Episode 89 | Chasing Peace

If you’re having a hard time experiencing anything other than stress and anxiety in your life and Vet Med career, this episode is for you! Inside I describe why so many veterinary professionals go from confidently pursuing their calling to regretting their career choice once they get out into the real world. I also share what you can do to re-anchor in the truth of your own vet med journey so you can get back to enjoying life from a state of unshakeable peace.



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Why peace and happiness seem elusive and how we're going about finding it all the wrong ways. That's what we're talking about in episode 89. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, and this is the Joyful DVM podcast. Hello my friends. Welcome to episode 89. Today we're gonna be talking about chasing peace. Yes, chasing peace. Peace and happiness are things that we crave.

If we think about what we're trying to create in our lives. For most of us, we're looking for ways to have more joy, to have more happiness, to have more freedom, and all of that is anchored in a foundation of peaceful wellbeing. It's something that we keep trying to create for ourselves, but we're going about it all the wrong way.

And through that way we're often concluding that creating a peaceful life as a veterinary professional just isn't possible. Well, my friends, hang onto your hats because by the time we get through this episode, you're gonna understand exactly what's happening and how you can create a completely different reality for yourself. This all starts if we're thinking about our peace journey. It all starts in this entanglement with veterinary medicine back when we actually were drawn to veterinary medicine in the first place.

So we have to take a minute and consider the beginning where, what was the beginning of your veterinary medicine journey? For most of us, we were called to this profession. It wasn't something somebody told us we had to do. And even if we did decide to do this because of an external pressure, there was still a desire there that was strong enough that you followed through.

So what we wanna begin to see is that being in veterinary medicine to begin with is not an accident. And it's certainly not a problem. What helps is for those of us who feel, who know that we were called to this, who have this, this history of really wanting to do this from a very early age, it's helpful for us to remember that as well,

because there are no accidents in the things that we are called to do and the desires that we have and the dreams that we have for our future. So when we consider veterinary medicine, I want you to consider what was your beginning? Your beginning was some type of calling, some type of desire, and that's what got this ball rolling. Then that belief,

that dream, that goal was sustained throughout your academic pursuits. So as you did all the things that you needed to do to get through your veterinary education, you were able to hang onto your reasons. You were able to hang on to that dream of becoming a veterinary professional. You were be, you were able to remind yourself why you were doing this all along the way,

even when it got hard. And I am absolutely aware that we incurred challenges during our education, personal challenges, academic challenges, organizational challenges. Of course there were challenges that came up in your life all along the way, but somehow you worked through those challenges and you kept going. What had you continuing to move forward to stay engaged in your academic pursuit?

Was your desire, your ultimate desire to be a veterinary professional? So how is it now out in the real world that it's all fallen apart? How is it that you've gotten to a place perhaps that you are doubting that you ever should have done this in the first place, or worse that you regret your decision and you spend a lot of time wishing that you'd never pursued this dream?

Oftentimes one of the components that are present in that moment, in that thought process is the forgetting of a thought process, quite honestly, is forgetting the origin. It's forgetting the why and the real world, the why that sustained you, the beliefs that sustained you, the calling, the knowing that sustained you through your academics and the real world. It gets buried by all kinds of new experiences and new opinions and new stressors.

But friends, it's still there. And so what we want to begin to see as we're looking at this desire to create a peaceful existence, to create wellbeing and happiness and joy in our lives and find fulfillment, what we wanna begin to really start to ask ourselves and be curious about is what happened to all that certainty that we had before we were in the real world?

It's still there and we have to go looking for it to find it. We have to intentionally remind ourselves to know that it's true because if we don't, it's very easy to give into the the belief I never should have gone into veterinary medicine. Vetmed is the worst decision ever. The decision to go into veterinary medicine is ruined my life. And as soon as we start entertaining those thoughts is our focus,

then that's exactly what we create for ourselves. And it's no wonder we have a hard time creating any kind of peaceful existence if what's front and center in our mind is an opinion that we never should have pursued this. It also just argues with the reality of what is. Because the truth is you did pursue this and there's no upside to believing that you shouldn't have.

Now you still have all of your choices in front of you. So what you do from here forward completely yours to decide, but don't minimize your past experiences and don't punch yourself in the face and make yourself feel bad and feel less than and feel discouraged over decisions that you made in the past because that's just going to create more and more resistance and hesitance and fear about the decisions that you might create in the future.

But in all this, I kind of digress a bit from the point of what I'm trying to get to. When we look at our journeys, we know at some point we made an intentional decision. And for many of us that began as a calling. We sustained that belief in that decision throughout our entire academic careers and pursuits. And it wasn't until we got into the real world that we really began to stack the doubt to a level that we weren't able to talk ourselves out of it with our own truths and reasons and whys.

And there's a very realistic and logical reason why this happens. The truth is, for most of us in veterinary medicine, for the vast majority of people who go through veterinary school or veterinary technician school, this is your first career. It is something that you began pursuing at a very young age. All of your academics lined right up with it. And so your first real world experience,

your first experience is an adult out on your own, earning your own money has been through the experience of veterinary medicine. And what we miss is that no matter what career you would have chosen, your first real world experience is going to come with challenges. This is the unknown. This is something you've never done before. So is it truly veterinary medicine that is the problem?

