Before I successfully made the leap to a nonclinical career I had to confront the fears that were holding me back.
I had been unhappy in my career for years but no one knew it. I was afraid to be honest with myself and didn't dare share how I was feeling with anyone else.
In reality, I was unwilling to speak up about what I wanted.
And if I'm being completely honest, I don't think I believed that I could have what I wanted.
What I have since learned is that if you want to be considered for career opportunities that allow you to experience greater satisfaction, you need to be vocal about what you want.
In speaking to hundreds of physicians, I realized that I was not the only one who found this hard to do.
So when it comes to speaking up and advocating for yourself, why is it easier said than done?
For one thing, we all have beliefs that we adopt from our childhood that can keep us from sharing our voice. An example is "children are seen and not heard". This taught me from an early age that it was not acceptable to speak my mind.
But here's the good news. It is possible to develop a heart-centered assertiveness that clears the way for honest, empowered living—without being rude to others or surrendering to people-pleasing tendencies that silence your truth.
“We all need to learn to dance in rhythm to the beat of our own soul,” writes Kelly Bryson in his book, Don’t Be Nice, Be Real: Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others.
As it relates to your career path, it's important to be clear on what direction you want to go. This allows you to share your interests, strengths, and passions with potential mentors, sponsors, and advocates.
These are the people who will speak up on your behalf when potential opportunities arise. This includes positions that become available before they are even posted. You want them to think of you and put your name forward. They become your brand ambassadors, representing you when you're not in the room.
Those who stay silent when they would be better off speaking their mind do so for a variety of reasons.
Here are 5 common fears that can prevent you from speaking up:
Fear of being rejected. Any time you risk disclosing your truth, you become vulnerable. Putting yourself out there by applying for new positions that push you out of your comfort zone can be scary. Fear of receiving a rejection notice can stop you from ever applying. The key to overcoming this fear is reframing it. Each time you speak up and go for what you want, you learn from the process. Applying the insight from those learnings can serve to make you a stronger candidate.
Fear of what you would tell yourself if you or any requests you make are rejected. If you speak up and ask for a promotion or higher compensation, you definitely risk rejection. But if you receive a rejection, do you take it personally? What do you make it mean about yourself? It's important to notice the way you talk to yourself when you experience rejection or disappointment. Practice having your own back no matter the outcome. And celebrate yourself or having the courage to go for what you want.
Fear of hurting feelings. Related to this is the belief that it is better to please others, even at your own expense. Too often we hold our tongue because we don't want to upset someone else. An example is saying "Yes" to requests when you really want to say "No". This can lead to being overcommitted and feeling out of balance because you're not honoring your truth. Practice saying no more often and notice what uncomfortable feelings come up as a result. The more you practice, the more you'll see that the world doesn't end because someone else is feeling disappointed.
Fear of “rocking the boat,” or upsetting the status quo. The writer Muriel Rukeyser spoke to this fear in her memorable quote: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” We are taught to follow the rules and the fear is that something will go terribly wrong if you don't. Rules are important. And, there are times when disruption is necessary to bring about important change. When it comes to your career satisfaction, don't be afraid to be a disruptor.
Fear that you have nothing worth saying. Years of feeling undervalued and unappreciated can lead to this. But your experience and unique perspective is valuable. Your contributions are needed. And when you speak up and share your observations, identify challenges, and offer possible solutions, you become known as someone with desirable leadership qualities. Start by speaking up in small ways when the opportunity presents itself.
It is important to distinguish between being assertive and being aggressive. Aggression trespasses on another’s boundaries without regard for feelings. Assertiveness, on the other hand, communicates feelings, thoughts and needs clearly and directly.
Speaking up after years of hiding or holding your tongue may not be easy. You may need to take baby steps—take classes or workshops to build new skills, consult with a career coach or counselor, join an assertiveness support group.
But the payoff is more effective personal and professional relationships, genuine intimacy and, more than anything, an increased feeling of self-respect and empowerment.
Do you find it hard to speak up as it relates to your career? If you'd like some support with this, click here to schedule some time for us to connect about it.
Life Beyond Clinical Practice with Dr. Michelle Bailey
Hi, I'm Dr. Michelle Bailey.
I help physicians who are unhappy or unsatisfied with their current career find a nonclinical career that they love.
Retiring early from clinical practice after almost 20 years as a board-certified pediatrician I successfully made the leap and transitioned to a nonclinical career.
I'm thriving in my new career and am on a mission to help other physicians do the same with the support, guidance, and community that I wish I had when I was struggling with this decision.
You're invited to connect with me in my private Facebook community for physicians to learn about all things related to your nonclinical career transition. Join here.
All Being Present End Of Year Energy Drains Exercise Feel Free Fitness Free Yourself Getting Things Done Goals Health Leadership Life Lessons Life Vision Mind Body Connection Mind-body Connection Mindfulness Recharging Your Batteries Ritual Self Care Self-care Success Women's Empowerment Women's Health Work Life Balance
Copyright 2023. Michelle Bailey & Company, LLC.
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.
Proudly powered by Weebly