Episode 27 | The Control You Give Away in Vet Med & Life

In an uncontrollable world, there is one thing you can control one hundred percent of the time…


Unfortunately, many of us give away that control, which compounds the impact.

The ways in which we give up our control are subtle.

We don’t recognize these three simple things have a massive negative impact on our lives, self-confidence, and our futures.

Those things:
People pleasing
Failing to set boundaries

When we learn to manage ourselves in all of these areas, our lives immediately begin to improve.

Our frustration dissipates.

Defeat fades.

Possibility and Hope emerge.

The power of making your own choices fuels your self-confidence.

You no longer tolerate allowing decisions to be made for you… that privilege is yours and yours alone, and you embrace it.

In this episode, I take a closer look at the three joy and control-stealing activities of people-pleasing, failing to set boundaries, and buffering.

Joyful DVM has a brand new course that can help you get a jump on a massive change in all of these areas.

To learn more about it, join our next webinar.

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Vet Life Reboot



The control you do have and how you've been giving it away, that's what we're talking about in Episode 27.

Welcome to the Joyful DVM Podcast. I'm your host, Veterinarian, and Certified Life Coach, Cari Wise. Whether you're dealing with the challenges in Vet Med, struggling with self-confidence or you're just trying to figure out how to create a life and a career that you actually enjoy, you'll find encouragement, education, and empowering concepts you can apply right away. Let's get started.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to Episode 27. Today, I've been thinking about the state of the world, just the general chaos that we're all experiencing, and just how crazy 2020 has been. There's just been a lot going on. And as I've talked to my friends and our colleagues, kind of something that comes up over and over again is this general idea of lack of control. And I will agree. There is very little that we do control in this world. And we actually create a lot of suffering for ourselves when we try to control things that are uncontrollable. That all being said and done, there is a control that we do have.

There are opportunities for us to make our own lives better, but as we deal with the things that are going on in the world and in our own lives, we often time give away our power in this area. There are three specific ways that we do this. One, people-pleasing; two, boundaries; and three buffering.

So people-pleasing. What is that? It's when you agree to do things that you don't really want to do. And I'm not so much talking about within your jobs, because when we're in a job, we actually have expectations from our employers on what we will do and how we will spend our time. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about all the rest of your life, where you do have the opportunity to make decisions about what you want to do.

Many times you're choosing to do things that really aren't things you want to spend your time doing. You want to ask yourself, "Why?" This is one of the areas that you're giving away your control. You're giving away your choices. And as you continue to do this, you will continue to feel defeated. We really need to understand why it is that we're doing this. And when we do it from a people-pleasing perspective, then it really does create a massively negative impact on our lives.

My coach certification instructor, Brooke Castillo, often says that people-pleasers are liars, and I have to agree. Now, before you go getting offended, let me explain. Whenever you're agreeing to do something that you don't really want to do, then you're lying. You're lying to yourself and you're lying to the person that you're helping out. So why is this such a big deal?

Oftentimes, when we agree to do things that we don't really want to do, it's all about trying to protect the feelings of the other person. So we agree to do things when we spend our time participating in activities that we would just rather not do from a state of fear of how they will react if we just say No. We are so afraid of the reactions of other people that we agree instead of using our ability to say No. What does that accomplish? Well, we don't feel very good about it. We're pretty uncomfortable and unhappy, generally, whenever we're participating in these things that we are telling ourselves that we really don't want to do. And then on top of that, we're also lying to ourselves about how much authority and impact we have on somebody else's feelings.

You've heard me talk about this before, probably here on the podcast or over on one of my Facebook lives, and when it comes to emotions are only created by one place, that is our own thoughts. So what that means is that we actually don't have any power to create an emotional feeling in another person.

So agreeing to do something or agreeing not or deciding not to do something, neither one of those things is going to create an emotional reaction in the other person. What we're really trying to avoid is the way that we will feel if they display or say that they're upset about our decision. This actually kills self-confidence. It also takes away your choices when you do this just to avoid the uncomfortable feeling.

Another way that we give away our control is by failing to set boundaries. And this kind of is related to people-pleasing. See boundaries are requests that we make of somebody for certain behavior and a consequence of what we will do if they don't comply with our request.

It's really a tool useful for us because we can decide in advance how we are going to react when people do certain things. We never have to be angry with them about it, but instead, we don't ever communicate our expectations, our requests for behavior. We don't ever communicate our consequences. And so as people do things, the story we begin to tell ourselves in our minds is that they're running all over us. That they don't respect our boundaries, you know, those ones we actually never communicated. And we become very victimy over the way that people treat us. Friends, this just gives away your power and it gives away your choices.

