Episode 76 | Navigating Challenges & Change in Veterinary Medicine and the World

In this episode I dive right into the opportunities that challenge and change bring each of us in veterinary medicine, and in the world. It’s go time… we can no longer just wait for our jobs and our lives to improve. We must be active participants in the creation of something different. You were made for this. Let’s go!



  • Navigating Change
  • Personal Sacrifice is not the answer
  • How you are perfectly equipped to create the life and career you want, even now.
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Burn out


Strategic Life Analysis Workshop

Joy Vet Alliance


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Navigating a season of change and uncertainty without losing yourself in the process. That's what we're talking about in episode 76, I'm Dr. Cari Wise, and this is the Joyful DVM podcast. Hi, everybody. Welcome to episode 76 today. I want to talk about the season that we're in. We are in a massive season of change, and it's really important that we consider how we want to move forward.

The thing of it is like we are, things are changing. Let's just start there. Things are changing. The world is changing. We've been in a season of change in a, in a whirlwind of change. That's been really front and center and, and just, we can't get away from it for years now for a little over two years now,

since this whole pandemic started and the pandemic was, it was a bit of a jumping off point for us to become aware of the change that's in front of us, for us to become aware of what we can't control. Now, we've all had struggles during this pandemic. We've all had challenges that have come up before us. We have had losses, we have had changes.

And as we've gone through all of those things individually, we have dealt with them in our own ways. I know that I have been on a bit of a roller coaster since all of this started. And I know many of you have to, as you've talked to me inside of Joy Vet Alliance and our other programs, and even just here on Facebook and reaching out.

And so this season of change and the struggle that you're going through, what I want you to know is that that's all part of a bigger plan here that this is not the time for us to give up. This is not the time for us to give in to those voices in our heads that say, you're not good enough. You're not strong enough.

You can't handle this. You aren't made for this because I promise you, my friend, you are exactly made for what is going on in the world right now, 100% made for this. We are all here at this time for a reason, it is not an accident that the things that are happening in the world are happening during our lifetime. But if we give in to that voice that tells us that we just got dealt a bad hand,

that we have it harder than the people who came before us, that it's not fair that we have to deal with this. When the people before us didn't have to, and the people in the future may not have to. If we buy into that, then that keeps us stuck. And in these moments, when we face these challenges, we really have two choices.

Are we going to cower? Are we going to give into that voice and just settle into this despair and victimization? Or are we going to step up and do what we're here to do? This is showing itself in all kinds of areas and not just in our profession. Yes. Our profession is in a massive season of change. It has gone through massive changes before.

It always turns out better. On the other side, in the middle of any kind of challenge, it's going to be difficult, but difficult, not a problem facing scary things. It's not a problem and less, we make it mean something personal about ourselves. And that's what happens to a lot of us, because many of us, unfortunately, we don't have a solid foundation of confidence and self-trust,

and self-assuredness, and even self love. We don't have that foundation underneath us. And so as soon as the world starts to tilt in a slightly different direction, we lose our bearings and we believe that we don't have it within us to be able to handle it. But we're wrong about that because you absolutely have everything that you need to handle it. You just need to develop it.

You just need to trust that you just need to lean into it. You need to pay attention to those things that you aren't satisfied with. The things you're not satisfied with. It, isn't an opportunity for you to force a change on something that you don't have any control over. There's a really important skill of discernment there to understand where is it that your efforts are going to actually bear fruit?

And where is it that your attention and your focus, it's just going to spin you four more down into it with the downward spiral. That's an important skill to understand, take the actions, to make the changes that you are, have the ability to influence, but in those moments where you don't, don't give up, that's not what that's about in those moments.

That's where you get to reflect and you get to decide, okay, what's right for me. How do I want to move forward? Because either way, we're going to keep going. The world is going to keep spinning. The days are going to keep passing. And I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of days passing, feeling disempowered,

feeling frustrated, feeling overwhelmed by what's happening. And yes, I have gone into those places myself. Now I do kind of believe that I have a skillset developed that has helped me in a way that has been really useful. I've been able to kind of jump out of those bits of despair, much more quickly than I would have 10 years ago. But that skillset was something that I developed.

