During a group coaching call with one of my own mentors recently, she reminded me of a quote I love and find comforting, “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
It reminds me of some of the adventures I’ve had when travelling. Climbing for 6 back-breaking hours up a mountain in Thailand and being rewarded with stunning views across into Burma.
Or spending 4 hours crawling through overgrown jungle on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with a jeep and a machete, to finally reach a remote village where we were able to provide veterinary treatment to the community’s goats.
At the time, you are focusing on the aches and pains, the struggle, the leeches, the blisters etc. and it seems really challenging. Yet that all melts away when you reach your destination, and also you realise that getting through the tough stuff has taught you a lot about yourself and your resilience.
I do an exercise with my clients called The Timeline where I get them to reflect back on pivotal points in each decade of their lives, and then look at what gifts or strengths those points have equipped them with.
Often it also shows up our scars and emotional wounds too and initially the client will tend to focus on those only and not be able to see the good stuff – these are often the very things that give us our most unique gifts by the way, if we are willing to change our perspective and think about the situation differently.
Let’s try a mini-version of that now!
Grab a notebook and a pen, or come back to this email later when you’ve got 10minutes to try this journaling exercise:
First of all, I want you to just free-write the answers that come to you when you write the sentence, “I am struggling in my life or career right now because…..”
This could be struggling to maintain balance, struggling with your emotional health, struggling to make money or whatever your most pressing challenge is right now.
Just keep repeating the sentence, don’t overthink it and see what comes out when you start to write without pausing to think first as then our subconscious can get a look in without our overthinking conscious mind muscling in.
For interest, when I asked this question of my course participants when they started the Veterinary Career Mastery course in January this year, 58% said they were wanted some sort of change in direction with their job, either through no longer enjoying their role, not being able to see themselves in their current role until retirement or wanting to change their focus within their role or career. 65% said they were experiencing one or more of the following: anxiety, lacking in confidence, stressed or unhappy.
Then I want you to switch gears for a second and answer a different question.
Grab your notebook again and make a list entitled, “What I have created or attracted into my life”.
On that list put anything that you are grateful for, happy to have or appreciative of.
That could be the house you live in, your partner, your children, the money in your bank account right now (even if it’s not as much as you’d like), and see if you can get to between 10 to 20 items on this list. Really think about what you have in your life that perhaps others right now don’t have.
Maybe you are lucky enough to be pain and chronic-illness free. Having just spoken on behalf of the Veterinary Spoonholders at the Surrey Veterinary Diversity Conference last week, I know for sure there are many of our veterinary colleagues who don’t get to write that in their journals and it can be easy to take it for granted.
Then I want you to simply reflect on these two lists.
Most of us have had to come through some trials and tribulations over the years to get to where we are today.
I think it’s safe to say as well that for many of us right now, it’s feeling like we’re on a very difficult and uncertain road and we can’t yet see the destination.
It can be easy to feel that unless you ‘fix’ yourself, or unless external factors are fixed, that things cannot get better.
However, if you DID create more than 10 items on your second list, you have proof of what you have already created, attracted and experienced that is amazing and positive.
DESPITE those challenges.
DESPITE any self-perceived flaws you might be worrying about re anxiety, lack of confidence etc.
So right now, I think what is needed most in these challenging times is trust and faith.
Trust in your ability to navigate through it. Faith in the fact that you don’t need to be, do or have anything more than you are right now in order to be able to reach a beautiful destination in whatever area or areas of life are feeling like a struggle right now.
You already have everything you need within you.
Next week I’ll be expanding on HOW you can start to tackle the difficult road more proactively rather than just feeling like you are stumbling blindly along it in a reactive way.
Don’t forget to pop over onto my Facebook Page this coming week where you can track my campervan adventures and catch my daily short live videos sharing some juicy top-tip nuggets.
N.B. I’m repeating my ‘How to Master your #vetpassport’ free webinar again next month so if you’d like to register for that you can do so here.
If you’ve seen the webinar before but would like to be kept up to date with information about my group coaching program re-launching at the end of next month, sign up here.