Life After Medicine

Breaking Free: Finding Fulfillment in Your Career with Sherita Gaskins Tillet

June 29, 2023 Chelsea Turgeon Season 1 Episode 107
Life After Medicine
Breaking Free: Finding Fulfillment in Your Career with Sherita Gaskins Tillet
Show Notes Transcript

Do you feel like you're stuck in a box, constrained by limiting beliefs and societal obligations?

Physician and founder of Level Up Lady Docs, Dr. Sherita Gaskins-Tillet, shares her insights on finding your purpose and living authentically.

From the importance of community to the power of self-discovery and embracing a growth mindset, this episode offers practical advice for anyone looking to find fulfillment in their career.

The also discusses the importance of listening to your inner voice, checking in with yourself, and being curious about what you really want.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • importance of a growth mindset
  • the power of community
  • the need to honor your own feelings and desires

Don't miss this inspiring conversation about living authentically and making the most of your life.

Guest Links:
Instagram: @drsheritadgtob, @levelupladydoc
Facebook Group: Level Up Lady Doc
LinkedIn: Sherita Gaskins-Tillett MD FACOG

Learn more about PATHWAY TO PURPOSE:
www.coachchelsmd.com/pathwaytopurpose/

REACH OUT TO CHELSEA:
FREE downloads for if you are feeling lost or burnt out in your career:
https://coachchelsmd.com/free/

Ready to create a joyful life and career? Here’s how I can support you through my online courses and coaching programs.
http://coachchelsmd.com/offers/

Life After Medicine FB Group
Connect with a community of like-minded healthcare professionals seeking career change support
https://www.facebook.com/groups/leavemedicine/members

Find me on your fav social media platform for more daily content!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachchelsmd/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChelseaTurgeonMD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachchelsmd/


Book your FREE Career Clarity Call:
Ready to create a life of freedom and fulfillment? Let's connect to see how I can help you! Click here to book your FREE 30 min Career Clarity Call.

FREE Audio Series: 5 Days to Career Clarity
Learn the formula to clarify your career direction that most healthcare professionals ignore.
https://coachchelsmd.com/clarity/

Life After Medicine FB Group
Connect with a community of like-minded healthcare professionals seeking career change support
https://www.facebook.com/groups/leavemedicine/members

Find me on your fav social media platform for more daily content!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachchelsmd/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChelseaTurgeonMD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachchelsmd/