It's not something that just came in full bloom, the moment that I was born, but it was something that was possible. And it is something that's possible for you to resilience is part of what I'm talking about. Here. We are a resilient species, despite all of the things that we do to each other, and the way that we mess up our world,

we are still a resilient species. We completely have the ability to figure all of this out and this past to do not only what the world as a whole, but also within our individual lives. As we try to make changes across the board, not one piece is more important than the other. You've heard me say before, probably if you've been listening to anything over here,

Joyful DVM for any period of time, that personal sacrifice is never going to bridge the gaps that are present in veterinary medicine. It never has. And so during this time, over the last few years, as we have had to change the way that we do business, as we've had to be creative and come up with new ways to approach things, as we have started to have to recruit employees and try to retrain and retain employees in a way that we've never had before what's happened is not that veterinary medicine is falling apart.

Is that the foundational cracks that were already there just becoming and people are just no longer willing to sacrifice their personal wellbeing to keep the hospital up and going. I blame them because if it wasn't a sustainable business model to begin with, then of course, it's going to crack under pressure. When things like global changes and global challenges occur. I don't see this as a problem.

I see it as an opportunity. And this is what I want you to see. I want you to see the opportunities that are in front of you. It's very easy as we look at the world around us, as we see all the things that we are not happy about, all the things that should not be happening, that people shouldn't be suffering in.

The ways that they are, that we see people making choices that are not good for the people around them. As we see these things that really light a fire under us, and we feel angry about those things. If we stay focused only on those things, we don't affect any kind of change, not for the world and certainly not in our own lives.

And so the key, the key here is to take those things that really burn your ass and decide, okay, how am I going to let this influence me? What can I do now? You might be thinking, well, I can't do anything about global warming all on my own. I just pick something, pick any, any challenge, any destruction.

I can't do anything about the war on Ukraine on my own. That's probably true all on your own. You can't, but what this world needs is every single one of us just to be who we are and to live confidently from that place. Because when we live confidently from that place, we make decisions that are only best for us, but our best for everybody,

the greatest value in the services that we provide, whatever they may be, veterinary medicine, fast food, Walmart, massive leadership, educational structure, whatever it is, we make the greatest service, the greatest impact through our service when we are first solid in who we are. And that's what for many of us has really made this time in our lives so much more challenging.

We've kind of figured out how to deal with the ups and downs of our lives. With the things that happened. We'd come up with our coping mechanisms or commiserating or other buffering things for me, cookies, candies, ice cream. Like that was definitely it for me for years and years and years, how I dealt with my life. But when we cope with our life,

when we deal with our life, when we buffer with our life, we don't live our life. We can't live from that place. We may exist, but we don't live. And so if right now you are finding yourself at a bit of a tipping point. You're very overwhelmed. You're starting to question all of your prior decisions, which many, many of us are,

and that's not a problem. It's a wonderful thing to question the decisions of the past, but not to then judge yourself for them, by the way. But to question your decisions, to question your current existence, if that's where you find yourself right now, wondering is this what I'm here to do? Is this what I'm supposed to do is this,

all there is, is this day in and day out routine that I've got this, got these snippets of time off here and there where I may or may not actually engage in something that brings me joy and then fills my cup again. Is this the way that I want to live for the next 20 years for the next 30 years or the next 40 years?

That's the decision that you're going to make. And I think for most of you, you're going to say, no, this is not how I want to continue to live, but this is where it gets a little tricky because for many of us, we're still stuck in the cause and effect of our current existence. We're still banking and believing that the things that are happening are creating the way that we feel.

And that's just not what's happening. We are so much more powerful than that. We just missed that in between. There there a space. So to quote Viktor Frankl, who was a Holocaust survivor. So talk about somebody who knows about struggle and knows about hardship and knows about the worst of the worst of humanity. Viktor Frankl said this. He said that between stimulus and response,

there is a space. And in that space is our ability to choose between stimulus the things that happen in the world and response the way that we respond to things that we did, our own actions and decisions, there is a space. And in that space, we get to decide, we get to the side, what we believe. We get to decide what actions we're going to take.

