Episode 173 | Chasing Confidence

In this episode, Dr. Cari Wise discusses chasing confidence and its impact on our lives. 

She shares how many people seek external validation to feel confident and points out this habit has been reinforced by educational systems.

An unintended consequence: A constant, conditional pursuit of worthiness. 

Dr. Wise challenges the idea that confidence is something we have to work hard to create, suggesting that it is a decision we can make to be confident in ourselves first. 

The importance of not tying confidence to external validation is emphasized, and listeners are encouraged to reflect on what they would do in their lives if they felt confident. 

The episode concludes with an invitation to join the VetMed; Joy Club and participate in a the Creating Confidence Workshop, exclusively for VetMed; JOY CLUB members.



Topics Include:

  1. self-confidence
  2. seeking external validation
  3. the impact of the educational system on confidence
  4. the concept of “enough”
  5. comparison to others
  6. tying confidence to external validation



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 episode of the joyful DVM podcast.

Today I wanna spend some time talking about chasing confidence, which is something that most of us are doing without even realizing we are doing it. So my question for you is, how confident are you in yourself? What is your level of self-confidence? These may seem like strange questions, and if we don’t ask them, we’ll never realize the extent to which we are limiting our own experiences and what’s possible because of what we’re believing about ourselves and self-confidence,

my friend, is at the heart of all of it. The way that we grow up in the world with the way that the academic system works for most of us, we’re constantly in a state of chasing external validation. It starts with things like homework assignments and tests where we complete these things and then we are measured against what a perfect standard is because in homework and tests,

there are right and wrong answers. That validation that we get, which is the grade, tells us that we’re doing okay. It helps us to keep moving forward because even if we’re feeling scared and shaky and not that confident in ourselves on the inside, if there’s something outside of us telling us something different, confirming that we’re good enough, then we have more courage to keep going.

But something pretty tragic happens when we step out of an educational system, and this doesn’t matter if you are stepping out of it because you never went on to college or if you’re stepping out of it because you finally finished multiple years of a professional degree. Once the external validation stops, you’re left with yourself. And if you haven’t learned to be confident in yourself along the way,

then this really becomes a time of reckoning. For a lot of us, it’s a time where we just start to chase all of these external validators and we put some different things in place. So what started out as chasing grades to feel worthy and to feel confident becomes chasing things that we actually can’t even attain. Like in veterinary medicine, I’m talking about chasing patient outcomes,

chasing positive client interactions, chasing a skill level that you never even can evaluate when you get there. The problem with this method is that we’re always waiting to be confident until we believe we are good enough. And that word enough is a tricky word because it cannot be defined and therefore it can never be measured. What’s more? We look around and we compare ourselves to other people,

and we believe often that they are better than we are. Again, holding our confidence from being experienced because until we are better, we sure don’t have permission to feel confident. The problem with all of this is that confidence is not something that we obtain. Once we’ve worked hard enough and achieved enough things, it’s the exact opposite of what the world has taught us,

and so we just keep working really, really hard, believing that if we were better, if our skills were more refined, then we would feel confident. And when we feel confident, then we have permission to be happy. But what I want you to consider is that we actually have this backwards. Confidence isn’t something that we have to work really hard to create.

It’s actually just a decision that we get to make when we become confident in ourselves first. Then the ability to develop new school skills and to be courageous in challenging situations, then that is what actually starts to grow. Confidence is not something that you either have or don’t have. It’s something that you get to decide, and it is something that you get to create for yourself without taking a lot of action and putting in a lot of effort to do so.

When we tie our confidence to this learned habit of external validation, we will never get there. This is so important for all of us to see because once we get out into the real world, particularly in veterinary medicine, we are constantly trying to evaluate our worth in this profession through things that we will never control. I’m talking about things like patient outcomes and the ways that clients interact with us.

Neither of those things are a reflection of your value as a veterinary professional. They’re not a correlation to how hard you tried or how well you did in your role. There are things that you cannot 100% control, but many of us give our wellbeing, our sense of self-worth, and calibrate our confidence based on those things. It’s a dangerous cycle of external validation where you have very little control over the end result.

My question now for you is what would you do in your life if you felt confident doing it? What is it that you’re keeping yourself from pursuing because you just don’t think you have what it takes to move forward? And what would it require to change your mind? The quality of our lives is often determined by the quality of the questions that we ask.

And so often in veterinary medicine and in life, we stay so busy that we never stop to reflect on the experience that we’re having and why we’re having it. This is a practice that will serve you very, very well, especially if you are unhappy in any area of your life. Ask yourself, how did I get here? And ask yourself, why am I staying here?

