It's one of those days. You know the kind where it seems there is a secret plot to drive you insane.
It's the day when you feel like everything is conspiring against you. And there's no time to regroup. You're getting hit with one punch after another.
When life doesn’t go according to plan
It can be really challenging to rally when it seems like nothing is going your way (and you find yourself pleading with life to just give you a break).
I'm here to remind you that although there may be chaos swirling around you, you can still access a well of calm within you.
Here are 3 suggestions for finding greater calm in the chaos:
Keep this list handy as a reference whenever you're feeling like life (and work) are chaotic.
May you more easily find your way to the path of your well of inner calm.
8/22/2021 0 Comments
How To Be Successful in Your Career: 3 Essential Elements For Planning Your Success
When was the last time you sat down to plan your career path, outside of a required annual employee review? If you're like most people, you may not be able to remember.
Setting yourself up for success in your career starts with consistently investing time to nurture and develop it. Whether it's monthly, quarterly or annually, creating a system to reflect, review and plan your career path is key to maintaining fulfillment.
You get to define what success means for you. Not everyone is interested in climbing the ladder to the C-suite. Success may mean taking on additional responsibilities in areas that are meaningful to you, learning new skills to help you hone your craft or transitioning to a new role or industry.
Here are 3 essential elements to consider in your career planning to keep you on the path of success:
Incorporating these elements into your career planning can help you to proactively direct your career rather than winging it and hoping for the best. Pay attention to thoughts and habits that are counter to your desired goals or put you at risk of sabotaging your own success. Be willing to let go of outdated, limiting beliefs that no longer serve you.
If you decide you want support with your career planning, seek out a mentor, coach or community of like-minded people who can provide accountability, encouragement and guidance.
How often do you focus on actively planning your career? Let me know by sharing in the comments below.
8/15/2021 0 Comments
Why is it so hard to rest?
Question: How are you?
Answer: I'm fine.
Question: How are you, really?
Answer: Well actually, I'm exhausted.
The above scenario is not an uncommon one. In speaking to team members, clients and friends, when asking the second question, the response is almost always different than the initial answer. I'm guilty of this myself, especially when the question is asked in the midst of a period of busyness.
While well-intended, the question, "How are you?" tends to elicit a habitual response. In our fast-paced world, we rarely take the time to pause and check in with ourself to see how we are. The follow-up question provides an opportunity to disrupt the automatic response.
After tuning in, many realize that they are tired, exhausted, depleted. When do you take your rest? Do you wait until you are completely exhausted or are forced to rest (illness, injury, etc.)? The natural thought that follows the awareness of depleted energy is a need to get more rest. It sounds simple, but getting the rest we say we want can prove to be challenging.
In exploring why it feels so hard to rest, I did some research and reflection and learned a few interesting things that I wanted to share.
There are many different types of rest.
When you think of rest, what comes to mind? If you're like the majority of the population, you think of sleep, but according to Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, author and rest expert, there are 7 types of rest: Physical (includes active and passive forms), Mental, Sensory, Creative, Emotional, Social and Spiritual. She says that many of us are "rest-deprived". Noticing what type of rest you need is really important. Keep in mind you may need more than one form of rest depending on what's going on in your life. If you participated in a weekend educational conference that included a series of Zoom calls and online networking, you may need mental, sensory and social rest. That may consist of a day without screens, spending time outdoors in nature alone or with people where the interactions feel restorative and rejuvenating.
Rest will feel out of reach until you address the obstacles in the way.
We tell ourselves that we need rest and almost immediately our mind begins to run a long list of of very convincing reasons for why we can't rest. I spent some time reflecting on my own reasons (otherwise known as excuses) for why I don't allow myself to rest more. Here are the ones that come up most often:
If you're interested in finding more information on rest, check out the following resources:
Hopefully this article gets you to think about the last time you felt truly rested and encourages you to take action to remove your obstacles to rest.
What gets in your way of rest? Share your top challenge with rest in the comments below along with any strategies you've found helpful.
Let's start a radical rest revolution.
I was catching up with a friend and colleague and shared my recent decision to pass on an opportunity to pursue a new project that would require a significant investment of time on top of my usual responsibilities. Little did I know how timely that decision would be.
The impetus for making the decision came from a voice that whispered, “Create space and time to be there for your family.” Normally, I would believe that I could do both - handle all that I already had on my overflowing plate AND support my family. But, on this occasion the message caused me to pause and reconsider the habitual response.
Just a few weeks after that decision was made, my brother died. I was grateful that I had freed up time and space to be able t travel to be with my family and grieve the loss.