Welcome to the Life After Medicine podcast. Where we help you create a fulfilling and non-traditional career as a healthcare worker. I'm your host, Chelsea Turin. In 2019, I left the hustle and grind of my ob gyn residency and set out to create a fulfilling career on my own terms. Now I'm a best-selling author, career and burnout coach and world traveler. Through this podcast, I'll show you how to enjoy your work. Make an impact and support yourself financially without all the stress and burnout you are currently experiencing. Let's get to the show. Are you feeling unhappy and unfulfilled in your career? That feeling that something is missing, but the idea of making any sort of change is just overwhelming and sends you into this tailspin, you start to feel lost and directionless and you don't even know where to start or how to go about making a change. If this is you right now, if you're feeling stuck, Or trapped in the wrong career with just no real sense of how to get yourself out. I am so excited to announce that Pathway to Purpose will be opening for enrollment this July. This will be a live eight week group coaching program to help you get clarity on what career path is the right fit for you. Pathway to purpose is basically this. Streamlined soul searching process. By the end of the eight weeks, you'll identify what you want for your career and clarify your next steps. You don't have to keep settling for unhappiness in your career, and you don't have to keep circling around and around and indecision and feeling this analysis paralysis around what's next. Pathway to purpose is for anyone who feels stuck in their career, unsure of what direction to take next, and for those who want to find a career path that aligns with their true self and create a life that's both fulfilling and purposeful. If you wanna learn more about Pathway to Purpose, go to coach chels md.com/pathway to purpose to find out about when enrollment is starting, and I am so excited to welcome you in.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Hello, my loves. Welcome back to another episode of the Life After Medicine podcast. Thank you so much for pressing play Today I am excited to have here a very special guest, Dr. Sherita Gaskins Tolet. She is an OB G Y N by training, and she has been non-clinical for the last almost four years. In 2021, she founded Level Up Lady Doc, where she helps professional women. Build a foundation of wellness and prioritize self-care so that they're better equipped to reclaim control, own their power to create lives that they love. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. So I'd love to just start with, everything in your bio that we just talked about, like those are all areas that I'm so excited to go into the self-care and creating life they love. And so we're gonna, I know we're gonna have such a rich conversation ahead of us, but let's just start off with your backstory. So tell us a little bit about, where you came from and how you got to where you are today. The founder of this Level Up Lady Doc and doing nonclinical work.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Okay. Yeah. So I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland. I grew up in Baltimore and then went to boarding school and then went to college in California. So I've been all over the place. In, in, in high school I developed a love for science especially the biological sciences. And it was then that I thought, okay, maybe I'll be pre-med. But I also loved psychology, so I wasn't sure which path to go down. And so when I went to undergrad, I majored in psychology with the thought that I would become a psychologist, but I still made sure I had all of the medicine prerequisites because medicine was in the back of my mind and maybe not so much the back, but you at least the middle. And at a certain point I decided that medicine was too hard. I was just going to work. So I graduated, I worked in the government actually for five years. But as people have said over and over again, once the medicine bug bites you, it doesn't let you go. I still never really gave up on the medicine piece. I wasn't doing the psychologist piece, so I, decided to apply to medical school. So I was in California at that point. I moved to back to Maryland because I figured if I went to medical school 3000 miles away from my family, I'd never see my family again. So I went back to Maryland and I attended Georgetown and it was there when I started med school. I thought I would be a pediatrician. Because I loved kids and I wanted to help kids, or maybe a psychiatrist. But as I went through my rotations, peds was just almost like a disaster. I was like, this is not for me. I have three patients and one of them can't talk, so you got both parents, you have the kid can't talk. I was like, this is not for me. And then with the psychiatry it was pretty heavy and I didn't want to. Take on all of that that mental baggage, if you will. And so then when I did OB I realized that the patients were mostly healthy. The outcomes were mostly happy. And you also had that continuity of care. You were able to take care of a person from their teen years all the way up into their older years. And so that part was appealing to me. And so I went into ob, g y N, and I finished residency. I started a job that, that was hospital-based practice and honestly, I. I loved my job, I loved my patients. I thought that I would be there forever. So I went into a practice that was pretty stratified by age, and so many of the partners who were there had been there like in excess of 15 or 20 years. So people came there and they never left, and I thought that would be my story. A couple years before I joined the practice had been purchased by the hospital. And they were told that they would be able to maintain their structure, the way that they operated and all of those things. And that was true for a couple of years. But little by little, the hospital administration began to make changes in the practice. And long story short it became obvious to me that I could no longer remain with that practice. And it was a big thing for me. I was, it was heartbreaking because like I said, I loved my practice, I loved my patients, I loved my partners. And so what seemed to be the worst thing at the time? Has honestly turned out to be the best thing because what it did needing to change jobs opened my eyes to the possibilities. It made me look around and say, okay, what else is there? And I came to realize that there was a whole world out there that I was limiting myself from because I thought I had to practice medicine this way with these people for the next, 20, 30 years. Now simultaneously that was 2014 when I left the practice in 2012. I got married, had a baby, and moved. So three major life changes all in one year. And what I realized then is far as the family was concerned is that I had waited all this time to be a mom, but I only really saw my child for about two hours a day. And that was