What most of us will find is that we got where we are from decisions that we made that were the best decisions in the moment based on the information and resources we had at the time. I believe that is always true, but what keeps us from making another decision is fear. There are probably many things in your life that if you took an inventory,

you would identify as things that you want to change, and you probably even have an idea of how you might go about changing them. But right alongside that, I suspect there’s a little bit of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being judged, fear of being wrong, and those fears all play directly with our confidence. If we are self-confident,

we are willing to pursue the things that we want in our lives, even when the outcome is uncertain, even when people don’t agree with our choices, even when it’s likely that people close to us and maybe even strangers will decide to judge us for them, when we are self-confident, we will do it anyway. But many of us flip this around. We don’t even give ourselves the opportunity to move forward because we believe we must be confident first.

And if we’re waiting on confidence before we actually engage in our lives in the way that we want to live, then we’re going to be waiting forever, my friends. Your confidence in yourself is not something that you need to evaluate By external means, you do not need somebody to build you up. You do not need somebody to encourage you to be who you are,

to give you permission, you just need to do that for yourself. At the end of the day, there’s only one you and there’s only one life that you live, and there’s only one set of interests and dreams that are yours and yours alone. And if you aren’t confident in what’s inside of you, in the person that you are and what you’re capable of encountering and achieving and doing,

then you’re never going to take a step forward. You’re going to keep looking around, waiting for permission from somebody else, and that permission just isn’t going to come, but will will come. Are a lot of opinions about the way that you should live your life, about the way that you should interact in your career career and the way that you should handle your money and your big decisions.

There’s a lot of opinions about what you should do, but my question for you is what do you want to do? And if that answer is different than what you are doing with your life right now, then ask yourself why. It’s probably because you are evaluating your own personal dreams and goals and vision against what the world would approve of, and I am encouraging you to let go of that comparison.

Be confident in yourself. Know that what you want is valid, that it’s okay to be different, that it’s encouraged by me if nobody else, to go your own way, to make your own decisions, to create your own path. And what you’re going to find as you start to honor what’s true and right for you is that your confidence actually increases.

See, confidence doesn’t increase as we get good enough or better, my friends, you’re just never gonna know when you get there because neither of those things is measurable. It confidence. Confidence is gonna increase when you recognize what it is that you believe in, that you want to pursue, that you want to create, that you want to develop. And as you take the steps to do that,

even when you’re scared, even when the outcome isn’t certain, your confidence automatically grows. It’s an amazing thing how you don’t all of a sudden have to wait until you’re better before you can be confident in your ability to move forward from where you are. Instead, as you just simply decide to move forward from where you are, your confidence blooms. And as that continue,

you continue that pattern and an amazing thing starts to happen. You start to have exponential confidence in yourself. This allows you at the same time, to decrease the impact of what other people believe about you and about your life. And as you start to learn how to have your own back in every single situation, then the opinions and external validations of others is just no longer needed.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the people in your life, especially the ones who care about you, but you’ve probably heard me say it before. You are the only one who knows what’s right for you. And if you don’t listen to that inner voice that’s prompting you to take care of yourself, to go your own way to decide what you want and to pursue it,

if you don’t listen to that voice, then you’ll just continue to live your life at the effect of things that you will never control. And you can work harder and you can work longer, and you can go to more school and you can develop more skills. But none of that is going to build the internal confidence that will sustain you no matter what comes your way.

The only way to build that, my friend, is by taking action first and showing yourself that even when you’re uncomfortable, you come out on the other side. As that discomfort becomes more and more familiar, then you become more and more willing to experience it because you recognize that it is the price for your dreams. Everything that you want my friends is on the other side of discomfort.

And trust me when I say you are well equipped for your journey, you are here for a reason. So whatever it is that you want in your life that you’re waiting to pursue, until you feel confident to do so, I want you to consider just taking action now. There is no better time and there is no reason. That is validation for why you should wait eight.

If this message is resonating with you today and you want a little bit more help on creating confidence for yourself, you might wanna consider joining us in the Vet Med Joy Club in March for my Vet Med Joy Club members. I’m holding an exclusive workshop Creating Confidence, and that workshop replay will be available to all Vet Med Joy Club members as well. So whether you’re hearing this when it is published or you’re hearing it months later,

if creating confidence and learning how to do this in a more detailed way is something that really interests you, then jump over to joyful dvm.com/joy Club to learn how you can join us, because you can either attend that workshop live if you make it in time, or you can catch the instant replay once it’s available. Alright, my friends, as we head out this week,

I want you to consider, just keep in mind that external validation is not permission to feel confident in yourself. Instead feel confident in yourself and recognize how that need for external validation fades away. Have a beautiful week. I’ll see you next time. Bye for now.