Or is veterinary medicine just associated with normal challenges that younger adults incur the first, like as they go out into the real world for the first time? And because of the, the importance of this job, because of the, the, what is the word I'm looking for here, the potential outcomes of this job. We have put these two things together and stacked on more of,

of more fear than is necessary. I think that that is more true this first real world experience being a doctor, being a veterinary technician. So essentially a nurse, these have life and death consequences. Our jobs have life and death consequences. Now that does not mean that you are responsible for every life and death outcome. I've talked about this so many times.

Patient outcomes are not your responsibility. There's something you influence, but they're never something you control. But aside from that, if we think about how we moved from being young people and young adults into the real world, into our adulthood with this type of career on our shoulders, and we experienced challenges within our careers and within our lives that are normal for both.

It's easy for our logical brains to draw conclusions that vet med is the problem. And more so that we aren't cut out for the career of vetmed. Our minds are sneaky in this way. It really ties into our insecurities about our own abilities. It is our abilities and our culture that really starts to stack on our doubt and our fears and all of the data that we gather can just conclude,

can add to this conclusion that this was a bad choice. That we can't hack this, that peace isn't possible for us, that peace and happiness in this career field are something we can never attain. What happens is that we recognize at some point that we are unhappy, we recognize that we are stressed, we recognize that we are anxious. And in that recognition we automatically go and start looking for the reasons why we wanna figure it out with our brain.

We wanna, we wanna fix it with our logic and with our effort. And so what happens in the real world for us as veterinary professionals is the data that our mind gathers to explain why we're stressed, why we're unhappy, why we aren't peaceful. The data points, our things like  our own abilities. So there's a lot of insecurity about our ability to perform our jobs.

And then on top of that, the culture of veterinary medicine, which tends to be a negative self feeding vortex that adds more evidence to why we can't find peace as long as we're in veterinary medicine. And then we add on the things like the hours and the pay and the staffing and all these other things. And so as our mind gathers all of this data,

we really start to believe the story that it's not possible to have a peaceful existence and flourishing wellbeing as long as we are in veterinary medicine. And that those people who can do that, they have some magical superpower that we don't have, that we are less than, and they are more than that. We aren't cut out for this. And they are.

And our mind gets really kind of bought into this idea. It is really sure about this and this just creates more and more despair. But what we need to ask ourselves is a question. Why are we assuming that VetMed is the problem? Why are we assuming that it's the problem? Isn't it possible that we would've experienced all of the same things, all of the insecurity,

all of the opinions about culture, no matter what job we would've chosen? I think it's true. I think that no matter what happens the first time that we throw ourselves into the real world, there's gonna be fear. It makes perfect sense because we're stepping into the unknown. We're stepping out of what we've always done. We've we're stepping out of the security of our family when we then first go into college.

And then we step out of what becomes a security, a secure unit of college, a predictability, because that's years worth of our life there. We step out of that now into another new environment. And anytime that we shift into a new environment, there is going to be fear. That fear comes from uncertainty, that fear comes from the unknown. The fear comes because it's new and you don't know what to expect.

And this is not job specific. What's compounding this for us in veterinary medicine are two things. Number one, this is your first adventure into the real world. This is the first time that you're probably completely financially responsible for yourself. And if we have not taken the time to understand where our fears around money ha come from, and most of us at that age have not,

most of us at a lot of ages have actually have never considered our own fears around money and security and resources, then that starts to play into our narrative and build more of its fear. But then on top of that, the type of job that we have in veterinary medicine comes with some real consequences. We, the reasons that we pursued this, this ability to help is also the thing that we're most afraid of,

that we won't be able to help, that we won't be good enough to help. And so these two things together, your first experience in the real world being cuz solely responsible for you, coupled with a career that has you believing you are responsible for other people and other things. So animals, these two things together create a storm. And that storm is loud and it is big.

And if we don't understand what's happening, it leads us to conclude that veterinary medicine was a bad choice, that we shouldn't have done this. And as soon as we start entertaining that idea, our mind starts to gather all the evidence that it can to prove it true. Unfortunately, the culture within this career field does not help in this regard because it gives you ample evidence of all the reasons why this was a bad choice.

As we continue to feed each other these negative opinions, we just continue to strengthen the conclusions that these opinions are factual, but they are not fact. They are opinions, which means they are optional, they are not provable. But when we believe them as a collective, we keep creating the reality as if they are. So that question number one we wanna ask ourselves when we really are trying to find a peaceful and happy wellbeing is to ask ourselves,

why do we assume that vet med is the problem? If we can start to pick it apart and recognize a lot of what we're experiencing, we would experience independent of the career field, we can start to see how vet med isn't actually the problem at all. And so that leads us to question number two, which is why do we as humans assume that the solution to anything that we feel as far as discomfort is to change or fix something in our external reality?

