Episode 75 | Identity Crisis: An Unintended Consequence in Veterinary Medicine

In this episode, I dive into a common thing that happens once we’ve been in practice for a while… the identification of what we Don’t Want. I explore how this clarity often results in a downward spiral of emotion, what’s really going on, and what you can do about it.


  • Who Are You?
  • The 2 things that influence the development of opinions.
  • Three common conclusions we draw when we are unhappy in our lives.
  • Personality Assessment


Determine Your Personal Human Design


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00:00:00 Feeling frustrated, lost, not sure who you are or what you even want anymore, that's what we're talking about in Episode 75. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, and this is the Joyful DVM podcast. Hi, everybody. Welcome to Episode 75. Today, I want to start out with a question: Who are you? For many of us when asked that question, "Who are you?",

00:00:35 we answered that question with something like I'm a veterinarian or a veterinary technician. I'm a wife. I'm a husband. I'm a partner. I'm a sister.  I'm a brother. I'm a sibling. Those answers actually don't answer the question that I asked. They answer a different question. They answer, "What are you?"  See? All of those labels are in relation to somebody else.

00:00:59 But the question I asked is who are you at your core, whose life are you living? What interests you and how much time are you spending exploring that? What do you believe? And did you decide that for yourself or just adopt the beliefs of other people around you? What do you want for your future? Is this your dream or an expectation you've bought into along the way,

00:01:22 our dreams and what we want for our lives change and evolve over time through living, we discover who we are. Our experiences create perspective and help refine our preferences. We are very impressionable when we are young, it's not uncommon for us to adopt dreams and career paths someone offers us. We begin our lives living inside the rules, our parents,

00:01:47 teachers, clergy, et cetera, set up the parameters. And we do our very best to stay within those parameters. This is where we start to learn about being good and being bad. The motive behind the systems is good. It's to keep us safe, to teach us, and to guide us where it gets a little tangled is through the impact of the opinions of those most influential in our lives.

00:02:09 We all have opinions. Our opinions are shaped by two things. Number one, the opinions of those who have the most impact on our lives. And number two, by our own experiences, as we have more experiences, I E as we get older, it's not unusual for our opinions and beliefs to begin to change. This is because our perspective grows and we accumulate more understanding of our own preferences.

00:02:34 And what works for us. This awareness is often in contrast to the parameters and opinions of those most influential earlier in our lives. This creates a conundrum. Do we follow our own truth and pursue our own life journey? Or do we stay on the path originally offered and work to conform to the opinions and stay within the parameters? For many of us,

00:02:56 this self-awareness really begins to be, as we approach the age of 30, it is around this time that we become acutely aware of what we don't like and what we don't want. This creates frustration, anxiety, stress, even hopelessness and overwhelm. But why, why do we often land in a negative downward spiral when we start to gain clarity about what we want?

00:03:20 Well, when we've been heavily conditioned to believe certain things about life, success, responsibility, follow through money, relationships, jobs, duty, et cetera. And we recognize that what we want does not conform to those rules. We often feel very lost and confused. The conditioning is so powerful that the common conclusion that most of us make is that there's something wrong with us.

00:03:46 We must be the problem. If we aren't happy living a life that conforms to all the rules and guidance offered to us by the people who care about us most, we must be the problem. If we aren't satisfied in the prestigious career field, we chose. If we can't hack the hours and effort and pressure that comes with it, we must be the problem.

00:04:05 If we dream about leaving behind a good job with the good benefits and the good retirement or leaving the good relationship along with the safety and security it provides. I mean, after all, what kind of person leaves a good thing in these moments, a type of identity, crisis ensues. Who am I if I don't want this career anymore? Who am I

00:04:26 if I don't want this relationship anymore? Who am I if I don't want my life to look like this anymore? Am I horrible? Am I weak? Am I selfish? Am I lazy? Am I an ungrateful friend? I promise, you are none of those things. You are just perfectly unintentionally you and you are just starting to understand that the truth of who you are is different than what you've been trying to be.

00:04:53 It's okay. It's normal. Better yet, it's full of possibilities. When we give ourselves the space to explore who we are independent of everything we've been taught and told something magical happens. The truth of who you are, the essence of your existence begins to shine. It's always been there, patiently waiting for you to remember. It's been patiently waiting for you to kind of wake up from this life.

00:05:20 You've been trying so hard to live and the person you've been trying so hard to befriend being you. The real you isn't that difficult. The hardest part of being who we are is giving ourselves permission. Who you really are, is a pretty big deal. You are beautifully unique with infinite value to share and love to be given and received deep down.

00:05:41 You probably already sense this. You know what areas of your life are aligned with the truth of who you are and which ones are not those areas of misalignment can scare us. Not because there's anything at all wrong with us, but because of what we believe it will require to make adjustments in these areas of our lives. The fear comes in many forms,

00:06:02 fear of judgment. What will others think of me if I change or leave my job or relationship personal style, et cetera.  Self-doubt. Am I crazy? Who in their right mind would consider changing directions at this point in their lives? Fear of failure. What if I make all these changes and it's not better? What if I ruin my life? Self-judgment.