heartbreaking. So you have this situation where, I have the life that I want, in, in quotes, the li the life that I thought I wanted in quotes, but it doesn't feel like I want it to feel, I don't have enough quality time to spend with my family, with my child. I don't have any time to myself. Really honestly, as I looked around, I barely recognized my life. The only thing that hadn't changed was the job, which was now in the process of changing, right? So I'm just in this kind of, this tumultuous place, if you will, and I went on vacation with my husband and I realized then that the only time that I could think was when I was on vacation that I spent so much time going and doing and, living on autopilot that the only time there was to really sit and think about life was vacation. And what I concluded at that time was that I wasn't I wasn't physically ill, but I wasn't well, like my spirit, my soul my mind. I just wasn't, I wasn't happy and I wasn't fulfilled, and this was not the life that I wanted to be living. And so from there I went on this pursuit of wellness to really discover what did it mean to be well, and that was before, like I said, this is 2014, so this is before, physician coaching became much of a thing and life coaching became much of a thing, so I'm just bouncing around, try trying to figure out my life and figure out how to make decisions that are more congruent with what what I felt like I needed. That, that honored the person that I am and the desires of my heart. And so from that job, I transitioned to doing hospitalist work because it had a more flexible schedule. And, I could spend more time, I could spend more time with my family. And that worked fine. There was nothing wrong with hospitalist work. It just wasn't. It still wasn't what I wanted. So from there I did some outpatient ob, G Y N. So I stopped doing surgeries, but I still did office visits and those kinds of things. And so I bounced back and forth between office and hospitalists. For several years. Which is why I've nicknamed myself the Pivot Queen, because after leaving that first job, I was not afraid to pivot. If something wasn't working for me and it couldn't, it couldn't be modified in such a way that it could work for me, then I needed to figure out other things. Because I learned that I wasn't stuck I could, decide to do any number of things. At any time that, that I wanted to like I said, pivoted several times. And then I had an opportunity really, so it wasn't, I wouldn't say it was my choice at that moment in time, although I had been pursuing non-clinical work for a while and had been unsuccessful in, in getting nonclinical work. And so an opportunity presented itself and I took it. So I have been nonclinical now for almost four years. It'll be four years in July. So my day job is I'm a medical director for a major insurance company, and then on the side I have Level Up Lady Doc, which I founded in 2021. And I really, that was born out of a need that I saw. In Facebook groups and, in-person conversations and other things. What I heard a lot of the time was, I'm not a good mom. I'm not a good doctor. I'm not a good wife. Everybody had this feeling of lack and, when I saw the post I was talking to the folks, it always ended with tell me I'm not the only one. And so I realized that people were suffering in isolation, in thinking that they were the only ones who had these particular issues, when really these were things that were being experienced by many professional women. And I was actually talking with a friend earlier today and we were saying how, in earlier societies, Women didn't have as many, traditional homes, hou households, women didn't have as many responsibilities outside of the home. But, nowadays professional women are carrying professional load, workload and then also still carry the majority of the household responsibility as well. So not only am I going to work, I'm thinking about dance recital. Does my daughter need tights? Her makeup, her hair. Are there clean clothes? Did I pay for this particular, whatever. It's just, is there food in the house? What's for dinner tonight? There's just all these things. There's this mental load that's constantly going, and so I realized that a group like Level Up would be good for support. But not just support. So it's not just a place for people to commiserate, it's also a place where we can get what we need to go up to another level, like to get the encouragement. If I see you doing something, then maybe I think I can do that too. It's like it opens your eyes when you see other people daring to do different things, daring their fears and, you see yourself in them and then you're able to see the possibilities and that's what it's about, helping professional women to get to their next level and figure out what their all is. Because I actually had a friend tell me before I was married, she said, I wanna tell you, you can't have it all. That is not possible. And that really, struck a chord because I thought wow, so I'm gonna have to pick and choose what I have. I want a family. I also want a career, so I now have to choose. And what I've come to realize is that you can have it all, but you get to define what your all is because my all is gonna be different from your all, which is going to be different from someone else's all. It just depends on what you want, but you have to have time to sit down and reflect to figure out what that is for you. And that was the P part of the piece that was missing. Because when you spend so much time on autopilot and you're just moving from thing to thing, and you're not checking in with yourself to say, okay, how am I really doing? What's working in my life? What's not working? When you don't have that time in that space, you just keep going like a robot almost. And so one of the things I do with Level Up Lady Doc is I host a retreat called a Weekend for me. And it, and that's what it's for. It's a weekend for you to be able to be away from all of your responsibilities and just have an opportunity to, again, check in with yourself and think about what is it that I really want and what I really need. And then figure out, okay, so this is where I am and this is where I wanna be. How do I get from here to there? What's the bridge? What's the plan? So that's that's where we are.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yes. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story and there's so much that we can get into based on that. But I wanna just start with what you were just talking about, which is the weekend for me. Just the sort of taking that space, taking that pause, because like you're sharing, it's so easy to get. Caught up in just the day-to-day grind. Like it just there's just a lot of mental and emotional drain that happens just getting through and really being in that circle Absolutely. Mode. And so it's, yeah, it's just rare that we take a pause and we take a step back and we're asking ourselves like, How's it all going?

