Episode 78 | Expert Opinion: Helpful or Limiting?

Gathering information from experts… good move.

Believing that experts know what’s best for you, or believing them without question when their opinion limits what’s possible for you.. not so much.

Today I’m sharing why we must question everything, and how blindly following any leader can lead you down a path you never intended to go.



  • Exploring the value of expert opinions
  • The relationship between expert opinion and absolute truth
  • Intuition versus fear
  • The “right answer” myth


Joy Vet Alliance


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Why blindly accepting expert opinion, as fact can actually lead to more harm than good. That's what we're talking about in episode 78. I'm Dr. Cari wise, and this is the Joyful DVM podcast. Hello, my friends. Welcome to episode 78 today. I want to talk about expert opinions and whether or not they are things that we should follow blindly or things that we should question.

Are they useful or are they limiting? This came up for me recently when I taught the, the workshop over the weekend, the strategic life analysis workshop over the weekend. And there are some things that came up during our workshop that have really stuck with me and had me wondering about this over the last few days. So I wanted to take a few minutes here and talk about this idea of expert opinions and whether or not they're useful and when to identify when they are limiting.

So in the context of how this kind of came to be, one of our friends was talking about a financial advisor that they had met, and they were talking with this financial advisor about what their own dreams were, what their wishes were, as far as their income goals, our ability to retire, to change work, all of that within a certain period of time.

And this advisor told our friend that it wasn't possible that it's just not possible for you to stop working in 10 years. Now, our friend, as we would expect felt discouraged by this, but more than feeling discouraged. And the part that I had jumped on in a hurry was that she felt not only discouraged and defeated, but she believed it. And this is where it's really had me thinking about how we need to question expert opinions as people who are very compassionate in veterinary medicine,

we tend to navigate a lot of our lives based on how things feel. We also have a lot of compassion for other people, and that's all fine and well, but that's not all of us, right? There's also a very logical analytical component to veterinary professionals. It's that part that's allowed us to get through our trainings. It's helped us to learn all the information it's it actually fuels that desire to learn more.

And it's part of the puzzle that we love of veterinary medicine is not knowing exactly what's going on. Our patients don't talk to us. We need to gather data. So as looking at things and looking at things from a logical perspective, going down, decision trees coming up with, you know, yes and no as our differential diagnoses, that's a lot of how we use our brain,

very left-sided. And so it's very natural that we have a, a group of experts from a medical perspective that we trust. We learn things from them and we've accepted what we've learned as more or less absolute truth with the caveat that medicine is always changing and evolving, which is why we do things like continuing education, so that we can keep learning and applying the most recent knowledge.

And we can continue to grow in that way. However, that left side logical brain that's always seeking information can also end up having us trusting the word of people who know things that we don't yet know without question. And there are lots of influences in this way. So the leaders of the people who teach us, the teachers, the experts, if you will,

they could be people like, you know, teachers, clergy, parents. So when we're younger, but I'm talking about more of these experts that we come into contact with as an adult. So advisors, financial advisors, maybe even spiritual advisors, maybe even me falls into this category for you, and when we're seeking information, accountants attorneys. So when we're seeking information,

we're trying to gather information to make a good decision, right? So we're trying to gather data so that we can put that into the whole pool of things that we consider when we're trying to decide things for ourselves. And as we gather information, we need to learn how to discern when the information that we've been given is absolute. And when there is still wiggle room.

So in the case of our, my friend, our friend here with the financial advice, who was told it wasn't possible for her to retire 10 years, she felt very 10 years from now that felt very defeating. I know that it did, and it felt very discouraging. And for me, it's very frustrating because that statement was very broad sweeping. That statement didn't include anything outside of just some data points that that person was looking at.

And I'm not saying that that was wrong information, given what they were looking at and advising on for this person. I'm not saying that that wasn't, wouldn't be true that if this person just kept doing the same thing over and over for the next 10 years, that retiring was probably not an option because of, you know, that getting paid off and all the things that would need to be in alignment for this person to retire.

