We wear many hats in life, and one of them can become disproportionately large: our professional identity. Don’t get me wrong, being a physician is amazing and the associated identity is imbued with meaning and purpose. The challenge comes when identity becomes calcified and too narrowly defined. When that happens, it can limit us.
In this episode, we delve into the diverse and often unforeseen roles of a physician, the constraints placed on one’s identity due to deeply entrenched beliefs about our own capacities, strategies to overcome limiting beliefs, how the term “just” can undermine one’s potential, the significance of embracing alternate identities, and the common thread between Ted Lasso and Deion Sanders.
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Guest Bio:Pranay Parikh is a principal of Ascent Equity Group, a real estate, private equity company, predominantly for physicians with over 310 million in assets. Pranay is also the purveyor of the Passive Real Estate Income Academy course, which teaches doctors to be able to find vet and invest in real estate syndications; part of the Passive Income MD podcast, and most recently The Effective Living Formula Course – doing more of what matters. (here’s his free webinar). On the side, he is a hospitalist, nocturnist, husband, and father of two young sons.
You are more than ‘just’ a doctor
Physicians often assume myriad roles. They are not only doctors but also educators, mentors, and even influencers in the broader spectrum of healthcare. Yet, many professionals get stuck in the ‘just a doctor’ mentality, limiting their potential reach and impact. This self-imposed limitation can become a constraint.
Pranay’s system for how he approaches life
- He is more than just a doctor.
- His identity needs to be something more than his job. We physicians deeply identify with our careers because we’ve spent our whole lives getting them. But what happens when something outside your control harms that identity? It’s important to have diversity of identity, just like you diversify income.
- Figure out what you want in life. What do you do after you’ve gotten everything you want?
- Have to have an algorithm to make decisions.
- Arambhashura, a Sanskrit word that means “hero in the beginning.”
An over-the-top identity exercise
- What are the qualities you want to embody? Who do you want to be?
- Take a few moments and write that down.
- Then consider what that person would talk like, say, act like, dress like
- The final step is to try that identity on for size. Perform as if you were that person. It’s a bit like method acting but also an experiment. What do you notice? What comes up that elevates you or holds you back?
- What assumptions do you make about yourself?
We often set barriers for ourselves based on our assumptions.
Our self-perceptions often act as filters, sometimes distorting our capabilities and potential.
Unpacking the word ‘Just’
The term “just” is such a small word, but can have an incredibly negative impact. “I’m just a doc” or “I’m just a resident”—such phrases, although seemingly harmless, can diminish one’s potential. By transcending this ‘just’ mindset, we can tap into a broader realm of possibilities and roles.
Exercises to Overcome ‘Just’
- List Your Roles: Beyond patient care, what roles do you play? Educator? Mentor? Advocate? Recognize and celebrate them.
- Replace “I’m just…” with “I am…”
The Power of Alter Egos
None of us are just one thing. We have numerous roles and identities. Exploring this can be like a superpower. Consider the uber-badass Beyonce Knowles. She has an alter ego ‘Sasha Fierce’— that empowers her to perform fearlessly on stage. By creating and embodying empowered versions of ourselves, we can navigate challenging situations with more confidence and vigor. This isn’t about being inauthentic; it’s about channeling a version of oneself that is most suited for a specific situation.
Belief impacts outcome
Ted Lasso, more carrot than stick, embodies “Believe”. Deion Sanders, more stick than carrot, embodies “I believe.” Identity and belief are intertwined and belief has been shown to positively impact outcomes.
1. Embrace the Multifaceted Role: Physicians should recognize and cherish the multiple roles they inherently embody, stepping beyond the ‘just a doctor’ mindset.
2. Introspection: Regular self-reflection can unearth suppressed or latent facets of one’s identity, paving the way for holistic growth.
3. Shed Limiting Assumptions: It’s essential to continually challenge and reassess our self-perceptions, which might inadvertently restrict potential.
4. Beyond the ‘Just’ Mentality: Emphasizing the expansive potential within every role helps break free from restrictive self-concepts.
5. The Power of Belief: Belief in oneself, a task, or others can act as a catalyst for tangible change.