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

No. What you said. Yeah. We almost never do, right? It just, it doesn't happen. And what I've found is that if you don't live with intention, life just happens to you because you know you can keep on that wheel and you'll look up in three years of past five years, of past 10 years have passed and your life is nowhere where you near where you want it to be. And so if you are not doing things to move the needle closer to where you're trying to go every day, you're not going to get there and you're not gonna have that satisfaction that you're, that most of us are seeking.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Yeah, and it's scary too because it's like a lot of us, we start off like people in the medical field. It's like we start off with so much intentionality and we're like, we are really actively shaping our future and moving the needle to get to that point in our career. And then it's like at some point we just stop checking in and asking like, do I still want this? Because it's like we're used to exerting that force. We're used to defining a goal and moving towards it. But then I think what we are not as familiar with is, Making sure we still want the goal and like checking in with ourselves around that piece and and checking in with how does the goal feel? Okay, I've achieved it. It exists externally in my life, but what is that doing for me internally? I.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Right. And you hit on a very good point when you said, do I still even want the goal? Because, we haven't, we have to give ourselves permissions to rewrite our goals over and over again because what you what you prioritize at age 25 is not, what you prioritize at 35 is not what you prioritize at 45. So you're constantly evolving, and so your goals need to be evolving along with you. Otherwise again, you're going to look around and not recognize your life and not feel good about where you are.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. And so how do you know, cuz I totally agree with you on that. And it's that's one thing that a lot of my people, the people in my community struggle with is just the idea that like, It's okay that you want something different now than when you were 20 years old and you decided to go to med school. Like it's just allowed,

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

it's absolutely allowed. And like I said it's, even to me it's normal. But I think what happens with us, especially as physicians, is that everything has been scripted for us for so long that once you reach the end of. The line, so to speak. Once you're in practice or you're done with fellowship or whatever, you don't really know, like someone had told you what the goals are. You don't really know what the next steps are. We don't have, there's no formula to follow. And so at that point, you're off script and once you're off script it, it's really confusing and you don't know what to do. And so we just do what people tell us we're supposed to do. You know what the hospital administration tells you're supposed to do, or what your boss tells you're supposed to do, what your family tells you're supposed to do. But again, what do you want to do? You have to figure that out for yourself and actually take regular time to check in, so it shouldn't be, and that's what I realized. I was only checking in with myself on vacation. That's not acceptable. You should be checking in with yourself at least once a week, if not more often.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. And my God, there's so many gems here, but it's like, how do you go from that place of. Just living your life based on what everyone else tells you and just like following their instructions to realizing that you are in charge. You're the adult here.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Owning your power and that's the thing. Yeah. Yeah. We all have the power to determine our lives if we just accept it. And reclaim it. I tell people that it's like the animals at the zoo, the, they can they have those psychological barriers like the moats and walls and whatever that keep the animals in. But many of those animals could actually, Cross that moat. Any, jump over that moat, jump over the wall anytime they get ready, but they just don't know it. And we harness that same kind of power within. We can do anything we wanna do, become anything we want to, but we have to own our power to do it. And I think, the way our society is set up, we're almost it is like we're at a disadvantage. Because we're programmed to be followers. That's a, and especially us they tell us what we're supposed to do. We got, we have to be docile and, quiet and accommodating and all of those things. But I, I think there's something inside that has to I don't know if you, if it snaps or what happens. Something has to wake you up. And for me it was the job, having to leave that job that, that I loved so much. That was the wake up call that I had that, wait a minute, I don't have to do this. There are other possibilities. And one of the things too, we, and we have a lot of limiting beliefs, things that we tell ourselves that aren't necessarily true. And so one of the things that I told myself was, okay, I'm gonna have to work in this kind of job for however long it takes because I have all these loans, and there's no other job that's going to pay me enough to be able to pay the loans, right? So to an extent, I'm working to pay the loans, and that just wasn't, that was a limiting belief, and it just wasn't true. And so in talking I was fortunate enough to have some other people in my universe who had done non-clinical jobs. And so in talking with them, I came to realize that there was actually just as much, if not more income in some of the non-clinical opportunities. And so I didn't have to think of it as, as I'm stuck in this place. And, and full disclosure, I have actually last November I went back to working four hours a week in the office because I wanted to, not because I had to, not that I'm forced to, they get on my nerves too much. I can walk away any day I get ready, but it's on my terms, it's on my terms and it's what I wanted to do, service that I wanted to provide for patients. Yeah. And

