Episode 107: Define Your Own Success In Life With Dr Claire Kaye

We all have our own take on what success looks like. Throughout our careers, we’ve conditioned ourselves to work extra hard to get to where we want to be, but many professionals who have reached high levels of success seem to be unhappy. Is this really what success looks like?

There is no one definition for success. We’re all different — from our talents and skills down to the priorities we have and the trajectory of our careers. You have the freedom to define success on your own.

In this episode, Dr Claire Kaye joins us to talk about the importance of honesty and clarity in defining our own success. We may think that achieving certain goals will make us happy, but evidence shows us it’s the other way around. It’s only when we’re happy that we can be successful. We also discuss how to overcome common barriers to our happiness and success such as fear, guilt, and uncertainty.

If you want to know how to live a happier and more successful life, stay tuned to this episode.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  • Discover how to redefine success on your own terms

  • Find out how you can prioritise your own happiness

  • Learn about the common blocks we have around change, and how you can alter your mindset.

Episode Highlights

[04:39] How Does Dr Claire Define Success?

  • The dictionary definition of being successful is either accomplishing a purpose or attaining fame, wealth, or social status.

  • However, Dr Claire finds that defining success is personal. Knowing your own definition of success can be liberating.
  • For a long time, she felt like a failure since she wasn’t in a partnership despite becoming a qualified GP.
  • Dr Claire shares that she feels successful when she is held in high regard.
  • This definition helped her focus on what’s important and takes off the pressure of becoming a partner, writing a book, and others.

[09:33] Success and Passion

  • Dr Claire shares her passion for creating a positive impact on people’s lives.
  • Success is doing something you enjoy while thriving. It helps you live the life you want to live.

[10:28] Dr Claire: “It comes down to passion and drive. I’ve looked at purpose, and I’ve looked at my values. For me, I enjoy making a positive impact on people’s lives that help people to reach their potential.”

Click Here to Tweet This

[12:12] Why It’s Important to Find Happiness First

  • Remember that we all have different definitions of success. Some may prefer balance, status, financial success, or others and that’s okay.

  • Be honest with yourself. Know what success means to you and think about how to get there.
  • Life and happiness are not simply about working harder to be successful.
  • If you understand what being successful means, you’ll be happier, which then makes you more efficient and productive.

[15:20] Dr Claire: “First of all, if you understand what success is for you, you can actually start to get joy and happiness in what you’re doing in that moment, and actually get your happiness first. You then become more efficient and actually more productive.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • Happiness produces success, not the other way around.

[16:11] It’s Not About the Goal

  • Even when people reach certain goals, they may not feel happy or successful about their achievements.
  • While it’s important to know what your success is, don’t attach your happiness to that goal. Rather, make sure that happiness comes first.

[17:23] Dr Claire: “This is why it’s so important to change the equation. It’s important to know what your success is — what you’re aiming for, but not to attach your happiness to that. Your happiness comes first — like being more in the moment, enjoying the bits at that time.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • In our world today, people are expected to go bigger all the time, even if it’s not necessary.
  • When you define your own success, it’s easier to feel happy and satisfied.
  • Remember that your progress does not have to be a straight line, it will have ups and downs, plateaus, and even failures.

[23:16] How to Plan Your Success

  • Understand your priorities and don’t just do the work that comes your way.
  • Dr Claire suggests knowing your top three non-negotiable priorities and which you can compromise on.
  • Remember that your priorities should fit who you are as a person, help you achieve your ideal week, and move you towards your goal.
  • Planning your success is like a pyramid. Your definition of success is at the top, followed by your goals, and then action steps to achieve those goals.

[26:54] Dr Claire: “If you’ve got success at the top, then you can start to formulate your goals, which feed into that success. And then you can just formulate the simple next steps that feed into the goals.”

Click Here to Tweet This

[28:57] How to Stay on Your Plan

  • Remember that your success, goals, and actions should give a clear picture of your direction.
  • Once you know your direction, you’ll be able to say no to things that won’t contribute to your goal.
  • Dr Claire suggests the following questions to think about: How does this help? What will I learn? How will I grow? How will this shape me?
  • You should not feel guilty about turning someone down.

[31:59] Rachel: “We think we’re the only person that can actually help out or do that. So not being able to say no is really quite arrogant. Because if you say no, then they will find someone else who will probably do a better job because they want to do it.”

Click Here to Tweet This

[32:11] Common Blocks Towards Success

  • People are often stopped by guilt, fear, and uncertainty.
  • Don’t say yes only because you feel guilty for saying no.
  • It’s not about being selfish; it’s more about being self-aware.
  • Remember that you cannot do everything. Make peace with the fact that we have our limits.
  • Learn to name your feelings so you can assess how to move forward.

[36:27] Change Your Mindset

  • Control what you can and change your mindset to feel at peace.
  • For example, if you’re in a job that you don’t like, think about whether you’re ready to move on. Remember that you’re not stuck and can move when you’re ready.
  • When you name your feelings, you can decide what to do about it then use your control to shape them.

[37:47] Change is Not Failure

  • There can be no success without failure. What is important is what you do with failure.
  • Remember that changing careers is not a failure. In fact, it’s a springboard for people to become happier in a job that suits them better.

[40:02] Dr Claire: “Ultimately, failure is one of the biggest parts of success. You cannot be successful, in my view, without failing.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • All of your experiences can help you grow and develop as an individual.
  • Change is not the same as failure. Failure is something going wrong and change is growth.

[44:59] What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed

  • There are successful people who find themselves overwhelmed by challenges.
  • Dr Claire shares that if you’re in this situation, try to find a support system. If that doesn’t work, maybe you need a significant change.
  • Change does not have to be shifting careers; it can simply be doing less of one thing or reshaping your week.
  • She shares that you can use the 3Rs approach: reflecting, reinventing, and rebuilding.
  • Remember that your definition of success can change over time.

[48:26] Find Clarity

  • Be clear about how you want to live.
  • Dr Claire shares that change can also be about mindset and finding clarity.
  • She had a client who became happy even if she didn’t change anything but her mindset. She just looked at her current challenges and identified what she really wanted.

[50:16] Dr Claire: “She completely changed her approach — completely changed her mindset. She completely changed her definition of success, so all the pressure had gone. She was unable to get happiness on a day to day basis.”

Click Here to Tweet This

[51:59] Dr Claire’s Top Three Tips

  • Know your definition of success.
  • Understand your trajectory for that success.
  • Be kind to yourself.

About Dr Claire

Dr Claire Kaye is an executive coach who specialises in the field of career coaching and career development. She has been a portfolio GP for 16 years and is also a multi-awarded educator at UCL. She spent 20 years expanding her career portfolio, highlighting her vital role as a Lead GP Advisor for BMJ (British Medical Journal) conferences. Her career also includes being an Advisory board member of a health tech company and a CQC inspector.

Claire also shares her expertise as a speaker and chair in large national and international conferences on coaching and clinical topics. She currently enjoys providing fruitful seminars and workshops, as well as services centred on public speaking, workshops and content creation.

To know more about Claire and her projects, check out her website. You can also connect with her through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Enjoyed This Podcast?

In today’s high-stress work environment, you may feel like a frog in boiling water. The pan has heated up so slowly that you didn’t notice the feeling of stress and overwhelmed becoming the norm. You may feel that it is impossible to survive AND thrive in your work.

Frogs generally have only two options — stay and be boiled alive or jump out of the pan. Fortunately, you are not a frog. You have many more options, choices, and control than you think.

Learn to master your destiny so that you can thrive even in the most difficult of situations. If you enjoyed today’s episode of You Are Not a Frog Podcast, then hit subscribe now!

Post a review and share it! If you enjoyed tuning into this podcast, then do not hesitate to write a review and share this with your friends.

Here’s to surviving and thriving inside and outside our work!


Episode Transcript

Dr Claire Kaye: Maybe, success was different for me — maybe that label that I thought was success wasn’t actually my success. Gradually, what I’ve done is worked out what my definition of success is, and I have found it personally incredibly liberating to know what success is for me.

Dr Rachel Morris: Are you outwardly very successful, but inwardly concerned that your successful life isn’t living up to expectations or making you happy? Or do you feel guilty that you could have accomplished so much more and being more successful, but you’re actually quite happy with the way things are right now — until you actually know what success looks like for you?

This week, we’re joined by Dr Claire Kaye on the podcast. She’s a former GP and executive coach, specialising in career development. We’re discussing success, the pros and cons, the advantages and pitfalls. So often we have that niggling feeling that life isn’t quite how we expected it to be even if we are quite successful.

Let’s face it — many doctors and professionals working in high stakes industries do look quite successful. That is success — whatever that means — really worth the sacrifice, the loss of free time, and the stress which comes from achieving it.

Perhaps, it’s time we took a long, hard look at what a successful life really looks like. It will mean different things to different people. The worst thing you can do is pursue someone else’s definition of success. Claire and I discuss how to work this out for yourself and plan a successful career in which you can thrive in work and life.

So join us if you want to find out why it’s so important to get your own definition of success, how some small changes will make a huge difference to your success and how you can make them. Join us if you want to find out how to ditch the guilt about what you think you should do, and start doing what you really want to do.

Welcome to You Are Not A Frog, the podcast for doctors and other busy professionals who want to beat burnout and work happier. I’m Dr Rachel Morris. I’m a GP, now working as a coach, speaker, and specialist in teaching resilience. Even before the coronavirus crisis, we were facing unprecedented levels of burnout. We have been described as frogs in a pan of slowly boiling water. We hardly noticed the extra-long days becoming the norm and have got used to feeling stressed and exhausted.

Let’s face it, frogs generally only have two options: stay in the pan and be boiled alive or jump out of the pan and leave. But you are not a frog. And that’s where this podcast comes in. It is possible to craft your working life so that you can thrive even in difficult circumstances. And if you’re happier at work, you will simply do a better job. In this podcast, I’ll be inviting you inside the minds of friends, colleagues, and experts — all who have an interesting take on this. So that together, we can take back control and love what we do again.

.We talk a lot in the podcast about the zone of power, and other coaching productivity and resilience tools and principles, which I found made a huge difference to me personally and also the teams which I worked with. I put all these principles and tools together to form the Shapes Toolkit. This is a complete package of resilience, productivity, tools, and training for doctors, healthcare teams, and other busy leaders.

We’ve been delivering shapes toolkit courses all over the country in the form of keynote talks, webinars, workshops, online memberships and courses, and full or half-day live programmes. We’ve been working with GP training hubs, new to GP fellowship programmes, returned to practise programmes, trainers, groups, health and well-being projects, and many more organizations.

We’re now taking bookings for summer and autumn 2022, and have a few slots left for spring 2022. If your team are feeling overwhelmed with work, one crisis away from not coping, and want to take control of their workload, feel calmer and work happier — do get in touch to find out how we can help.

