Episode 85 | The (Negative) Impact of Unintentional Mentors

We are greatly influenced in veterinary medicine, and in life, by the people we spend time with.

Whether physically, or virtually, the impact is real.

In this episode I explore the negative impact we experience in our lives and careers from  mentors we don’t choose for ourselves.

I also walk through a process for evaluating the impact of the influencers in your own life.



Influence Finder Worksheet

Vet Life Academy


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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos.

How the influence of unintentional mentors in your life is holding you back. That's what we're talking about in episode 85. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, and this is the Joyful DVM podcast. Well, hello there, my friends welcome to episode 85. We are back here on the podcast after a bit of a hiatus this summer and boy, oh boy. Do I have some great topics coming up here soon today,

We're going to start talking about the concept of unintentional mentors. So what is an unintentional mentor and unintentional mentor is someone who has influence in your life that you may not even recognize is having influence. It's an unchosen influence if you will. And it's critical that we identify who these unchosen influences are because they are influences. We become the people that we hang around with.

We become the people who influence what we think about and our own perspectives. And so if we consider that as truth that we become the people who we listen to the most, then we have to take a step back and identify who those people are. Many of us, when we think about mentors, we think about who we choose intentionally. We pick think about the people who we pick to have influence in our lives.

And that's a definitely from a perspective of what a mentor is. That's a great way to look at it. But most of us don't go around looking for mentors, especially once we've finished our academic degrees and we're out in the workplace. And because we're not seeking mentors, we actually end up adopting mentors that we don't even know we've adopted. It's a sneaky,

subtle little thing that happens. But here's the truth. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, you are always being influenced by the things around you. And so if you've left that influence that that point of influence to circumstance, if you have not put any intention into what you're paying attention to and to what you focus on and to how you spend your time, then the mentorship that you're getting is unintentional it's unchosen.

And it very well may be detrimental to what you're trying to create in your career and in your whole entire life. This is not just a career thing. So although I use the word mentor, I want you to understand what we're talking about. Here are the people who have influence in your life. What science has shown us in research has shown us is that we become the people who we hang around.

So have you ever noticed how people who've been married for a really long time, start to look like each other? They have a lot of the same mannerisms and characteristics. They tend to have the same types of opinions. Most of the time, that's not by accident. That simply the effect of this long-term influence on each other over time and how it's very natural.

Then for us to start to become who we hang around with. Now, I know that we don't have a lot of choice on who we hang around with when we're working for somebody else. When there's other people employed at the place where we are working, those people aren't chosen by you probably now that may not be the case. If you're the owner of the practice,

or if you're the practice manager, somebody who has hiring authority. But aside from that, we all interact with people in our jobs who we didn't choose to interact with. Now that doesn't have to necessarily be a bad thing. It can be a really, really good thing, but what we want it to be is neither good, nor bad, but intentional.

We need to intentionally decide what part of their energy that we take in the people who are these unintentional unchosen mentors in your life are not just your coworkers. So let's kind of go through and think about who might these people be? Well, the five people who you interact with the most frequently are the ones that I want you to start with identifying. So I want you to take a minute and consider who are the five people in your life that you spend the most time with that you spend the most time listening to these don't have to be physical interactions.

These can be people or groups of people, organizations, even that get the most of your attention. So we're looking for the five different types of people or organizations, even where you spend the most of your time. Let me give you some examples, family and significant others that definitely, you know, one or the other, or both could be one of your five.

Another could absolutely be your coworkers. So peers, people who you manage, people who are subordinates, people who are your managers, bosses, all of that. So whoever has the most influence, or it could be the collection of all of those. You can consider that as one in its own your client base so that the clients that you interact with could be part of your five.

Now I know in veterinary practice, we don't typically see the same client every single day. We do have those clients who come in on a frequent basis. We all know who they are, but when you're thinking about clients, what I want you to do is take a step back and kind of put them all into a single bucket so that you can categorize them.