Once again, you've got to be willing to stand up and say what you want for you and not to manipulate the other humans into complying. But just so you know what you'll do if the situation isn't one that you want to partake in. That's what boundaries are all about. Again, as you're able to do this, your confidence increases.

Finally, another area where we give up a lot of control over our lives is through an activity called buffering. Buffering is when we take part in an external activity in an attempt to actually feel better in any situation.

So if we're feeling very anxious or feeling very stressed out, or angry or worried, or even sad or depressed, many of us turn to things like food. For me, it was always ice cream, cookies, and Starbucks. We may also turn to things like binge-watching television, just that constant Netflix over and over and over again. Or scrolling on social media. Those kinds of things - overeating, over-drinking. These activities actually release Dopamine at the moment. So you get a hit of the best hormone in the world. The downside is it doesn't last very long. So even though you get that initial Dopamine hit when you partake in a buffering activity, you do feel better at that moment, which is why that Dopamine is so amazing. It does wear off very quickly. And guess what, all the uncomfortable or sad or frustrated or angry feelings that you are feeling that kind of drove you to that activity in the first place are still there. And now you've just compounded the problem with this additional activity that you partaking in, which has either increased perhaps calories taken in or lost time in doing this activity or contributed in some other way negatively to you.

See buffering activities almost never have a positive consequence. The buffering, maybe something that you do to get your mind off of what you're really upset about, but what happens is that it gives away your control and your choices about those things. You're not actually using your time addressing what the problems are. You're not using your time considering what choices you could make. And therefore you're not spending any time actually taking control of your own life and making intentional decisions to move forward toward an intentional outcome for you.

When it's all said and done, we actually give away a lot of our control to things outside of us. And as we give away our control to these things, it takes away the choices that we have over our lives. The result is that we begin to live a life that is simply at the effect of the world. We began living a life that we are a passenger in and not the driver of. Our life just begins to happen to us, instead of, because of us. And I promise you, a life that you live because of your own choices is far more fulfilling than the one that you live as a consequence of all the things that you can't control.

Changing this for yourself all really begins with understanding your own thought processes. Our mind is a powerful computer. It does drive ultimately everything that we do in our entire being. It does this because the thoughts, remember, the thoughts in our own minds create emotion, emotion drives our actions, which includes our decisions.

Now here's the part that a lot of us missed. If our emotions are created by our thoughts, a lot of us would just think, "Well, Cari, how on earth is it that I can control my thoughts? I just think them?" And I'm going to say, "Yeah, you do have thoughts that you just think automatically." You have a lot of those quite honestly, on autopilot.

But what you don't know is that you also have the opportunity to think intentionally, and this is where you get all of your choices back. This is where you create your future. This is where you take over control of the bus if you will, and you no longer ride as a passenger in it. This becomes the most critical component in creating a life that you actually love and creating what you want for your future and achieving the goals that you haven't even taken time to think about because you've been so busy being a passenger in your own life.

This ability to manage your mindset is pivotal for your future. It's also the most important component of creating any kind of balance and being able to live a life that's more than just your career.

So if you are anything like I was many years ago, where it was all work, get up, go to work, come home, veg out on the couch, watch TV, eat some junk food, get up, go to work, do the whole thing again. Basically completely withdrawn from the rest of my life and to a point that it just became intolerable, then I want you to know that we do have something here at Joyful DVM that will help you. It's our brand new course Vet Life Reboot. It is an amazing opportunity to go through - to get to know yourself very, very well, and to really restructure your life in five very important areas.

If you want to learn more about Vet Life Reboot, check out my most recent webinar at joyfuldvm.com/webinar. In that webinar, I'm going to give you an opportunity to learn more about Vet Life Reboot. And in the meantime, we're going to take a look at the five components of work-life balance and understand why it is that those components are so essential if you actually want to have a life that involves veterinary medicine as a career, but you as an entire human overall.

Alright, my friends, I'm going to leave you with that. Have a great week, and I'll see you next time.

Thank you for listening to the Joyful DVM Podcast. If you'd like to learn more about the concept and ideas discussed here, and how to apply them to your own life, to create confidence and empowerment for yourself, you'll love Vet Life Academy. To check it out and learn more, visit joyfuldvm.com/vetlifeacademy. And if you're loving this podcast, I'd appreciate it if you'd share it with your friends and leave us a review on iTunes. 

We can change what's possible in Vet Med together.