Chelsea Turgeon:

you're the pivot queen. So you get to pivot. Pivot there, pivot back, pivot. Exactly. Do it. You get to do it. And I like what you said about it's on my terms. It's not like you went back cuz you're like, oh, I'm so afraid my license is gonna lapse or anything, keep options open or blah, blah, blah. Like all the reasons, all the, just in case hoops that we jump through Yeah. So much of our career that like we, we try to keep our options so open that we're actually just avoiding making the hard decisions about what we really want. Yeah. Do with our time. But yeah, I love yeah, I love all that, that you just said, and especially about the financial piece. Yeah. Because that is such a barrier that holds people back. And it's so interesting because like people will look at. The idea of changing careers and like leaving their kind of traditional clinical medicine world into doing something else, and they immediately, it's just like there's this underlying assumption that of course it's not gonna pay as well. And sometimes it's even just this sense of I'll have to take a pick at, there'll be financial repercussions. Like the things I hear around that, like the way people say these things, it feels like it was just like written on a stone somewhere that people

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

think it's like law. Yeah. Yeah. Like I said limiting beliefs that we've been telling ourselves, that we've been hearing other people say for a really long time. And something, I think in order to, to harness your power, you have to be able to recognize that you have power. Oh, yeah. And until you can recognize it, you can't really access it. Yeah. Does everyone have power? Everyone has power. I do. I believe that. I believe that every single one of us, yeah, every single one of us has power. And actually every single one of us probably has the same amount of power. Because I've heard people talk about, like these really successful entrepreneurs and all that they do in their lives, and I heard someone say once they have the same 24 hours each day that you do. It's what they choose to do with their 24 hours. That makes the difference, and there's so much that has to happen, I think, for you to be able to begin to own your power. There's a lot of mindset shifts. That have to take place. You have to see yourself in a different way. Because I think, again, if you see yourself as always being an employee, if you see yourself as working this job for the next 20 years, then that's what you're going to do. But you have to start being able to see the possibilities because if you can't see it, you can't be it.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Yeah, and it sounds like, you've definitely like made so many of these shifts and you've really been able to go from, I. Just move into a place where you are owning your power and you've given yourself permission to pivot. And I guess I feel like sometimes, and like you said this at one point, that, leaving the first job was the hardest. Yeah. That was the biggest hurdle. And so I wonder for you, like, how were you able to get to this place? Cuz. You made it sound like you just had to leave your other job, that there wasn't another option. But I think some people stay in jobs like that. I don't know the circumstances of yours. Yeah, but I think some people just stay in jobs even when, like they do,

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

even jobs that they hate. They hate going to, I've heard of people like getting physically ill, before they go to work, sitting in their car crying for 30 minutes before they go in every day. That's torturing yourself. And I don't know, like I said, with that, that job, that, that was a unique set of circumstances, but without going into all the details, it was an OB practice large OB practice, the majority of us left together. So it was that kind of Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. But, again it was still really heartbreaking because it's just not what I saw. For my life but like I said, at the time, it seemed the worst thing, but in hindsight, it probably was the best. It was probably the most freeing thing that could possibly have happened for me.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah, and I love your perspective on that because it does, it's like sometimes, I don't know if this necessarily has to happen, but sometimes it's like the things where we feel like everything is burning down and everything is falling away or falling apart. It's like that sort of, the chaos and the destruction that happens before a new path is able to emerge.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

I shared with you offline that I'm Christian and so one of my foundational beliefs is that all things work together for my good. And so you have to have an understanding that even the things that are harder that are unwelcome in some way may be working for your good. And so you have to accept that piece of it. And then to be able to see the gift of it, so again, more mindset shifts. And I'm not saying that I had that mindset at that point in time, but I do now that when things do get more challenging, you say, okay, where is the good in this? How can I turn this around for my good? And instead of thinking about something as being, as being limited, I can't possibly do this kind of job because I won't make enough money. How can I do this kind of job so that I can, what modifications need to be made that will allow me to move into this other space? Yeah. And

Chelsea Turgeon:

it, it really I love the way you're showing these shifts happening in real time and it's the questions that you ask yourself and just turning it into, and then a lot of times it's like when you're doing the limiting beliefs, you're doing these statements of fact that are like digital proclamations of fact. But then it's to shift it, it's like you can just. Shifts to a question, like a more empowering question,

