How I stopped the fear of financial uncertainty from preventing me from creating my dream medical career!
In my first few years as a junior doctor, I had stocked up a significant amount of debt – a combination of student loans, training courses, exam fees, and living expenses that were way more than my monthly paycheck!
Not that I regretted any of it – it had allowed me to explore tropical medicine and work for an NGO in Honduras before starting a specialty training program. All incredibly amazing experiences!
But I didn’t realize then that it created a subconscious connection between ‘being financially stable’ and ‘creating the perfect textbook medical career’.
Even though I loved my time spent ‘out of training’, I had linked this to being ‘financially erratic’ or somehow ‘irresponsible’.
It took me some time to get back into a healthy situation (and bank balance!). It also reinforced the thought that I could only achieve financial freedom by following the ‘safe’ route…..completing a specific training program, not changing my mind, and never exploring anything different!
I would look at different posts or interesting options to do medicine differently, so many questions would arise. …
Can I actually make money from this to support my lifestyle?
Will I be able to manage financially if I work less?
What if it doesn’t work out, and I can’t get back to where I can comfortably live or support myself or anybody else?
Then the guilt would come in…. knowing I had already spent a lot of money getting to where I was.
Do I have the money to reinvest or retrain, or is it wasteful even to try? All I craved was financial freedom and security. And the confidence to make the career decisions I wanted to so I could have the work-life balance I longed for…and make a bigger impact! Without letting the fear of financial instability hold me back! Fear that financial stability would only come from a career path I didn’t want to take. But wanting to make a change! The break happened for me when I left my specialty training program 6 months before the end to pursue a dream job in ID….it was only for four months. Somehow my inner intuition helped me stay confident that this post would be the stepping stone I needed to start moving my career in the right direction. Yes, I had zero money and a large debt, but somehow, I moved across the country and started a new life…with no idea what would come after 4 months! But here is what happened…. I met my now husband. I made some incredible friends for life. I did get another job for slightly longer than 4 months – one of many stepping stones to where I am now! I started to invest in my health and well-being, spending more and more time outdoors and in nature. I slowly paid off my debt to spend money on what was important to me. I genuinely created the life I wanted when I was in the biggest debt -I was the happiest I had been since I qualified…. What I realized is that the financial uncertainty could be linked to freedom after all – the freedom of choice and along with this came the confidence to keep moving forward. Instead of letting fear hold me back. I was free! Able to make choices without money being the only factor that dictates what I do next. So here’s how it happened: 1. Understand what certainty is and isn’t! I looked at my current situation and realized that the belief that it was truly stable was just a thought. My ‘financially stable’ job could have finished at any time. Very few posts in medicine are forever. Reframing the idea of certainty allowed me to accept that uncertainty exists everywhere, and the more comfortable I could be with it – the easier it would be to move forward. 2. Explore money stories. Understanding how I felt about being in debt was a key factor for me to realize that I had given it too much control in my life. But at the same time, it is an important part of my journey -partly why I am sharing it with you today! We all have beliefs about what money is, how much we have, and what the ideal amount to have is. Understanding how I feel about money has shifted it to be positive. 3. Be frugally hedonistic. Getting clear on my real financial needs and knowing how much I actually needed each month allowed me to see how much I needed to earn to live the life I wanted. I started to explore the concept of frugal hedonism – that I can save money on things that are not essential and focus on spending money on what brings me joy! Knowing my numbers so I can control money...and not the other way around! 4. Dive deep into the fear What is the worst that can happen…maybe this has already happened? This had already happened to some extent at an early stage of my career. Sure, we all have responsibilities that we need to cover financially. But what if it does all go wrong? Exploring this creates a scenario to view with compassion and identify solutions. Knowing these solutions can help to build confidence that you could survive….and it may not even happen….after all, nothing is certain! 5. Dream bigger. At several points in my career where I have stepped outside of a consistent income, I started to dream bigger. Adding in more possibilities - maybe the next step will bring me more of what I want. Maybe I can be even more successful than before! Be financially free? This is totally possible! Sometimes the more creative paths in life can lead to brighter and bigger opportunities; even better, you get to do this on your own terms. Are you ready to stop the fear of financial uncertainty holding you back? If you are ready to create a flexible medical career, where you can control your time, have a better work-life balance and make a bigger impact, then my coaching programs are the perfect fit for you!
Are you looking for more clarity for your next career step? Would you like a clearer idea of where you want to head to? Do you want to find your true purpose so you can live your best life?
I work with my coaching clients to help them get greater clarity so they can find and create a flexible career they love. If you want to find out more about my coaching programs, book a free discovery call https://calendly.com/resilienceyoga/60min