Jumping In

So…I decided to do something that scares me. It is out of my comfort zone, I haven’t done it for many years, and I’m not sure if I can reach my goal….

I’m going to write an exam. It doesn’t sound like much when I type it out, but I haven’t written an exam involving therapeutics and patient management since my University days. It will require many hours of research and studying…time that I don’t really have actually. Between my sometimes more than full time work hours, home schooling and the boys hockey schedule, I’m not sure where I will carve out the study time. It seems crazy to add something so time consuming to my life.

The exam is to help me reach a goal I’ve been thinking about. Over the past year I’ve been contemplating what type of specialty I might pursue within Pharmacy practice. Not that I need one.  I can continue to practice Pharmacy as I am now, but to specialize will allow me to work more one on one with patients, as well as apply for further prescribing rights. So I decided to write the Certified Diabetes Educator exam. In essence this means working one on one with patients that have diabetes, but it also encompasses what I am passionate about:  being engaged with people, empowering patients with knowledge, and optimizing drug therapy.

As I’ve started to gather the material to study, I’ve felt myself many times wanting to just back out. What would be the big deal? I can go on as I am, I have a good career.  I don’t need a few extra letters behind my name and all this extra work.  Who needs career goals anyway?

And if I don’t tell anybody I’m working on this….well…if it becomes too onerous I can just not do it.  (I’m not even sure I’m going to hit the “publish” button on this post!)

So this week I’ve really thought about what it is I am truly afraid of.

Hard work? …..not really.

What I am afraid of is failure. What will it say about me if I fail?

During this week, within my circle of friends and colleagues there have been a few that have inspired me to just jump in and do it.  Their inspiration was unintentional and comes by way of them sharing parts of their lives with others; so I thought I’d share these inspirational people with you.

This week I took time to check out a web-site created by a couple colleagues of mine.  Hugo Leung and Kit Poon developed Pharmbase,  a site for Alberta Pharmacists to connect to each other outside of differences in practice.  It took a dream, an enormous amount of time and I’m sure significant financial resources to develop the site, and in my opinion, courage and fortitude to put it out there for their colleagues.  That is inspiring.

Over the past few months a friend of mine had to come to terms with the delayed growth and development of her youngest daughter.  Stephanie, a photographer and home school mom, stepped outside her comfort zone to allow her daughter to be poked and prodded by specialists,  and watch her baby go through numerous assessments and medical tests.  Reading her story continues to inspire me.

Licensed by flickr Shared by thriol

Another source of inspiration for me this week is a friend who was striving to reach a professional goal.  George, an educator and speaker who works for Parkland School Division, set out to produce a Keynote video.  Having never produced such a video, it was a task that took an enormous amount of time and energy, caused some frustration and had him working within uncertainty.  He persisted with the project and in the end completed his goal.  I’m sure there were times it was tempting to walk away from it, so I found this to be inspiring in my own decision to move forward and jump into a new challenge.

In deciding to do something I was afraid of, I also had to consider what I was teaching my boys.  I don’t want them to be afraid of trying something for fear of failure, therefore I need to model that.

 So, I have decided to just jump in.  To fearlessly move forward.  If I don’t do it, then the choice is to remain stagnant, and that is just not me.  I refuse to be defined by success or failure.

And perhaps I will have to re-read this post a few times along the way.