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

right? And so one of the things, that I've come to ask myself about a lot of these things is who said, because we do that, like you said, there's a whole list of things that are like accepted truths. But who said that? Who? Who said that? That's the only do job you could do, right? Who? Whoever. Nobody ever told me that. That was the only job I could do, but I told myself. And what you say to yourself is more important than what anybody else says to you. Yeah. Love. I love that you can't ever get away from you. You're stuck with you like throughout. Yes. So if you don't learn to say the right things to yourself, you're never gonna have the life that you want. Yeah.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Oh, I love that. And it's just such a powerful like quick little check-in, says who? Who says that? Who said

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

that? And then you're trying to think. I even use it, I even use it for minor things now. Cause I had this thing with my dishwasher. I don't like to wash dishes by hand, but I feel like you can't run the dishwasher. I had a belief that you could run the dishwasher if it wasn't full. So we would run out of silverware before we ran out of plates. So then, I'm hand washing the silverware because the dishwasher can't be run because it's not full. Who said the dishwasher had to be full? Nobody said that. I told myself that no one said that. No one was stopping me from running a half full dishwasher.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Now you're just living like a crazy person, just running half full dishwashers and just rebelling against

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

society.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Exactly. It's like the little things too that just kinda show you how like rigid we can be around. Yeah. These sort of arbitrary rules that we put on ourselves. I can't do this before that. Yeah.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

But I think a lot of that is societal, and when you think back on it, like when I think about my mom's generation in terms of employment, my mom worked for the government and she started her job at, right out of high school at 19 years old, and she stayed at that job for over 40 years. Retired from that job, but that was the time. Like that they, it was a big deal for women just to work. In that time, in that era, and I think now as I look at my daughter and what they're teaching them, they're teaching them in school, at least her, she's in international bacca laureate program and or curriculum. And what they teach them is a growth mindset, and I love that, especially nobody taught us, nobody in my generation, nobody taught about a growth mindset like they just told us. This is what you do. This is how you do it. Nobody said, this is how you think. This is what you can imagine. This is what you can do. And so they're encouraged to keep growing and growing and so it's not really our fault. I think we're a product of our society and our upbringing. Yeah I

Chelsea Turgeon:

totally agree with that. First of all, I love that they're teaching growth mindset in schools. Yes. Because that's where that research and the Carol Dweck who wrote that book Mindset and pioneered the research around growth mindset. She developed that around education. And like the results that she talks about in her book are it's like astounding. It's like when you teach students a growth mindset, the way that they're able to improve their performance. Is wild. The idea that I just love

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

it. I can't even tell you, like when I go there they have science, they have science fair recently. Yeah. Just some of those projects, I'm standing there in awe, these are elementary school kids, they, and just the way, like if you ask them questions and the way that they really thought about what they're doing, it's amazing.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. That's so gorgeous. That's so inspiring too, cuz I just have so many thoughts about education in the next generation. Yeah. But it sounds like some of them are being acted on, which is wonderful. And like you were saying, yes, like we're a product of what we were taught. And so yes. It's not our fault. Like the way our minds work is not our fault and we get. To shift it. We get the

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

responsibility. Bottom line. The bottom line though is if you want something different, you have to do something different and you have to figure out what that, and it's trial and error. So everything that you think might be the thing to do, might not be. And it's okay. And I think that's the other thing. We are so used to always succeeding perfectionism and all of those things that if we try something and it doesn't work, then we take that on as. We're a failure. I'm a failure. Not, this was maybe just not the best idea, but maybe I can learn these lessons from it and I'll try something else. Yeah.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. That's why I was literally just in some calls with my clients about this and it's we think our careers are supposed to be this trajectory where it's like up and to the right all the time. We get out of college and then we go to work and we keep going up, up, uprising up, never, making a back step. Like everything just keeps going in the upward direction. And so then we don't give ourselves any space to like, Take a detour, take a sabbatical, do something weird. Like we just don't give ourselves space to blow around.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Yeah. But at the end of the day, you only get one life. Yeah. And you want to make the most, the absolute most of your life, and if you're spending all your time doing the things that you have to do being constrained by your limiting beliefs, by the things, the obligations and limitations that society puts on you, you're missing it. You're missing your life. And I think for me, that's probably one of the biggest things. I don't want to miss my life. I really want to enjoy it. I wanna enjoy every day, and I want everyone else to enjoy every day because we all have that possibility. Yeah.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. And I think. One of the things that maybe keeps us from being in that place where we enjoy every day is almost like we live in this delusion in a sense of like non-acceptance or like resistance to what is, so what really struck me about your story is like you thought you were gonna be at this one practice forever and ever, and you enjoyed it and like you were here and then things changed. And then you allowed yourself to change with it, obviously, like you had some support and there was an exodus happening and all of that. But like I think a lot of us hold onto this sense of but it wasn't supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be this other way. And then they are living in the past or like living in a. Like medicine should look differently. Like I shouldn't have to see all these patients, but they're not

