I pursued a career in medicine because I was attracted to the step-by-step roadmap to my known destination of the life of a doctor.
Like most children, I had some exposure with what that destination looked like. Who doesn’t see a doctor sometime in their life? Or on TV?
That was a safe and known career choice which satisfied my need for control and confidence.
This is the medical mindset. We want to know as much as possible and avoid as many unknowns as possible when a patient’s life is in our hands. It is safe and the lowest risk.
If we carry that mentality to every decision in life, we would never get married.
We certainly could not give money to a stranger for an investment.
How could we buy a property that we have never seen in another state?
How could we begin a side hustle when we are not already an expert?
Suddenly, every other option outside of what I know does not meet my medical mindset criteria for control, expertise and certainty.
So my medical mindset tells me to stop.
And I make no decision at all.
I remain in the same place.
Are you stuck?
This is called paralysis of analysis.
This is how our medical mindset paralyzes us.
We have to remember that all decisions are not life and death.
Sometimes risk leads to reward.
We learn that when we ask someone out on a date. Sometimes.
We realize that when we try a sport we’re not good at yet.
We hope for that when we encourage our kids to make a new friend or try a different hobby.
If we want to change our lives, we need to lean in and take a step without knowing the entire path to the destination.
If we want to change our lives, we need to lean in towards a different future that we want.
Then we can see where it leads.
Like walking into the fog where we can see only our next step but not the end.
We take one step at a time and still feel safe.
Maybe even excited at what we will find.
What I discovered about the unknown outside of medicine and patient care is…
I had no idea what I was missing.
And that life can be better.
Your path can be recalibrated each step along the way as you see more.
As you discover what you do not know. YET.
As you evolve from what you learn.
From the new connections you develop.
And the new you which you discover and welcome.
Over time, your comfort level with the unknown will transform from fear and anxiety to excitement and possibility.
This is how we all begin the micro-transformations to a different identity, a new way of thinking and an expansive way of living.
Taking action is a win when being stuck and paralyzed is a loss.
Leaning in allows you learn, re-assess, pivot and lean again.
That is how your life changes.
And so do you.
Wayne Gretsky said: “Statistically 100% of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.”
You get nowhere in analysis paralysis.
You don’t need to know it all but don’t let that freeze you where you are.
You can’t Google this.
Siri does not have the answer.
You have to discover it for yourself.
But first you must
Break out of your medical mindset.
And lean in.
Change your life.
Do you know what you’re missing?
Are you ready to find out?