It’s really good to have with me back on the podcast again, Dr Claire K. Now, Claire is an executive coach and a specialist in creative development. She’s a former portfolio GP and she does loads and loads of other stuff as well. It’s brilliant to have you on Cliff. We are going to be talking about success today and something I know you think a lot about Claire. You post a lot about that on your various social media channels as well.

I think success for doctors and other professionals is an odd thing, and I think it really changes doesn’t it throughout our career what we think success is. Let’s just start With really basic definitions. How would you define success?

Claire: Well, I think this is actually a really, really challenging area. What I did before we came on, and today is actually looked at the dictionary definition of success. There’s two — I’m just going to read them to you. One is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, and the second one is the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status. When I read these a while ago, I just felt really uncomfortable.

It made me realise that actually, success is very individual number one, and number two, most people that I’m seeing in a coaching arena don’t really know what success is to them. It made me think a lot about my journey with success and my struggles with understanding what success is. For example, when I just quantified GP, and all my friends — very high achieving people, really bright, great a bunch. We used to meet up regularly.

I remember vividly at one of our meetups. They were getting together, and everyone was saying what they were doing, and everyone is, ‘Just going for partnership’, and ‘I’ve just got partnership’, and ‘Wow, I’m just about to get partnership.’ This word ‘partnership’ was looming large. This was quite off-piste at the time — not to go for partnership.

I remember during that meetup feeling like a complete failure and feeling like I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t get there, ‘Why wasn’t I going for partnership? Was I making a big mistake? Just feeling rubbish and thinking, ‘Oh, my goodness. I have totally failed in my career. What was I thinking?’ That feeling kind of sat with me for a really, really long time.

Even though I was actively decided to go down the portfolio career route and actively decided to do my own thing, there was always a bit of me that felt like I wasn’t quite successful because I wasn’t a partner. It took me a really long time to come to terms with that actually I had chosen a different route. Maybe, success was different for me — maybe that label of partnership that I thought was success wasn’t actually my success. Gradually — and this takes a really long time for me to work out gradually.

What I’ve done is worked out what my definition of success is and I work a lot with clients on this. I have found it personally incredibly liberating to know what success is for me. It’s changed at different points in my career to kind of tidbits on it as it were, but actually, the basic definition is always been the same. It’s actually liberating to understand what your definition of success is.

Rachel: What’s your definition of your success?

Claire: I was waiting for that one. My definition of success is being held in high regard. That for me is been utterly liberating. Because what I realised was when I was with a patient, and if a patient for I’d done a good job, or I’d help them or something positive that happened because I’d been there for them — I was being held in high regard by them and it felt amazing. I felt on top of the world, I felt really successful.

I also felt really successful if I was chairing an event for a big organization, or a big conference — that felt like success. But I also felt successful if I completed something and somebody said, ‘Well done.’ I’m very feedback-driven. But when people were holding me in high regard, I felt like a success — and it wasn’t anything to do with the title of partnership. This has been really liberating as well because even in my as I’ve moved into my coaching career, at some point, I said, ‘Guess what, I’ll be a success when I’ve written my book.’

Then, I was thinking, ‘No, no, no, no.’ When I get my feedback forms from my clients, and they are glowing and whatever — that moment feels amazing. Yes, because success to me has been held in high regard. That’s the bit that success and the icing on the cake if I write a book, brilliant. If I don’t, well, I still feel like a success.

For me, it’s been utterly liberating that pressure of ‘I’ve got to be a partner, I’ve got to write a book, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that’ is gone, I can just be in the moment and shape my success around what I’m doing, and do more things that make me feel successful because it’s important to me.

Rachel: That’s really nice to have that sort of north star — that thing about, ‘What am I aiming for here in anything that I do that being held in high regard?’ That’s really important to you. How does that work there, Claire? Just to play devil’s advocate.

You can be held in high regard if you are great at staying at home and being great with your family. It doesn’t necessarily have to have work in it. Where does ‘what you achieve and what you’re doing’ come into that success for you? Because you can be held in many, many ways and it doesn’t have to involve necessarily going out to work. We just work in the home and be held in incredibly high regard by your family and friends.

Clair: That’s really interesting because at home, I also have used that just like you’re saying because when the kids hold me in high regard or I feel like I’m doing well — whatever I’m doing at home, that also feels like success. But to answer your question, it comes down to passion and drive.

I’ve looked at purpose, and I’ve looked at my values — and for me, I enjoy making an impact, a positive impact on people’s lives that help people to reach their potential. That kind of ties in with the success. I suppose I’m not complete, personally, if I was not working — other people are, that’s great. But for me, I need to work. But it’s about just there’s a bit missing, and that bit missing is around feeling my passion.

Rachel: It’s about how you want people to see, but also doing something that you’re passionate about and you enjoy.

Claire: Absolutely.

Rachel: I was on a business retreat a few years ago, and I was just sort of starting to do what I do now — just thinking about starting the podcast, just thinking about doing a little bit more coaching and training, and stuff like that. They get you to think about where you want to be in five years time and how you want things to look.

This guy sat me down, he said, ‘Right, okay. Let’s have a coaching session about where you want to be, Rachel.’ I said, ‘Right, I’ve got this goal and that goal…’ He said, ‘Nope, write out what do you want your week to look.’ I said, ‘What?’ I didn’t understand. I then said, ‘Well, I don’t want to be working every hour, godsend. I don’t want to be doing this. I want to have enough time to do this and to have some thinking time, and I want to have some space.’ I told him exactly how I wanted to work.

We mapped it out and we looked at what that would look like and the sort of choices that we’d have to look like. He said, ‘There we are. That’s what success looks like to you.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ It completely transformed my mindset that for me, success is doing something that you enjoy, that you’re thriving in that allows you to live the life that you want to live.

I, like you, have been in those situations where everyone’s making partner, and everyone is in high-powered jobs, and doing amazing things, and on the board of this and that, and started to feel really, ‘Gosh, who am I and what have I done? I’m really unsuccessful.’

Then, some of them, you then find out, ‘Well, I haven’t been home before midnight for the last three weeks. and I just need to have a day off. Actually, most of my time was spent in a room on my own just poring over documents — or this, that and the other. I think, ‘Wow, very successful person, but actually, they probably don’t feel very successful because they’re not doing anything that they actually liked doing.’ Do you come across that a lot in your clients?

Claire: I do. But I would argue that sometimes the person that is working all the hours that there are and doing all these high-powered things — actually, maybe that is their definition of success. For me, that wouldn’t be my definition of success. Like you’re saying, when you mapped out your week, there was obviously a lot of balance in that. That was obviously, for you, there’s an element of balance being part of your success, which is really common I see a lot of.

But I think some people do find success in poring over the documents, being working all the hours there are because they get a sense of fulfilment in that. Some people — it’s okay to want status, it’s okay to want financial success. If that’s okay, as long as you know what it is for you. I suppose when I’m working with people in the coaching room, a lot of it is about just having complete honesty with yourself.

It’s not just because my definition is a slightly more woolly one — doesn’t have any bearing on what their definition will be because some people, it is, ‘I want to be a consultant. I want to be the best professor that there is and I want to do it in the quickest time that there is.’ That’s their definition, and that’s fine.

There’ll be other people — perhaps more like you and I who will say, ‘Actually, balance and getting success in different arenas in our life is what success is.’ But it doesn’t really matter what the definition of success is, in my opinion — It’s just knowing what it is. I think different people are different, and that’s fine. That, for me, is the biggest thing is understanding what your definition of success is, and then thinking about how to get there.

I think for me, it’s about really breaking it down into really systematic approach — and that’s really, really important. Then, my big bugbear is this thing that — I don’t know about you — but when you’re at school, I think a lot of us are told that ‘If you work harder, you’ll be successful, and then you’ll be happy.

For me, that is completely topsy turvy and there’s a lot of work that Shawn Achor has done around The Happy Advantage which is really useful. If anybody’s listening, this Shawn Achor TED Talk is my secret obsession. It’s a 10-minute incredible, hilarious talk all around The Happiness Advantage. But actually, for me, I’ve watched it like 100 times — I love it. But he talks about changing that equation completely the other way around.

First of all, if you understand what success is for you, you can actually start to get joy and happiness in what you’re doing in that moment. Actually, get your happiness first, you then become more efficient, and actually more productive. Then, the other things come as the icing on the cake. You’re not constantly reaching for goals the whole time — you’re not constantly reaching for the next thing, the next thing, the next thing. I think that’s really fascinating.

Rachel: I love all that happiness research — that happiness produces success, not producing happiness. There’s a lot that he talks about doing things that feel good now, not just for the future. I think in medicine, what we do a lot of the time is be completely miserable now because we think, ‘Well, that’s going to contribute to my future success.’ And you’re not enjoying the journey. Actually, because you’re not happy, that success is going to be even more out of reach.

Claire: Absolutely.

Rachel: But I do think there are quite a few people that they have defined what their definition of success is. Then, they get there, and they say, ‘But I’m not happy.’ It’s one thing saying, ‘Well, I want to do this.’ But do you really know when you’re on the other side of it? What will make you happy? What is success gonna feel like?

Claire: Well, I think that’s partly why it is so important to get your happiness first. Your happiness doesn’t come from making partner or being a consultant, it comes from other bits that have been created first. Those titles, those accolades, that book you’ve written is actually more just the icing on the cake. Again, Shawn Achor talks about the Harvard effect. He talks about when you got into Harvard, which is obviously an incredibly difficult school to get into.

Surely, that would mean that you’re so successful to have got there. Therefore, the people at Harvard who are studying there should be joyous all the time because they got into Harvard. But actually, the complete opposite is true. A lot of people are feeling overwhelmed — it’s really competitive environment, maybe their essay isn’t going to be good enough. Actually, they’re not very happy because even though they’ve reached this amazing accolade and on paper are successful, they don’t feel successful.

This is why it’s so important to change the equation. It’s important to know what your success is, what you’re aiming for — but not to attach your happiness to that. Your happiness comes first like being more in the moment, enjoying the bits at that time. Example, ‘Today, I’m enjoying this with you. This is a moment that’s contributing to the bits that I’m aiming for on paper. But actually, the bits on paper aren’t going to make me happy there. This, right now — I’m getting the joy out of this.’

Rachel: I’m just wondering about this whole definition of success and in our current western culture, thinking it always has to be about being at the top, being on the board, being in charge, having this amazing status, having a massive business — growing it, scaling it all — all these are the sorts of things that we’re told are successful.

I had a fantastic story. This story has been passed around a lot. I think I read it in the Oliver Burkeman book — Four Thousand Weeks, which I don’t know if you’ve read that, but it’s just fantastic. But there was a fisherman down in a very sunny country somewhere who was very good at fishing, and he would go fishing during the day. Come back in the evening, he’d sit on the docks with his friends, drinking wine and playing music.

