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Self-Esteem & Success in your Veterinary Life

Posted in Our Community @ Jul 15th 2021 - By Dr Diederik Gelderman, Turbo Charge Your Practice & Veterinary Business Academy
Self Esteem Success In Your Veterinary Life

Low self-esteem & a lack of success. This may not be an issue for you - but what about others in your veterinary team?

Low self-esteem may not be an issue that YOU personally have, however it is something that is RIFE in the Veterinary industry and many of our staff suffer from it.

When these matters are resolved, practices thrive because when people have a high level of self-esteem, they thrive.

Much of the work I do with people suffering from poor business success is helping them to build rock-solid self-esteem.

The importance of self-worth

People come to me with varying levels of diminishing self-worth, but common among them all is a sense that they aren’t worthy of taking a stand for themselves in all areas of their lives. 

Sure, they may have developed a veneer of self-confidence, in business or in their family life, for instance. But just underneath that mask is a fearful and nervous soul who is besieged with indecision and self-doubt. 

In many cases, alcohol, overwork, workaholicism, pills, bluster, denial and food are there to keep that façade in place.

I’m going to apply the term ‘addict’ to anyone in the group above who ‘indulges’ in any one portion of their lives (to the detriment of other portions of their lives).

And in many cases, Veterinarians can be classed in this group – they focus on one portion of their lives (work) to the detriment of other portions like; home, family, relaxation, etc. 

And yet, those factors always end up revealing what the ‘addict’ fears most: that they aren’t all they pretend to be, and, ironically, that they are so much more than they believe they are.

An addict is a paradox, to be sure, best described as “an egomaniac with an inferiority complex”. 

The addiction always exposes what’s really going on. 

I know a 140 kg Veterinarian, barking orders at work and at home (was even a drill sergeant at one time), and yet inside was rife with fear, self-loathing and shame. The food and alcohol enabled him to maintain the façade that he was something he wasn’t. They reinforced the persona of strength, when he was actually weak, and they convinced him that he was bad, when, at his core, he was actually good.

Now I know that you are not in that mould and that you are a balanced individual.

AND – what I am trying to point out is the importance of self-esteem to ultimate success.

Self esteem is essential for ultimate success

When we believe that we are bad we have a hard time ever accepting, deep down, that we are good. We do all kinds of ‘good’ deeds, hoping to overcome that fear that we don’t amount to much, but somehow it never seems to penetrate our subconscious mind.

One of the most significant ways this shows up is people not speaking up for themselves. Because of their low sense of self-worth and fear they let other people call the shots in their lives. They have terrible boundaries and permit poor treatment because they don’t believe they deserve any better.

This is typical of many Veterinarians and is seen in many Veterinary businesses. 

This reminds me of a sign I once saw in a barbershop in Sydney, Australia which I never forgot:

I give credit, you no pay, me mad.

I no give credit, you mad.

Better you mad, than me mad.

Lack of self-esteem and the fear of doing the right thing. 

Lack of self-esteem does its worst damage when we are afraid of taking right action. 

It means that we don’t trust that doing the right thing will pay off, we don’t trust that refusing to be treated anything less than respectfully, and thereby affirming and building our self-worth, is the best course of action, without fail.

Instead, we perceive and insist that we are victims of unfair treatment. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Betray me once, it’s your fault, betray me twice, it’s my fault”. 

She knew that we are usually the ones who allow people to do what they do to us. 

  • We overlook the clues, 
  • We pretend everything is fine, and 
  • We don’t say “no” when we know we should. 

So we get hurt. And then we resent the other person.

Building rock-solid self-esteem has benefits one could never imagine. 

Rock-solid self-esteem impacts:

  • The people we attract, 
  • The income we demand,
  • The gifts we receive, 
  • The self-confidence we exude, 

All of this and more is possible when we know our worth. 

Not the puffed-up show of bravado we portray as a disguise for self-hatred; but the true feeling that we are ‘real’ people, worthy of every beautiful and wonderful thing that our heart truly desires.

There it is – some of the reasons of poor self-esteem and how to improve it. 

As I said up-front, I know that this is not an issue that YOU personally have – however it is something that is RIFE in the Veterinary industry. Time to do something about it.

About Diederik

On graduation I purchased a Veterinary clinic in Maitland, NSW and sold it in July 2009. At the time of purchase, it was a run down one person clinic with about a 90% mixed and 10% small animal component. The business grew well, so that at one stage there were 4 branches and 8 Veterinarians.  At the time of sale there were 5 Veterinarians, 16 support staff functioning out of a purpose built ‘A’ class Hospital with one branch.  In 2004 the practice won the Pfizer/AVA Practice of Excellence Award as well as coming 3rd in the Fujitsu Customer Service Awards. 

At this stage (and even slightly before), I started co-presenting at trainings and workshops and in 2007 I started developing and hosting my own workshops. In July 2009 I sold my practice so as to be able to concentrate fully on my coaching, training, speaking and workshop business – and to be able to move to Exeter (NSW) to be with my partner. I missed clinical practice, so in May 2018 I purchased a veterinary practice with the aim of building it up by providing a highly customer service friendly veterinary practice alternative to the local community. In 12m we have grown the practice gross fee turnover by 53.1% and trebled it's net take home profit. 

Visit the Turbo Charge Your Practice Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory


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