Life After Medicine

The Power of Self-Trust: Forging Your Path to Fulfillment

July 06, 2023 Chelsea Turgeon Season 1 Episode 108
Life After Medicine
The Power of Self-Trust: Forging Your Path to Fulfillment
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever found yourself feeling stuck in a job that drains you and makes you unhappy? Well, in this episode, we dive into how to trust yourself to figure it out and take the necessary actions to gain clarity and find work that is fulfilling and joyful.

We discuss the fear of the unknown and why it's okay to not have it all figured out. Instead, we encourage you to build up your self-trust and be daring enough to take a chance on yourself and the future you actually want.

You’ll learn:

  • How to trust yourself to figure out
  • Taking action and gaining clarity
  • Finding the right fit

By the end of this episode, you'll have a better understanding of how to take action and gain clarity on what it is that you truly want to do with your life. So sit back, relax, and let's dive in!

And don't forget to check out the show notes for more information!

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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 to purpose to find out about when enrollment is starting, and I am so excited to welcome you in. Hello, love. Welcome to Permission to Pivot series. We're already here on part four, which I, when I started doing this, I thought I was only gonna do four of them, but it has really evolved and I just have so many ideas of what we need permission to do in order to pivot. So essentially this series is all about giving you permission to release a lot of the mindset blocks and these things that are keeping you stuck in an unhappy situation career-wise. Because most of the time we're never really stuck. It's just the things, the thoughts in our mind, the ways we've been conditioned, the beliefs that we've, been holding onto the assumptions that we haven't questioned. It's those pieces that are keeping us stuck, that are making us feel blocked, and this whole Permission to Pivot series is about. Really looking at each of those things that are keeping you from making a pivot and giving yourself permission to release them one at a time until you feel free. Because freedom, I know a lot of us, what we want is freedom and flexibility and. Yes, there's external factors that give us the freedom and flexibility, but we also have to cultivate it from the inside out. It can be this inner game that we're working on. So permission to pivot is so far it's been a four part series. We still have two more parts to go. If you're just catching this, and this is the first one you're catching. You can go to coach chelsea to sign up and get access to all of the replays. So that is a great place to go. And yeah, thank you so much for joining. Okay. So far what we have covered, we've done permission to disappoint others, which I know for people pleasers can feel just cringy permission to start over and permission to get it wrong. And so today we are looking into permission to not have it all figured out. So as we're talking about this, permission to not have it all figured out the reason that this is coming up is because oftentimes I get messages from people who are feeling trapped. In their career and feeling like it's the wrong career. And I'll ask them questions. Like recently I was messaging with this girl on Instagram and I asked her okay, so sounds like you're starting to realize medicine isn't the right career path for you. What's keeping you from making a change? And she gave me a list of a few different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons that she was listing was, I don't know exactly what path to take. I don't know what to do. I don't know what I will do exactly if I leave this career. I don't have a plan at all. Feeling I don't know what else I would do. If I'm not doing this, what would I do? Does it feel like this? Black box with a question mark in it where you're like I don't even know. And this is a very common ethos that we have been fed, right? This idea of don't quit your job unless you have another one lined up. And even more so with a career, right? So that's like with a job, meaning just work that you're doing to pay the bills, not necessarily work that you've trained a lot for or that you're really passionate about. But then especially when it comes to career, there's this sense of don't leave a career unless you have. A backup plan, right? And that is this common as we've been fed, that you're not supposed to leave one thing until you have the next thing you know. Guaranteed set up, lined up, all totally figured out. And the reason that doesn't work is because most of you, the reason you're here is you're feeling unhappy. I. In your career, you're feeling this pull towards something more. You're wanting to feel fulfilled, you're wanting to enjoy your career, do work that you're really passionate about, that impacts people, that really makes this positive impact on the world, and you can't figure out how to do that, right? So you're wanting to enjoy your work, make a positive impact on people. And you're not feeling that way in your current career. And usually what that means is you are here because you want to forge your own path to fulfillment. And you might not say it in those terms. It might not feel like I wanna forge my own path. I was doing a call with someone and they're like I don't wanna reinvent the wheel. And it's not really that, it's not reinventing the wheel, but it is deciding. What you really want in your career and realizing that sometimes if what you want is to enjoy your work, to make good income and make an impact, sometimes that requires you to forge your own path. Meaning you're not gonna necessarily find this job listing on LinkedIn that perfectly describes exactly what you wanna do. So it involves this element of what I call career design, which