This is not the first time that I’ve been glad that I’ve listened to that voice. After entering my rank list for the residency match, while still sitting at the computer, I heard that voice ask, “If you knew you could go anywhere you wanted to go, where would you choose?” My answer was currently sitting at the middle of my list. It didn’t seem to be the logical choice as I was a newly single mother with a five-year old and no family in the area of that residency program. But, I made what at the time seemed like an impulsive decision to move that program up to the number one spot, rationalizing that I wouldn’t match there anyway so what difference would it make.
Fast forward to Match Day. I almost cried when I realized I’d matched to my first choice. Why wasn’t I happy? Because the logical side of me kicked in and shared with me a long list of all the reasons that this was a bad idea. For those of you who know me, you know how it turned out. It was the best decision I could have made at the time and I went on to have a long and successful career as an academician and clinician.
So what is this inner voice? Some people call it your intuition or gut instinct. It’s the sense that you feel when you walk into a room full of tension without anyone having to say a word. It’s the whisper you hear to change direction to avoid danger. Or the gut feeling you have when you meet someone that they’re not who they appear to be.
Your inner voice is the soft, gentle voice that helps to guide you and direct you by sharing wisdom. It is kind and intelligent and has your best interest at heart. It’s a kind of knowing or innate wisdom. It is not the inner critic which tends to be harsh, judgmental and sometimes just plain mean.
It’s helpful to listen to your inner voice as it can serve as an important guide in your life as you’re making decisions, both big and small.
Here are 3 simple steps to start listening to your inner voice:
1. Discern - The first step is simply in learning to hear the voice. There is often so much noise in our world that it drowns out the soft inner voice. When you’re constantly busy, there’s not much time to hear it either. Slow down and create some space in your day for solitude and stillness. It may be first thing in the morning before everyone else is up. Or late at night if you’re a night owl. It may come to you while you’re in the shower, during a drive or while out walking/running. The key is to carve out time for you. This is usually when the voice is more active and can get your attention.
2. Decipher - Once you’ve heard the voice and it has your attention, the next step is to actively listen to the message. What information is the voice sharing with you? It may come in the form of a thought or a feeling. It can also be a sensation in your body, pleasant (gentle warmth flooding your body or chills) or unpleasant (GI discomfort, headache, anxiety) or a change in your behavior, such as disrupted sleep or eating habits. Treat the voice like a dashboard light that has come on in your car. It’s an indicator that’s designed to get your attention and let you know that you may need to check out your engine or oil level. In this case, be curious and see what information the message from your inner voice may be bringing you.
3. Decide — Now that you’ve heard the voice and explored the message, you get to choose what you want to do with the information. Maybe you take action in response to the information or you decide to ignore it. Whatever you decide, be honest with yourself about the reasons or your decision and commit to it. You can always make a new decision when you have more information.
Set an intention to listen for your inner voice. It’s a practice - learning how to tune inward when there is so much in the outer world calling for your attention takes time and skill. Remember to focus on the progress you’re making and don’t expect perfection.
What helps you to hear your inner voice? Share in the comments below or send me a private message to let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org.
8/1/2021 0 Comments
Letting Go of Perfectionism
Do you hold yourself to high standards for everything? If so, you’re not alone. Most high achievers strive for perfection.
But what if inflexible standards are slowing you down and holding you back?
There’s evidence that constant perfectionism can get in the way of a happy and productive life. It’s connected to procrastination, low productivity, and depression.
More often than not, continual high standards aren’t needed for us to succeed in life. Think about people like Einstein, Oprah, Walt Disney and Bill Gates. These famously accomplished people have reported that they owe their achievements to their unstoppable nature and willingness to make mistakes.
The secret is to recognize when high standards are necessary and when they actually get in the way of innovation, efficiency and fulfillment. Getting to the place of good enough on most tasks and projects allows us to get more done without compromising quality. This open minded approach allows for creativity, innovation and fun.
Freedom from perfection starts with flexibility, compassion and faith in self. Remember that you are good enough as you are. You are intrinsically valuable.
The next time you notice that you’re driving yourself hard, procrastinating on projects or tasks, or feeling self critical about your accomplishments, ask yourself:
“Am I holding myself to standards that aren’t needed in these circumstances?”
“What would good enough look and feel like?”
Breathe. Open up your heart and mind. Think flexibly about your project or task and let your standards relax. Try the “good enough approach” for your day to day tasks and reserve your high standards for rare and special circumstances. You’ll not only get more done, you’ll also feel motivated to do more!
The Physician Career Path Reimagined
Copyright 2019-2021. Michelle Bailey & Company, LLC.
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.
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