Few professions take their staff on quite the emotional rollercoaster that the veterinary world seemingly does. From the joyful family bringing home their first puppy, to an older pet euthanasia, and back to a routine health check, often all within the same hour. Mental health, mindset and wellbeing are being increasingly addressed, but we all benefit from a check-in once in a while. Especially in locum work, we are often subject to listening to a negative voice in our heads – the one telling us we aren’t good enough, comparing to others and leaving us feeling frustrated. The good news is, that voice is not us. We did not choose it. It is a subconscious pre-programming that your brain learned over years of seeing situations unfold, and a reference guide on how to react in situations.
Feel like a fraud? It’s not just you. Feel like you’re forgetting how to do a good job? It’s not just you. Questioning your choices? It’s not just you. Thinking you have a good idea for that negative voice to jump in and quash it? It’s not just you. Dreading work on a Sunday night or Monday morning? It’s not just you. Feel like you’re struggling sometimes? It’s not just you. Beat “yourself” up for turning down a shift? It’s not just you. Beat “yourself” up for picking up a shift? It’s not just you. Convincing “yourself” something went wrong when it didn’t? It’s not just you. Thinking that everyone thinks that you’re slow? It’s not just you. Feel like you’ll be doing a bit better when you have another qualification? It’s not just you. Comparing yourself to the other staff who are similarly qualified and seem to have done so much more? It’s not just you.
It’s not just you. In fact, it’s not you at all. You didn’t choose these thoughts. They were impressed into your paradigms, your script, your ego – unknowingly, unconsciously, SUBconsciously. That negative voice isn’t you. We all have one. You know what? You can choose to discredit it, and with time. Ignore it. Diploma. Certificate. Vet degree. A levels. Whatever your level, it’ll show up. True strength, casting its opinion on one side. All you have to think is, “would I choose this?” If the answer is no, then something else is choosing for you. The downfall of most personal development is that we are led to believe that if we feel bad, it is because we are choosing to feel bad. Who would ever do this? Nobody. In actual fact, if we aren’t choosing, then the negative voice (“the script” as it is called in broadband consciousness, or paradigms) is choosing on your behalf. If you have any of the above thoughts, identify whether it is you choosing or not. Think about your strengths and gather three pieces of evidence about why the voice in potentially wrong. Like a reflex, it gets easier with time. This changed everything for me.