Episode 176 | Navigating Unexpected Change

In this episode, Dr. Cari Wise discusses how people respond to unexpected change and shares her own experience of unexpectedly losing a staff member. Dr. Wise shares that change is inevitable and that there is always someone ready to step into a vacant role. She encourages embracing change with curiosity and trust, seeing unexpected events as opportunities for growth. She also created the Vet Life Academy to help others navigate unpredictable situations and become creators of their own well-being.

Key Takeaways:

– Change is inevitable

– Change is easiest to navigate from curiosity and trust

– Unexpected events can be opportunities for growth and development of wellbeing



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. Today is Friday, March 15th, 2024, and today I wanna spend a few minutes talking about how we respond to change, especially unexpected change. Over the last week, we’ve had some pretty unexpected events, both in my personal life and at the clinic. And one of the most unexpected things that happened was the resignation of a staff member that I didn’t even see coming.

Whenever we have these big changes, they really can be indicators of how we are doing with our own wellbeing, because if we look at them curiously, and we consider how did we respond? What was our reaction, we can use that to really calibrate and assess how in control we are of our own experience. And I would say for me this week,

I was actually pleasantly surprised. So many of us don’t like change. We aren’t too excited when things unexpected happen. And we might even just say that we just are averse to change. Some of us identify ourselves as being people who just don’t like change. But why is that? Why do we not like change? We don’t like change because when things change,

then we drop back into uncertainty. When have things have been the same way for a long time, we find some comfort in the status quo. We find comfort and safety in the predictability of any experience. But then something comes along unexpected and a big change occurs like a staff member leaving, and all of a sudden we drop right back in to uncertainty.

We don’t really know what’s gonna happen next. For some of us, we may then go into panic mode. Oh my gosh, what am I gonna do? We may be angry. Why did they decide to leave? We might be curious, huh? I wonder how we’re gonna handle this. And this week, as I had that experience of the sudden and unexpected resignation of a key staff member,

and I would say that all of my staff members are honestly key. We are a very small group, so we really depend on each other for everything that we are able to do at the clinic. Having one person resign was certainly unexpected and will definitely have an impact in that moment. When I found out, as I thought about it later, I didn’t freak out.

And I’m actually really proud of myself for that, for not freaking out about it. I was really curious. I was completely surprised. I’ll be honest, I was completely surprised. I did not see this coming, but that’s okay. I didn’t need to see it coming. It was always gonna happen this way, right? I just didn’t know it at the time.

And so as I reflected back over that experience and kind of the things that happened over the last few days since finding out, I was able to notice that this time when a staff member decided to leave, I didn’t feel scared and I didn’t feel frustrated or angry. I really just felt curious. Now, of course, part of me was curious about why.

Why did you decide to leave? But that’s really not my business. That’s for theirs. Theirs to share if they want to. But more so I was curious about, huh, how is this gonna work now? What are we gonna do? Are we going to hire somebody else to replace that person? Or are we not? Are we gonna, what else is going to change?

So a curiosity not from like a scary place, not from a, oh my gosh, what’s the next shoe gonna drop? No, not that, but just truly curiosity and also curiosity about how other people within the organization are going to start to step up and into those roles. I’ve lived long enough and been in veterinary medicine long enough to know that when somebody leaves a position,

there’s always somebody waiting in the wings who steps up to take on those responsibilities, either in an official capacity or an unofficial capacity until an official capacity becomes available. As I’ve seen this pattern in my lifetime, and it’s actually something that I noticed before I ever got into veterinary medicine, it’s something that I noticed actually in high school, was this pattern of when somebody integral leaves somebody else is,

is really already ready to step in. I noticed this in marching band and in jazz band. So I, many of you already know that I was a music major when I started out in my college years. So my whole first year of college, I was a music performance major. And so I spent a lot of time in high school in band.

I was in both marching band, concert band, which is the same kind of class, if you will, just depending on the season. And then I was also in the auditions only jazz band for the entire four years I was in in high school. And when I started as a freshman in jazz band, looking at the seniors who were very integral in that jazz band,

and I saw that they were gonna be graduating, I was a little nervous like, how on earth are we ever going to be able to do this without that person on the keyboard or without this guy playing the guitar? It was a jazz band, but we had some other instruments, obviously, or without this person being the first chair saxophone, like,

how is it that we’re gonna be able to like be this good without those people when they’re gone? And what’s so fascinating is that when they graduated, somebody else just stepped into that role. They were already ready for that role. They’ve been preparing for that role the whole entire time. And so as we had these people who would graduate and move on throughout the,

all the four years, it was just really reassuring that we didn’t need to worry because there was already somebody who was ready for that position. They were just waiting for the opportunity to step into it. So that awareness that I gained in high school has served me very, very well. Whenever there’s been change, and definitely has served me well in my veterinary career,

where even when I was a practice owner, I still had a lot of times where staff would all of a sudden just not be there. They would quit, you know, resign, whatever. Sometimes I would get notice, sometimes I wouldn’t. Sometimes they would give notice and I would just ask them to go. So there’s all kinds of timeframes that go with people leaving this time,

although I was completely surprised, didn’t see it coming at all. I definitely dropped right into curiosity, huh? Isn’t this interesting? Because I definitely believe that everything happens for a reason. I’m very solidly grounded in that everything happens for a reason. And not only everything happens for a reason, but everything happens for our ultimate good. And so if I can look at every situation through the lens of everything happens for a reason,

and everything happens for our ultimate good, then that means that this person leaving our organization is not only good for them, but also good for us and good for what comes next. For all of us involved. It’s much easier to navigate change when you can anchor yourself in the belief that it’s all for your good and all happening, happening intentionally as it was always going to happen.

There’s no room left to be fa afraid. There’s no room left to be angry about the change, to be resistant to the change. Just allow the change to occur. Because the more that we resist the reality of what is, the more that we try to push back and to make things not change, the more that we delay the truth of the change.

Some of us, when you find out that somebody is resigning or leaving, we ignore it until they’re gone, and then we deal with it. If we deal that we actually just create more stress for ourselves, more suffering, more frustration, and more confusion for everybody else. This time with this unexpected change by being able to drop into curiosity, I’ve been able to have a completely different experience of it.

And it’s also been a great data point for me to see just how far I’ve come with my own work in being the creator of my own wellbeing. And that’s exactly what I want for all of you. That’s why I created the Life Academy, because I know that this world is not getting any more predictable, my friends. It is not getting any easier in a lot of aspects.

But when you can learn how to cont, create and control your wellbeing for yourself, meaning you are no longer at the effect of what other people decide to do, then you keep all of your power. And so you’re able to navigate these unexpected events without even a bump. You can approach them with curiosity and a trust that this is actually all going to be okay.

This isn’t going to be the end of anything. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for everybody involved, including the person who’s decided to lead the organization. And with that in mind, we can send this person off with gratitude for how much time that they spent and all the great work that they did when they were with us, and wish them the best in their new journey.

There’s no need for anybody to be bitter or angry or scared or resentful. It doesn’t have to mean anything bad about anybody involved. When somebody decides to leave, we can just see it for what is true that the season of us all being together has simply come to a close and a new season is starting. And with that becomes new opportunities and new normals,

and every one of us is prepared and equipped to navigate that. So as you go through the next week and you bump up against very unexpected things, I want you to give yourself the opportunity to drop into curiosity and to ask yourself two very important questions. Number one, what would my experience be if I believed that everything happens for a reason? And number two,

how would my perspective change if I believed this, that this was actually happening for my good? All right, my friends, have a beautiful week. I’ll see you next time. Bye.