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

accepting, dealing with reality.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. This is where we are. So how did, how do you like move into acceptance and come to terms with reality and really understand just like the truth of your situation.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

I don't know that I have the answer to that one to be perfectly honest. I guess I, at this point I've learned to be a realist. And again, I think it's that checking in with yourself thing too. Yeah. Because if you're not checking in, things are getting by you. I don't know that I, if I hadn't started checking in with myself, if I would've realized how. Unhappy. I was with the situation, and I, and most of us have pretty analytical minds. I knew at a surface level that there was an unrest in me, but I hadn't taken the time. Andt have the time or the space to delve deeper and say, okay, what is this? What is this unrest? What is this? This ease that's going on in inside of me.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. I love that answer. So I feel like you do have, you did have the answer cuz it's like about checking in with yourself, but but then just continuing on that journey of I think it, it happens like that a lot of times it's this subtle thing, this sort of subtle knowing that something's off. And that's, or

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

even as we talked about before, the subtle knowing, even if you don't feel like something's off, like there's something else. Like there, there's something more for me. Yeah. And I believe that we were each created uniquely for a unique purpose. Yeah. And until we learned what our purpose is, until we learn to live in our purpose, I think that longing is always gonna be there. There's something else. There's something else, cause you can achieve at a high level, which we have. And then you look in your around, you're like, this is it? This is all,

Chelsea Turgeon:

yeah. Yeah. Cuz that's what you were telling me that you experienced where it's like, on the outside things look abundant or things look a certain way. Even on the inside, it doesn't feel like that.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

And you want more than anything, you wanna live with authenticity and you're living authentically when you're inside, matches your outside. So you know if your outside is, you know when people are looking at you, they're seeing the successful person. And on the inside you're dying every day. That's, you're having to wear a mask and that's exhausting. Yeah. You just wanna be who you are. That's the easiest thing. Yeah.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. And it's so hard too cuz it's like when things look good and when we're getting like externally validated by everyone Yeah. For all the achievements we've made and every like thing we've done, we've checked all these boxes and it's then we start telling ourselves what's wrong with me? That I can't appreciate

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

this. But that's when, but that, that brings up the importance of community. Because if you are feeling that by yourself, then you are going to be very tempted to just fall back into the other pattern, of saying, okay, there is something wrong with me. I should be perfectly fine where I am doing what I'm doing, and I should just stay here for the next 20 years. There is something wrong with me. But if you find other, dreamers or crazy people or whatever, you find other people that think like you, then you there's this synergy that happens. And you encourage each other and you begin to see, and everybody, the whole community, up levels.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. It's so beautiful and that really is the power of community and that's why you've created Level Up Lady Docs. Yeah. To be able to, have people express themselves and get some validation and know they're not alone. And that's why I created Life After Medicine, and that's why we're having these conversations. Exactly. People know that they're not alone because that is the most isolating feeling to think I have this discontent, I have this unrest inside of me and it's means I'm defective in some way.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Yeah. But not at all. It just means that your soul knows that you need something more. It's, it's like you have to listen to that still small voice inside of you. Because it knows what it wants. It knows what it needs. Yeah.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Oh, I love that. And that's like literally what I tell my people all the time. And it's funny cuz I actually got that phrase of the still small voice. I think I remember that from, I went to Catholic schools and we did this like religion project where it's like the, there's the story with the still small voice. I can't even remember the biblical story of it now. But our teacher made us do this whole exercise where, We like take a day away from technology and we take a day, like we had to do a certain exercise like outside of class where it's like a whole Saturday where we had to know technology and we had to just make ourselves available for the still small voice and I think it was like Elijah and the still small voice or something we had to write about it. And so I just remember that experience even then of being like, oh, So like maybe we have some kind of guidance

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

with within us. Exactly. Exactly. And again, in tr in the Christian tradition I consider that to be the Holy Spirit. Because it, it guides you, it tells you, it keeps you out of trouble. It tells you where to go. I always tell my daughter this cuz you know, she's 10 years old. Kids do all kinds of impulsive and, maybe not such great decision making. And so I told her, I said, listen to the voice. I said, if the voice is telling you this is probably not a good idea, don't do it. And so it's so funny now that you know when we make decisions, she goes, mom, did you hear the voice?

