If you are reading this blog, I’m assuming that you’re at least somewhat dissatisfied with your current medical career. It is likely that you want to be earning a bit more, working a bit less, and have at least a bit more freedom from external controlling factors such as your job, your manager or your health system.

In order to move from this position, you must give yourself “Permission to Fail”.

What exactly does this mean?

Well, as a doctor, wherever you are, you will almost certainly  be a reasonably successful member of society. You will also have strong pressures -peer pressures, family pressures and societal pressures – to not rock the boat too much. In other words to maintain the status quo.

To move from this point you have to give yourself permission to try, permission to fail, and, as a consequence, permission to succeed….

So, say to yourself:  “I give myself the following permissions….”

I give myself Permission to be Different from my peers, strike out in a new direction and do so in that way that is visible to all. Oh, for sure, initially I can plan, plot  and strategise in the privacy of my home. But sooner or later, I will have to let the whole wide world know what I am planning and expose myself to their opinions, and sometimes worse. I will need the courage to be able to do this.

I give myself permission to acknowledge that earning more money is an acceptable, even desirable goal. It is certainly a worthwhile endeavour, and does not detract from myself, my reputation, my professionalism, or my dedication to your patients and my vocation.

I give myself permission to do a ton of work that may not pay off either initially or in the longer term. But if this happens, I will still be alive and well, and the world will not have ended.

I give myself permission to accept a temporary reduction in my current earnings, in order to do something different, more enjoyable, and ultimately more lucrative.

Now here’s the fact. Most doctors have a very reasonable income compared to the majority of people  in the remainder of their community. When you start a new business project, it is unrealistic to expect your hourly earnings to initially match those of your current job. You must give yourself permission to accept a lower rate in the short-term. Not only that, it may be the case that you may never match your current hourly earnings. Unlikely, but possible. If so, so be it, at least you’ve tried.

Remember, you have done this before. When you went to medical school, you forsook several years of immediate income in order to boost your prospects for the future. It almost certainly paid off then, and there’s no reason why it won’t do so again.

Here’s the big one: I give myself Permission to Fail. I give myself permission to try, to do my best in the full view of my peers and the public, and if it is to be, to fail. At this point I will return to the conventional medical workforce a chastened but wiser person. But, unlike my peers, at least I will have tried.

Finally, I give myself Permission to Succeed. I give myself permission to break out from the pack, and end up in the wonderful position of earning more money, working far less, and having freedom from controlling outside factors. And by doing so, I would have also  given myself permission to enjoy the experience of having dared and succeeded.

Believe me, those last two are permissions well worth giving yourself.

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