Then, somebody came to him, some businessman observed what he was doing and said, ‘Actually, you’re a really good fisherman.’ What you could do is get some money and invest it for more fishing boats. You could run some fishing boats from the bank. Then, eventually, you could just keep going and get more and more fishing boats.

Eventually, you’d be able to sell your business and the fisherman said, ‘Well, okay. Let’s do that for a few years. Then, what would I do when I’ve sold my business?’ The guy, the businessman said, ‘What do you like to do?’ He said, ‘Well, I like fishing. I like to sit on the boat with my mates drinking wine and playing music.’

Claire: I love that. Love that.

Rachel: That really struck me because sometimes, I think we’re all sitting on the boat, drinking wine and playing music. But we’re like, ‘No, this isn’t good enough. We’ve just got to keep going into a bigger and bigger — so that we can go back to sitting, drinking wine and playing music.’ I don’t know — is that a bit of element of that in our society, in our culture?

Clair: 100%. I think we’re also like that. I think that is part and parcel. That’s what the conveyor belt from school to uni to a job — you’re told just keep on going until you get to the top. Then, what do you do when you get to the to? As you say, is it easier and nicer, and more fulfilling to sit and with your fish and your wine?

I think that’s why the definition comes in and that’s where you have to have the guts to say, ‘Actually, for me, balance is important that I want to be working X amount. I’m happy being at the level I’m at and I don’t need that title. And yes, I need this amount of money because this fulfils my happiness. But actually, I don’t need that times 50 to be happy.’ It’s not attaching your happiness to those things. I suppose a lot of it is having the confidence and the guts to say, ‘Actually, I’m already successful.’

I bet you — if we could go and ask that fisherman, and forgot what the businessman said, ‘Do you feel successful?’ He would probably say, ‘Of course, I do. I’m really happy. I’m with my mates, I’m drinking wine I’ve got enough fish to sell. My family — I’m happy, I’m successful.’ I suppose that’s why the definition to me is so important because it actually brings it away from the status and the money, and the ‘go faster, go harder — push, push, push’, and then never being satisfied.

It makes me think of that song in Hamilton — I don’t know if you’ve seen it when he goes, ‘He’s never satisfied, he’s never satisfied, he’s never satisfied.’ When I was watching Hamilton, I said, ‘Gosh, that is so true in career terms because actually, we’re never satisfied — but always want more, more, more, more, more.’ Then obviously, for him it ended in disaster.

That’s, for me quite a poignant thing because actually, it’s about just understanding who you are, and what you want, and what you need. Also, learning to evaluate your success I think is really important because I think we forget to do that. We forget to look back and go, ‘Oh, wow! I started off in school, and then I went to med school — or whatever career you’re in. Then I did this, and then I’ve done that. Gosh, over the last 10 years, I’ve really come a long way and going towards what I’m aiming for.’ That’s really good.

It’s that old legend. If you — I don’t know if you’ve seen the picture of the guy who looks like he’s at the top of the stairs, but there’s still a long way to go, and he’s kind of looking up. Then, actually, when he turns around, it’s about 10 times longer from where he’s at. He’s come up so far. I always think that’s a really powerful image. I suppose the other point that is I think people’s think that the projectory of success has to be the straight-line, ‘Yeah.’

Like that whole thing I talk a lot about, I’m obsessed with tortoises and hares. I’m hare, I’m fast, I’m — and I feel like I’ve got to get there fast. My trajectory in my head would be the straight diagonal line going upwards. That’s what would success be to me. But actually, that’s wrong. I’ve learned that actually, success is a sort of more stepwise progression up, and that there’s rest periods in this space, and there’s plateaus — and that’s not failure, even though the failure is another really important part of success. That’s rest, that’s time to recalibrate, that’s time to be more tortoise.

Take it more steadily to think, to prepare, to be planning — and that’s really important. I think those are all elements of success is — it’s not just the definition, it’s about evaluation, it’s about understanding whether you’re a tortoise and hare, it’s understanding about the progress of what success looks like. It is really important.

Rachel: Do you think people really spend enough time planning what their success should look like? I’m sort of thinking about GPS going for jobs. Traditionally, it’s like, ‘I need a job. I need to work on this many sessions. Where’s the practise that’s going to pay me enough that I can work those sessions?’ Often, it is literally down to, ‘Is the money is the salary okay? Do I think it’s an okay practise?’ Without thinking about actually, ‘How much money do I actually need? What’s the work-life balance like here? What are the relationships like within the practise?’

I worked in a practise once, and all the partners had decided that full-time was many less sessions than are normally full-time would be so that they had enough time to get all their paperwork done so that they all did get at least half a day during the week, if not a full day. Now, I don’t know how they’re working now.

It was a long time ago. But I remember thinking, ‘What an amazing practise because they have decided that that’s what matters to them more than the income. They all had enough to live on. They all had enough to have a lovely life — nice holidays.’ They weren’t wanting for anything. I just thought, ‘Wow, they sort of thought about what that looks like to them.’ But I don’t think we really do, as doctors, look at that. It just tends to be about the money and about what the job is.

Claire: Definitely, and I find that actually one of the biggest other factors is what happens to land on their lap. If you happen to speak to somebody and they say, ‘Oh, we’ve got a job coming up.’ Or, there happens to be an email that says, ‘There’s a job coming up.’ They think, ‘Well, that, what would we do is six sessions.’ As you say, ‘this’ amount. Then, they just do it.

Actually, a lot of the time, what I do with people is to look at their priorities with what actually the work should be like, but also the other bits like, ‘I want to be home at X time, I want to work this many days, I want to have an open-door policy in the practise, I want it to be 20 minutes from home, I want it…’ Whatever the ‘I want’, and then we whittle it down to the top three non-negotiable ‘will not shift’ priorities.

Then, you can start to say, ‘Okay, well, I won’t shift on those three, but I can compromise on the distance to work, I can compromise on the size of the practise, I can compromise on how much I’m getting paid.’ But as long as you know the top three things that actually fit with — who you are as a person, what life looks like, a bit like how your business caters to you right back many years ago, what your weeks would look like, but also fitting in with actually, ‘Does this help me to achieve what I want to achieve? Will this help me to be successful?’

Because if status is part of your success, does that allow that to happen? If balance is part of your success, am I actually creating a balanced week? If being held in high regard is part of your success, do you value the people that you’re working with? Do you value their opinion? Is it something where you can grow personally and developmentally in that practise? Or is it actually sort of ‘go, go, go — get the work done’.

It’s really important to think about it. But I totally agree with you that I think, especially as medics, but lots of other professionals as well, we’re programmed just to go on the travelator or the conveyor belt. We just, ‘Oh, it’s here. I’ll do it.’ There’s so often that we don’t think, ‘Does this fit in?’ I always think that once you know your success — I call it success pyramid because I’m just a simple soul. If you’ve got success at the top, then you can start to formulate your goals which feed into that success. Then, you can just formulate the simple next step that feeds into the goals.

Everything’s going in the same direction. It doesn’t have to be fast. It can be over 20 years if you wanted to — whatever’s right for you. But then when you’re choosing your next practise or your next job, if you would just feed into where I’m going, to my goals, to what I’m trying to achieve, does this feed into balance? ‘I’m going to be working 10 sessions, that’s not balanced. How am I going to feel good in six months time? I’m not.’

I think it is really helpful just to have that structure and to spend a few minutes, a day thinking about it. I love reflecting but I can’t do — I think it’s really amazing you went to a retreat. I’d love to be able to do that. I think I’m too much ‘hare’ to do that. I find it really difficult to slow down.

Whereas, what I do is I recommend to people who are hare is just to say, ‘Take five minutes in the shower.’ Or, ‘Take two minutes in the car journey on the way to work and just think one tiny little section of the programme, and then you can try to fit it together.’ Or, if you are more reflective person or tortoise, perhaps then taking some dedicated time out is really going to work for you.

Rachel: That’s great advice. Fine now, on the retreat — my idea of retreat is like hiking up mountains and doing stuff. It was fantastic. I could just say we mentioned the possibility of doing a You Are Not A Frog retreat a few weeks ago on the podcast. I said I would organise one if more than 10 people wrote in, ‘We’ve had a complete deluge of emails of going to the retreat.’

Just to let people know, we’re on it and there’ll be some stuff coming out. We’re just exploring. Maybe, what we need to do next is send a little survey about exactly what people want to do on the retreat. There will be a You Are Not A Frog thinking retreat — in which we will be doing stuff as well. We won’t just be sitting navel-gazing.

Claire: That sounds amazing.

Rachel: We’ll get outside, we’ll get into nature. Anyway, back to success. There’s so many interesting points I want to talk about there. I think your point about stuff just landing in your lap and you’re feeling obliged to do it, I have experienced that. It’s sort of like because someone’s asked you to do something out of the blue, you feel pretty flattered. Then, you really genuinely start considering it.

It happened to me a couple years ago. Someone offered me a sort of a role running some sort of training. I wouldn’t even have considered it if he said to me, ‘There’s this doctor, and would you apply for it?’ I would have said, ‘No, it’s not what I want to do.’ Because someone has come to me and said, ‘Would you consider doing it? I think you’d be really good.’ Immediately, I started thinking, ‘Maybe, I should.’ You feel a bit flattered that someone’s asked you. Then, you feel almost a bit obliged because someone’s asked you.

It’s this really weird thing and I remember talking to her GP who was working in a practise as a locum, and she hated it. They’d phoned her up and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. We’re absolutely desperate. We need someone to do a day a week for us. Can you do that?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ Because she just sort of felt obliged because it asked them, ‘What’s going on there with us?’

Claire: I think you’re so right. It happens all the time. Particularly, people are kind of — lots of fingers and lots of pies tend to gather more, and more, and more roles. Actually, the big thing that I say to people is make sure things are value-added. Actually, going into that idea about your success, your goals, and your next steps — it all fits into your clear direction of where you’re going.

If say, for example, with that person you’re talking about with the local job, if that was actually nothing of no added value to her — she didn’t need the money, she didn’t like the work. Actually, apart from wanting to help out, if that was going to impact on the rest of her week in helping other people — apart from that want, if there was no other value-added, then the answer that she can very politely and very nicely say is ‘no’.

I think that is really important because once you know what you’re aiming for, once you have a clear idea of direction, and you’ll have utter clarity of where you’re going — even if it’s overtime, even if there’s rest, even if it’s a slow progression — it’s much easier to say ‘no’ because you’re sure that it’s not value-added. Now, there may be some things that don’t add value on paper, but add up value in personal development or growth, or helping people. But that’s still value-added. It just doesn’t look like it on paper.

It’s really important when the things land in your lap and think, ‘What does this add to me? How does this help? What do I learn? How do I grow? How does this shape me? I think that’s quite uncomfortable for people to do.