Chelsea Turgeon:

That's so cool. You're teaching her at that point too. She's learning growth mindset. She's learning about the voice, like she's good to

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

go. Yeah. Yeah. She's gonna be able to take over the world. She's gonna be all

Chelsea Turgeon:

the way leveled up. So super excited to hear more about how she does, but I feel like we could keep talking for so long and there's so many topics that we could cover, but I wanna, respect everyone's time and so we'll just. Do one more like last kind of piece of advice. What advice would you love to give somebody who is feeling that discontent, who's feeling unfulfilled in their career?

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

I would say find a community. I guess a couple of things. I would say honor a what you're feeling and don't discount it. Be curious. And take some time to explore explore what it is that you're feeling. Like I said, I was feeling kind of surface discomfort, but it wasn't until I started to dive deeper into what I call self-discovery that I began to uncover some of the things that I wanted. And, and even to give yourself permission to want something else. Because when you, again, when you've gotten to this place that so many other people admire and you feel like you're ungrateful and or I guess that's the only, that's the word I can, the only word I can really think of, but just really ungrateful for not appreciating where you are. You're when so many other people would love to be in your shoes. But they don't know what your shoes feel like anyway. But being able to take the time to check in with yourself, give yourself permission to explore. Yeah. Give yourself permission to explore and understand that the only person who can put you in a box is you. Yeah. You can get outside of that box. You can jump that moat. You can jump the fence any day that you get ready. Yeah. And find a community. You have to find other people who think like you or not necessarily like you, but other people who live outside of the box.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. And who are willing to like push you and

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Yeah. Yeah. To encourage you and when you're starting to feel like, oh, I should probably get back in that box. They're like no, come on back over here. We're not getting in that box.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Yeah. It's definitely you definitely need an out of the box community to keep you, to make you feel like you can be safe out there, because it's like a herd mentality. And like when you see everyone else in the herd is in the box, you're like, But wouldn't it be safer there, even though you've been there and, it's, it feels crappy.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Exactly.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Yes. Where can people find you if they wanna connect with you after

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

this? Yeah, so I have a Facebook group, level Up Lady Doc. I would love to have all of you there come join. I'm also, I have a show, a live show every week level Up Live it. Is streamed into our Facebook group, but it's also available to the public on YouTube at the Level Up Lady Doc YouTube channel. So and subscribe. Don't miss those episodes. I actually feature stories of women physicians who are doing extraordinary things both inside and outside of the exam room. There are people who are doing, I've met so many wonderful people through that experience. I'm on LinkedIn, Cherita, Gaskins, tolet, md, and I guess that's about an Instagram. Yeah, I don't use Instagram so much, but I have an Instagram handle. Yeah. Level Up. Lady Doc is on Instagram too. Yeah. But I don't use that one so much. Facebook is my primary platform. And then of course I do have a website for the events for weekend for me, www.weekendforme.com. You can go there and get on the email list so that you know about our next our next event, which I haven't finalized just yet, but I think it's going to be in the, I know it's gonna be in the fall. The location has not yet been solidified.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Yeah, that sounds like such a wonderful opportunity. So we'll be sure to put all those links in the show notes so that people can stay connected and know where to find you. Thank you so much again for just sharing your time and your energy with us. You have such an empowering, uplifting perspective, and I know that it's gonna help people really connect back to their own sense of power.

Sherita Gaskins Tillet:

Thank you and thank you for what you do and I just wanna say I really admire you for owning your truth. Cuz there are not many people who would do what you did, at the time that you did it. And I applaud you for that, for being true to yourself and, pursuing the life that you want.

Chelsea Turgeon:

Yeah. Thank you so much. I really received that and I really appreciate that. Thank you.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Life After Medicine Podcast. Make sure to leave a review and subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. If you wanna continue the conversation, share your takeaways, and connect with other like-minded healthcare workers, then come join us in the Life After Medicine Facebook group. The link to join the group is in the show notes. I can't wait to connect with you further.