Today's Veterinary Business

APR 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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46 Today's Veterinary Business Community While we don't want to pretend to be psychologists or psychiatrists, we have observed some approach- es that are useful for dealing with adversity and others that clearly are not. In the latter category are avoid- ance, blame and rumination. Avoidance comes in many forms, ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to seemingly more innocuous behaviors that we use to stay busy and fill our minds. All these serve as distractions so that our dis- comfort with a circumstance has no room to be recognized and fully felt. Does anyone else find themselves checking their phone repeatedly? Blame is our natural human tendency to ask, "Whose fault is it?" when something bad happens. Finding someone to blame, even if it's ourselves, gives us some sem- blance of control. In reality, blame is simply a way for us to discharge discomfort, pain and anger. It has the potential to damage our relationships and, if self-directed, can prevent us from experiencing self-compassion. We've both done our fair share of blaming and can attest to its negative impact. Rumination occurs when our minds drop into a repeating cycle of "story" around whatever we are un- happy about, returning to the same underlying fear or other negative emotion and with no resolution or relief in sight. The first step to achieving flow in the face of adversity is for us to be- come aware of when we're in a state of avoidance, blame or rumination. The next step is to consider three alternative responses that can help us be more adaptable and effective. Strategies for Adversity: The Three Choices Eckhart Tolle, author of the best-sellers "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth," has described three choices that we have in the face of a difficult situation: • Change the situation. • Remove yourself from the situation. • Totally accept (surrender to) the situation. As Tolle advised in "The Power of Now": "If you cannot surrender, take action immediately. Speak up or do something to bring about a change in the situation — or Difficult or unwanted situations invariably arise almost daily as busy professionals seek to balance work, family, friends and other passions. So, the question naturally arises: How should we navigate our more challenging moments? Community GO WITH THE FLOW By Jeff Thoren, DVM, BCC, PCC By Trey Cutler, JD remove yourself from it. Take responsibility for your life." To resist what is, without taking action to address it or to leave it, is a ticket to guaranteed suffering. While hardship will never be avoidable, the avoidance of suffering is, per- haps surprisingly, within our control. Making a Change Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. — Harriet Tubman In many cases, it is within our power to change a difficult circum- stance; we don't know how or are afraid to try. We can be encouraged by moments in history in which individuals exercised great courage in speaking up and taking action in the face of an unacceptable situation, perhaps even risking their lives in doing so. In day-to- day life, though, it is common to find ourselves conflicted regarding the path forward in the face of a difficult situation. Here are a few questions that might be helpful when trying to find a path toward positive change: • What could I say or do that might positively change the situation? • Have I fully seen my role in the creation of this situation? • If I changed how I've been responding to this situation, could that make it easier for myself and others to work to- ward a more positive outcome? • What am I really feeling and what could I say or do to express that feeling in a healthy way? • What am I afraid of losing if I try to make a change? Time to Leave? Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. — Albert Einstein It is common in our culture to view some endings as bad even though the ending could be the best possible outcome for all involved. As a result, we sometimes Flow in the face of adversity When a difficult situation arises, you can change it, remove yourself or accept it. 3 1 2

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