Rachel: It is. It’s uncomfortable. We also feel guilty. We think, ‘I’m letting them down. They really need some help.’ But I’ll refer people back to the podcast with Rob Bell on how to ditch the saviour complex. We think we’re the only person that can actually help out or do that. So that not being able to say ‘no’ is really quite arrogant because if you say ‘no’, then they will find someone else who will probably do a better job because they want to do it right.

Claire: There’s so many blocks that stop people. One of the big ones, as you said, is guilt. But also people have a massive block around fear. They’re just scared of doing whatever it is, or even having the thought process of ‘I’m allowed to choose what my success’ is completely and really scary. Then, there’s also the other uncertainties like, ‘Even if I choose what my success is, I’m not going to be good enough to do that anyway.’ Or, ‘I wouldn’t be able to achieve it.’ Or, ‘How would I know what to do to put that in place?’

All these sort of uncertainties about ourselves. Then, all the other things around, ‘Well, even if I wanted to do that, how would I have the money to do it? Why would I get the training? I would never be able to do the training? How could I find the time? All these things — you’re absolutely right, one of the biggest ones is guilt. But why do we feel this guilt? But I think it’s ingrained in all of us in all professions, actually. Not just medics, but medics are particularly good at guilt.

I know that when I have said no to opportunities, the guilt was massive and almost overwhelming to the point of, as you said, with this doctor you were talking about, ‘I’ll just do it. I’ll just do it because it’s easier to do it than to have to deal with these emotions of guilt and say the word ‘no’ because that’s really scary. I’ll just do it.’

But actually, in this fast, fast world that we live in, and we only live once. There does come a time when it’s okay to be a little bit — not selfish, but just more self-aware, and that’s okay. As you say, there are always other people who perhaps will do that thing better than you because you’re applying yourself to something else that you’re doing better than somebody else can do what you’re doing.

Rachel: I love that. But it’s about being more self-aware than selfish. I think guilt is such a massive driver. When Caroline Walker and I run up Permission to Thrive, CPD membership, doctors, our webinars, we talk about guilt a lot. I started off by saying, ‘You just got to ditch the guilt.’ Caroline was like, ‘No, embrace the guilt.’ Because guilt means you’re a good person. Guilt means you’re a good person. The guilt means you’re just sorry that you can’t do all the stuff that’s out there.

There’s this fantastic book that’s out at the moment called Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. I apologise in advance because I’m probably going to talk about this book on every single podcast for the next six months. I’d really recommend reading it but he says, ‘You literally can’t do everything. The only way to get over this time management productivity thing is just to make your peace with the fact that you have limits and everyone has a short amount of time. We only have 4000 weeks on this planet, give or take. What are you going to use your precious, precious time and your precious life on?’

When you come to peace with the fact that you’re going to miss out on 99.99999% of all career opportunities, demon experiences, things like that — just make peace with it, then you can start going, ‘Okay, what are the one or two that I actually do want to do that are going to bring me joy.’ Like you said, that isn’t selfish, it’s self-aware because actually if you’re doing stuff that brings you joy, you will be much more productive. You will be much more successful. You’ll actually be better for those people around you as well.

Claire: Absolutely. I think there’s a real benefit to naming the emotion that you’re feeling. I think, often, you just feel unsettled, and scared, and stressed inside — it’s like a bubbling cauldron if you like. But we don’t actually name what it is. It might be that some people are being scared, might be that some people are feeling something else. But often, as you say, it’s that word ‘guilt’.

Once you can say, ‘I feel guilty’, or ‘I feel jealous’, or ‘I feel angry’, or ‘I feel scared’, and sit in it for a little bit, and say, ‘Well, I’m justified to feel like this. It’s okay.’ Then you can actually say, ‘Okay, what’s the next step? How do I move forward? How do I address this differently? I’m okay to feel guilty. But actually, I can’t sit in this guilt forever. I either move backwards, if that’s what I choose to do, or I’m going to move forward, and understand that it’s okay to feel that. I think labelling the emotion is really, really important.

Rachel: Then, you can see — I talked about this owner power a lot. Once you in control of, or out of control of — say if you’re feeling guilty, then I can choose to just accept that, accept that I’m not in control of what’s happening in the world and whether they can get locums or not. If I don’t want to accept that guilt, I can make a choice.

I can make a choice to go and work there because I want to work. It’s about then saying, ‘Well, I’m choosing to do this because I’m choosing this so that I…’ That is much, much more powerful rather than just feeling, ‘I have to because I’m feeling guilty. I feel so awful. I don’t want to, but I feel guilty.’

Claire: Absolutely, and you’re exactly right what you’re saying around control because it changes your mindset. Therefore, I bet you if that person that you were talking about had thought about it differently rather than that, ‘God, I feel guilty. I’ve got to go and work in that role that I hate.’

But if she said, ‘Actually, this is something I feel I need to do. Actually, I’m not ready to move on yet. I can gain lots of experience with patients, it is financially good and there’s lots I can gain from actually doing this role one day a week. Then, when I’m ready, I’ll move on.’ That’s a completely different thought process to, ‘Oh, my God! This is awful. I can’t believe I’m doing — I hate this.’

It’s just more manageable. As you say, if you want to name the emotion, you’re then able to decide what to do with it and use your control to kind of shape it the way you want it today.

Rachel: The idea of next action. There’s an emotion that you mentioned earlier, Claire, which is fear. I think fear holds us back a lot. It’s fear of failure, isn’t it? I know you mentioned failure as well. We just sent a recording about failure, actually — Leadership and Management Conference. I don’t think you can be successful without failing because I don’t learn anything unless I get it wrong — even with starting the podcast. I do stuff wrong, you get it a bit wrong, you try differently.

I come across the term AFOG recently, which I absolutely love — which stands for Another Flipping Opportunity for Growth, use whatever ‘F’ word you like. It’s really helpful because — something happened the other week, and I was just gutted and I knew I had not done it very well.

I was really annoyed with myself and I could see what happened. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m so dreadful.’ Beating yourself up, it’s like, ‘No. You know what? That this is so much of an AFOG and it’s taught me so much, and I’m going to be so much better in the future for having made that mistake.’

If I had just gone to that thing, and it would’ve all gone swimmingly and smoothly — wouldn’t have improved at all, nothing would help. It’s really uncomfortable. Medics — we’re very perfectionists, we don’t like to fail. In our, I guess, day-to-day job, failure could mean serious patient harm. In our heads, it’s like a really, really, really, really, really bad thing.

But in the startup world, you try and fail fast. That’s the whole point of lean,. You create your minimal viable product, you test it and you hope it fails — you hope it fails immediately because then, you know what not to do. How can we embrace that more?

Claire: Well, I think the first thing is a quote by Thomas Edison — which I absolutely obsessed with — is ‘I failed my way to success’, because that’s what he did. It’s amazing because when you think about it, he had to get it wrong multiple times in order to create the light bulb. For me, that is really powerful. As you’re saying, it’s not nice to fail, and I love your AFOG —that’s great. But also, I think, ultimately, failure is one of the biggest parts of success. You cannot be successful, in my view, without failing.

It’s interesting because again, going back to school, I think in our generation — I’m generalising — but I think most of our generation, we’re taught, ‘Go be successful and failure is on the opposite side of the room.’ You’ve got the successful people and the failure people. Even in a family, this one’s a success, this one’s not doing so well. That’s how, culturally, it was here. I think that’s really changing.

In schools, you are taught now to fail — that failing is really good. But it’s about how you stand up after you fail, and that’s the bit. I always would say to people — so again, label I have in inverted comma is ‘failed’, then think, ‘Now, how do I stand up?’ Not, ‘I need to stand up’, but the word ‘how’. It might be:

‘Okay, first of all, I need to do this and that will get me to my knees. Then, I need to have a big week, and that will mean that I can kind of get up on high knees. Then, I need to talk to X, Y and Z to put some things in place. That will mean that I can start to stamp my head down. Then, I need a big hug and I need to put my next steps in place, and then my head is held high.’

It’s just about how you stand up rather than sitting in the failure and thinking, ‘That’s who I am.’ And understanding that if you want to be successful, if you want to reach your success definition, you have to fail. If you haven’t failed, then you can’t be successful in my view.

Rachel: I love that Thomas Edison quote. I think this is really important when it comes to career success because in this podcast about failure, Claire, who’s a leadership fellow at the FMLM, has just finished her registrar surgical training. She got to the end, did incredibly well, and then thought to herself, ‘But I’m not really enjoying this.’ And is now, going to move on into GP training. She’s going to be a GP. She would be an amazing GP.

But she was talking about how, even though in her head she knows that’s great, she’s made that choice deep down, it might feel a little bit like she’s failed at surgery. I just think it’s deeply ingrained in us that if we do a career change, or we even leave a practise to go to a different practise, or we stopped doing a role because we don’t like it that somehow we have failed in that role or that job, or that particular — even changing speciality.

This thing that changing means that we’re failing, and it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I absolutely love what I do now. It suits me — it plays to my strengths. What I was doing before, some of it played to my strengths, but it didn’t so much. I’m enjoying this now than I did, but it’s still getting terrible, ‘Have I failed?’ I don’t know, do you somewhat experience this?

Claire: All the time, and I’ve experienced it myself. But that’s all about springboarding. I think this is why it’s utterly key for the person you’re talking about who was a surgical trainee and then switched to GP. The natural instinct is to think, ‘Oh, I failed. Therefore, I’ve changed in something else.’ But actually, it’s completely the opposite. What she’s done is super, super clever.

What she’s taken is she said, ‘Right. Actually, this isn’t quite where I want to end up. This isn’t going to enhance my happiness for whatever reason. I’m going to springboard my skill set and actually, springboard my career forward. I’m going to take the skills I’ve got and use them in a different way to enhance my happiness.’ That’s really key.

I felt exactly the same when I gave up clinical medicine. I had the guilt, I felt, ‘Oh my goodness, what am I doing? Am I making a big mistake?’ Actually, it’s the complete opposite, ‘I’ve never been happier because I’m doing what I enjoy and what I’m better at. What I’ve done is taken the skills that I used before and use it a different way. That’s exactly what you’ve done. That’s exactly what this person that you’re talking about I’m sure will do as well.

It’s understanding that actually, it’s not you have to get to one point in your life and you’re done. You can have multiple parts of your life. As long as we take what we’ve learned from the previous parts of our life and feed it into the next one, grow and develop it, then nothing is lost. It’s all just part of the story and that’s really important.

Actually, failing — it’s actually springboarding. I don’t think that’s the same sort of failure as what we’re talking about which parts of success because that actually isn’t failure. That’s just change, and that’s different to failure. Failing when something goes wrong, and then you’ve got to understand what went wrong, and how to change it, and how to move forward. The common sense of change isn’t failure; change is growth.

