The Audible Eye Roll: Reclaiming The Parts Of You That You Don't Like

balance coaching Jun 28, 2022
Doctor eye roll.  Physician.  Parts of you that you don't like.


I like to tell the story about the evening I met my wife.  We were out to dinner with a group of people, and she was sitting across the table from me.  As a friend said something annoying, I locked eyes with the stranger across the table and proceeded to roll my eyes.  She was immediately smitten, or at least that is how I like to tell the story.  She will tell you that she thought it was cute.  Fifteen years later, she will also tell you that my eye roll is one of her least favorite things.   

I recently listened to episode #410 of The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, The Parts Of You That You Don't Like.  In the episode, the founder of The Life Coach School discusses the struggle we all experience with the parts of our personality and physical appearance that we do not like.  We all wish we could change something about ourselves, and for me, one of those things is my eye roll.

According to, an eye roll is an upward turning of the eyes, especially as an expression of annoyance, exasperation, or disbelief.  For me, it is an indication of my lack of patience and propensity toward feeling annoyed.  My eye roll is so pronounced and well-practiced that it almost makes a sound.  I refer to it as my Audible Eye Roll, and most importantly, I do not like it.  

Simply put, the eye roll is a symbol of disrespect.  Once an eye roll has been set in motion, empathy and compassion have left the room.  It is possible that an eye roll can connect you with some people, as it did with my wife and me in our first interaction, but it also has the power to disconnect you from many others.  It is the embodiment of a breakdown in communication.

At the core of my eye roll is impatience.  I have always been impatient and easily annoyed.  I told myself the story that my New York upbringing required me to be efficient with my time.  I was too busy for other people's nonsense and had to keep moving at my typical fast pace.

Physician coaching forced me to look carefully at this behavior.  I needed to examine the underlying thoughts and feelings that ultimately led to the eye roll.  Through coaching, we know that actions like eye-rolling are derived from thoughts and feelings.  When you look a little further at those thoughts and feelings, it turns out that my lack of patience extends much deeper than simply being impatient with other people.  The person I have the least amount of patience for is myself.  

I was not completely surprised by this revelation.  It was always there.  I never thought very highly of myself and became easily frustrated when I did something incorrectly.  Self-compassion and grace were frequently trumped by self-judgment, self-criticism, and impatience.  So how can we reconcile the person we want to be with the person we have been?

When we recognize things we don't like about ourselves, we have our work cut out for us, but it is not impossible to grow and change.  Here are some steps we can take to RECLAIM the things we don't like about ourselves:


  • Recognize.
    • Before we can change, we first need to identify that there is something we don't like about ourselves.  
  • Embrace your 'flaw.' 
    • You are human, and no one is perfect.
    • Is there an upside to your perceived 'flaw?' Has it ever served you in a positive way?
    • Can you love that part of you even if you don't like it?
  • Curtail doubt and self-judgment
    • Can you allow yourself to have this 'flaw' and not allow it to mean something about your value and worthiness as a human being?
  • Love yourself anyway
    • Be loving to yourself as you examine the things you don't like about yourself.
    • If someone you loved possessed the same character trait, would you be able to love them anyway?  Can you do the same thing for yourself?
  • Acknowledge, accept and own your 'flaw' as truth
    • "I am impatient, and that is okay."
  • Identify a better way of recognizing your 'flaw.'
    • Can you think about your perceived 'flaw' in a way that makes it feel lighter and less like a direct assault on your value and worthiness?
    • An example: "I'm experiencing impatience right now."
      • When said in this way, the impatience no longer defines you.  It just is.  
  • Make changes to the things you want to change.  Or don't.  Or maybe you can't change "the thing" and all you can change is how you choose to think about it.
    • Just know that things can change and "the how" is completely up to you.


When I evaluate my impatience from this lens, I begin to see how it has served me in my life.  I was always one of the youngest in my class and never waited for permission to achieve my next big goal.  I don't have to like my impatience to recognize that my life and career have benefitted from it.  I don't have to resist its existence.  Embracing it immediately allows for more patience in my life.  I become more of who I want to be by simply accepting that the impatience is there.  

As for the eye roll, that has served me well too.  The eye roll was the first thing my wife noticed about me, and a single eye roll forever changed my life in the best possible way.



As I allow myself to embrace all aspects of myself, I am confronted by things I like and don't like about myself, which is okay.  There are things that I don't like that I will be able to change successfully and others that I might prefer not to change.  By doing this work, I have recognized that it is much easier to make a change from love and acceptance than from self-hatred, judgment, and self-criticism.  Once you can admit to its existence, the perceived 'flaw' immediately loses its power and grip over you.  You can then make choices from this newfound power position for the person you want to be.  



It might not surprise you that the key here is accepting yourself as you are.  It is about accepting all of you.  While there may be things you like or don't like about yourself, all of your characteristics make you uniquely you.  Without these attributes, you wouldn't be the person you are today.  And now that you see them, embrace them, and love them for making you who you are, you can decide whether or not you want to let them go.  Or, maybe they're not so bad after all.  You get to choose.  What decision will you make?




Are you ready to stop comparing yourself to others?  Do you want to create a deeper connection with your family and friends?  Are you tired of always thinking you are supposed to be doing something other than what you are doing?  Maybe it is time to think about creating a better physician life.  Could physician coaching be the answer?  There is no better time to find out.



I want to invite you to check out my FREE TRAINING.  Click here to get: How Busy Physicians Can Stop Trying To Escape Medicine And Start Living Their Best Life Today.

This training will teach you the five essential tools physicians need to stop feeling disconnected, overwhelmed, and trapped in medicine.  You will also learn how to discover what you truly want in life and how to get it.  




PS.  I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics.  Many people use inspiring quotes (and I do too), but music really speaks to me.  I hope you find inspiration in the songs too.

Relient K  -  Who I Am Hates Who I've Been


If you want to read the lyrics, click here.



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