Dear Colleagues,

VetPrac contributes to helping veterinarians prepare for their technical roles by offering a lot of opportunities. It’s exciting to hear about these success stories as you grow in your professional roles but confidence is an area that seems to hold us back. As high achievers we look to our exceptionally talented and trained peers or predecessors and often think – “Oh, I can’t do that. I’ll never be that good. I haven’t the time to get those skills” We do this because it’s easier to stay in our comfort
zone and more often than not, lack the confidence.

“With the realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence one can build a better world”  ~ The Dalai Lama

But what is self-confidence and how do we know we have it? Or how do we get more of it? It requires trust and self-belief. It permeates our thoughts and feelings defining our actions and the outcomes of those actions. Low self-confidence limits us. The Online Psychology Dictionary defines self-confidence “Our self-assurance in trusting our abilities, capacities, and judgments; the belief that we can meet the demands of a task.”  Self-confidence is clinically determined by “The Self-Esteem Formula”, “The Self-Efficacy Theory”, and “The Self-determination Theory”.

While it has never been the scope of VetPrac to advance what the veterinary community knows about psychology, I find it fascinating that we are only limited as a community by our self-belief and confidence. We are intelligent and capable. I don’t think many clients look at us collectively as a group and think anything less. If there was a zombie apocalypse I know I’d feel much safer in a group of vets (preferably mixed practice) than any other contingency in society. So, where’s the gap?

I read constantly about the personal gripes we have about how we are perceived by clients, business partners, managers and family members across all forms of media. This bothers me. I have never met a veterinarian under 40 who isn’t disappointed with some part of their life because they played it safe.

In 2018 I learned to ride a bike. I’d never tried something others explore in their childhood because of my self-confidence and I didn’t trust my balance. It turns out I actually have great balance. I also didn’t trust I could steer, break and pedal at the same time or when required. It turns out, it’s actually not that hard once a good teacher explains the fundamentals and supports you. Once someone I trusted showed me and showed me I could do it, I believed it and I did it.

Confidence is a shareable trait. It’s a communicable condition that can be nurtured. It permeates everything we do and its potential is exponential and shareable.

We would like to help the veterinary community build self-confidence in 2019. Dr Cathy Warburton is a coveted speaker and trainer on this topic. In 2019 She will be leading small classes online about “How High Achievers Succeed” as well as a special ‘VetTalk Communication Workshop‘ with Dr Sandra Nguyen. No one is born with excellent communication skills, we develop them along with all our other talents. The theory behind good communication can be learnt and practised.

How High Achievers Succeed

Regardless of what you hope for yourself in 2019 if you have healthy levels of self-confidence you will be better equipped to succeed. Check out our workshops that offer training and understanding about self-confidence HERE.