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Future-You Understands the Lesson of Today

blame future-you personal growth Nov 17, 2023
Future-You is taking notes

Ok, even I’m a little annoyed here on this one.

I remember being a young attending, and the first time that I encountered “challenges and opportunities” language from clinic leadership. We weren’t talking about “challenges and opportunities” in my mind; we were talking about problems. I wanted to barf when I heard this language. The fact that I remember these fraught conversations, often conducted at morning huddle, nearly 13 years later now, tells me that they struck a nerve.

But let’s step away from clinic/hospital shenanigans and HR speak for a moment, and focus on us. Today is here to teach us something. If we care to learn.

Now what I am not suggesting is that we turn this into toxic positivity, and start blabbing about tragedies and horrific acts and unjust behavior as “all part of the plan.” That’s not helpful.

But what I am suggesting is that we allow for self-reflection and self-auditing to help shape Future-You’s boundaries and self-care. In other words, learning from our current challenges helps us shape a better future.

Case in point: I’m over-scheduled this month. And it’s a good lesson.

After coming home from an amazing and inspirational retreat in early October, I took action, and reached out to other podcasters and podcast guests. This is part of growing a podcast, expanding listenership and impact, and I had been putting it off. And so, I took massive action.

But the problem is, the response was robust; so much so that I have 9 extra recordings this month. And a speaking gig. And my clinical work. Throw in a little middle-school homework-organization-ADHD struggles at home, and let’s just say it’s been pretty busy.

I’ve been here before. And I did it again. To myself.

But the lesson here, the reminder to myself, is that I can always  overwork. Anywhere. Even if I am self-employed. Because old me was not self-employed. And old me can easily blame others for having done this (though my own lack of boundaries absolutely contributed!). But now-me has only myself to point to. I did this. And Future-Me has learned this lesson because I am paying attention now. And to be honest, now-me isn’t waiting; now-me jiggered the schedule to off-load the pressure AND focus on the top priorities, even though it disappointed some people.

What is it that you need to learn from what’s happening now?

I talk to so many Physicians and Healthcare Professionals who want out of medicine, imagining that life is easier doing anything else. But we have to be real that we have been trained to overwork. And unless we intentionally unlearn this, learn to set boundaries and priorities that make a difference, learn to tolerate the discomfort of putting yourself first in the big picture, to tolerate the discomfort of disappointing others, we will continue to overwork elsewhere.

Regardless of what you decide to do in life, help Future-You. Help Future-You by discerning what part of the problems you encounter are related to the externals, and what parts are related to your thoughts and actions. And then, without blaming yourself, learn the lesson and make a change.

So check in with yourself. What are the emotions, what are the thoughts that come up when you think about “the problems” in your life right now. 

Are you frustrated and resentful that you don’t have enough help? What are you willing to do about it now? What does Future-You know to do?

Are you numb and overwhelmed? What help do you need to get unstuck? What will Future-You be proud of you for? (hint, it’s probably not “continuing to suck it up”)

We don’t have to condone bad work environments, or the actions of a broken healthcare system, or any other ills in the world to do this. We can simply acknowledge what we need to see here, and use it to move forward.

Because Future-You wants Now-You to be successful. And we can all learn a thing or two….

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

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