Episode 43 | What You Must Do Before You Quit

The most common response to discomfort is to take action that results in a change.

Makes sense from a survival perspective…

(especially if you are being pursued by predators.)

BUT… this “habit of leaving” isn’t doing us any favors in the pursuit of our best lives.

Sure, there will be jobs, relationships, and other circumstances in our lives that are not “right fits” for us…

And, the first evidence of the “wrong fit” will likely be the negative emotions we experience…

stress, anxiety, dread, inadequacy, frustration, undervalued, disrespected…

We use the experience of these emotions to justify our choice to leave.

BUT… when we leave a situation just to get away quickly from those negative emotions, we often find ourselves repeating the experience in the new environment.


Spoiler: Not for the reasons most of us think.

In this episode, I dive into the one thing most of us don’t even know we need to do in our haste to leave undesirable experiences behind… and why we must begin doing it if we ever want to stop the pattern from repeating.

We focus on this skill in Vet Life Academy


Great podcast!

Cari has a unique perspective as she is both a vet and a life coach. She is incredibly smart and has a ton of amazing knowledge to share.

– LCOjai

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The one thing you absolutely must do before you quit, that's what we're talking about in Episode 43. 

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 43. Before we get started with today's episode, I want to give a listener shout-out to LCOjai who left us a really nice review on iTunes. I have to admit, I'm a little bit embarrassed reading this, but I wanted to give this listener a shout-out for taking the time to write us a review. We read every single one and would appreciate it if all of you guys would do the same. Alright, this is what LCOjai had to share. Cari has a unique perspective as she is both a Vet and a life coach. She is incredibly smart and has a ton of amazing knowledge to share. Great podcast! Thank you so much LCOjai for leaving us that review and taking the time to do it. We really appreciate it. Okay. 

Today, we're going to be doing things a little bit differently. Today, I'm going to be addressing a frequently asked question that I receive over here at Joyful DVM. The question that I want to answer is "Cari, what do you mean by don't leave to feel better?" So that's what we're going to be talking about. As I get ready to get started here if you guys have a question for me that you would like me to address, feel free to drop me a DM or to send me an email at cari@joyfuldvm.com and I would be happy to put your question into the queue and address it. Okay. 

So the question, "what do I mean by don't leave to feel better?"

Well, first off, let's look at leave. Most of the time we're talking about jobs. So a lot of the time, whenever I'm talking about this topic, I'm talking about the decision to quit your job or quit the profession, but it actually applies to anything that you're leaving. Don't leave just to feel better. Don't run away to feel better. So why, why? Why, because that seems like a very logical thing to do. I will tell you that's what a lot of us do. But if you've been one of those people who have changed your jobs or changed your relationships even, kept keep leaving them because you're unhappy and you want to feel better and you've done that enough times, you probably have recognized that there is a bit of a pattern, right? That as you go from job to job, let's just stick with that for the sake of this, if you go from job to job to job, you leave a job that you're unhappy and you feel better for a hot minute in the new one, the newness wears off, the honeymoon phase wears off, and then a lot of the same old stuff that made you unhappy in the first job has now become present in the second job. And so once again, you're on the lookout. You're looking for a new position, a new opportunity. You leave again. You get that new opportunity. Everything's wonderful immediately and then the honeymoon phase wears off and then all the same crap that happened before. You're trying to see it in the third job. This becomes the pattern. 

Now this pattern leads us from a very logical brain perspective to draw the conclusion that Vet Med is a terrible career. That Vet Med isn't for us or that we aren't cut out for this job. Those things might be true, but before we can ever even get to those kinds of conclusions, we have to go all the way back. We have to go back to why we're leaving in the first place. This is why I say don't quit to feel better because guys, what's always true a hundred percent of the time, is that it's not the things that happen around us that create the way that we feel emotionally. It's not the things that happen that create anger for us. It's not the things that people say that create frustration for us or create hurt for us.  I know it really, really, really seems like those things do cause those emotions. I mean, that's exactly the way that we have been kind of taught to believe this happens, especially when we think about how we are brought up in a society with manners and being kind to each other, which I think is wonderful things don't get me wrong, but it really sets in place of really big misunderstanding about where emotional feelings come from. Because what's true is that our emotional feelings come from our thoughts.