Rachel: But we’re not in that mindset in medicine because probably because we actually reach our sort of destination at a very early point in our career. I was a GP at the age of — I don’t know — 28, 27, 28? I could have gone into partnership at that age and just stay there — partner. You can become a consultant really quite early on, and so you can be clinical director, and then things like that. It’s because we have these sort of static things.

In the industry and other places, people move around all the time, and try different roles and things. They don’t feel like they’re failing, they feel like it’s a promotion. But if someone decides to do something different, we were in that mindset. I don’t think it’s something we’re going to solve, but just to say to people, ‘It’s okay to change. It’s probably one of the best decisions you’re going to make.’

I want to move this on just because we haven’t got very long left, Claire. I just wanted to ask, what if you felt that you have been successful? Say, you are a partner in the practise. You have really enjoyed what you’re doing, you feel you’re running a great practise, you’re doing a great job, you’re held in high regard by lots and lots of people. But events recently have really conspired to make the job not enjoyable anymore.

You’re not happy not because you don’t like what you’re doing, but you’re just completely overwhelmed, and there’s so many challenges. How would you help somebody with success? If they were feeling like that?

Claire: Well, I think it comes back to the fisherman — like we were talking about earlier. If, in essence, you still feel like the fisherman — that you love what you do, you’re happy with the end product, you’ve got the fish, you’ve got the wine, and you’ve got your friends at the end of the day, then it’s about changing your mindset and coping with where you’re at. That can be done individually with self-coaching techniques, but it can be necessary to be doing that with peers.

For lots of people, people are getting coaches and support systems around them to have more sort of formal support with that. But I think if you’ve got to the point where actually you’ve done that — you’ve done the partnership, you’ve got what you needed to do, get out of these parts of your life — it might be time for a change. It might be time to do something else.

I’m not talking about leaving medicine or doing anything particularly different. It might just be that you need to reshape your week. It might be that you need to do less of one thing, and actually more of something else. I suppose that can be done in a self-coaching structured approach. I use my three R’s, which is all about sort of taking it step-by-step by reflecting, reinventing and then rebuilding.

Or, it can be done in a more formal approach with a coach and actually really looking at where you want to be, how you want to get there, what you need to put in place to achieve that. And understanding maybe your definition of success has changed. Maybe, it was never that being a partner or success. Maybe, it was around making an impact on people, and that actually isn’t possible anymore given the situation of how things are changing, how difficult things are.

Maybe, that’s the definition rather than the label of partnership, and how can you be impactful in a different way? How can you keep perhaps some of your roles and change something else. Even that part of your week fulfils that definition of success, whilst you tread water with the other parts of the week — change your mindset and wait for things to change again in the environment.

There’s lots of ways of looking at it depending on the situation and depending whether you’re a fisherman — he’s happy with his fishing and his wine.

Rachel: I love that because I think often, we think right this is not sustainable, we can’t do it anymore — baby out the bathwater, change absolutely everything. Often, it’s just a couple of things that needs tweaking. One of my favourite things to do with people — we do this all the time on webinars and courses — is get people to map out what their current working week looks like with all the obligations you’ve got, all the different roles, how long admin time you got when you’re in surgery — all those different things, what you do outside of work, etc.

Just have a look and see what your week looks like. Most people is, you’re looking and you go, ‘Oh my goodness. No wonder I’m stressed.’ Then, ask yourself a few questions, and then do that whole exercise again, just like that person did with me on the business retreat. Write down how many days you want to be working — literally, map it out, ‘Go work here, here, here. Day off here. Afternoon here. Play tennis here — what you’re absolutely ideal would look like, a week in which you would feel really, genuinely happy.

Then, just compare the two go, ‘What needs to go? What roles need to go? What do you need to put in there? Etc, etc. We’ll make that tool available to people. If people want to download the Thrive Week Planner, they just can click ‘Sign Up’ and download it. But I think just getting super clear about how you want to live is really, really helpful.

Claire: Also, a lot of it. Quick example, sometimes you don’t need to change anything, you just need to change your mindset. I had a client who, when I started working with her — she was a salary GP, wanted to be a partner and had these all these plans in place, wanted to be a trainer but she was really unhappy. At the end of her six-month coaching on paper, she was exactly the same. She was a salary GP, she wants to be a partner, she wants to be a trainer.

In the beginning, she was very miserable — rundown, near burnout, couldn’t cope. In the end, she had joined every single day of her work. The reason being is that she completely changed her approach, completely changed her mindset. She changed her definition of success. All the pressure had gone snd she was then, able to get happiness on a day-to-day basis. For me, that was one of my biggest successes in coaching, which sounds really odd is that we make no changes at all, except for that everything changed.

Rachel: She didn’t put anything different in her day? she didn’t do anything?

Claire: Nothing changed, nothing changed. Because all that we did was look at all the pressures — all these internal pressures and external pressures of what she should be doing, how she should be doing it, what people thought of her, how quickly she had to achieve it, when it had to be done by — she was trying to be a hare, but she was a tortoise.

As soon as she accepted that, as soon as she looked at her day differently, as soon as she saw people — the assumption she was making about people and what they were thinking about her, and all the pressures of that.

When all of that went and she just got comfortable with who she was and what she wanted, and what she enjoyed, and what she was good at — she suddenly realised she was a great doctor. That was her definition of success. All she wanted to do is be a great doctor. She broke that down into what that meant for her. She looked at it and she went, ‘That’s what I’m doing? Oh my goodness, I’m a great doctor.’ She suddenly was able just to really enjoy where she was at.

Rachel: Absolutely fantastic story. The story in her head — that’s it. Changing the story she was telling yourself,

Claire: You can do it. I think everybody is different. I think for certain people, what you’re talking about in laying out your week is amazing. It’s life-changing. But other people, nothing needs to change except for you. For other people, lots of things got to change and that’s all fine. Whatever it is, it’s fine. But you do need to do the work to get there. But it can be done in bite-size.

Rachel: Claire, we could talk about this for a lot longer, but we’re out of time. I’m going to ask you for your three top tips. What three recommendations would you make for anyone who’s maybe struggling a bit with this at the moment: how to be successful?

Claire: I would say firstly, know your definition of success. Secondly, ensure that you understand your trajectory to success, so whether you’re tortoise or hare — whether you want to do it slow, whether you want to do it fast? Thirdly, be kind to yourself. Just be kind to yourself.

Rachel: Thank you that was really, really interesting, Claire. I know you put a lot out around sort of self-coaching and success on social media. If people wanted to find you follow you, how can they do that?

Claire: Yes, I’m obsessed with putting lots on Instagram. I’m all over Instagram. If you want to follow me and get lots of free self-coaching tips and tricks, and access to my seminars and podcasts, then follow me @drclairekaye_executivecoaching. I’m also on LinkedIn — Dr Claire Kaye and Facebook — the same. You’re welcome to follow me and to access those whenever you want.

Rachel: Thank you so much, Claire. We’ll have to get you back another time. Brilliant. Well, thank you for being here and we’ll speak soon.

Claire: Thanks for having me.

Rachel: Bye.

Outro: Thanks for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. Please subscribe to my You Are Not A Frog email list and subscribe to the podcast. And if you have enjoyed it then please leave me a rating wherever you listen to your podcasts. So keep well everyone you’re doing a great job you got this.

Podcast links



Connect with Dr Claire Kaye: LinkedIn | Website | Facebook | Instagram

We are now working with GP fellowship programs, trainers, and groups to help people feel happier! Bookings are now open for Autumn 2022 and a few slots are left for Spring 2022.

You’re Not A Frog Episode 71: Create a Career You’ll Love with Dr Claire Kaye

You’re Not A Frog Episode 88: How to Ditch the Saviour Complex and Feel More Alive with Rob Bell

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Get access to the THRIVE Weekly Planner!

Have any questions? Contact Rachel through these platforms:

LinkedIn: @Dr-Rachel-Morris

Twitter: @DrRachelMorris

Email: rachel@wildmonday.co.uk

Find out more about our training here.

For more updates and episodes, visit the You Are not A Frog website. You can also tune in on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Sign up here to receive a link to the episode workbook and CPD form downloads for each podcast. You can use them for reflection and to submit for your appraisal.

You can also join the Shapes Collective Facebook group where we chat about the hot topics and regularly post interesting articles.

Other Podcasts

Episode 171: How to Avoid Amygdala Hijack Part 2

Picking up where we left off, this quick dip episode dives into the last four factors of the SCARF Model. We learn more about tips and techniques that can help minimise threats and improves our response. Reward yourself and develop habits that can help you feel certain, in control, and supported even amidst all the stress. Learn how to better manage your stress and respond to difficult situations. Avoid an amygdala hijack when you listen to this episode!

Episode 170: How to Feel Happy, Calm, and Connected

Do you ever wish you could stop endlessly overthinking things you have no control over? Dr Giles P Croft is back on the podcast to discuss his experience of having a TIA that caused his left brain to stop functioning properly. We discuss how our thinking left brain often gets in the way of us staying in the present moment. We also lay down simple ways to get reacquainted with our right brain. Stay tuned to this episode to gain wisdom on how to live a happier, calmer, and connected life.

Episode 169: How to Avoid Amygdala Hijack Part 1

In this quick dip episode, we uncover the overarching principle of the amygdala. We discuss how to avoid an amygdala hijack and how not to operate from our threat zone. We have a choice around how we perceive and respond to triggers. We introduce the first principle of the SCARF Model and how to get over it. Learn how to minimise threats for yourself and others. If you want to know how to avoid an amygdala hijack, this episode is for you.

Episode 168: How to Do Something Different in Your Career

Episode 168: How to Do Something Different in Your Career Do you ever feel you’re just repeating the same routine every single day over and over again? Especially in healthcare, feeling stagnant and bored can ultimately lead to burnout. As daunting as it may sound, challenging yourself to try something different can help prevent this. Who knows, you might even discover a newfound passion that can also be profitable in the long run.Jo Watkins, co-founder of The HOW People, joins us to explore entrepreneurial possibilities for medical professionals without leaving their day jobs. We talk about what holds us back from pursuing a business idea and how you can get started on this journey. We also discuss honing the transferable skills you already have to discover what you’d like to try.Stay tuned to this episode if you want to start doing something different in your life and career. Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode: Discover your ‘why’ in life and business. Understand why you learn most by failing. Recognise and hone your transferable skills as a professional and entrepreneur. Episode Highlights [04:50] The Beginning of Jo’s Entrepreneurial Career Jo followed a very traditional path from medical school. She moved to South Wales for a lifestyle change when she met her partner. There, she was able to attain long-term locum practice and move into a part-time partnership. She realised she enjoyed mixing things up early in her partnership. Starting a practice website led her on an entrepreneurial path. Jo started making homemade granola after getting introduced to her cousin’s granola recipe in Canada. Before she knew it, she was selling her granola all around the country. [07:56] Worrying about the Unknown in Business Even at the heyday of her granola business, she still thought she had so much to learn. After acquiring a new skill, it’s all about getting out there and marketing it to people. Having a business involves being uncomfortable and taking steps you couldn’t imagine yourself taking previously. Within a typical clinic day, there are a lot of moments where you are making a real difference. In business, you can have days on end where it seems like you’re not getting anywhere. Tune in to the full episode to learn the secret ingredient for good granola! [10:56] Honing the Skills Within Be more

Episode 166: Are You Ok?