We get to decide our opinions, our conclusions, we get to decide. And most of us have lived our lives in a world where there's no space. I know I did for decades and decades. I lived in a world that I didn't think there was any space. I had no idea there was space. I just thought things happen. And then I recognized that I felt crappy.

And so the natural normal conclusion, especially from somebody where the very left side of logical responsible kind of brain, is that cause and effect this happened. I feel like shit. And therefore I felt like shit, because this thing happened. It's not what was happening. It's always happening at all. Because in between there, what, I didn't know, what you may not know is that there's a space in,

there is an opportunity for you to decide for yourself. And it all comes back to our choices. Every bit of the experience that we have today, over all the things that are happening in the world, our experience is based in our own choices. So it really comes down to, are you willing, are you willing to take a step back from your current existence and recognize this is not what you want for the continuation of your life,

that you want to feel better, that you want to be able to make a bigger impact that you want to feel fulfilled, that you want to go to work every day without dreading it, but you want to feel engaged that you want to feel connected to other people in whatever way that you want that for yourself. Are you going to fight for that because it's not going to just come to you.

I wish that it were, I wish that it were that easy, but every struggle that we go through as an opportunity to make a change, to become more aligned with who we are to build that foundation of that self-trust. And that self-assurance, that self-confidence is self-love if self acceptance, if we can't build that for ourselves first, then we're living our lives on a shaky foundation.

It's not that different than the shaky foundation that has been under vet med for the last several, several decades. And so just as that foundation is crumbling and we're figuring out a new way to do veterinary medicine. So is your opportunity to try to do a new way to do your life. And I would even go as far as to say that it is going to be the people who build their own foundation,

who find their own anchor within themselves, the truth of who they are, the essence of who they are. And they find their strength in that who will make the greatest impact in the changes that were going to be necessary for all of us in all the areas of the world that met, included, the choice is yours. If you're not happy with the way that things are you and you alone have the power to change it,

it's not the easiest journey, but here's the deal. It may not be easy. It's not going to be quick, but the benefit of going on the journey starts on day one, just deciding that you're no longer willing to continue to exist the way that you have been, that you're no longer willing to continue to work the way that you have worked,

that you're no longer willing to interact in whatever the relationship is and the way that it has been influencing your life, whatever those things are for you, that you've just been accepting that you have just been dealing with that. You've just figured out how to buffer over so that they kind of continue, but you never have to face it. It's time. It's time to clean all that out of the way.

This is a turning point in our individual lives. And in our individual history, everything gets better from here. I will offer you that everything gets better from here. We're going to be through a lot of change here for the next few years. There's going to be a lot of things that 10 years from now are different than what they are in this moment.

Whether or not we suffer the entire way through it, or we become power empowered. We find our voices. We find who we are during that process is up to us. It's going to move forward either way friends. So do you want to enjoy the next decade of your life? Or do you want to fight against yourself for the next decade of your life?

Continuing to try to make your life fit into what's in front of you. You were never supposed to be like everybody else, because you want something different than the people who came before you is a beautiful thing, because that means you are part of the change and it is changed. It is evolution. It is adaptability that keeps us moving forward. Not only as a species,

but as a planet and as a universe, it's all part of a bigger plan here. So get back in the game. Let's go, it's go time. We don't have time to waste. Things are changing quickly. Let's just get busy. So how do we do that? You know that we have all kinds of resources over here. There's a couple of them that I think that would be really helpful.

If you're ready to have some structures of help. Number one, there's a workshop coming up. So a week from Sunday, it's the strategic life analysis workshop, joyful ddm.com forward slash workshop. We're going to spend six hours. This is the longest workshop that I've ever done. And we're going to dig deep. We're going to look at our own lives.

We're going to start out in the morning and we're going to just dig into our own existence. It's going to be a series of prompts. It's going to be a lot of questions. You're going to need some time to be able to kind of have uninterrupted focus. So you can dig into these questions. We're going to peel back some layers. We're going to try to find you.

