Stay Burned Out, Docs….Everything is “Fine", Really!
Over the years, I've spoken with many physicians (male and female), and what I've seen is that there are just as many docs, that choose to stay stuck, as are those who choose to take action, transform their lives.In fact, the MAJORITY of physicians it seems would rather stay comfortably uncomfortable than to take small action steps daily toward giving them the life they REALLY want.
I mean, it's perplexing to me, but I suppose that there are some docs who are just fine with getting home at 8 or 9 o'clock at night, missing dinner with the family, missing story time and good night kisses from the kids.Maybe it's more satisfying to be awake doing charts while everyone else is sleeping, or to never get to go on dates with your husband. I don't know, I'm not in their shoes.
I do know that many of the physician moms I speak with complain of these exact things and wish that they could have that cuddle time with their spouse even if just for 30 minutes to an hour each night.The doctor moms I speak with would love to have just an hour a day to just decompress after work…taking a walk, soaking in a hot aromatherapy bath, or even just quietly reading a book….especially after a 9, 10, 12 hour day of demanding patients, overbooked scheduling and an inbox that never seems to stop growing.
So, I'm looking at this dynamic, perplexed, and I decided to look for the contrasting patterns of the ones who choose stuck-ness versus the ones who constantly choose freedom.In talking with and listening to hundreds of physicians, these are the 5 things I've found that you can do to remain stuck in an overworked, overwhelmed, and exhausted state.
1. The first is to keep your eyes closed to the impact that your burnout is having on yourself and others, even though you live it every day.If you really want to NEVER EVER recover from the fire pit of burnout hell, just keep your eyes closed, keep your head down, and most importantly DON'T FEEL ANYTHING.I know it's painful to look at, but when we choose not to acknowledge the impact we can never get motivated enough to even make a change.
2. Complain often, but NEVER take action.I'm sure you have colleagues like this. This is a sure way to accelerate the downward spiral that will lead you to feel anxious, depressed, and hopeless that things could ever get any better.The complaining keeps your mind focused on the problem, and you'll never find the solution there.
3. Blame the system constantly, but NEVER look at where you contribute to the problem.The old saying "when you point one finger, there are 4 more pointing back at you" applies here. There may be HUGE flaws in the system, but if you are too busy blaming, then you can't possibly sweep your side of the street (which could make a huge difference in bringing clarity of how you can actually SOLVE YOUR problem).
4. Finally, NEVER, and I mean absolutely NEVER seek help or mentorship of any kind; just keep doing it all by yourself.Because, you have started doing the work, and even though you haven't addressed the mindset that got you to this place in the first place, you definitely won't end up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. So, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you will eventually get different results, right? OF COURSE NOT!!!
You see, we ALL have blind spots.Even the most highly intelligent, highly trained, highly capable physician moms in the world has blind spots. And by definition, WE CAN'T SEE THEM…. So, getting a mentor is not only smart, it's ESSENTIAL to the process of recovery.
So, bottom line: You can do all of these 4 things above that I mentioned to stay stuck, keep missing time with you children, and spouse, letting things get so bad that you find your children resenting you, and you and your spouse grown apart, acting like roommates rather than lovers or even friends; Or you could stop complaining and blaming the system, acknowledge the problem and where you are stuck inside of the problem, get it's impact, and increase your chances of freedom by investing in a mentor. You get to choose. Choose wisely!