what those people who influenced us early,

so parents, teachers, clergy, what they would have recommended for us, we become afraid because we become afraid that they’re not going to approve of our decisions. And we’re making that mean something way bigger than it means. So when I think about this week and I think about prioritizing myself and and encouraging you to prioritize you, I want you to take a look at your life.

And I want you to think about what is it that you want to be different, that you are afraid to pursue or afraid to change? Because you are afraid at the heart of it, you are afraid of what somebody’s gonna think about you, about what somebody’s gonna believe about your reasons or your motives, or just your decision in general. What are you afraid of in that regard?

And then take it one step further. If they don’t approve, then what does it even matter, my friends? Does it even matter? If somebody decides that they don’t like this, the path that you’re going on, if they decide they’re gonna stake a claim and say, you’re making a wrong choice, you’re doing the wrong thing. So what? Why does that actually matter?

It only matters if we believe at our heart that they know better than we know what’s best for us. And I promise you one thing, you’re the only one who knows what’s right for you and what’s right for you. Doesn’t need to be what’s right for your friends or what’s right for your family, family or what’s right for the teachers and the mentors that you’ve had in the past.

Those things don’t need to be right for you at all. Maybe they are. Maybe their things are right for you, but you don’t wanna look at their things and adopt them. I want you to look at your things. I want you to look at what you’re interested in. I wanna look at you to look at what you, what you, what is important to you.

I want you to look at prioritizing your own self first. Because at the end of the day, the only way that we make any impact in this world is if we show up as who we are, not through effort of trying to show up as what other people believe we should be or how they are. Because it’s not better or worse. You are the only version of you.

And so if you don’t show up as you, if you don’t make the decisions that are right for you, if you don’t pursue the things that are interesting and lighting you up, then we all miss out. And I learned this lesson in a pretty hard way multiple times in my lifetime. And definitely when I started to open up this company. Now,

joyful DVM, which we’ve been around now going on seven years, blows my mind. And when I first started this organization, it took a lot to kind of go against what the practical and responsible career path would’ve been for a veterinarian to pursue this thing, to do this thing, to leave the stability of the things that I had in place to do this.

But I had to do it. And when I say I had to do it, no, there’s nobody standing there saying, Cari, you have to do this. But my soul was saying that saying, you have to do this. You have a message to share. You need to help people because you know how to help people. You have something that is helpful to get out there.

And if I had said no, if I had kind stayed the path of being safe and being what the world would define as responsible, then none of this would exist. Then you wouldn’t be here. Listening to this video and the things that I’ve been able to experience in my life and the people that I’ve been able to impact, which in joyful DVM is over 20,000 people in the last seven years,

none of that would’ve made a difference. It wouldn’t even have occurred. We wouldn’t even be a thing. So as we look at our lives and as we look at the day in, day out decisions that we make, this is really my challenge for you this week. How can you every day prioritize yourself? How can you give yourself the opportunity to practice letting go of caring what other people think about your decisions?

Because when you spend some time really looking at the the end game here, well, really looking at what does it matter what they think about you? How can they actually affect your life? You’re gonna start to see that they actually have very little impact in your life at all the things that you might be afraid of. They’re what ifs in the future.

And some of those things may get catastrophic. If they don’t like me, they’re gonna fire me. We can go there. Let’s just go straight to the heart of money because fear and money are so tightly tied in our society when they actually have nothing to do with each other. But let’s go there. ’cause I know many of us do. So what if you’re afraid that you aren’t liked at work?

And because you aren’t liked by the people who you work for, they are gonna fire you because they don’t like you. And so you’re trying really hard to be like other people who you believe they do. Like what is that true impact on you? Well, for you, it’s soul crushing. Let’s just start there because trying to be anything other than you are is very challenging.

