Enemy #1Aug 18, 2023
Let's face the harsh reality of life. All of us have "Enemies" everyday that we're fighting. Some are very real and others are unfortunate perceptions of an Enemy which we've fabricated through past experiences that are not real. Either way, in our mind they are very real until we learn to disarm them and create a new reality in our life. The key to disarming life's Enemies is deciding what we are or are not willing to tolerate.
As I'm sure you've experienced, there are times it is very obvious you are not willing to tolerate the negative effects of an Enemy and you dealt with it in very short and decisive order. Interestingly, there are other Enemies we tolerate for years if not decades, yet deep in our mind we wallow around in fear and self-pity, resigning ourselves to whatever course that Enemy takes us. We'll usually cover it up and/or deflect to people around us with excuses or half truths to create sympathy and understanding from others. Internally, we'll find ways to rationalize our less than desired current reality in which we find ourselves so we can feel better about the fact that we're simply allowing this Enemy to continue taking our life in the wrong direction.
There are several common "Enemies" we help our clients fight against in order to create a new life Beyond Patients. In this "Enemies" series, we'll explore 3 of the most common types: Fear of Lack, M.F.T.P. and Mistaken Identity.
Fear of Lack is probably the most prevalent and crippling Enemy healthcare providers face when thinking about expanding beyond their career in healthcare. What do they fear they will lack? You probably have one or more of these in your mind...Money(income/lifestyle/investing), Energy and Time. Overall we refer to this as Bandwidth. People fear they will not have the necessary Bandwidth to add another meaningful pursuit outside of their healthcare responsibilities. As I mentioned earlier, some of these fears are legit, but most are either unrealistic or drastically over-inflated. Let's pull the plug on these...
Money: This is a very realistic concern, as it should be. Most healthcare providers looking to either add a "new lane" or venture, grow something for the future, or get out of healthcare entirely have built a fairly decent income and lifestyle as they've matured in their discipline. Fears of not having enough money to take a leap outside of healthcare are important to evaluate. With that said, it is certainly possible and, to go further, absolutely necessary to build into any plan that expands beyond patients. You should keep this at the front of everything you do. At this point in your career, it is certainly not wise to add significant risk or sacrifice to you or your family's future in order to create "what's next". While it may be prudent to plan for (and communicate) your family cutting back in certain areas in order to get the next thing established, this should be for a defined period of time with agreed upon boundaries. While risk is inherent in everything we do, you've worked way too hard with your family being along for the journey to be "betting the farm" at this point. You can and should create a plan that allows you to maintain your income as you build what's next.
Another concern related to money is fear of not having enough to invest in what's next. This one is usually blown out of proportion and is not based in reality. In any venture, there is more than one way to get there. Remember, it's all about creating options for your life...and there are ALWAYS options. You just need to look in the right places. Simple but not easy or you'd have already done it by now. If you're not at a place of having enough capital to invest in your next venture that's ok! Stop beating yourself up about it and start thinking strategically and proactively. Step one is getting a semi-realistic idea on how much money you think it will take to invest in what's next. Then you can determine if this number is absolutely necessary or is your idea something you can start smaller and grow? If it is realistic, what's your saving plan? How much, how often and how long do you need to strategically move money into your "investment account" in order to be ready with less stress to invest.
OPM: Remember having money to invest doesn't require just your money. Sometimes using Other People's Money is the best win-win strategy. There are so many people in this world with money burning their pockets that they want to invest and create more wealth. They just don't have the idea, skills, time or horsepower to do it like you can. Might be a family member, friend, connection of an acquaintance or even a lending institution(the definition of OPM). Regardless the source, you should think outside the box and evaluate what trusted resource you might have right in front of you to help you get your vision off the ground!
Energy and Time: While separate, these two Fears of Lack usually hold hands. You might feel stuck or burned out and spend half your day dreaming of what you want to do but the other half(or more) is spent commiserating in how unrealistic your current life and schedule are to allow that dream to happen. The realistic part of this fear is you likely do have a lot of hats to wear: Spouse, Parent, Business Owner, Practitioner, Friend, Manager/Leader, Bus Driver...you get the idea. Yet we need to peel back the layers and expose some of the lies we tell ourself. If you took an honest time audit of several days in a week, what would you find? What is very common is at first glance, the time audit on a given day looks jam packed. Yet when we pull apart some of the tasks, we realize that people tend to allow tasks to fill whatever space is available. This is of course in respect to your patient focused times of the day. But even this we find has a tendency to often times be much less than efficient. So we'll allow a 10 min task to fill up 20-30 min simply because we don't put intention to it's completion and discard notions of trying to make everything perfect. As a matter of fact, I find myself doing it as I write this post! While our standards of work are high, many of our tasks do not need perfection. Find GETMO (Good Enough to Move On)and get to your next thing by compressing your schedule. As you find small areas in your schedule to compress AND keep track of your tasks with time blocking within a good ole fashion daily planner, you'll be amazed at the compounding effects of what kind of Time and Energy bandwidth you can create to build your dream!
So in the sake of GETMO, the main point of Enemy #1: 'Fear of Lack' is that it's crucial to ask yourself honest questions to uncover the reality of where you are and what is holding you back. Most often, the reasons (excuses) we tell ourselves to rationalize our perceived lack of options are usually wrong, or half-truths at best. There are always options to create a new and exciting future as long as we're willing to look a little harder and reach out to find the people who can help us find them!