Maybe You Can
“Maybe it's a lie that you have to keep doing what you have always done. That you have to be able to draw a straight line from how you acted yesterday to how you'll act tomorrow. You don't have to be consistent. You can change.” (Taylor Jenkins Reed, Carrie Soto is Back)
I had a long day of travel yesterday and read an entire book – Carrie Soto is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reed. The book is about a professional tennis player who comes out of retirement with the goal of winning another Grand Slam title. It is about determination and vulnerability and loyalty, about arrival fallacy and identity shifts. I highly recommend it, even if (like me) you are not at all interested in tennis.
The quote above struck me me because it so perfectly summarizes a recurring theme that my clients bring to coaching. “Maybe it’s a lie that you have to keep doing what you have always done.”
Many of my clients come to coaching because they feel stuck. They are physicians with successful clinical practices and academic niches, established routines of work-life balance, and well-practiced habits. They have developed an internal story about who they are and where they “should” be going. My clients come to coaching because something feels missing or because they want something more. More time, more joy, more connection, less stress, less overwhelm, less overworking. When this desire conflicts with their internal story, change feels impossible. When they feel stuck, changes feels impossible.
“Maybe it’s a lie… that you have to be able to draw a straight line from how you acted yesterday to how you’ll act tomorrow. You don’t have to be consistent. You can change.”
Maybe you can decide not to overbook that patient when overbooking will mean you’ll miss dinner with your family? Maybe you can quit that committee? Maybe you can take that dream vacation? Maybe you can hire that house cleaner? Maybe you can apply for that opportunity even if you’re not 100% certain you’re qualified? Maybe you can finish your charts before you go home? Maybe you can.