However, where I say, we need to question it is take that information. Yes. Take that information from your experts and then decide, does this information move me closer toward what I want for my life? Does it feel right? Because in this case, when it's defeating, what I want us to start to recognize is that it's just one bit of information.

It's never the whole story. So any information that we gather from experts, if it leads us down a road of feeling defeated, feeling like we're trapped, feeling like we don't have any choices. The worst thing that we can do is believe that as the absolute end game truth, that that is all the information there is, and that we can only move from that place because that's never true.

What expert opinion doesn't take into consideration is all the rest of the possibilities. So when we're gathering data from experts, particularly when they're in a, just in one little area of our lives, or one little area of knowledge, what we want to remember is that it doesn't take into consider consideration everything. If we want to tie this back to medicine, think about the difference between human medicine and veterinary medicine,

human medicine, what happens. We tend to get sent to different specialists that only focus on one thing, right? So if you're sent to somebody for headaches, but then you've also got some GI issues you're going to be probably be sent to somebody else or GI issues. And it can be a bit of a mess trying to connect that, oh, wait,

the headaches of the GI issues actually go together, all being caused by something else. They tend to look at just one thing at a time. And then they advise based on one thing at a time in veterinary medicine, we don't do that as much because our patients can't talk, right. We can't influence or bias our doctors or the patients can't influence or bias us based on what they say,

because they don't speak. Now we can be influenced in bias by their owners, but the way that we are trained as to look at everything, like to make no assumptions, to be curious. And so if we can take that same skill of coming into a situation and saying, okay, I think I know what's going on here, but let me gather the data to conclude that.

And then once I have a data, let me consider what else might be going on. If we can take that same approach when we interact with experts in our own lives, and I'm not talking just about medical, I'm talking mostly about experts in other areas, financial advising, any kind of well like emotional, mental well-being that definitely plays into this even legal situations,

business setup, really anything that you can imagine that you're gathering data to make a decision. What I want you to consider is that the data you get is not always, and almost never all of the story, because when we take that expert advice and we accepted as the only truth that it limits all the other possibilities, it limits all the other information out there.

It dismisses it, it literally squashes your art imagination and it, it really holds us back. And so for our friend, going back to this advice of how, you know, it just was not going to be possible for her to retire in 10 years, which was the way that it came across. What is the rest of the story there? It wouldn't be possible to retire in 10 years.

If you keep doing what you're doing right now, exactly the same way that you're doing it. Well, you and I both know that it's really hard to do anything the exact same way for any period of time. So 10 years from now doing exactly the same thing that in and of itself is kind of an impossibility. The data is the information that's the financial Gaber advisor gave her was great though,

because she can see that if that is what she did that in 10 years, she wouldn't reach the goal that she has for herself. And having that information today, how can I have two different outcomes for her? Number one, it can be defeating. It can feel like there's just no way to get where she wants to go. Can create a lot of hopelessness and despair,

which is where we tend to slide. First. The other thing it does is just gives a data point from which we can start building what it is that we want. So we start to say, okay, if I keep doing this same thing over and over again, I'm not going to get to where I want. What else can I do? What else can I do?

What are my other options? How can I make more money between now? And then how could I pay off more debt between now and then what else is possible here? As soon as we start asking those questions, then we start being flooded with ideas about possibilities, but we never start seeking an alternative. When we accept one person's opinion, even if it is a professional or an expert opinion,

we never start seeking any kind of alternative options. If we accept one opinion is absolute truth. And that's where life can be very frustrating in a hurry. And where expert opinions can be very dangerous and a dangerous is a big word, but a lot of us, because we don't have that confidence within ourselves, we don't trust our own instincts yet. Or maybe we've been discouraged from trusting our own instincts.

Maybe we've grown up in an environment that has led us to never believe in ourselves where we have always asked permission or look for external validation before we've moved forward. If we have that, if our self-confidence is shaky like that, then it is very common that we seek external information before we make decisions. And that we believe them over what we feel internally within ourselves.

Our gut instinct, my friends, your gut instinct is your best friend. It's something that we have to learn to use. We have to learn how to identify it when it's there, when it's our gut instinct or intuition, as opposed to our fear, driving something within us, it's all part of our own evolution and growth here as a human on this planet.