And you can understand their influence as we move on here in a minute to the next part of this activity, another person or group of people that can be part of your five actually are people you don't even know. So they could be authors. They could be people whose books that you read on a frequent basis, or even listen to the audio books on.

They could be podcasters. So if you frequently listened to the joyful DVM podcasts, it's possible that I could be one of your five. So other people who do podcasts as well. So this is the kind of thing I want you to about this external type of influence that you regularly engage with can be one of the five. Then we have to talk about social media.

So social media could be Facebook groups or other communities online that you participate in. It could be things like VIN, for example. So do does something along that realm, take up a good deal of your focus each week. And if you identify some Facebook groups, I want you to consider those actual groups that you interact with or that you read. Are they in?

Maybe you've just got a group of them that always show up in your feed. And so they're always part of your focus. Another thing to consider that could potentially be part of your five is any other kind of organization. So it could be any kind of organization that has a spiritual component at church component. It could be an organization that has a hobby component or an outside interest component.

So any kind of organization that you might be part of it could even be a professional organization. So just to recap, what we're doing here is we're not trying to come up with every single influence that you have. There's a lot of those, and you could take you a while to do that, though. It might need to be a starting point to help pair it down.

But our goal here with this activity is for you to identify where are the five areas that you spend most of your time focusing on what are the five greatest influences? So there may be five individual people, or they may be five groups of people. And that's what I want you to really identify. What are the five people or groups of people, or even people you don't know that you still interact with through either reading or podcasting or video or whatever it might be.

I want you to find those five. So take a minute and think about that. And then here's what I want you to consider. This is why this is so important. I want you to consider that when you identify who these five influences are, or five groups of influences, if they end up being groups, I want you to consider whether or not you intentionally chose those.

Now, when it comes to things like books and podcasts, you probably did intentionally choose those. But what about everything else when it comes to your significant other yep. Likely that you chose that when it comes to other members of your family, maybe not so much, but how much time you spend with them, that there is choice involved with that. So separate those out.

If you need to, if they're two very different types of, of influence. And that also consider sometimes our extended families, you know, people outside of our significant other relationship and our nuclear family that we have, we don't see them on such a frequent basis. So they might not fit into that top five. You know, they're an influence, but maybe not in the top five.

So I want you to consider for every one of the, the influences that you listed, the ones that are the most significant, those top five, I want you to consider whether or not you did you chose those. Were they intentional like a podcast or a book or an author that you follow or where they unintentional, whether the people that you interact with at work or they're the clients,

are they the social media that you partake in and the people that you follow on, social media, the things that pop up in your feed, I want you to consider all of that. And then from there, I want you to ask yourself a question about each and every one of them. I want you to ask yourself, what is their life outlook?

So you're going back and you're looking at your list of five and I want you for each. And every one of those, I want you to ask yourself, what is the life outlook that, that person or that, that organization holds for many of us in veterinary practice, especially if we're at a practice that we identify as toxic, or we identify some of the people there as toxic that life outlook as a whole is probably not going to be something on the positive and cheerful aspect.

This is what I want you to identify for every single one of those influences. What is their life outlook? Is it positive or is it negative? Does it hold limitation in their belief system? Or is their belief system full of possibility? Are those interactions discouraging or are they inspiring? We want to look at the quality of the influence. Why does this matter?

Well, you've heard me say it before, so I have to say it again. What you focus on, you create. And so, even though unintentionally, you have these mentors, these influences in your life that are impacting your level of possibility, your level of hope, your net, emotional state don't underestimate the impact of the influences that you didn't choose for yourself,

because there is an influence that is there. And that's why it is so important for you to go through and look who are the people or organizations that are getting the vast majority of your focus, who are the top five? Did you choose them for yourself and for each and every one of them is the influence that you're experiencing positive, full of possibility and inspiration,