When was the last time you asked yourself, 'How am I?' and took the time to really sit with yourself? If you don't feel ok — that's ok.

Episode 161: The Problem with Boundaries

Boundaries help you stay healthy and sane — so why do we let them crumble? Find out how to maintain your boundaries with power language so you can thrive at work and home.

Episode 160: How to Avoid Burnout on Repeat

Dr Claire Ashley joins us in this episode to discuss the common occurrence of burnout and what we can do to avoid it. You have the option and the permission not to burn out. Tune in to this episode to find out how.

Episode 150: How to Get People To LOVE your Ideas with Toby Moore

Toby Moore joins us in this episode to share communication techniques that can convince the people around you to change. He shares his insights and advice that can improve how you speak to people, whether to an audience of hundreds, a sceptical team, or to a key decision maker or colleague. Want to learn the best communication strategies to convince others to change? Tune in to this episode.

Episode 143: Is It ‘Normal’ Not to Cope?

When you’re burning out, stop blaming yourself and start being compassionate. If you want to know how to cope with stress and burnout in the normal and human way, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 142: How to Stop Your Finances Controlling Your Career

Dr Tommy Perkins joins us for a conversation about money and career. We talk about why people make unusual financial decisions and what motivates a person to spend. Find out how you can make the changes you need in your life without worrying about money when you tune in to this episode.

Episode 141: You Choose

You might feel your obligations box you in. But the truth is, you make a choice whenever you act — even if it seems you have no choice at all.

Episode 140: How To Stop Emotional Eating, Eat Better and Feel Better with Dr Matthea Rentea and Keri Williams

Keri Williams and Dr Matthea Rentea talked about the causes of emotional hunger and how it affects our mood and hormones. They also discussed their inspiring weight loss journey and explained why diets don't always work. Finally, they imparted tried-and-true advice on how to stop emotional eating. Don't miss out on this episode if you're looking for the most practical ways to manage binge eating and experience consistent weight loss!

Episode 138: How to Balance Life and Work

Dr. Claire Kaye joins us in this episode to discuss why we should never aim for work-life balance, and why you should aim for life balance. If you want to learn how to do a life audit to work out your priorities, this episode is for you.

Episode 137: Shark Music

If you're not careful, the assumptions you make can turn your thoughts into a spiral of dread. Don't listen to the shark music!

Episode 134: How to Tell People What They Don’t Want to Hear

No one wants to hear a no from other people. However, for many professionals, knowing how to say no and maintaining your boundaries is a must. Jane Gunn joins us once again to talk about how you can say a clear no. Stay tuned to learn how you can say no in the best possible way.

Episode 133: But Is It A Tiger?

Are the things that annoy you in your daily life causing frustration, irritation, and bad moods? Learn how to stay calm in the face of irritations, shake off disruptions and make better decisions even in the heat of the moment.

Summer Replay 2022 Episode 3 – How to Break Up With Your Toxic Relationship With Your Career with Dr Pauline Morris

Dr Pauline Morris joins us to share her career counselling advice for physicians and other professionals in high stress jobs. We discuss the common pitfalls that lead doctors to unsustainable work habits. Pauline also sheds light on why staying in your comfort zone can be detrimental to your performance. To avert this, she shares tips on how to better recognise and advocate for your own needs. We also learn about the importance of self-care and taking time for yourself.

Summer Replay 2022 Episode 2 – Should I stay or should I go? with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to share how to better relationships and take control and stay in your zone of power. She shares how to make a good decision by questioning thoughts and assumptions. We also discuss how you can change your perspective to become more compassionate, accepting, and empowered. If you want to know how to better relationships, stay in your zone of power, improve your decision-making skills, and be true to yourself, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 131: What To Do If You’re Stressed AND Bored

Rachel discusses how to address and navigate the toxic combination of stress and boredom in the workplace. She talks about the role of learning in living a good, meaningful, and self-actualised life. Rachel also lays down five ways that will enable you to fit learning into your schedule without increasing the chances of burning out.

Episode 130: How to Say F**k It and Become Ridiculously Relaxed (Even about Stuff That REALLY Matters) with John C. Parkin

John C. Parkin joins us today and encourages us to say ‘fuck it’ more in our lives! Not everything is important, and sometimes we try too hard living up to society’s excessive expectations. John shares how overcoming stress and setting boundaries often results in overthinking and feelings of guilty. He wants us to calm down and breathe! Let’s learn to finally prioritise relaxation in our lives and see how much better we become through it. If you’re struggling with stress and want to know how to calm down and let go of what you can’t control, then this episode is for you.

Episode 127: After Burnout: Going Back to Work with Dr Katya Miles

When major issues occur in your life, it’s often necessary to take a break and deal with them, and of course, there’s also the other reasons we take significant time off work - maternity or parental leave, taking a sabbatical or taking a career break. If you want to know how to go back to work thriving, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 126: Using Nature to Answer Your Big Questions With Henri Stevenson

Henri Stevenson joins us to talk about the ways connecting with nature can shift our thinking and open up new solutions. We discuss the differences in our thoughts and feelings when we're in nature versus within artificial walls. She shares her stories of finding metaphors for life situations reflected in nature and what she learned from them. Henri reminds us that sometimes, the solutions to our problems may show up in quiet spaces when we take a few moments to connect with nature. Curious about how to take time to learn and connect with nature? Learn how and much more when you tune into this episode!

Episode 125: How to Say No and Deal with Pushback with Annie Hanekom

Everyone has difficulty enforcing their set boundaries, from top-end executives to junior employees. Logically, we know that we cannot do everything people want, but biologically, our minds are hardwired to please people. In this episode of You Are Not a Frog, Annie Hanekom guides you through how to say no and deal with the inevitable pushback.

Episode 124: How to Change When Change is Scary with Dr Claire Kaye

Change can definitely be scary. However, it doesn’t always have to be a difficult experience. Dr Claire Kaye joins us in this episode to talk about how you can approach change proactively. Whether you dislike change or thrive on it, her insights and enlightening tips will help you make the most of the opportunities in your life. Are you undergoing a difficult change right now? Learn more about how to change even when change is scary in this episode of You Are Not a Frog.

Episode 123: How to Live With No Regrets with Georgina Scull

Georgina Scull joins us in this episode to talk about what she learned from writing the book, Regrets of the Dying: Stories and Wisdom That Remind Us How to Live. She shares three revelations that people have while on their deathbeds: not being able to make other people happy, living up to other people’s expectations, and trying to rewrite history. We walk you through practical steps to help you reflect on your true desires so you can live a meaningful life.

Episode 122: How to be Happy at Work with Sarah Metcalfe

Joining us to talk about the importance of happiness in the workplace - and how we can find it - is Sarah Metcalfe. The founder of Happiness Coffee Consulting, she shares her top tips on simple things you can do to pursue happiness and share it with others. Even in high-stress jobs, it’s possible to choose happiness and spread it. And the results can be extraordinary. If you want to learn more about how and why we should be happy at work, tune in to this episode.

Episode 121: How To Be A Happy Working Parent with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to discuss the common struggles of working parents and the things we need to unlearn. She shares how to take radical responsibility as a parent and delegate responsibilities from housework to emotional load. We also teach you how to stay in your zone of genius and accept help when you need it. It’s time to live a life you love and enjoy, even amidst all your responsibilities! If you’re struggling to balance work and parenting, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 120: Making Online Meetings Work with John Monks

John Monks joins us in this episode to discuss designing better online meetings and interactions. We clarify the difference between a meeting, a presentation, and a workshop. We also discuss creative ways to design online meetings that energise and infuse rather than drain and demotivate. And John shares some simple exercises on limits and boundaries that can radically improve our problem solving and creativity. If you want to know how to make the most out of online meetings, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 118: How to Manage Upwards (and Sideways) with Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy

Dr Claire Edwin and Dr Keerthini Muthuswamy talk about their experiences working within a hierarchical system as junior doctors and share what they have found to be essential if you want to build trust and foster good relationships with your seniors, your juniors and your peers. If you want to know how you can build trust and influence your workplace, and manage upwards and sideways this episode is just for you!

Episode 116: What I Got So Wrong About Mindfulness And How It Might Transform Your Life with Dr Steve Pratt

Dr Steve Pratt joins us to discuss what we really mean by mindfulness, and how it could work for you. He'll debunk some of the myths of mindfulness and how you can make it worth your time and effort. We'll discuss how certain techniques can help us live happier, be less anxious, and harness our resources to make better decisions. Finally, Steve shares his mindfulness practices and takes us on a quick three-minute breathing exercise! If you want to learn about mindfulness, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 114: How to Get an Appraisal that Doesn’t Suck with Dr Susi Caesar

Dr Susi Caesar joins us to talk about how you can elevate and enjoy your professional life with annual appraisals. She shares the purpose of appraisals and how they can help you choose the best way forward in your career and personal life. Dr Susi also gives her top tips on what you can do to make this process more meaningful. If you want to know more about appraisals and how you can benefit from them, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 113: What To Do When A Junior Is Badmouthing Your Colleagues with Dr Ed Pooley

Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to discuss what we should do when we see inappropriate behaviour like badmouthing. He shares how we can manage difficult conversations with the intent of helping others. We also discuss the importance of recognising triggers through the SCARF model. If you want to know how to deal with difficult conversations for a better workplace, listen to this episode.

Episode 112: Why We’re Ditching the Term ‘Imposter Syndrome’ with Dr Sarah Goulding

Dr Sarah Goulding joins us to talk about imposter syndrome and why we need to drop the word from our vocabularies. We also discuss how self doubt can be helpful to us. Finally, she shares tips for overcoming wobbles and incorporating more self-compassion into your life. If you want to get over your imposter syndrome and practice self-compassion, then this episode is for you!

Episode 111: What To Do When You Start To See Red with Graham Lee

Graham Lee joins us to discuss our emotional states and ways to apply simple mindfulness techniques to change them. Most conflicts are rooted in unmet needs. When we admit those needs, we can instantly change relationship dynamics. Graham also shares tips on what to do during stressful situations where your emotions cloud your judgement and thinking. If you want to use mindfulness practice to be more aware of your emotions even during difficult situations, tune in to this episode.

