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Veterinarians - experts at analysis paralysis!

Posted in Operations @ Apr 4th 2018 - By Dr Diederik Gelderman, Turbo Charge Your Practice
Veterinarians Experts At Analysis Paralysis

Veterinarians seem to specialise in procrastination and over complication which then leads to analysis paralysis

Oh my goodness. We overcomplicate things. Seriously. I sometimes think that when Veterinarians graduate they actually come out with a Double Degree.

The first degree is in veterinary science and the second is a degree that specialises in procrastination and the ability to make everything overly COMPLEX!

If I had a magic wand and could choose a ‘superpower’ it would be the ability to help Veterinarians and their team members see how damned complicated they’re making things, when it’s actually really, really simple. 

One of the biggest problems arising from our gold medal efforts at overcomplicating is indecision. And prolonged indecision usually lands us in analysis paralysis, which in turn gives us great fodder for our inner critic to point out just how crap we are at life in general.

Let me explain....

Are you trapped on the Indecision Roundabout and caught in analysis paralysis? Then let’s Simplify!

I was recently working with a client who we'll call Kathy and in an effort to help her discover how awesome she really was, how far she’s come since we started working together and how well her practice is doing, I asked her to take on a project related to a cause she cares about.

But she has spent the first three months finding lots of reasons not to choose a cause.

......It’s complicated you see. 

......It has to be perfect. 

......And cause A does this, and cause B does some of that and a bit of something else, but she likes cause C because they do ONLY that and this one other thing. 

My golly gosh....... (exasperated sigh!!)

Oh but it's.....complicated!

When I was talking to her about what was stopping her from moving forward, the bottom line was “it’s complicated”.

By not making a decision, Kathy had moved into analysis paralysis. She couldn’t make a decision. Her inner critic was taking much glee in pointing out to her “See - another example of how stupid you are. You can never make a decision. You never do it right… blah blah blah”.

Just...make...a.... DECISION!

Just make a decision, any decision, it does NOT have to be perfect because you CAN change horses mid-stream.

THINK - What’s the worst thing that will happen if you get the decision wrong?

Will anyone DIE?

Once you make a decision, you’ve got momentum and once you’ve got momentum, it’s easier to change course. Review Newton’s Laws of Motion and you’ll remember WHY this is so correct.

Is it really that complicated?

Now - here’s my thoughts on “it’s complicated”.

In my humble opinion (and it is just one of many), “it’s complicated” is usually code for “I’ve made this complicated to stall an action that I don’t want to take”.

We often know exactly what to do, but for whatever reason, we don’t want to do it.

You love him/her. S/he treats you like crap. It's not complicated. You know you should leave. You don't want to.

You’re putting on weight. You’re busy. It’s not complicated. You know you need to eat well and exercise. You don’t want to.

You’re good at what you do. You hate your workplace. It’s not complicated. You know you need to leave. You don’t want to.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many valid reasons you may not want to take one of these actions. But IT’S NOT COMPLICATED. It’s simple. Your heart knows.

You’re just not listening. Your head is making it complicated to avoid doing something uncomfortable.

We need to listen to our heart.

“It’s complicated” means we stop listening to our heart. Because anything ‘complicated’ obviously needs to be figured out by the infinitely superior head - right? (I hope you can sense the tongue firmly in cheek!)

"It’s complicated" puts us firmly on the indecision roundabout.

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s like driving along with Ms Sat Nav (ours is called Sally. We preferred the Aussie accent telling us where to go!)

So I’m heading onto the roundabout with 6 exits. I think I know which exit to take. But then once I’m ON the roundabout, the pink Sat Nav line looks to be going off THAT exit, not THIS exit. But it takes about 2 seconds for Sally’s satellites to tell her where I am on the roundabout. By which stage I’ve missed the exit. Sally is trying madly to catch up, yelling at me “Take the 4th exit” but I’m still moving, and which one is the 4th anyway? And it’s chaos!

Despite the apparent chaos, the solution is simple...

The only way to solve it is to take an exit. Any exit. And then I can drive on down that road a little way and Sally will tell me one of two things. Either “turn around when possible” or she'll give me the next stage of the directions because I have miraculously chosen the right path.

It's the same in life.

If you're on the Indecision Roundabout, choose any exit to get off and then use the feedback to work out if it's the right exit or not.

This system might help....

Here’s a little system you can use to help you turn “It’s complicated” into actions:

1. Imagine you are ‘in your true power’: serene, decisive, loving, powerful.

2. Consider the situation you’re facing and ask “What do I know in my heart?”

3. Ask yourself, "Do I have enough information to make this decision?"

       o If yes: choose an exit, and identify your first action

       o If no: take action to get the information you need.

The strength of true power

The person who is in their true power never says "It's complicated" and throws their hands up in dismay. They are never indecisive. If they don't have all the information needed to decide, they ask more questions until they do.

As soon as they have the information they need - they make a decision.

So back to Kathy - using the system outlined above, Kathy was able to identify her choice. And she realized that by not choosing she was preventing herself from making a difference for anyone (or their pets)!

She hadn’t been able to see that she had 20+ years of great philanthropic work ahead of her in the practice and this was just one little project for now. There was no reason why she couldn't do it all - just not all this week!

So go for it!

Learn to make decisions ‘on the spot’and you’ll love the freedom that it gives you.

About Diederik

Diederik Gelderman BVSc, MVS graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in 1977.

Besides his veterinary work, Dr Gelderman is also a certified NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer and world-renowned coach to veterinarians wanting to improve their profitability. He has coached and consulted with more than 350 small to medium enterprises in a diverse range of industries, and has also held workshops/seminars around the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, USA, South Africa and around Europe, both for smaller organisations and through his Turbo Charge Your Practice Workshops.

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