Want to Expand Your Physician Career? Take Time to “I A M”
The hardest part of physician career expansion is stating what you want and then applying a method for living your life to leverage your passion. A simple way to think about building your life around your vision is this: I + A = M. INTENTION plus ATTENTION equals MANIFESTATION. Before you roll your eyes, remember: this is what got you into medical school! Not too many people in the world have the drive (I INTEND to go to Medical School) and discipline (I put my whole ATTENTION on that choice) to accomplish that goal (I graduated from Medical School). If you are at a point now where you have a new INTENTION of moving to a non-clinical career, then state it to yourself and to others. Your ATTENTION to that choice will open up resources for you that will in turn help you reach your MANIFESTATION. Although the path isn’t laid out as neatly as going to medical school, the path opens up nonetheless as you put your ATTENTION to building it.
Physician Career Expansioon: If it’s not scary, you’re not stretching enough!
A natural feeling during expansion—whether expanding into clinical domain or to “something else,” or from being a physician executive to “something in business”—is FEAR. Making big changes is akin to flying the high trapeze without a safety net. If you’re NOT feeling some fear and anxiety, then chances are you’re not swinging high enough! The FEAR FACTOR is what keeps most people from attempting change at all. Here is a secret: Physicians who successfully expand their career are not fear-less; they are COURAGEOUS. That is, they feel the fear, and do what they have to do anyway: make the phone call, take the class, write the letter, talk to a stranger, set up an informational interview, take the qualifying exam, speak up at the meeting, sign up for the conference, write the article, make the list, leave their practice, cut back their hours, do the exercise, buy the supplies, get the kit, enroll in the training, send out the brochure.
Here are FOUR ways to help you feel the fear and do it anyway:
- For practical advice on fear and transition, read Barbara Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.
- For a mystical perspective to personal transformation and an understanding of how transition is “death of the former self”, read Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth or Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul.
- Find a personal mantra that supports you. Here are a few suggestions: “no pain, no gain”, “feel the fear and do it anyway”, “trust in God, all will be well”, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, “life is not a rehearsal”, “there is genius in boldness”, “carpe diem – seize the day”, “go for it.”
- Find a partner—friend, coach, spouse—that you can share your fear with. When you express fear, their job is NOT to say: “everything will be ok”. Their line is: “What will support you in . . . making that phone call, setting up that meeting etc.”