or is it negative and limiting and discouraging. As we start to identify the quality of this influence, we can then start to see how it's impacting the rest of our lives. Especially if we find ourselves feeling discouraged, feeling overwhelmed, feeling hopeless, feeling dread about the future, feeling stuck, feeling bitter and jaded, those types of emotional states, those lower vibration,

emotional states, don't just happen by accident. They're not 100% biology. There's a lot of things that play into our net, emotional state, our mood, if you will, the way that we feel day in and day out. And the primary contributor is the influence that we take in. Remember, our emotion is created by what we believe. So our thoughts,

our opinions, or beliefs or conclusions, that's what creates emotion. And if we're not paying attention to what we're thinking about, then we're ending up with emotion that we didn't decide on purpose. Now, I'm not saying we all go around there each and every day and say, I want to feel happy. I'm going to think this thought, I want to feel excited.

I'm going to think this thought. Now that is a skill to develop, and you can absolutely start to work toward having more awareness around that. But before you even get to trying to change all the thinking that you already have, let's just start by looking at the influence, because if we don't pay attention to where the influence is coming in, then we're not going to understand where our entire perspective is coming from these unintended mentors.

These unchosen mentors, especially the ones that have a negative or limiting or discouraging undertone to every interaction are pulling your perspective in that same direction. You don't even have to agree with everything that they say to notice the impact of taking it in. Now, you can counteract that with your own skillset. Absolutely. You can counteract the negative influence, but you first have to recognize that the influence exists what's happened in veterinary medicine is that the challenges of this profession lead a lot of people to conclude that the profession creates anxiety,

that the profession creates hopelessness, that the profession creates a dread and the profession doesn't create any of those things. We've just got a lot of humans who are in a job that is high pressure put on by ourselves, but it's a high pressure kind of job. It's a high responsibility kind of job. I've got all these humans who are still struggling with their own sense of self worth and of adequacy of value.

And they look at the world through the lens of their own limitations. This is a very human thing to do. It's not a problem where it becomes a problem though, is that as we look at the world through the lens of our own limitations, the things that we haven't cleaned up for ourselves, we then start to proclaim truths about the world, through our perspective,

through our jaded and bitter perspective. And over time, as those opinions are shared, they get picked up by other people around us. The unintentional influence we have over time as this has snowballed and compounded, we have created this group of absolute truths about what it means to be a veterinary professional, as far as what is possible for you in regards to things like work-life balance and salary and respect,

and it's all nonsense. There are no absolute truths for any of those things, but what we focus on, we create. So if the only influence in your life telling you what's possible for you in your job and in your whole entire existence is a of people or a single person. Who's got a really bitter and jaded, negative limiting discouraging perspective. Then it's no wonder that you see your future through that same lens.

Now this can be totally changed. You can change this for yourself. And as we individually start doing this work to identify where we have got these unchosen unintentional mentors who are pulling us down, and we do the work to disentangle ourselves from their perspective. So we can decide for ourselves, with intention, what we believe, which will then as a response,

create a completely different emotional state for us, a higher vibration, which will then draw us out to take different actions and create completely different outcomes for ourselves. As we individually start doing that, there's a ripple ripple effect. It has a positive influence on all the people around you. So you may very well be an unintentional unchosen mentor for somebody else that you're around a lot,

but you don't have to perpetuate the negativity. You don't have to perpetuate the limiting beliefs and the discouraging opinions. You can show them a different way, a different way. Exists. Life is not black and white. It's not good or bad. It's not right or wrong. It is what we make of it. What you focus on, you create.

And so in veterinary medicine, when we're so many people are feeling discouraged and feeling hopeless, and really many, many veterinary professionals are believing that going into veterinary medicine was the worst decision ever. I just want to share with you that if you'll do this work to identify who is influencing you to continue to believe that, and then decide for yourself, do you want that person or that group of people or that organization to continue to have that kind of influence into the answer is no.

What can you do to change that for yourself? As you start to do that work, keep this in mind. You cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it. So you can't clean up the shitstorm by staying in the shitstorm, for lack of a better way of putting it. You have to intentionally change your net emotional state.