Thoughts create feelings. Feelings drive actions. Think-Feel-Act. So once we start to pick this apart and recognize that the emotions come from what we're thinking or believing about the things that are happening, then we can get more power back over our own experience. This is where the idea of not quitting to feel better comes in. If we just keep leaving and we never stop to investigate why we feel the way that we do and peel back the layers to get down to what we are believing and thinking about every situation, then we will always live our lives emotionally at the effect of the things that are happening around us. We will feel very disempowered. We will feel very out of control when it comes to our own lives. That's very frustrating and can become a very hopeless place to be because we start to feel like we're just puppets in this world, quite honestly.

The key here is when you start to notice the pattern; when you start to notice that you want to get out of there to feel better, the thing that you need to do, the one thing that you need to do before you quit is simply to understand why you feel the way you do. I'm not saying we're even going to change it, but I'm saying let's understand it. Why are you unhappy with your job? Your instinct is going to be, to list off a whole bunch of things. Things like cranky co-workers or long schedules or terrible pay or entitled clients, right? You're going to want to list off those kinds of things. Those are the things that we most often identify as the causes of our misery in Veterinary Medicine. But friends, all of those are just factual framework - the things that people say; the things that people do; the hours of the clinic that are open; the length of the appointments when somebody shows up for an appointment. All of that's just a factual framework. That's all stuff that we can prove happened. 

How we feel emotionally, whether we're happy or sad or angry or frustrated, is not dependent on those things as they occur. It's dependent upon what we think about those things when they occur. What we believe about those things when they occur. What we think and believe about those things is all optional. That's the only thing that we actually control. As we develop the skill of slowing it all down, backing it up, taking a look at the factual framework, identifying the facts for what they are, and then intentionally deciding what we want to believe about those facts, then we get our emotional well-being back. We get to be back in control of our emotional well-being. 

Nobody can frustrate you without your permission. Nobody could hurt your feelings without your permission because frustration doesn't come from anything they do. It comes from your belief that it should have been different than it was. Hurt doesn't come from what somebody does. It comes from what you believe about their actions. I'm not saying that we're not going to choose to feel hurt, or we're not going to choose to feel frustrated because we're humans. We're living a human experience. We have a human brain. The world is 50-50 positive and negative when it comes to emotion.

The goal here is never to get rid of the negative emotion. It's simply to understand what it is, allow it to be there when it's appropriate and when it's not useful for us and it's causing us individually more harm than it is good, then taking back our power over it through that understanding that all of the negative or uncomfortable emotion we feel is true is created by our own thoughts patterns. That's where the magic lies. 

If you're in a position that you really want to get out of because you're miserable day in and day out, I have two things for you. Number one, good for you for recognizing that you're unhappy. Some people can't even recognize that part because they get so caught up in the obligation and the responsibility of the job. So if you've got to the point that you recognize that you're unhappy, I just want to give you a high five and say "Good for you. You've got some awareness there." 

