March 30, 2021
Get ready for the ‘woo’ y’all.
Usually, I give you a whole preamble but that’s just not what I’m feeling today. Here it is – straight, no chaser.
I have been through this wringer enough to break it down as simply as I can.
And it requires both Being and Doing.
If you are facing a career challenge – whether it feels new and impossible, or so old and familiar that you gave up fighting a long time ago – whatever your particular challenge is, this is always the path out:
1. Identify the difference between Being and Doing. Feeling and action. Reflection and strategy. Stop muddling the two.
2. Understand that you are stuck because you are ONLY doing one or the other: You are frantically taking action (Hello achievers! My people!) with no true reflection. Or you are stuck in your feelings, confusing the act of talking about doing something with actually taking action. In either case, you are enduring without learning, on a cycle of rinse and repeat.
3. Get clear on what your challenge actually is (beyond the surface), and then diagnose the skew – too much Being? Or too much Doing?
4. Make a declarative choice to do it differently. (You will need courage).
5. Connect with an aligned person to get out of your own head.
I am not saying this is pleasant or easy.
It is easier (short term) to stay stuck in your rut. To assume your challenges are “Just the way things are” and spend time trying to make your unsatisfying, restrictive reality…cozier. This maladaptation that we are all socialized into also goes a LONG way to support the very structures we rail against. I point this out because I want you to understand that this is not about personal responsibility for a fucked-up system.
This is about the personal liberation required for collective transformation of that system.
And THAT is my goal.
The human potential in academic medicine is NUTS. Our field is filled with people gifted in both creativity AND execution. That is not common! We are out here just sitting on a goldmine of ideas and the skills to make them happen that can remake research, clinical care, and academic structures as we know it.
And it will never come to fruition while we are stuck in cycles of endurance instead of cycles of GROWTH.
To grow you need A) fertile soil (internal clarity on your value), B) sunshine (deliberate attention to career transformation) and C) water (the mindset, tools, and strategy to bring day in and day out).
STOP living in cycles and do a real inventory on A, B, and C.
And make a plan, gardeners. Let’s GO.