00:06:23 If I were skilled enough, or if I were strong enough, if I was healthy enough, I'd never be thinking about things like this. Please know these fears and the thought processes they create are not true. So much of this is lower habit brain thinking. Remember, that's the part of our brain that is programmed for survival. It feels safer as part of the group conforming, being like everyone else,

00:06:47 following the rules, not rocking the boat, but you, the real you, the you that is restless and dissatisfied and feeling stuck or boxed in, you already know there is something more going on here. The answer is to not just get better at being who the world has taught you to be. The answer is in giving yourself permission to explore and understand who you really are.

00:07:10 Give yourself permission. Do you like personality assessments? Most of us do. They're kind of fun to complete. And when the results ring true to aspects, we've already identified about ourselves. We feel validated. We feel seen, we feel understood. We have one more piece of evidence as to why we are the way we are, but when the results totally miss the mark,

00:07:33 we tend to dismiss the results altogether or worse. We beat ourselves up for not being what those results said. We are supposed to be. Especially if it's an assessment that identifies both your strengths and your weaknesses. The problem with most assessments is subjectivity. The Headspace you're in when you complete those questions absolutely influences your answers. If the assessment is long,

00:07:56 it's pretty easy to get distracted and bored partway through or to start to worry about the way you're answering the questions that have come before. And when these assessments are tied to an employment opportunity, look out our brains automatically seek what we believe the right answers are for the job. Even if it's not the answer that is true for us. It's exhausting.

00:08:16 If you ever feel like you failed a personality assessment, you get what I'm saying here. Thankfully, a very different and special kind of assessment exists that can shine a light on who we truly are and help us to make sense of our lives. Especially when we face challenges or are embarking on seasons of change. The best part, there is zero subjectivity required.

00:08:38 I'm talking about your unique human design. All the details of your unique human design are brought together for you to explore and discover in your personal human design chart. And unlike any other assessments that require subjectivity, your human design chart is absolute. It is what it is because it's based on one piece of absolute information. The moment you were born, I've been studying human design for a couple of years now,

00:09:02 and I'm currently certified as a level three quantum human design specialist. And here's what I can tell you with certainty. Human design has helped me to understand my struggles and challenges. It has shown me that I'm not crazy. I'm not lazy. I'm not weak. I'm not weird. I'm exactly as I was created to be human design has given me evidence of who I believed.

00:09:22 I was all my life. It's validated my purpose. It's given me a greater perspective of the world. And it's given me permission to unapologetically be who I am and that identity crisis we go through near our thirties. That's in the chart, the midlife crisis that we hear about for people who are around 50, yup. That's in there too. And that urgency to change things.

00:09:44 As we near our sixties, not a surprise, all explained perhaps the most beautiful thing though about human design is how it shows us our potential. It gives us a framework through which we can understand who we really are at our core, independent of the conditioning and the pressures brought on by the world friend. There is nothing at all, wrong with you.

00:10:06 This identity crisis you're going through. It's normal, it's necessary. We are not meant to conform. You are meant to be you. All of you. You are meant to live your life your way. So if you're feeling lost, if you yearn for some guidance, if you need reassurance that nothing has gone wrong and nothing is wrong with you, then I encourage you to check out your own human design chart.

00:10:30 I'm really excited to be able to offer you a free human design chart, right on the joyful DVM website. You can jump over to joyful dvm.com/human design to get your chart right now, all you need are the details around your birth, like the date, the time, and the location. The time is needed to pinpoint when your arrival was and the location is needed so that the time can be adjusted for daylight savings time,

00:10:54 depending on where you live. If you don't know the time, then just start out by putting in noon and you can always come back and run it again. When you find that information for most of us, it's included on our birth certificate, the human design chart is packed with information. There are five main human design types, and we're going to start there.

00:11:13 Once you run your chart, I'll email you a free PDF resource to help you understand what you're looking at. But before you dig in, I want you to take a second to notice how you feel the first time you see it for me, the first time I saw my chart, I experienced a flood of relief. I had no idea what I was looking at mind you,

00:11:31 but there was something familiar about it. I just can't explain. I'll be curious to know if this is your experience, too. And for those of you who are ready to learn how human design impacts your veterinary medicine career, I've got something special coming up just for you. Registration is now open for the vet med and human design workshop that I'll be hosting later this month.

00:11:51 So jump over to joyful dvm.com/human design to download a copy of your chart and save your seat in the workshop. If it's right for you, remember there is nothing wrong with you. Your challenges provide insight into who you really are. Your preferences are a reflection of that. You are perfectly, uniquely, and intentionally you. Friend, you don't need anyone's permission to live your life.

00:12:15 Jump over to joyful dvm.com/human design. Download your chart. And let me start to show you what you've probably already suspected all along. That's going to wrap it up for this week. I'll see you next time.