Dream Big!Dec 02, 2021
Why Did We Stop Dreaming?
What do you want to be when you grow up? If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? If you could be a princess or a superhero, who would you choose? What magical power do you wish you had? We ask our children to wonder and dream, and they do! We used to dream all of the time. We had goals, wishes, hopes, and dreams. So what happened?
For me, I remember researching a career in medicine when I was in 7th grade. I didn't understand all of the words, but I knew I would figure it out. In high school, I was told I should "aim lower" for college. According to my guidance counselor, my "safety school" was not safe enough. She was speechless when I was ultimately admitted to the university of my dreams. I was surrounded by pre-meds in college and wondered if I would make it to medical school. I kept dreaming and working hard. Through perseverance, I made it happen. All along the way, there were doubts. My dreams, however, never gave way to those doubts. At every stage, I pushed through the discomfort to achieve my ultimate goal: To become a doctor.
At some point, though, I stopped dreaming. I stopped reaching. I stopped trying to do that next thing. "Oh, that? I can't do that. I am a doctor now." But why? Physicians are so primed for success that the thought of failure weighs heavy. If that wasn't enough, the threat of medical liability looms large. We start to focus more on things we can't or shouldn't do, rather than all of the possibilities that exist. We think: "The only thing I know how to do is be a great doctor." But it wasn't always that way. You didn't always know how to be a doctor. Through hard work and dedication, you figured it out. So, what is stopping you now? Why are you limiting yourself? Why aren't you thinking of the next thing? Why aren't you dreaming?
Burnout and moral injury are everywhere in medicine. There are so many reasons they exist. There are so many frustrations in our daily lives. So many circumstances we cannot control. So what can we change? Ourselves. We can remember who we were, who we are, and how we got here. We can change how we think about ourselves. We can change how we talk to ourselves. We can shut down the voices telling us that we can't, we shouldn't, or that we aren't good enough. Those are just limiting beliefs. There are no professionals out there who are more determined, harder working, or better able to persevere against adversity than physicians.
So, I challenge you to ask yourself: What is your dream? When was the last time you sat down and made a goal for yourself? If you are anything like me, it is as good as done once you know the goal. Maybe you'll have to research it. Perhaps you'll stumble along the way. But there is no doubt in my mind that if you want it, you will make it happen. What is stopping you? Take that first step. Leap. Jump! Don't just think that things will work out someday. Make that day be today! It might be scary, but I promise you it will be worth it. Achieving your dreams is always worth it.
Are you interested in taking a deep dive into your dreams? Check out my Design Your Life worksheet. It is intended to help you figure out exactly what you want in life. Let your mind go to your wildest dreams. The things you have always wanted. And don't worry about the "how." A pilot first needs to know where they are going before they can determine the best route. Click here for the worksheet:
And, if you want to chat about how to make your dreams a reality, schedule a complimentary discovery session to see if physician coaching might be right for you.
PS. I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics. Many people use inspiring quotes (and I may too), but music lyrics really speak to me. I hope you find inspiration in the lyrics too.
Emma Stevens - Keep Dreaming
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