is creating a career. That is the right fit for you based on your personality your strengths, your like, your zone of genius, your values, the lifestyle that you want. So it's making your own career. That is a combination of all of those things, and that is the work of forging your own path to fulfillment. That's the work of career design. I think a lot of you guys are here because you're fed up with where you're currently at and you want something new But you're not really finding what you want on Google or looking through traditional career paths or any of those things like that. None of those feel like they're it for you. You feel like there's something more you want to be doing. So that's the work that I'm here to guide you through. And there is this quote from Glennon Doyle in her book, untamed, that I love, that I think really summarizes this for us. This idea of forging our own path, this idea of. Being in a situation that's no longer good enough for us, but that we're still in and that we're tolerating, that we feel trapped in. So I'm gonna read the quote and then I'll also include it. I'll put it in the comments later so that you can have it. There is a life meant for you that is truer than the one you are living. But in order to have it, you will have to forge it yourself. You will have to create on the outside what you are imagining on the inside. Only you can bring it forth and it will cost you everything. Now that sounds a little dramatic, and it might not necessarily cost you everything, but I think the parts of this that really resonate with me and that I think are really applicable to where you guys might be at right now is there is a life meant for you that's truer than the one you're living. And especially there is a career for you that's truer than the one you're currently practicing. And in order to have it, you do have to design it and forge it yourself, and you have to create it and, make something tangible that maybe only currently exists in your head and it's up to you to be able to do it. So I'd love to know if you guys resonate with that quote, if that is something that speaks to you in some way. And then I also want to just see if you guys are resonating with this struggle of okay. I don't wanna keep doing this career. I'm almost sure and almost positive. I don't wanna keep doing this career, but I don't know exactly what else I would do. I know that it's not this, but I don't know what my this is. And so as I was messaging with this girl on Instagram, essentially she was saying, we got a little bit deeper into the conversation and what she was saying is, I don't have an alternate career path to follow, which can guarantee financial stability and joy slash fulfillment, right? So it's like essentially, I don't know what else I could do that would guarantee me these two main categories, right? This category of financial stability, security, income, paying the bills, all of those things. And. The sense of joy, the sense of fulfillment. There's nothing I can find that is gonna guarantee me those things. And so I'd love to know if that's something you guys can relate to at all. Feeling the sense of there's not a guarantee, right? The idea of taking a leap, the idea of making any sort of change. Without a real guarantee feels scary. And then there's the problem of this feeling of, until I can come up with something that guarantees me those things, until I have everything from that downstream path figured out, I'm gonna stay in this career. Where I'm not happy and I'm not thriving and maybe it's even causing problems with my health and happiness and it's getting in the way of my relationships because I'm really unhappy and then I get home from work and I'm in a mood and I have to decompress, but then I have to take care of my family. So there's all these things that are happening and, but you don't feel able to make a shift or make a change until you have your next plan. You have it all figured out and lined up and it guarantees you all of these different things. Maybe your things are a little bit different, it guarantees you some combination of some of those things until I have everything downstream figured out. I'm gonna stay in this career where I know I'm unhappy, but I'm just not totally sure what else is next. So the problem with that is you might not ever get a guarantee. And I hate to say this cuz I know that you guys love certainty and stability and you know the idea of just like having something for sure that you can count on, but you might not get that kind of a guarantee. You might never come up with this perfect plan on paper that you feel really happy about and you also feel secure about. You also feel like it's a reality. You also feel like, oh, this is a real thing that could happen. You might never find that on paper. You also might never find a career option that is already listed on Indeed or on LinkedIn, or a role that's already listed in this exact description that fits every single thing you're looking for. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it just means you might not find it. On this job listing or on a, Google search or on something like that, it might require you to design parts of it to curate and cultivate the career you actually want. So if you're sitting around hanging on, cling to this career where it's not good enough. You feel unhappy. You feel miserable. You feel like this is the wrong career for you, and it's more than just unhappiness. It's not just that, it's like this deeper sense of I am in the wrong place. This is not my work. This is not what I should be doing on this earth. But you're clinging to that because you don't have something else already lined up. But as you're clinging to this career, that's not good enough. You are not allowing space for something else to come in, right? It's this sort of this Buddhist idea of open palms, so when you're clinging to something, your hand is closed in this