Veterinary Professionals are NOT mentally unstable. This profession does not attract, or create, the crazies!
Entertaining either of those beliefs is not useful… and has the potential of turning into it’s own self-feeding vortex.
In this episode I dig into the factors that contribute to the wellbeing challenges we experience:
- Compassion-Driven personalities
- Personal Insecurities
- Academic Culture of Bullying
I also explore why we are MORE POWERFUL than all of that combined!
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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. Does vet med make people crazy or are crazy people attracted to vet med. That's what we're talking about in episode 88. I'm Dr. Cari Wise and this is the Joyful DVM podcast. Hello, my friends. Welcome to episode 88. Today, we're going to talk about how we are not mentally unstable. So let's just get that out of the way. This whole idea of VetMed making people crazy or crazy people being attracted to VetMed. That's just a bunch of nonsense. And the reason I'm even exploring this today on the podcast is because recently I had a conversation with a gentleman who was part of an organization where he had been told by a veterinarian that that's the truth of this profession that we either are made crazy by the profession, or we are already crazy. And that's what draws us to it. And my friends, no matter how you look at that, it's self defeating and absolutely not true. So what's really going on. Well, we are compassionate service driven, conscientious people that has definitely been my experience through the thousands and thousands of veterinary professionals that I have come in contact with over the years, we are normal humans with normal insecurities and normal needs. We are normal. We want to fit in. We want people to like us. We want to make a real difference in the world. And we have the same fears and complicated stories around money. As the rest of the population does stories like the more money we make, the more successful we are, the less money we have, the less safe we are, and that debt is bad. Our money stories are compounded by the salaries that we do or don't make. And by the debt that we do or don't have. But underneath that, the stories are not different than the stories that many of the people in the regular population carry around as well. We live our lives and approach our spending like everybody else does. We also make hard choices for our own pets. And this is really important for us to understand because sometimes those choices that we make for our own pets, sometimes those choices are influenced by our financial resources. It's something that we see with our clients, but if you're being honest, it's often true for us as well. I know it has been for me in this. We often experience deep guilt and shame guilt, because we believe we should have been able to afford more and shame because we feel responsible for the rising costs of veterinary care. And in those moments, we fully understand why some pet owners lash out at us about money, because we want to lash out too. We get caught up in people pleasing. We want people to be happy. We take on responsibility for the reactions they have. And when those reactions are anger or dissatisfaction, we often blame ourselves. We should have been better. We should have done more like every other human, regardless of profession, we enter VetMed with our own baggage. We each have our own painful memories and experiences. We have our most embarrassing moments. We have memories of our failures. We have regrets. We also have judgments opinions, conclusions about ourselves that we've adopted over time. As a result of our own experiences with our families, our friends, our teachers, our clergy and others. Most of us enter this profession as very young adults, graduating as doctors and technicians in our twenties, after having spent most of our time in our lives, since high school focused on academics and achieving one goal to earn that veterinary degree along the way we were sponges, we were eager to learn taking it all in. We also believe, and even adopted the beliefs of the instructors and leaders around us. We idolized them. We believed them when they said, look around half the people in this room, won't make it through this class. It's a journey anchored in using fear of failure. As a method of motivation, it prays on a common insecurity of not being good enough. It reinforces an idea that we should feel lucky for making it through that. We, we should be grateful. They let us pass the experience. Plants, the seeds of imposter syndrome. Many of our professional schools continue. This approach rarely encouraging and sharing the belief in students' abilities. Quick to point out our inadequacies and humiliate us in front of our peers. The learning environment, especially the clinical one is thick with ego and insecurity. Many instructors are experiencing their own crushing levels of anxiety, insecurity and fear make no mistake. The academic system is not an easy career path. It is built on politics and status and competition and achievement and the threat of losing it all. If you're not good enough, and it doesn't matter what level of education or achievement one is attained. One thing that holds true in regard to the human behavior is this hurting