If you want to experience something different actions and events do not create emotion. My friends, it's not what happens at work that creates your emotion. It's what you believe about it. And your opinions, your opinions were taught to you when it comes to this. How do I know that I know that with a hundred percent certainty. So how do I know that you were taught to believe all of these negative and limiting and discouraging beliefs about veterinary medicine?

How do I know that? I know that because I know, I know that I know that I know that when you decided to go into veterinary medicine, that that was your choice, that there was something inside of you that drew you to this profession, you felt called to it. You were led to it. The vast majority of veterinary professionals explain this thing.

But yeah, they went into veterinary medicine because they were called to it. They were led to it. They wanted to do it from the time they were really really little. And what I want you to know is that that is an inspired decision inspired from within you intentional to your core. This was exactly the right choice for you. And it wasn't until the world got ahold of you and offered you a whole bunch of nonsense about what is possible in this career field.

That you've started to doubt that decision, to the extent that so many of you out there are believing that going into vet med was the worst decision ever. And you back that up with evidence that things like schedules and student loan debt and pay. And I'm not saying there's not work to be done in all of those areas because there is, but we cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that created it.

We can't have a whole bunch of people complaining about what needs to change and expect the change is going to happen. No, we have to look beyond that and I promise you, there are just thousands of veterinary professionals out there who are thriving, despite what's going on in the world. There are, they are thriving. So how are they doing it?

How do they thrive in times of chaos and change? Well, it starts by choosing intentionally who their mentors are, who do they listen to? Who do they let influence their perspective? You become, who you spend time with. So my challenge for you today is I want you to take that time to go through and find out who are the greatest influences in your life.

I don't want you to go pie in the sky here. I don't want you to, to write down who you think they should be, because that's not who it is. We have to start with. What is real. So where do you spend your time? That's how you're going to find your influences. What do you do day in and day out?

Just mentally go through a week, Monday through Sunday. What do you do most days on Monday through Sunday? How do you spend your free time? How do you spend your time when you're at work? Even look at all of that, because in all of those situations, as you kind of map out how you spend your time, you're going to find who you're spending your time with either physically or virtually.

Those are your influences. Those are your unintentional mentors. Then you're going to go through and you're going to ask yourself, what is their life outlook? Is this something that I want to contribute to the positive life that I'm trying to create for myself? Is this something that's going to support my hopes and dreams for the future? Or is this teaching me to limit what's possible?

Is this teaching me to be discouraged, to regret my own decisions to no longer believe in myself? Does it foster insecurity? Does it enhance a sense of imposter syndrome? Does it compound the effects of compassion, fatigue? This is where we have to start. We have to take a look at this stuff. This is exactly the kind of work that we do in fact life academy.

So if you're looking for some assistance on how to really crack this all open and move forward and move through it, I definitely recommend that you consider joining us the next time that we open. But in the meantime, I want you to jump over to joyful dvm.com forward slash 85 dash resource says joyful dvm.com forward slash 85 dash resource (https://joyfuldvm.com/85-resource). And I have created a worksheet for you to go through this exact activity that we've talked about here today in episode 85,

this is where we start. And as you go through and you do this work, I would be so curious to find what you learn. So please send me an email, hit me on direct messages on Instagram or on Facebook. Let me know what you found. Let me know any aha moments or any shifts in perspective that have come from what I've had to say today.

Friends. You're the only one who can change the quality of your life. And you are absolutely equipped to do it. You may not have anybody in your life who has shown you the way before, but that's why we're here at joyful DVM. Pick the mentors who are intentionally going to help you move forward, who are going to lift you up, who are going to inspire you,

who are going to encourage you, who are going to consistently infuse positivity, find more of those and put them intentionally into your awareness every single day. And you can't help become what you focus on. And this time in a good way. All right, my friends, that's going to wrap it up for episode 85. I'll see you next time. Bye for now.