But what happens to a lot of us is that we're taught at a very early age, that we aren't capable of making good decisions for ourselves, that we should seek external validation. Before we do anything that we should gather so much information that somewhere in there, the right answer will be found. And what I can tell you about all of that is that there is no right answer.

There's simply the decision that you are going to make. And then the data that you will gather next, as you step on that path. And then you can adjust course, if you're not getting the results that you want as we're gathering that initial data, and we're getting ready to take that step. If we decide to hang onto one of those data points,

those bits of information is absolute truth. We need to just recognize that it's going to limit all the different directions that our journey can go. So if we're going on a path to financial freedom, we're on a path of wanting to retire. And we ask our financial guy, okay, I want to retire in 10 years. How am I looking? How's it going?

And they say, it's impossible for you to retire in 10 years. How does that feel? It feels awful, right? Like knock the wind out of you makes me feel defeat. It makes me feel overwhelmed. It makes me feel helpless. I'm going to be doing this for the of my life. That's where our brain goes, right? This is,

this is miserable. I'm going to have to keep doing this forever. I'm never going to get to retire. When we focus on those things from therefore, that's exactly what we're going to create. We're never going to get there. We're never going to retire. We're going to keep doing the same thing over and over again forever. We're going to stay trapped because that's what we're focusing on by grabbing that one bit of information and accepting it as absolute truth.

We have funneled that all of our thought processes right down to that truth and remember, think, feel, act what you focus on. You create law of attraction. So instead we can say, okay, duly noted. What I do know for sure. What I think would be the only factual piece of information here, potentially factual piece of information is if I keep doing what I'm doing 10 years from now,

I'm not going to be where I want to be. So that just is like, okay. Then if I want to be somewhere different 10 years from now, what do I need to do differently? Now? All of a sudden here's some possibility. Now, all of a sudden, I don't have to feel overwhelmed and discouraged and hopeless and defeated. I can be curious.

I can actually start to get maybe even a little bit excited. I can get back into investigating what other things can I do from a left brain logical perspective. For those of us who love to gather information, don't stop gathering the information. If you don't get the answer that you want, when you're gathering your data, there's just more data to be gathered.

Because what I absolutely know is that your potential is unlimited. That the only way that we restrict what is possible in our lives is when we pigeonhole our thinking into one central focus that doesn't lead somewhere. Good. So if the information, the advice that you're getting, does it support you in building the life that you want for yourself, seek more information.

Don't just blindly accept what people tell you. We've all heard the stories of amazing things that can happen. We've all heard the stories of people who have been told. They have three weeks to live because of a terminal illness and all the diagnostic imaging and all the things that support that diagnosis. And they're still alive. 15 years later with no signs of cancer,

we've all heard the stories of people who have gone from being in poverty, living on the streets, to being financially abundant and being able to give back. We've heard those stories. These people are not zebras or rainbows or unicorns. They're humans, they're humans who decided not to just box themselves in with what they were told. And even when it was maybe what the,

the majority of experts told them, you're not required to believe everything that somebody tells you. And I encourage you. Don't don't, you're the only one who knows what's best for you and the things that you want in your life. Those aren't foolish. They're intentional. They're part of your journey. The part of the reason that you're here, when we just give up on our dreams,

because some expert told us it wasn't possible. That's sad. That breaks my heart. And I know why we do it because of fear because of uncertainty. We don't like what we can't predict. But friends, if, if the last few years haven't talked to anything, you can't predict the darn thing. There's nothing in this world that we can predict.

And there's only one thing in this world that we can control. And that's our own perspective. So don't let somebody else take the one thing that you absolutely can control, which is your perspective, what you believe, your thoughts, your opinions, your beliefs, your conclusions, those are yours. Nobody can take those from you. So don't give that part away.

