Seven years ago, when I decided to resign from my employed position, a blueprint would have been so helpful. At the time, I knew that my work environment wasn’t working, but I couldn’t visualize my path forward.
I knew this:
My job (at that time) was unsustainable.
I was being asked to practice medicine in a way that was incompatible with who I saw myself to be as a physician.
I was struggling to see myself as effective and helpful to my patients.
I had options (even though I wasn’t sure what these options were).
I told my husband that I had drawn a line in the sand. Once they asked me to cross it, I was going to get out of there.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next. A few unreasonable demands later and I submitted my letter of resignation.
I fumbled my way through a couple of clinical and non-clinical alternatives before eventually finding my way into opening my private practice. Private practice offered autonomy but it also came with the challenges of managing the business end of things.
Another place where some guidance would have saved me time and money.
Eventually, navigating my path became easier. I learned how to run an efficient and tight practice. I was finally able to create a clinical environment where I could partner with patients and their families in the way I had always hoped.
Looking back, I realize that I really needed a coach. I actually did begin to explore coaching back then, but I wasn't sure how to view this new and unfamiliar territory. Instead, I struggled through some challenging decisions and changes without the guidance of a supportive ally.
A coach might have helped me move forward with more confidence and thoughtful intention behind my choices. I could have clarified my personal vision, understood how to use my strengths to my advantage, and developed actionable steps to help me move forward.
I don’t want you to take the same, circuitous pathway if you’re contemplating making a big change in your life. Look for your helpers. Even Mr. Rogers knew the importance of helpers during stressful times sharing, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Look for the helpers
While a lot of different types of “helpers” can support you, coaches are a poorly understood, underutilized resource.
Check out how this chart breaks down a few of the most common types of helpers:
Partnering with a coach
A coach can be a powerful ally when you're navigating challenging situations or decisions. A coach might be just the support you need to help you push past any roadblocks as you work towards a vision or goal.
The world of coaches is diverse with executive coaches, career coaches, life coaches, burnout coaches, and health and wellness coaches, just to name a few. Regardless of what you hope to achieve, a coach can help you clarify your vision, identify your strengths that will help you move forward, sort out any obstacles getting in your way and design an action plan towards transformation.
Coaching has been a part of leadership development in the business world for decades. Imagine a world where coaches partner with physicians, from the very beginning of training. This could be an invaluable resource for optimizing physician growth and development.
What can you expect when working with your coach?
A coach can create a safe, private space for you to gain clarity around a difficult issue. When working with a coach, you might meet one on one or in group settings. The coach creates a safe, private setting for you to explore the vision or goal you would like to work towards, as well as any obstacle that might be getting in your way.
A coach can help you identify your strengths that will help you succeed. When working with a coach, you can optimize your strengths. You might even discover some personal strengths that you weren’t aware of or were underutilizing.
A coach can help you design a strategic action plan to achieve a goal or vision of yourself. Coaching is all about getting you into action. While becoming more aware of who you are and how you can show up as your best self is great; it’s important to act on your self-discovery. You and your coach will work to develop concrete steps to help you move forward.
If you’re still uncertain about how coaching can support you in navigating your path forward, go ahead and reach out to me. I’d love to explore the power of coaching and how working with a coach might help you.