When I think about being empowered in my life and practice, I envision myself standing firmly in the Wonder Woman pose: straight, strong, invincible.
What does self-empowerment look like to you?
Is it saying a big “No!” to things that never should have been on your list in the first place?
Is it hearing the most sincere “Thank you” from your fifth grader after you helped him with his math homework (who says you don’t understand that New Math!)?
Maybe it’s telling your assistant who schedules your surgeries to start your Monday cases at 10 a.m. from now on (instead of 7 a.m.) so you have time to start training for that marathon or take that cooking class.
Often, doctors are so busy running busy practices and serving others that they forget how to stand in their own power to take care of themselves.
Does that sound familiar? Do you ever feel like the victim of everyone else’s agenda rather than the leader of your own?
Here are a few suggestions to help you build your personal power and begin standing up for yourself and your desires.
Tweetable: “Empowerment is the bomb.” @StarlaFitchMD It’s the shift in your thinking about the value of your time and energy that propels you to do more, to be better, to be happy with yourself as you are right now. Protecting yourself and your energy is crucial.
First, you must define what empowerment means for yourself. My empowerment and yours probably don’t look the same. Figure out what your life would look like if you finally stood up and asserted what YOU want.
Doctors are fantastic taskmasters. So, give yourself the task of describing what empowerment as a doctor means to you. You can do this today in the shower; in your car on the drive in to the hospital; later this afternoon, when you pick up your daughter from piano practice.
Write It Down
After you define it and envision it, write it down. Something happens when you take the action of putting the ideas in your head on to paper. It’s as if you are making your ideas more sturdy and real; you are announcing to yourself, “I mean business.” The energy is in the action. Always.
Find 2 Things
Next, think of two things you can do this week to get to that Promised Land. If empowerment as a doctor looks like freedom, what two things can you do this week to kick start freedom in your life. Again, write it down.
After you’ve made your plan, take action. Every day, make one choice, take one step, change one behavior so that you move closer to the vision you created. In other words, follow the advice of Nike and just do it.
Embrace the Results
Continue to make small shifts every day and embrace the results of your actions. Before you know it, you will find yourself feeling more empowered and in control of your own life.
There’s such joy in completion. I’ll even argue that setting an intention, making changes and reaching a personal goal is better than chocolate.
Ok, almost better than chocolate. Who am I kidding?