people, hurt people. It all comes down to think, feel, act, thoughts, and beliefs that feed insecurities, regardless of the source, create a compounding storm of negative emotion, including anger, doubt, shame, guilt, inadequacy, and anxiety. Those emotions can drive external actions like lashing out, shaming, others, placing blame, yelling, throwing things, and attacking the personality and values of other people. Those emotions can also drive internal actions like withdrawal, disengagement, isolation, diminishing attention to self-care. And self-harm the pace and high stakes nature of veterinary medicine. Coupled with everything else I've described creates a dangerous vortex where not only are these belief systems and actions reinforced and compounded, but space doesn't naturally exist to slow down and investigate the impact belief, patterns, and experiences themselves. Veterinary professionals are not mentally unstable. We are simply some of the most compassionate, dedicated service driven people on the planet who get caught up in a self feeding vortex of insecurity, negativity, and ugly human behavior. The result is crushing to our sense of personal value self-worth and self confidence. Many of us enter the real world of our actual professional veterinary careers, not writing a wave of excitement and confidence for what we have achieved eager to serve, but rather consumed by fear feelings of inadequacy and overwhelmed by the memories of those who told us half wouldn't make it. We weren't good enough that we graduated and hold a professional license does very little to combat a long reinforced belief of not being worthy. And so many of us struggle. We begin a whole new journey of learning how to live in the real world. For many, the vortex continues. It becomes its own reality and self feeding truth. It steals happiness and binds us in lies that keep us repeating the same self defeating patterns over and over as awful as this is. It's not the only possibility. It's not inevitable, just like every other human on the planet. We each hit a point of reckoning in our lives where we must decide our own path forward. It's a crossroads. Do we keep in our current existence accepting our current reality as the only option or do we begin a new journey of exploration, compassion, and true understanding of ourselves and our place in the world? I can promise you the journey of self discovery is worth it, nothing beats being strongly anchored in the powerful truth of who you are and the confidence that blooms as you learn to let go of the expectations and judgments that you didn't intentionally choose for yourself. This path rebuilds your self confidence. It helps you reconnect with your self worth. It allows you to trust the only one worthy of your unwavering trust in the first place. And that's yourself. You, my friend have an amazing light and potential inside of you. It exists because you exist. The vortex of this world may have hidden this truth, but I assure you. It's still there. I promise it's not something you must work to achieve. It's not something you will find when you land the perfect job or begin the perfect relationship. It's not something that will appear when you make more money or pay off all your debt. It's so much easier than that. There is no action you can or should take to make it. So, because it already is, you simply need to embrace this truth. To give yourself permission, to explore your own greatness, to make time and space, to rediscover. What has been there all along. You, my friend are not crazy. You have not entered the wrong career or made choices in your life that have compromised the rest of your life. You aren't behind the eight ball. You have not run out of time and you aren't here to struggle. You're here to learn and grow and receive all the beauty in abundance. This life has the offer. You are intentional. You are important. You are a necessary component of the greater purpose of the universe. Your life is so much bigger than the sum of your daily experiences. When you allow yourself to journey down the path of self discovery, your emotional load will become lighter. Your perspective will expand and your potential will become limitless. As it has always been intended to be, if you're ready for this journey, consider joining us in align. The next small group will be starting this fall and we'll begin an intimate guided journey of self discovery that will not only change the foundation of your existence, but will help you to recalibrate to the life. You are always meant to live, to learn more and to sign up for updates, visit us over at joyfuldvm.com/align. And as when we get ready to close out this episode, please remember this. You are not crazy. Vet med doesn't make people crazy. Vet med is simply an experience that catalyzes our personal growth. It pushes our limits emotionally and physically and mentally. And that's not a bad thing because it's not until we are catalyzed that we are challenged, that we are pushed, that we make new choices for our lives. Status quo may be easier, but I promise you it's not better. And everything that you want is on the other side of whatever challenges are in front of you and you have the capacity to get there. All right, my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for this week. I'll see you next time.