Why do we believe that? Well, simply it's what we're taught. We are taught from a very, very early age that when we do certain things, we are recognized and we are rewarded. And that feels good. And so if you think about this, like when you were a very small child and you tied your shoes the first time you were rewarded,

you were congratulated, you were recognized, you were celebrated. When you cleaned your room, you were probably at least thanked or at least recognized, or maybe it was expected or maybe that's what you had to do to get your allowance. But there was something, some kind of positive interaction you got out of doing your chores, perhaps in your academics as well.

As you brought home grades, you were rewarded, some of us were rewarded, were rewarded financially for the grades that we made. And so all along the way, there's a system built into our culture of being recognized and rewarded for actions. And what we notice internally, even though it's not consciously necessarily that we make this conclusion, but what we do notice is that when we do things and then we are rewarded or we are recognized,

that it feels good, we feel happy, we feel proud, we feel accepted. And so the conclusion that our mind then draws is that the way to feel good, to feel happy, to feel accepted is to do the right things when we do the right things or we do the things the right way. Either way we feel good and that becomes the way that we live our lives.

The flip side of that is if we don't feel good, then we automatically assume there is something that we must be doing wrong. There is something that must be fixed. And so, because none of this takes into account where emotion really comes from, none of this reveals that the emotion that we experience on the inside, that emotional vibration is created by what we think,

by what we believe, by the opinions that we draw, the conclusions that we draw, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and conclusions. It's the sentences. None of this takes into consideration that it is the sentences in our minds that create the emotion. And it is not the external actions and results that do. We just keep trying to find happiness. To find wellbeing.

We keep chasing peace, if you will, through action, by trying to fix what's broken, by identifying what's broken and trying to avoid it. Friends, we will never get there that way. Peace is a state of being. It's an emotional vibration. It's something that we can create for ourselves. But the way that we create it for ourselves is not through our external actions.

It's by changing and deciding what we believe. So that solution to finding peace really is an internal journey because it's a state of being. It's a way of existing. And when we are strongly anchored in that, when we are strongly anchored in peace and internal wellbeing, it's really hard for us to be pulled off course by the craziness of the world. It becomes almost impossible for the things that happen during the day at work or otherwise to steal all of our peace away permanently.

Now, our instinct, when we recognize we wanna be happy, we want to have a peaceful existence. Our instinct is to get busy trying to find it. And the truth is, in order to find it, we don't need to be busy. We don't need to be in action. We actually need to be quite the opposite. We need to be still when we are still,

we are able to recognize what already exists within that piece that you crave. It's already inside of you. It is a component of who you are as a human being. It's just drowned out by all the crazy of the world and all the focus and attention that we've given to the things that don't really matter. In order for us to find that piece,

to expand it, to allow it to unfold, we have to find the stillness. We have to intentionally seek it out. And when we do that, the piece that is within begins to expand. It begins to unfold. It begins to surround us and actually insulate us from everything else that's going on in the world. So you might be wondering, how on earth do I start?

This all sounds great, but I don't even know how to get there. And of course you don't. Of course you don't. We don't automatically know these things. We need somebody to come along and show us the way. And so I've created for you a self exploration resource. I want you to ask yourself some questions to get started on this journey of finding that inner peace within you.

And those questions start with things like, do you believe you're worthy? Do you believe you, your life and your place in this world are infinitely valuable? Do you believe you are capable of giving and receiving love unconditionally? If any or all of your answers above were no, then that's where you've gotta start. We have to start with the truth of who we are as individuals in this world.

We must start there because if we can't start by recognizing ourselves, by understanding the truth of who we are, by understanding and really believing in our worth and our value and our loveability, then it's very hard for us to able to tap into that piece that is within. So, like I said, to help you out, I've created a resource completely free.

It's a self exploration resource to get you started on this journey of self discovery. And it's over at joyfuldvm.com/peace. So joyfuldvm.com/peace, It's gonna get you started on this self exploration journey of understanding what's happening specifically for you. And I can't end this episode without inviting you to the next strategic job and life analysis workshop over here at Joyful DVM and this workshop,

we get to the meat of the matter quickly. You're gonna gain so much clarity around what's creating your experiences at work and what's creating your experiences at life, and more importantly, what it is that you want. Because if we don't define what it is that we want out of our jobs and out of our lives as a whole, then we really are setting ourselves up to fail as far as creating it.

We can't create something that we haven't yet defined. So just going through our lives, accepting that we are unhappy and our jobs are in our lives doesn't get us any closer to creating a different experience. The strategic job and life analysis workshop for the first time, I'm actually combining these two things together. In this workshop, we're gonna walk through a structured framework to uncover not only what you're experiencing right now,

but more importantly, what it is that you want to experience in the future. Because when you can identify the gap, then you can see what you can do to change it and start moving forward. So to get more information about that, just jump over to joyful dvm.com workshop to learn more about how you can get on that wait list to get all the notifications when that workshop's happening this fall.

All right, my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for this week. I hope that you'll jump over, grab that self exploration resource and sign up for the information about the workshop if it's right for you. Have a beautiful week.