fist. It's not open to receive anything else that wants to come in. And what might wanna come in is a new opportunity or a new career path, but you can't receive it. You can't have this opportunity come and drop into your lap when you're still clinging to the old, maybe because you're too tired to see any opportunities. Maybe. Yeah. You're so run down, so burnt out from every day that working that you're not able to see other things coming in. Or maybe you have this tunnel vision on that says it needs to look a certain way, it needs to look like this and do this. And you're not able to recognize other things that actually are opportunities. When you are clinging so hard to something that is not working for you, you're not leaving space for something else that is a better fit to come in. And so it's this act of opening up your palms and letting go and really being able to stay. I don't know exactly what's next. I. But I know that this is no longer working for me and I'm done with this and I trust myself enough to know I can figure out what's next. I can figure out a plan that does work for me, but it doesn't have to be contingent upon, when you have this contingency of I'm just gonna hang out here, it's almost like if you're in a relationship, right? You're in this relationship, and maybe it's not like fully toxic, but it's not uplifting you, maybe it's just like dead and. But you're staying in it for a warm body, or you're staying in it for familiarity, or you're staying in it for company, even though you know it's not really, adding life and vibrancy into you, but you stay in it because you don't know who else you would be with, and you're too afraid to be alone. So it's like that with a career as well. If you continue to stay in this situation, and it's not just that it's not serving you, it's the situation that is draining you, that is robbing you of your vital life energy, the situation that is highly detrimental to your health, your wellbeing, to your ability to reach your ultimate purpose. There's this huge opportunity cost that comes with staying. It's not just this benign thing. And so this whole, this guarantee of this other career coming in and saving you, that might not happen, but what I can guarantee. Is that if you continue to stay in a career that feels like it's the wrong fit for you, and you know you do know, I know sometimes people are like maybe if I tried this or tried that, like on a deep level, you know that this is no longer right for you, but if you continue to stay in it, the guarantee I do have is that you're gonna continue to waste your life. Feeling unhappy, feeling miserable, feeling resentful. The bitterness is going to grow. The resentment is going to grow. The regret is going to grow, and you cannot get this time back. And so that is something that you can guarantee. You can guarantee that this is a level of misery that you will continue to have and it probably will grow. So this is only going to perpetuate, like staying in this career where you are not happy is only gonna perpetuate your unhappiness. So that is something that I can guarantee. And I was trying to think of as I was, brainstorming for this talk, I was trying to think of like, why do we do this? Why do we stay, why? Like, why are we waiting for this guarantee and we're staying in this career that's not the right fit for us. And I think fear of the unknown is a big part of it. It's like we're not really sure, like this is the misery that's known, right? It's better the devil, than the devil. You don't. And so we stay for that reason because it's familiar and we don't really know what else is out there, and we also aren't sure that something better will come along. So we're afraid to release this one career because we don't actually know if there's something better out there. And so that is also something I do wanna guarantee. There is something better out there. There is something better out there if you are feeling unhappy. I don't even have to know you, I don't have to know anything about your circumstances. But if you are unhappy in your career, if you are showing up day in and day out, feeling like. You are not contributing in the way that feels really good to you if you're not feeling like alive in the work that you're doing. If you're feeling like a zombie or like you're dying inside or any version of that, there is something better for you. And that is something I can guarantee because there is a way for all of us to do work that we truly enjoy. So what I wanna talk through is just my, a short version of my story of. How I didn't have it all figured out. So when I was making my decision to leave medicine, I did not have it all figured out either. So I'm not just saying, oh, you don't have to have it figured out, but I already had it all planned out. That's not it. I really fully did not have it all figured out. So at the moment that I turned in my resignation, so this is back in like early November, end of October, 2018, at the moment, I turned in my resignation. Here is what I knew. I knew that. Going into the hospital drained me in a way that almost felt like it didn't make sense. Like I would walk into the hospital and feel like I was being constricted. Not that my soul was like leaving my body, but I was just feeling the sense of I feel dead inside as I'm showing up here. I feel like this weight on me, I feel heavy. It was a physical reaction. That I was having. So I knew that I, I felt really heavy, really constricted. Really drained energetically as I would go into the hospital. So I knew I wasn't happy, but it was more than that. I just had this deep sense that this wasn't my work and so I. Allowed that to mean, I know I don't wanna be a doctor because I also know that I don't wanna be doing work that drains me like that. I don't want to spend my life showing up and trying to tolerate a job that just really feels super shitty. So I knew I didn't want to keep living like