Episode 110: How To Stop People Pleasing And Absorbing Other People’s Angst

Dr Karen Forshaw and Chrissie Mowbray join us to discuss how our core beliefs shape the way we respond to situations. When taken too far, empathy and helping people can be a big cause of stress. In addition, we also talk about we can learn to reframe and reassess their core beliefs. If you want to know how to help people without absorbing their emotions, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 109: Is It Possible To Have Fun At Work? With Dr Kathryn Owler

Dr Kathryn Owler joins us in this episode to share her fascinating research on the characteristics and traits of people who enjoy their current jobs. We dissect the common themes these people have in finding success in their careers. And we also talk about changes we can implement as individuals to make work more fun and enjoyable. If you want to start adopting the mindset people who have fun at work have, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 108: What We Wish We’d Learnt at Med School with Dr Ed Pooley & Dr Hussain Gandhi

Dr Ed Pooley and Dr Hussain Gandhi join us in the latest episode of You are Not a Frog. They discuss the management skills a doctor needs that you won't learn in med school, plus tips to help fresh doctors feel empowered in their workplace. Whether or not you work in medicine, these skills are crucial when it comes to working effectively and managing your own and others’ time. Tune in and listen to the experts talk about the management skills med school doesn't teach you and how to learn and develop them today.

Episode 107: Define Your Own Success In Life With Dr Claire Kaye

Dr Claire Kaye joins us to talk about the importance of honesty and clarity in defining our own success. We may think that achieving certain goals will make us happy, but evidence shows us it’s the other way around. It’s only when we’re happy that we can be successful. We also discuss how to overcome common barriers to our happiness and success such as fear, guilt, and uncertainty. If you want to know how to live a happier and more successful life, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 105: The Simplest Way to Beat Stress and Work Happier with Dr Giles P. Croft

In this episode, Dr Giles P. Croft joins us to discuss how our thoughts and emotions trigger stress signals. He shares his controversial approach to tackling stress, and why most of our efforts to cope better don’t really help at all. We also delve into the importance of pausing to allow yourself to calm down and letting go of the things you can’t control.

Episode 104: How to Cope With Nightmare Relatives and Colleagues Without Losing the Plot

In this special Christmas episode, Corrina Gordon-Barnes shows us how to create the groundwork for a peaceful and successful holiday season, even while navigating difficult relationships with relatives or colleagues. Corrina guides us to relax our expectation of a perfect holiday with our family, so we can face reality in ourselves and others. She explains a simple framework to allow you to resolve conflict, and walks us through what we can do during difficult gatherings and how to shift our responses to create different outcomes. Tune in to improve your strained relationships with relatives and co-workers through empathy and letting go of past assumptions.

Episode 103: How Not to Settle For The Way It’s Always Been Done

Dr Abdullah Albeyatti talks about improving your life and career by making changes and taking risks. He explains why settling for the familiar could be slowly ruining your life and how you can avoid this situation. Finally, he shares his top three tips to become a changemaker in your field. If you want to start doing things differently, creating change, and take more risks, then this episode is for you!

Episode 102: Why FAIL is Not a 4-Letter Word

Drs Claire Edwin, Sally Ross, and Taj Hassan join us to discuss how we can manage and deal with our failures more effectively. We explore the idea that rather than doing something wrong, failure is an opportunity to really grow and learn both as individuals, as leaders and as organisations. In any situation, it’s important to remember that we’re all human. It’s okay to be honest with ourselves and each other about our mistakes - after all, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. If you want to know how to change your mindset around failure, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 101: Making Helpful Habits Stick with Sheela Hobden

Sheela Hobden joins us to discuss how we can harness the power of checklists to create a routine. She shares how you can approach your goals in a more realistic way and learn to encourage yourself using specific goal setting techniques. Sheela also recommends creating identity-based goals to ensure that you keep building your new identity even after completing certain milestones. Start small, and eventually, you’ll see these good habits stick!

Episode 100: Dealing With the Guilt of Not Being Okay With Dr Nik Kendrew

Dr Nik Kendrew unravels why we experience overwhelming guilt when bad things happen to us. He also shares some tips, techniques, and resources on how to deal with guilt, especially in these difficult times and circumstances. Apart from this, Nik talks about the significance of scheduling our entire day to do important things. Finally, he discusses why setting boundaries is necessary to maintain our sense of self.

Episode 99: How to Deal with Criticism When You’ve Reached Your Limit with Dr Sarah Coope and Dr Rachel Morris

Dr Sarah Coope joins me to talk about the workload of medical professionals and the benefits of setting boundaries while dealing with criticisms amidst the global pandemic. We discuss the three elements of the Drama Triangle and ways to navigate or avoid them reliably. As we dive deeper into the conversation, we explore the art of saying 'No' through acknowledging our limits. Awareness and recognition can go a long way in maintaining our boundaries. If you want to take the first step in recognising your limits, handling criticism better and setting proper boundaries, tune in to this episode.

Episode 96 – How to Deal with Difficult Meetings with Jane Gunn

We hear from the expert in conflict management and mediation, Jane Gunn. She discusses important tips to keep in mind to host great meetings. She shares some practical conflict management tips and how to make decisions that you and your team agree on. Jane also emphasises the importance of putting the fun back in functional meetings and the need to give a voice to participants.

Episode 93 – How to Delegate, Do It, or Drop It with Anna Dearmon Kornick

Anna Dearmon Kornick joins us to share the time management strategies crucial for busy professionals. She lays down tips on how medical practitioners can have more control over their days. Anna talks about how to manage admin time and imparts ways to combat distractions. We also discuss the importance of delegation both inside and outside work. For this, Anna introduces the passion-proficiency lens and knowing your zone of genius.

Episode 92 – How to Avoid Becoming the Second Victim with Dr Caraline Wright & Dr Lizzie Sweeting

Dr Caraline Wright and Dr Lizzie Sweeting join us to discuss the second victim phenomenon. They explain why patient safety incidents are occupational hazards and how they can affect healthcare providers. Caraline then shares her personal experience of being in the “second victim” role. Finally, they share tips on how to avoid second victimhood and how to provide support to someone going through it.

Episode 91 – How to Break Up With Your Toxic Relationship With Your Career with Dr Pauline Morris

Dr Pauline Morris joins us to share her career counselling advice for physicians and other professionals in high stress jobs. We discuss the common pitfalls that lead doctors to unsustainable work habits. Pauline also sheds light on why staying in your comfort zone can be detrimental to your performance. To avert this, she shares tips on how to better recognise and advocate for your own needs. We also learn about the importance of self-care and taking time for yourself.

Episode 90 – What to do About Bitching and Backbiting with Dr Edward Pooley

Dr Edward Pooley joins us again to discuss what to do when colleagues make inappropriate comments about others. We talk about why it’s crucial to consider the question behind the question in workplace backbiting. Ed also teaches us how to challenge in a supportive way. Most importantly, we learn some strategies to prepare ourselves to speak up when the situation requires it.

Episode 89 – Should I stay or should I go? with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Corrina Gordon-Barnes joins us to share how to better relationships and take control and stay in your zone of power. She shares how to make a good decision by questioning thoughts and assumptions. We also discuss how you can change your perspective to become more compassionate, accepting, and empowered. If you want to know how to better relationships, stay in your zone of power, improve your decision-making skills, and be true to yourself, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 88 – How to Ditch the Saviour Complex and Feel More Alive with Rob Bell

Rob Bell joins us in this episode to discuss the perils of the saviour complex and the desire to keep hustling even when we’re miserable. We learn that taking time for rest and reflection only helps us get stronger. You can’t heal and help rebuild a broken system if you don’t look out for yourself first. Tune in to this episode to find out how to ditch the saviour complex, feel happier and live a more fulfilling life.

Episode 87 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 5: What Should I Do When I Think a Complaint is Unfair? And Other Questions with Drs Sarah Coope, George Wright, Samantha White, and Andrew Tressider

We’re joined by a panel of expert guests to share their thoughts on how to handle complaints. Together, we discuss ways that you can adjust your perspective and respond to unfavourable situations. Most importantly, we tackle issues regarding malicious complaints and how to cope with them. If you’re having trouble managing yourself during complaints, then this episode is for you.

Episode 86 – Gaslighting and Other Ways We’re Abused at Work: What’s Really Going On? with Dr James Costello

Dr James Costello joins us to talk about his new book and the insidious ways that organisations and individuals can undermine us. They compel us to do extra emotional labour for us to cope with the workplace dynamics. We also chat about what happens when authority and power are misused. Finally, James shares some of the disastrous consequences bullying in the workplace can have and what we can do about it. Tune in if you want to know what to do if you suspect that you or a colleague are experiencing relational abuse in the workplace!

Episode 85 – How to have crucial conversations with Dr Edward Pooley

Good communication between colleagues is crucial for the success of any organisation. Dr Edward Pooley joins us again to teach us how to communicate well. He discusses the three strands present in any conversation and helps us understand how we can be more aware of each. We also share some frameworks that can help you navigate difficult conversations. Understanding the importance of emotion is crucial in being an effective communicator and connecting with your team.

Episode 84 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 4: Creating a Workplace Where It’s OK to Fail

Professor Susan Fairley and Dr Jane Sturgess join us to discuss how to create a workplace that doesn’t shy away from failure. We talk about how civility can save lives and also touch on the issues around incident reporting in healthcare. Most importantly, we talk about creating a culture where people can have difficult conversations without defensiveness. If you want to know how to approach failing and speaking up in the workplace, tune in to this episode.

Episode 83 – The Ups and Downs of Being a Man-Frog with Dr Chris Hewitt

Joining us in this episode is Dr Chris Hewitt who also uses the metaphor of a man-frog in coaching professionals to have a better work-life balance. Chris talks about why we find it so hard to recognise burnout. He also shares his top tips and practical strategies to address work dissatisfaction. If you want to stop feeling like a man (or woman) - frog in a pan of slowly boiling water, listen to the full episode.

Episode 82 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Series Episode 3: Surviving the Process

Drs Jessica Harland, Caroline Walker and Heidi Mousney join us in this episode to discuss healthcare professionals’ experiences when dealing with complaints. We talk about the different emotions you may experience and practical tips on getting through. If you want to know how to survive the process after making a mistake at work and receiving a complaint, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 81 – When Soft and Fluffy Met Coronavirus with Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews, Associate Director of Leadership for East and North Herts NHS Trust shares how, through using just five crucial questions, you can check in on people, rather than check up on them. The 5 questions will help you to find out how people really are, help them look out for their colleagues, empower them to solve their own problems AND communicate empathy and support. Want to know how you can apply compassionate leadership in your organisation? Then, this episode is for you.

Episode 80 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Episode 2: What to Do When You Make a Mistake with Drs Clare Devlin and Dr John Powell

Drs Clare Devlin and John Powell join us to discuss the proper way of responding to professional mistakes. We talk about why doctors have a hard time whenever they make a mistake at work. Clare and John also share valuable advice on minimising negative consequences and getting a good outcome for you and your patient. If you want to learn a roadmap for what you should do you make a mistake at work, then tune in to this episode.