As soon as you own that part in every situation, even when you're given expert information, even when you're given advice by people that you highly respect. When you still take that in and then draw your own thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and conclusions, you will move forward in the right way. That is right for you when you instead, except what the other people say over,

what is true for you. When you believe that they know better than you do, then you are limiting. You're limiting yourself. You're limiting your potential. You're limiting. What's possible. Those are the first skill that we all have to learn. Maybe the only skill we all have to learn is how to simply decide for ourselves. Don't just accept what people tell you.

It's only part of the story ever. And although we are a whole bunch of humans here on this planet, doing this life together, we are all still on our own individual journeys, which means you have your own hopes. You have your own dreams. You have your own path, you have your own purpose. You have your own thoughts, your opinions,

your own beliefs, your own conclusions. And with each of us honors that then collectively we move forward with greater ease and less struggling. Learning how to trust yourself is at the heart of that. Can you trust what you know is true for you? Can you honor that even when the people around you, who you respect and who you care about, don't agree with your choices.

It can be scary, but I promise you, if you're looking for fulfillment in your life, you're looking for joy. You're looking for happiness. You're looking for contentment. That's where it's at. It's when you honor who you are. One of the greatest things that holds us back in this area, and this ability for us to trust our own instincts is shame all these little areas where we just feel horrible,

where we feel this overwhelming sense of not being good enough, not being enough, not being smart enough, not being pretty enough where we've compared ourselves to other people. And when we're in that place where we're in that compare and despair and where it really feels like we're broken, that we can't possibly do this. Then of course, it's so much more likely that we are going to just accept what other people say over.

What's true for us. Here's what I want you to know about that when it comes to that shame, whatever it is, if it's something that you did that you just can't let go of some decision, you made some outcome on a relationship, whether it's just your own existence, you're fighting with yourself. You're fighting with your body. You're fighting with your mind.

All of that, None of those statements that you're saying to yourself, I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy. I'm not valuable. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not smart enough. I'm not strong enough. I'm not resilient enough. All of those thoughts are lies. That is never true. It is never true. It is something that you've been taught along the way.

It is something that you get to release and whatever you need to do to work on that, please do inside of joy that Alliance this month, our masterclass was on building self trust by releasing shame. That was what we did our masterclass on this week. And so if you're enjoyed about Alliance, make sure that you jump in and watch the masterclass replay it.

If it's not up today, it should be up very shortly. And if you're not enjoying that Alliance, join us in there. And you can watch that masterclass and go through the workbook to start disentangling yourself from the shame that you're carrying around. Because when we're carrying around a lot of shame, when we're feeling carrying around a lot of negative beliefs about ourselves,

which is another way that you can talk about shame, it really is that whole bundle of all the negative beliefs you have about yourself. When we carry that around, then we are always going to be more likely to be influenced by expert opinions. We're going to be more likely to believe that other people know what's best for us. And that's never going to move you in the direction that you want to go.

Trust me on this one. It just isn't what you want for your life is not foolish. I want you to have it, and I don't want you to believe any person who tells you that you can't. There's not anything that you can't do. It's only limited by what you believe. So let's take back control over the only thing that we can control,

which is what we believe in any situation. And if we find that we are believing, believing with absolute certainty, defeating thoughts, let's work on that. Let's figure out why we are believing that over the truth, which is that you are powerful, that you are here for a reason that you are intentional, that you are lovable, that you are worthy,

that you are capable and let's stop letting other people tell us what's possible in our lives. Once we start doing that, everything starts to change for the better. All right, my friends, if you want to check out that workshop or that masterclass on getting overcoming shame by building that self-trust jump over to Joyful DVM, joyful dvm.com/jva. Joy Vet Alliance either one.

So /JoyVetAlliance or /JVA, and you can jump into our membership and you can watch that masterclass. And if there's anything that we can help you with over here, don't forget, reach out, hit me on instant messenger, hit me on Instagram, wherever we can help point you in the right right direction. End of the day. You're the only one who knows what's best for you.

Listen to your instincts. If that expert opinion that you've been given limits, what's possible for you in the future, seek additional information, seek additional perspective. You're only limited by what you believe and what you believe is what you get to decide. All right, my friends, that's going to wrap it up for today. I'll see you soon.