Then number two, let's understand why. Your knee-jerk reaction, just like everybody is going to be to point out all the problems with everybody else and everything in the environment. I'm not going to say that those things aren't problems, but I am going to reinforce the idea that it's not those things that are creating the way you feel about it, right? If you believe that they are problems; if you believe that they should be different and maybe they should be, but at least understand where your frustration comes from and where your discontent comes from. Because that way, when you make a choice to leave, once you fully understand where the emotion comes from, not just the things that you point the finger at, but how you are viewing it and thinking about it and drawing opinions about it and have those thought processes create your emotional experiences, once you've got that down, then, by all means, seek a better fit. And you'll go into that next job with the knowledge that you didn't run away to feel better. You simply left because you are choosing an environment that you think is a better fit for you. You're heading towards something that you're believing is going to be better. That it's going to be a better fit for you. That's going to be more useful for you overall. You'll also take with you then that skill of being able to identify, in any environment, in any situation that factual framework - "What are the facts here?" - and remember the facts will always be anything that somebody else says; anything that somebody else does; anything associated with the appointment book will always going to be a fact because it's the stuff that we can prove exists. The time that you left work; the time that you got to work are also just facts. The amount of money that you make is also just facts. So if these are all facts and we know that facts don't create emotion, that opens up that window of opportunity for you to be able to decide what you believe about all of those things on purpose for yourself. This is a really important point because we are communities of people by nature. We are drawn to each other. When we are in a high-stakes profession, like Veterinary Medicine, it's very common that we become influenced by the opinions of the people that we work with. I'm not saying this is a bad thing because there's a lot of good stuff in that. But when it comes to the negativity; when it comes to the downward spiral; when it comes to the negative outlook on the profession and on the clients and on organizations as a whole, I want you just to remember to think independently for yourself because just because somebody that you work with has an opinion about a person or about an organization does not make that opinion a fact. It's not part, we can't prove their opinion is true. We might be able to prove that they have an opinion because they've shared it with you, but that doesn't make their opinion true. 

So if you're just kind of going along adopting what other people believe about a situation, just give yourself a hot minute to consider that for yourself. This is what they believe. Do I believe that for myself? Is it helpful for me to believe that for myself? Because I think the compounding effect of frustration and anxiety and depression and burnout in this field comes a lot from that commiseration, from that sharing of opinions and negative beliefs stack over time, but never stopped or get slowed down to be questioned. We just accept these things as the reality of the job, but they're not reality. They're opinions of the job. The reality of the job is what you create out of it. Once you're able to pick apart the opinions from the factual framework, then you can decide for yourself whether or not the facts of a given job are what you want for a job. And if it doesn't, then you can choose another job from that informed place, not from a place of trying to get away from the way that you feel in the first job. So that's the reason why I always say don't leave a job just to feel better because what I know from my own experience and from the experience of hundreds of you guys now that I've worked with is that when you change the job, if you're very miserable and very upset in the job and you change it, that all that stuff comes up again. Then it just becomes a pattern and what I know also is that when that pattern is repeated enough times, we stopped blaming the job and we start blaming ourselves. None of this is necessary. 

I promise you that the reasons that you struggle in Veterinary Medicine are not because you're not cut out for it. It's just because you don't understand exactly what's happening. As you start to understand what's happening and you start to recognize where you have power over your own experience, that not only frees you up for all kinds of opportunities within Veterinary Medicine but in your whole entire life because these patterns that you are experiencing in Veterinary Medicine, these emotional patterns, these ups and downs, happiness and frustration and anxiety, those same patterns are playing out across your entire life, not just in Veterinary Medicine. That's why I always say Veterinary Medicine is the catalyst. It's the thing that pushes us to the point where we are not satisfied with the status quo, or this is just not tolerable long-term and it takes us getting to that breaking point before we start to look outside of ourselves in some ways for answers. By outside of ourselves, I mean, outside of what we currently understand about a situation. Until we start to really become curious about our own experiences from a perspective other than what seems obvious, which is all the blame points that I already listed, only then do we really start to understand who we are, what we want for our lives, and what we're actually capable of creating. 

Alright, my friends, if you have a question that you would like for me to answer here on the podcast, please send us an email at cari@joyfuldvm.com and I would be more than happy to answer your question on an upcoming episode. If you like the podcast; if you enjoyed the content that we've been sharing here, please jump over to iTunes and leave us a review. You just may hear your name, shout it out in a future episode as well. 

Alright, my friends, that's going to wrap it up for this 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 concepts 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.