Enemy #2Aug 22, 2023
The second Enemy in this series that we help our clients fight to build a life Beyond Patients is that of "M.F.T.P.". You've probably experienced it at some point in life...Mother Father Teacher Preacher. Obviously this doesn't just describe the effects of those 4 people in your life. It refers to the over-arching influence people and society around us have as we're growing up into our profession. The effects of those in your inner circle are very impactful in younger years and can stay with you, usually catching a free ride in the back of your mind for years if not decades. They literally affect your world view and the limits or possibilities you see in your life.
Let's step back for a minute. I'll ask you to think about this statement for a minute: There is a certain way things in the world work. We can't control how these things work, they were created way before us and will continue long after we're gone. Take for instance, trying to catch a frog. If not this exact scenario, you'll remember a similar one from when you were a kid. So you come up to a frog in a pool of water. You bend down to pick it up and what happens? You blink and he's gone, under water out of sight. You learn you have a couple options at this point. You give up because the frog is gone and you lost it. Or, you hang around for a minute and realize he needs to come back up for another look and a breather. Did you change your position? Or did you stay in the same place? Depending on how you changed your positioning will of course affect your success in catching the frog right? So, let's say you were a quick learner and stooped down close to the water and held very still, hoping to position yourself behind the frog. He comes up, you slowly creep your hands closer and go for it! You may have caught him or missed the first try but over time you learn the way a frog in nature works to avoid danger. There's nothing you can do about it, that's just the way it works. So you adapt, leverage your new knowledge and actions which creates success.
The funny thing about the trajectory of our lives, however, is that we have the voices from our M.F.T.P. downloaded so firmly into our mind network that we fail to see how things really work in the world around us. Thus, we become frustrated at best or burned out at worst in our professional life.
There's this common mentality when it comes to healthcare providers of any discipline. Society tells us that we went to school to be a [blank] and so that's the lane we need to stay in. Why would you do anything else? It's a noble profession! You invested a lot of time, energy and money becoming what you are today, why would you change that? You worked your way into a good income and lifestyle and provide an amazing service to your patients and your community. Why would you do anything else? Sound familiar??
Yet, research shows us that people in the United States change careers, not jobs...CAREERS, on average 5-7 times in their working life. They change jobs and average of 1 time every 12 months!! Really?! So if we're in healthcare, we're expected to stay the course and chop wood for the entirety of our our career but the rest of society moves on into whatever suits their fancy? That's ridiculous and we've decided something needs to change!
I'm certainly not advocating for healthcare providers to jump ship today. However, I do want to challenge my colleagues to look at the world around you with different lenses. You may love what you're doing in healthcare and just want to explore what else is out there beyond the walls of your practice or hospital. Or maybe you feel you've been doing this for a while and it's ok but it's time to start building something for the future you can eventually exit into when the time is right. OR, like some colleagues in our Healthcare profession, they've been thoroughly burned to a crisp and it's time to get out before something worse happens. In any case, it's so important to evaluate the effect of M.F.T.P. on your thinking, habits, vision and expectations for your life. You might just find that the way things work in the world around your are a bit different than you thought and full of possibilities and opportunities just waiting for you to take the first step!