We are not meant to play roles of other people. We are meant to be us. So we wanna just notice there’s definitely going to be an energetic and an emotional consequence to you trying to be different than you are. The second thing is, if you get fired, then what? Right? We usually just stop the thought train at that point. Oh my gosh,

if they don’t like me, they’re gonna fire me. And then that’s like, oh gosh, I can’t get fired. And so then you do everything you can to be liked. But let’s just go there for a minute. Okay, so you get fired, who cares then what? Oh my gosh, Craig, then I can’t pay my bills, then I’m gonna get kicked outta my house,

then I’m gonna starve to death. Like all these things that our brain wants to offer us, none of that’s gonna happen instantly. You’re gonna have time to look for another job. And this is veterinary medicine for crying out loud. There’s a million jobs out there for you right now. So you’re going to have the opportunity to find another job and more.

So let’s take a look at the person doing the firing. If somebody has said, we don’t want you to work for our organization, why in the heck would you wanna work there? Now, I’m talking about this in the relationship to a job of my friends. This is also true in in relationships with people in general, with friends, with partners.

If somebody says, I don’t wanna be your friend, or I don’t wanna be your partner anymore, okay, cool, they’ve spoken their truth. You don’t need to try to clinging onto that because that’s gonna require you to be different than you are. It’s not a rejection of you. So even getting fired isn’t a rejection of you. It’s just simply meaning that this for that person or that organization just isn’t the right fit,

which frees you up to find what is. And if we don’t prioritize ourselves, if we’re constantly trying to meet the expectations of others, if we are stuck in a cycle of people pleasing, if we are afraid of people not approving of us, we will never live the lives that we are supposed to live. That is the most important message today, that you must live your life.

You must follow your path. And when that path takes you in a direction that is different than the people around you believe that you should be on, you must pursue it anyway, my friends, I promise you, if you don’t, you will come back to it again and again and again. And so you need people in your corner who believe in what you have as far as that vision is for your life,

that they believe that you know what’s best for you, and that they encourage you on this path. Because here’s what I know for sure and for certain, if you are surrounded by people who live in fear, who people who are so scared of what might happen in the future, who are talking so negatively about the world as it exists today, who are really trying to reinforce that there is scarcity all around us,

that there is not opportunity to continue to earn a living and to be safe and to be fulfilled. If you are living in that kind of world where that kind of influence is all around you, my friends, I challenge you to break free of that because that is not the full story. That is their reality, 100%. Because what you focus on,

you create. But if that does not resonate with you, if that fear, if that scarcity, if that hopelessness, if that defeat does not resonate with you at a soul level, then you owe it to yourself to find somebody who is going to look at this from a different perspective, who’s going to show you that that is not all that is true in this world because my friends,

it is never, never either or, it is always. And and we get to decide what we do. We get to decide where we focus. We get to decide to prioritize ourselves. And when we do, the world changes. My friends, when you prioritize you, when I prioritize me, when we put our energy into what lights us up,

what we are here to do, when we interact with each other from a place of love, from a place of compassion, which has to start with love and compassion for ourselves worth first, then the way that we influence and impact each other changes as well. I sit my friends learning to prioritize yourself. Giving yourself permission to choose you first is critical in your journey in this lifetime.

And it is not selfish, and it is not irresponsible, none of those things at all. It never means that you don’t care about another person. What it means is I’m gonna prioritize me so I can be the best version of me, which allows me to then serve the best version of you my friends. That’s all that that means. So as you go through this week,

like I said, I challenge you to prioritize yourself. I want you to think about what is it that you want for your life? What can you do to move yourself in that direction? How can you surround yourself who have people who believe in your vision and most importantly, just believe in you? No matter what you decide, people who really understand that it’s your journey,

it’s your life. You get to decide for you, and your decisions mean nothing about them, my friends. That’s what I challenge you to do this week. And as I’ve done that for myself again and again, what I have found is that everything that I thought was impossible not only becomes possible, but becomes reality. All right, my friends, that’s gotta wrap it up for this week.

Have a beautiful week and I’ll see you soon. Bye.