that because life and joy and purpose was all way too important to me to just keep living like that. I knew I didn't wanna be a doctor anymore. I also knew that if there was even the slightest chance that I could find a way to make a living doing work, I enjoyed, I was gonna take that chance and I was gonna bet on myself, and I was ready to investigate that. I also knew I wanted to make a living while I traveled, so I knew I wanted the ability. To make an income that was not location restricted. So I wanted to be able to make an income basically. I didn't, I don't think I knew the term digital nomad at that point, but I did want, I was like, I wanna make money online so that I can travel. So that was something I did know. I didn't know exactly what my income stream would be for making money online, but two options I was looking at, I was looking at travel, blogging and life coaching. I didn't know exactly how I was gonna, monetize those or turn that into a business or make a living doing those. But those are two streams of, online work that I was investigating. I also knew that I. Those income streams would not be profitable immediately. I knew that I couldn't just expect to start a blog, publish your website and start making money from it. I knew that it would take some time. So in my head I decided, oh, this will take two years. I don't remember where I got that from, but I was like, it'll take two years to build up a profitable blogging business. And in the meantime I need to find a way to support myself. So I was also looking at the idea of teaching English online. So these are the pieces that were falling into place, but none of it felt like super, super certain. So the action steps that I had taken, cuz I feel like this is really helpful for you guys to know like exactly where I was and not that you need to follow in my footsteps at all, but just so you know exactly where I was at the time. And where I was coming from when I made my decision. So at that point I turned in my resignation and I had bought a course, an online course for travel blogging to teach me how to build a travel blog. It was called Superstar Blogger, nomadic Mat. It was a couple hundred dollars, maybe 400, maybe 200, something like that. So I had sent a couple hundred dollars on this course and I was I had just started the course. I hadn't. Done anything with it yet. And then I also had bought an ebook about teaching English abroad, and I had the idea of coaching, but I wasn't, hadn't done anything with that yet either. So yeah, I had bought the book, I had bought the travel blogging course. I did not have a job teaching English abroad yet. I didn't have Like a certification, a TEFL certification lined up, which is what you need to teach English. So I hadn't done any of those pieces, but in my head I was like, had a vague plan mapped out get a job teaching English, find a way to make money, build up your business on the side, take over the world. Just a casual world domination plan is what I had going on. I also, what else I did was, at the time of my resignation, I did negotiate. A contract to stay for three more months, working part-time, but making a full-time salary. And I don't know exactly how I did that, but that is, I was just decided, I was like I'm not willing to do this, and this, but I could do this if they want some help. I was like, I don't wanna be doing surgeries. I don't wanna be doing, like taking call shifts. I don't wanna be in the labor suite, and I don't wanna go to like didactics or educational things, but if they need help with Charting or administrative work or any of that, like boring shit. But if I can help people with any of those things, I'm happy to help and fill in until I wanna start teaching English. And so I was like, three months, that feels like a good amount of time so that I can, not have this big gap in income streams. So I did negotiate that, but. I wasn't like, I'm only gonna resign if I can negotiate this contract for three more months of work. I was like, I'm resigning anyways, right? I'm resigning anyways and here's this offer that I have where you can keep using me to some capacity and paying me to some capacity. And that was gonna gimme a runway to figure things out. But even if that hadn't worked, I don't know exactly what I would've done, but that would not have kept me from. Resigning turning in my resignation. So I think I, I tell you guys that, so that you realize I did not have it all figured out, right? I had no idea how internet marketing worked or how to make money online, or, how realistic it was to make a business as a coach or as a blogger. None of that were things I actually knew. And so I definitely did not have it all figured out. I didn't have any guarantees from anybody that this was gonna work out. And that's the decision I made anyways. And now that's not saying you need to do exactly what I did, but one thing I think that really helped me and that really worked for me is that I trusted myself to figure it out along the way. I trusted myself to, one of my mantras I had during that first year was like, I figured out med school, I can figure this out too. And so I was cultivating this sense of self-trust and this sense of there's gotta be a way to figure this out. Other people have figured out something similar. Other people have found a way to make money online. There's gotta be a way to do this for me. And so you have permission. To not have it all figured out. You don't have to wait until you have this job lined up, till you have your next thing till you have your five-year plan or till you have this other degree or you have everything fully mapped out. You don't have to be at that point to take your first step or to just get started. There's this quote I love from James Clear and I wanna read this cuz I think it really applies to what we're talking about today. Okay. One of the great balancing acts in life is to be cautious and daring at