I missed all the noise and the crazy of the world. We're going to find who you are again. It's there. You're still there. No matter what costumes you've been wearing, no matter what buffering mechanisms you've been using, you are still there. And we are going to find you at the beginning of that workshop. And then in the afternoon, we're going to make a plan.

What are we going to do next? What are our opportunities? What do we want? How do we get there? Six hour workshop a week from Sunday, which is April the third, joyful ddm.com forward slash workshop. It's a live workshop. It's going to be six hours. If you've never done anything, joyful DVM, join us. If you have done all the things,

joyful DVM, join us. It's going to be amazing. That's option. Number one, option number two, and these are not exclusive, like not one or the other, and it's not a binary choice in a perfect world. You do both. The second is that you joined us. Enjoy that Alliance. The reason that I think it is so important for those of us who want to change our lives and who want to change veterinary medicine and want to change kind of the existence of the planet as a whole join this organization is because there is where you will continue to build your hope.

You will continue to foster that sense of self. You will continue to peel back the layers so that you stay connected to you and to what you are about to, to what you want for your future. Because the average of our emotions is going to drive the average of our actions, which is going to create the average of our results. So if the results in our life are crappy,

our net emotional state is low. That's just a given. If the results that you have in your life are not moving you forward, they are not what you want. We have to take it a few steps back. We have to first recognize that where your emotional state is right now is it's low and that's okay, you're human. You're a human with a human brain.

You can experience human emotion. You're have the ability to experience all of it, low emotion. Isn't going to kill you, but you have also the power to raise it with intention. And so as we start to intentionally raise that emotional wellbeing up, up, up the actions that we take are more powerful and they move us further and closer toward the things that we want in our lives.

It's vitally important. The reason that I think that we should all join this organization, this membership is because it will keep you focused on the things that are important. They will keep you, it will continue to provide a very mark for you to strip down all the belief systems that aren't moving you forward. They will help you to understand how you can figure out who you are,

what you're about, where you can start to strip away all of the rules and the obligations that you've been living through and fighting against. And you can prioritize. What's important to you. And you can more importantly see that as when that, when you do that, when you prioritize yourself, when you prioritize who you are and what you want, that you serve so much more effectively in the world,

we have to do this work first. Otherwise, what is the alternative? It is burnout, which we know is rampant in our profession. It is the continuation and compounding effective imposter syndrome, which we know is rampant in our profession. And both of those things, my friend burnout and imposter syndrome, they're not unique to veterinary medicine. They are present in the world in every single profession,

every single job, every single interaction, burnout, imposter syndrome, they exist everywhere. So there is no magic thing that happens. If you leave this profession, those two things don't go away. You just kind of lose the framework through which to discover them, to understand them, to work through them. So they no longer control you. You're still going to have moments where you hit a wall.

You're still going to have moments where you feel like a big fraud. That's part of being a human, but it doesn't have to define you. And you don't have to judge yourself for those experiences. This is the kind of stuff that we do enjoy about Alliance. So it's go time. If you're not happy, if you feel stuck, if you dread going to work every single day,

if you can't even see the future, because all you're doing is existing in the present moment, join us in the workshop. Joyful dvm.com for slash workshop. Join us. Enjoy that Alliance, joyful dvm.com forward slash membership. We're here to support you. This is how we get moving, but we have to take that first step on our own. You just have to decide for yourself how much more of what you're experiencing right now.

Are you willing to experience, are you going to let the fear of the unknown hold you back? The world is always going to be unknown. It's when we give into the fear, when we cower, when we buy into victimization, when we believe it's never going to get better, that's when it never gets better. But when we see it for what it is,

which is simply opportunity to become who we are and to make the changes that are necessary for ourselves, and then serve from that place and change the world from that place, that everything starts to get better. And as we were together as a community, moving toward the future in an empowered way, the journey itself becomes so much more fun. It's not just getting through it's experiencing life again.

And if you're anything like me, it's probably been a long time since you've done that. All right, my friends, I'm going to leave you with that joyful dvm.com forward slash workshop to join us in the strategic life analysis workshop, joyful dvm.com forward slash membership to join us in JVA. And of course, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me anytime,

have a beautiful rest of the day, and I'll see you soon. I found