You ever not show up to work? Nope, me either…until last month.
On February 13, I logged out of my virtual telemed practice and didn’t log back in until this past week in March (March 18 to be exact). I didn’t show up for work for over 4 weeks. Holy Shit!
I gave up, I was defeated and down. By what, IDK. I have no specific precipitating event that so repulsed me that I couldn’t bring myself to come back.
Each day, I would walk down to my home office in the basement. Sit at my computer. Shake my shoulders out, stretch my carpal tunnel prone wrists and be like, “Ok * whew* today’s the day. Gonna see patients. Gonna make money. Gonna do this.”
Then this nasty, crawly, repulsive sensation from deep down side would swell up. It made me want to puke, scratch my eyes out and run back to bed.
“Nope. Nope. Nope. Not today.” I would click out of the screen and move on to other work within my coaching business, network with colleagues, do my coaching sessions, etc. No ick with at; I could do all my other work BUT not telemed.
Before you say it (cuz I know you are thinking it), no one wronged me. No bad outcome occurred. Nothing that would suggest this was coming. I just couldn’t do it.
Craig was just baffled (God love him), “What do you mean ‘you just can’t do it"‘?!?” He has a 10,000 gallon tank of patience and I juiced every ounce of it, I’m sure.
I’ve always been a person to “power through” or “put my head down and go.” But I had made a decision about a year ago, that I no longer was going to think and act like that. So this time, I stopped and listened.
Because, actually, I’ve felt like this before…not wanting to start my day or follow through on a committee, activity, event because of the nasty, crawly repulsion coming up.
You want to know the difference this time? How I worked through this? Well, here you go…
I gave myself permission to quit.
No questions asked. No guilt. I literally told myself, “I know you are struggling right now. The struggle hurts but it doesn't mean you are failing. You hear that?!?!? Yes, this is hard and you can quit at anytime! Let me say it again... You can change your mind, quit and go in a different direction AT ANY TIME. You are not stuck.”
Clarity: I clearly my own situation for what it really is.
I didn’t have to have all the answers right in that moment. I gave myself permission to see clearly without being critical. These were then my thoughts, “Life really is ok. I am ok. I am capable. I am still a compassionate doctor even if I never see another patient in my life. I am a life coach who makes a huge ass impact.”
courage: I courageously Stopped
Never before in my life have I had the ability to pause. Intention or luck (I’m not 100% sure) but I now have the space built into my schedule and also within myself to be like, “Ok, you not going to do that. That’s alright. When you are ready to come out of hiding in the closet, I’ll be here waiting. I’m not going away. I’m not going to judge. I’m not going to make you.”
confidence: I regained my confidence by working on my thoughts
I was pretty defeated and felt like I had no wind in my sails. So using some self-coaching and checking in with myself regular, I finally realized…this sensation I was feel is not about the specific thing I’m doing. It’s what shows up in my body when something is off or out of alignment.
I had been doing telemed with the purpose of it being the backup for when my coaching business failed.
Through some deep coaching, I was able to identify why I was freaked out and got the repulsive feeling. Here’s the condensed version of my thought stream, “The coaching business has been slow so I must be a failure and I have to do more telemed.”—— “If I do more telemed than that means I’m giving up on my dream of being a life coach.”——— “I’m 100% not giving up on my dream, so therefore I can’t do telemed.”
See how totally off base that was but yep, that was my brain!
My ‘not showing up to work’ really didn’t have a damn thing to do with telemed. It was about my thoughts/internal struggle that came up that I attached to doing telemed, then believing those thoughts to be total truth and making it out to be something it wasn’t.
(This is where the confidence comes in) I had to shift my mindset from ‘either/or’ and ‘if I’m doing this thing, than I’m a failure in that thing’ to recognizing and believing that telemed is just another aspect to my entrepreneurial life. I am a bomb ass life coach and clinical physician.
Community: I reached out for help
During this, I reached out. A few years ago, I embraced that I needed to reach out for help early and often, not waiting until shit was going to hit the fan. Seeing help as a source of strength rather than a weakness. I spoke openly to friends, colleagues, other physician life coaches about my struggle that I had been having. Though no one really had my answer (because I had to find that within myself), it did make a huge difference, challenged me to remember my why and gave me the ability to seek clarity, courage and confidence.
So all in all, I “got back on the horse” and I’m back, baby. Things are going so much more smoothly. And it just shows, it really is a journey. Just when you think you have it all figured out, it’s time to get your thoughts straight again. And, hey, on the plus side, I have a new, really cool model to help work through issues.
I’m calling it…
The 4 C’s
Clarity - Courage - Confidence - Community
More to come on this in the future. But just a tidbit…ask yourself, “Where do I need more clarity in this situation? What do I need to approach with courage? Where have I lost confidence? Who do I need to reach out to?”
Hope this helps you as much as it did me.
Wanna talk in person about this or stuff going on with you? I would freaking love to!! CLICK HERE to get scheduled for a call or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week is part 4 of My Physician Life Coaching Eat. Pray. Love. Journey where I will talk about what to do when everything is awful and I feel like shit. My guide on what to do (and personally tested through the experience above. Cheers!)