Episode 79 – How to Give Yourself Permission to Thrive with Dr Katya Miles

Dr Katya Miles joins us once again to talk about burnout and giving ourselves permission to thrive. Having experienced work burnout, Katya shares her story and discusses the red flags of burnout. We also talk about why we find it difficult to give ourselves permission to thrive and how we can overcome our own internal barriers. If you want to learn about how you can listen to your needs so that you can thrive in work and in life, then this episode is for you.

Episode 78 – Complaints and How to Survive Them Series 1: Preparing to Fail Well with Drs Sarah Coope, Annalene Weston and Sheila Bloomer

Drs Sarah Coope, Annalene Weston and Sheila Bloomer join us in this first episode in a new series on ‘Complaints and How to Survive Them’ to talk about coaching doctors and dentists through complaints made against them. We also talk about the perfectionist mindset and how changing our perspective towards failure can help us and those around us. If you want to know how to deal better with complaints made against doctors and other professionals in high-stress jobs, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 77 – Denial, displacement and other ways we neglect ourselves with Dr Andrew Tresidder

Dr Andrew Tresidder joins us to talk about how many medical practitioners and other professionals in healthcare and high stress jobs neglect their health and well-being. We're so focused on taking care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves but our well-being is vital if we want to keep doing the work we do. Find out why healthcare professionals need to learn more about health, as opposed to only learning about disease and if you want to know how to focus on taking care of your health and well-being, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 76 – Tech Tips for Happy Hybrid Working with Dr Hussain Gandhi

Dr Hussain Gandhi, or Dr Gandalf of eGPlearning, joins us in this episode. He is a GP, PCN director and host of the eGP Learning Podblast that shares deep dives into health tech for primary care. He shares his tech and time hacks for hybrid working to survive and thrive in the new virtual environment. If you want to find out how to improve your hybrid working experience, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 74 – Managing your Time in a System Which Sucks with Dr Ed Pooley

Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to share his take on time management techniques for busy individuals. He discusses the three types of competing demands and how to manage them. We also talk about being more comfortable holding difficult conversations about workplace issues - vital to help change the environment we work in. Tune into this episode to discover how time management techniques and communication can help you get a calmer and more time-efficient workplace.

Episode 73 – How to Find Your Tribe: The PMGUK story with Dr Nazia Haider and Dr Katherine Hickman

Dr Nazia Haider and Dr Katherine Hickman join us on this episode to discuss the importance of a work community. We talk about the inspiring stories from the online community they created, the Physicians Mums Group UK (PMGUK). Nazia and Katherine also share their tips on how to increase connections and find your own tribe at work. If you want to know how to create a network of supportive colleagues and feel more connected, then tune into this episode.

Episode 72 – Working well – from anywhere! with Dr Katya Miles

Dr Katya Miles joins us to discuss how to work well from home by creating healthy boundaries. She shares how to be more productive by using the third space hack and taking breaks. Katya also talks about how to be more active and better connect with people in the workplace. If you want to learn about working well from home and achieving a better work-life balance, then tune in to this episode.

Episode 71 – Create a Career You’ll Love with Dr Claire Kaye

Dr Claire Kaye joins us to discuss how to find a career you love. As an executive coach specialising in career development, Claire is an expert in guiding people how to find a career they love. We talk about the value of job networking and diversifying in our career journeys. We also share our tips and experiences on how to find a career you love. We do this by helping you identify the roles that best suit you and how to go about getting these roles.

Episode 70 – How Safe Do You Feel at Work with Scott Chambers

Scott Chambers joins us to talk about why we need to make people feel comfortable and safe enough to speak up in their workplace. When we create psychological safety in our team, we improve overall happiness and boost performance! If you want to learn how to create psychological safety for a better and happier team - whether you’re the boss or not, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 69 – Make Time for What Matters with Liz O’Riordan

Liz O'Riordan joins us to share productivity life hacks. These have helped her transform how she approaches work. Now, Liz can spend quality time with her family and enjoy life. In this episode, she teaches us how we too can achieve this. If you want to learn some new life hacks, beat burnout and work happier, then tune in to this episode!

Episode 68 – The Revolutionary Art of Breathing with Richard Jamieson

Richard Jamieson discusses how we can utilise breathing techniques to feel calmer, make better decisions and be more productive. He explains the different steps we can take to change our breathing patterns. When you’re in a high-stress situation, remember this: just breathe. If you want to know how to use breathing techniques to beat stress in everyday situations, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 67 – Bringing Your Best Self to Work with Dr Sarah Goulding

Dr Sarah Goulding discusses how to bring your whole self to work without leaving bits of you behind. Sarah shares her own story of experiencing burnout at her old job and rediscovering her true passion. We also discuss how applying our core strengths to our jobs can mean the difference between burnout and having a sense of fulfilment. Don’t miss out on this episode if you want to learn more about how to be yourself and how to bring joy back into your work!

Episode 65 – Passing the Naughty Monkey Back with Dr Amit Sharma

Dr Amit Sharma joins us to discuss the effects of taking on too many of other people’s ‘naughty monkeys’. We talk about why professionals in high-stress jobs so often take on the rescuer role and how to shift that mindset. Amit and I also discuss the importance of empowering patients to take control of their own health. If you want to know how to avoid being weighed down by too many naughty monkeys, stay tuned to this episode.

Episode 64 – What to Do When You’re Out of Fuel with Dr Jess Harvey

Dr Jess Harvey, a GP partner and GB triathlete, talks about what happened to her after running out of fuel and feeling burnt out. She discusses how we often ignore the symptoms and signs for too long and why resting and refuelling is as important as what we're doing in the first place. If you’re feeling burnt out, tune in to this episode to find out how you can plug the holes in your energy bucket!

Episode 63 – How to Survive Even When Times are Tough with Dr Caroline Walker

This episode is part of the COVID-19 Supporting Doctors series, and joining us again is Dr Caroline Walker. She's here to discuss why rest is crucial, especially for people in high-stress jobs. Caroline also shares key strategies that can keep us going through the crisis. The previous year has been tough, so don’t miss this episode to start 2021 better prepared.

Episode 62 – Self-Coaching for Success with Dr Karen Castille, OBE

Dr Karen Castille joins me in this episode to discuss her book on self-coaching. She shares powerful questions to ask yourself which will jumpstart your self-coaching journey. She also talks about the importance of developing this vital skill and crafting powerful life questions. Before we close the show, Karen gives her top tips for self-coaching. Don’t miss this episode if you want to learn how you can find clarity and achieve success through self-coaching!

Episode 61 – The Self Help Book Group on Happiness with Dr Nik Kendrew

In this episode, You Are Not A Frog regular Dr Nik Kendrew joins me to discuss the concept of happiness. We tackle the everlasting question of ‘What is happiness’? We also talk about perfectionism and fear and how these can hinder us from doing the things we want to do. At the end of the show, Nik and I give our top tips to being happier. If you want to know more about living a happy life, then this episode is for you.

Episode 60 – Creating a Workplace that Works with Dr Sonali Kinra

Dr Sonali Kinra joins us to discuss why people leave their jobs and how to prevent it. We talk about the importance of workplace culture and its role in creating an environment that makes people want to stay. We also discuss why you need to seek opportunities that broaden and develop your career. Don’t miss this episode if you want to find out how to keep yourself in a job you love.

Episode 59 – A Social Dilemma? With Dr James Thambyrajah

In this episode, Dr James Thambyrajah joins us to talk about social media’s subtle yet profound effect on our daily lives. We discuss the perils of being unaware of how our online decisions are influenced. James also shares his insights on how we can improve how we stay informed and inform others. Tune in to this episode if you want to learn more about how to go beyond your digital echo chamber.

Episode 55 – The One About Alcohol

Dr Giles P Croft is back to chat with Rachel about his experiences following a revolutionary read he was recommended. You might remember Giles from episode 46, where he talked about how as humans, we naturally default to happiness.

Episode 52 – A year of the frog

The week’s episode is a special one as the Frog celebrates a year of podcasting! It’s been quite a year - including charting in Apple’s Top 100 Business Podcasts in the UK!

Episode 50 – Freeing yourself from the money trap

Joining Rachel in this week’s episode is Dr Tommy Perkins, as well as being a GP Partner, and father, Tommy is one half of Medics Money. Medics Money is an organisation specifically aimed at helping doctors make better decisions with their finances. It’s run by Tommy and Dr Ed Cantelo who is not only a doctor but a qualified accountant.

Episode 49 – The Self Help Book Group No 2 with Nik Kendrew

This week Rachel is joined by You Are Not A Frog regular, Nik Kendrew. Last time Nik joined us, we discussed a book that has helped him in his professional life as a GP, trainer and partner as well as his personal life. Nik’s back this week to talk about another brilliant book and to share what insights and learnings he’s gained from it.

Episode 47 – How to Have a Courageous Conversation

Rachel talks with Beccie D'Cunha about the conversations that we avoid and the conversations we really need to have with our colleagues, teams and managers. They can be described as difficult conversations, but we can redefine them as courageous conversations - because ultimately it takes courage for both parties to listen and be heard.

Episode 46 – Default to happy

Rachel talks with Dr Giles P Croft about his take on how to beat stress and burnout. Giles  is a psychology graduate and former NHS surgeon who stepped aside from clinical practice for a decade to explore a number of career paths, including health informatics, cycling journalism, public speaking and high street retail with his wife.

Episode 45 – Rest. The final frontier

Rachel is joined by Sheela Hobden, Professional Certified Coach, wellbeing expert and fellow Shapes Toolkit facilitator. We talk about why rest isn’t just important for wellbeing, but important for productivity and creativity too. 

Episode 40 – Leading with tough love with Gary Hughes

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Gary Hughes, author of the book Leadership in Practice, blogger, educator and facilitator who is a Practice Manager by day. We chat about how leadership in the COVID-19 crisis has had to adapt, and the different roles that a leader has had to take.

Episode 37 – How to manage conflict during COVID with Jane Gunn

Rachel is thrilled to welcome back Jane Gunn – lawyer, mediator and expert in conflict resolution who has been known as the Corporate Peacemaker. This episode is for you if the thought of addressing a difficult issue with one of your colleagues send you running for the hills…

Episode 20 – A creative solution to stress with Ruth Cocksedge

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Ruth Cocksedge a Practitioner Psychologist who started her career as a mental health nurse. She practices in Cambridge and has a particular interest in EMDR for PTSD and creative writing as a way to improve mental health and wellbeing.

Episode 11 – The magical art of reading sweary books

In this episode, Rachel is joined once again by Dr Liz O’Riordan, the ‘Breast Surgeon with Breast Cancer’, TEDx speaker, author, blogger, triathlete and all round superstar who has been nominated for ‘Woman of the Year’.

Previous Podcasts