the same time, cautious enough to avoid stupid mistakes, prevent burnout and retain a margin of safety, daring enough to bet on yourself to do the things you would regret leaving undone, and to be willing to be uncomfortable in the short term so you can learn and grow in the long term. And that's from James Clear from his newsletter, which I love. So cautious and daring at the same time. It fully applies to what we're talking about right now. So for me, when I was taking my leap, it's not that I was throwing caution to the wind and, not having anything lined up to pay the bills. Like when I say you don't have to have it all figured out, I don't mean be an idiot. I don't mean put anyone in jeopardy or danger at all, right? There is a level of caution you can take and of course depending on how many people rely on you like you should take, right? So I was cautious. I. I got my basic, immediate short-term needs met. I negotiated this contract for three more months, so I wasn't without income. I prioritized getting a bridge job teaching English in South Korea, so I would have this continuous source of income. So I was cautious enough to get all my financial needs met and to prioritize that. It wasn't like I was taking this leap with no guarantees and also letting myself become homeless, right? That's not it. I was cautious, and yet I was also daring. I was daring enough to give myself a chance to have the future I actually wanted and to do the things I really wanted to do. I left residency without a guarantee that I could make six figures doing something else, but I did trust in myself and I was cautious enough to always know. How I was gonna pay my immediate bills. So I was cautious and I was daring, and that is what I want for you as well. So where is it that you need to, I think most of you are giving yourself quite enough permission to be cautious, right? I think you already do that and you don't need help with that, but you can look at it as like, where do I actually need to be cautious? Where do I actually need to just make sure I have the ducks in a row, make sure I have these things figured out? Usually it has to do with your short term needs and really just getting those met, right? But then where can I give myself permission to be daring? Where can I give myself permission to take the first step, even though I don't have it all figured out? And how can I give myself this sense of trust that I know I can figure it out on the way? And so what you really need to be able to do this, to be able to take this leap without guarantees and to give yourself permission to not have it all figured out what you need. Two main things. One is self-trust. I, this is something that we build up in all of my programs, but especially in the one I have coming up. Pathway to purpose, self-trust is what we start with. We build up your own trust in yourself. We have a series of journaling promises. We have a series of activities that we do. We do one tiny promise that we keep to ourselves, and we go through this process of building up self-trust so that you can you don't need to guarantee externally because you have your own internal guarantee. And when you trust yourself, that's really all you need. You trust yourself to figure it out, and that is huge. So we build up self-trust. I also teach you this process of clarity through action, which is how you figure it out along the way, which is how you take a step and you figure out what you've learned. And then you figure out your next step, and it's just one next, right action at a time. And we go through this process of clarity through action, which allows the path to unfold. You set like an overall vision and an overall idea, but you might not know every single step along the way or exactly how it's all gonna work out or all be figured out. So you set the vision and then you do this process of clarity through action. To create the path along the way, to forge your own path. And I think a lot of people don't know intuitively how to do this process because there's also a lot of fear that comes up. And so that's something we work through as well. But in order to forge your own path to fulfillment, you have to learn how to take a step without having the entire thing planned out for you. And again, that doesn't mean not being cautious and not being smart. About certain financial decisions, but it does mean building up this self-trust and being daring enough to take a chance on yourself and take a chance on the future that you actually want, instead of sitting here figuring out how you can tolerate a life where you're just not quite happy and you're not being all that you can be. And so Pathway to Purpose is my program to teach you those two things. It's really a program to help you. Create a career you enjoy that is the right fit for you. And the two biggest things we're gonna give you by the end of it is clarity on what is that thing that you actually wanna be doing and direction on what are the next steps you can take to get there? So if you're in a place where you're feeling trapped in the wrong career, and you really wanna start moving into clarity, moving into your next step, starting to make forward progress on something that is joyful and fulfilling, and where you can make an impact on others. This is the perfect program for you, and I would love to have you join. We're doing this eight week group coaching program. It starts July 9th, If you guys have any questions or anything else, feel free to let me know. But thank you so much for your time. Thank you for joining me today. I really appreciate you and I hope that you're enjoying this series and that you feel like it's helping you give yourself permission to pivot because you are not trapped and you are not stuck. And at any moment you can make this decision. To bet on yourself, and I would love to help you do that. All right, see you all later. 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.