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

Do you find yourself feeling miserable and worn down by criticism and complaints? Are you the person who always gets asked to take on extra work or stay late – and yet don’t seem to be able to say no?

There’s nothing wrong with helping people, but if your empathetic nature is taking you to the point of exhaustion, it’s a sign it might be time to take a step back.

In this episode, 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.

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

  • Understand the connection between people-pleasing and stress triggers.

  • Discover how to care less about what others think, so you can do a better job and feel fulfilled.
  • Learn techniques like shadow work and develop a beginner’s mind for a happier life.

Episode Highlights

[05:29] What’s Happening in the Healthcare Industry?

  • Amid the ongoing threat of the pandemic, the healthcare industry has found ways to adapt to the current situation; these include offering teleconsultations and remote follow-ups.

  • The pandemic has affected people’s expectations from medical professions, so they tend to take their frustrations out on them.
  • Frontline workers also need to cope with their own struggles and personal life.
  • Complaints from others have chipped away at medical professionals’ self-worth.

[07:42] How Core Beliefs Affect Us

  • Dr Karen reminds us that all of us are in different situations from each other. Underneath all these, our core beliefs are key to resilience.

  • Core beliefs are influenced and founded through the environment in which we grew up.
  • Core beliefs affect how you handle stress and anxiety.
  • We need to acknowledge and reframe our core beliefs so we can change the way they influence our lives.

[09:34] What Really Causes Stress

  • People and situations do not cause you stress; it’s a matter of how you react to them.

[9:22] Dr Karen: “If we don’t reframe our core beliefs, or at least acknowledge that they’re there, then they are going to influence us and they will influence us in bright, unexpected ways.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • When we keep blaming others for how we feel, we are giving up our locus of control.
  • How you respond to the situation is more important than what others think or do. Regain your power and develop an internal locus of control.

[10:53] Dr Karen: “If you actually try to develop an internal locus of control — which basically then means that you accept responsibility for everything that you do, then you have all the power. Because it doesn’t matter what other people do, because you recognize that it’s your responses that are the key thing, and you are 100% in charge of your own responses.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • The desire to please people also externalizes our control since we constantly look for external validation and approval.

[12:34] How We Develop People Pleasing

  • People-pleasing often develops from our childhood upbringing.

  • This behaviour does not serve us well, especially when people tend to abuse you.
  • The majority of healthcare professionals are conditioned for people-pleasing, which is why they entered the caring profession in the first place.
  • While this behaviour can mean that you like helping others, it can also mean that your feelings are dependent on them.
  • There will be times when you will get complaints even if you provide proper service.

[15:42] How to Respond to Complaints

  • It is always important to be able to admit our mistakes and apologize. However, you don’t need to say sorry when you know you’ve performed to the best of your abilities.

  • Learn to discern whether you’re truly in control of the result of it’s unfortunate that the patient didn’t think it was good service.
  • We often don’t think deeply about using the word sorry. Saying “I’m sorry, but” means that you’re not really sorry.

[17:32] Dr Karen: “…Asking yourself when you’re saying sorry, or when you’re being accountable for something, ‘Do I really mean that? Am I accountable? Am I sorry for what happened there? Or do I feel it was a good service, but it’s unfortunate that they don’t?’”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • We need to consider different ways to respond to complaints. We can begin with thanking the patient, instead of apologizing first.
  • Think about your words, what they mean, and the intention behind them.

[19:33] Stop Absorbing People’s Emotions

  • Don’t be affected by criticism of those who are not even your patients.

  • We often get affected by these kinds of criticism because we think that we’re not doing enough. Remember, we’re not responsible for the health of the entire nation.

[21:09] Rachel: “I think health practitioners take on too much responsibility. So we’re feeling dreadfully responsible for the health of the nation, but that’s completely out of our control and it happens out of control. But it hits a raw nerve when they criticize us, because we know we can’t do anything about it.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • You can be compassionate without being over empathizing and absorbing other people’s stress.
  • We’re all responsible for our own emotions and feelings.
  • If you keep absorbing people’s emotions, you will have chronic high levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which is not healthy or sustainable.

[25:36] How to Turn Empathy to Compassion

  • First, be aware of your emotions and learn to stand back. Our emotions and experiences can project our needs and wants onto the patient.

  • Ask yourself whether empathy is appropriate in the situation.
  • Be more direct. Ask your patient what they need and you can do for them.

[29:04] Chrissy: “I think, in terms of being able to decide, it’s about observing it first, and then choosing to decide whether to let it run or not.”

Click Here to Tweet This

[29:24] Link Between Triggers and Shadow Work

  • As you encounter people, you sometimes naturally absorb their emotions. You need to learn to let these go.

  • We all have part of ourselves that we’ve learned to hide — our shadows that have been disapproved of as we grew older.
  • When we get triggered by others, this often indicates a reflection of what we dislike about ourselves.
  • Accepting that we are not perfect will help us see our own worth.
  • Every time you get triggered, reflect on why you became bothered, and then shift the focus from others to yourself.

[31:57] How to Know What You Need to Work on

  • Generally, when you’re annoyed by something, it might be something you don’t like about yourself.

  • These triggers may not be about the actual behaviour, but its underlying traits.
  • For example, disliking child abuse does not mean that you have the capacity for it. Rather, you may be bothered by manipulation.

[33:54] Develop a Beginner’s Mind

  • When we’re stuck in situations where there are rigid expectations, it affects how we communicate with others.

  • Chrissie recommends developing a beginner’s mind to experience situations with a fresh perspective without limiting beliefs or judgements.
  • This mindset can also help us live in the present and be free to be ourselves.

[34:17] Chrissy: “…The benefits of beginner’s mind — it gives us the joy of experiencing every positive situation as the first time. That gives us a good boost of positive body chemicals. It enhances the well being. It allows us to come at every situation from a completely fresh perspective with no limiting beliefs or judgments.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • You can develop a beginner’s mindset by cultivating the habit of re-assessing and re-framing your boundaries.
  • Change interactions that drain you and set better boundaries. Listen to the full episode to learn more about setting boundaries!

[36:02] How to be Free from Triggers

  • We sometimes get stuck in past experiences and expect certain interactions. We can change this.

  • Learn to recognize your triggers and remember that you’re not supposed to fix people, you should be empowering people instead.
  • When dealing with a difficult patient, focus on them and remind them that they’re ultimately responsible for their health.
  • Some people are difficult only because we perceive them that way.
  • Experiencing triggers can help you set boundaries to ensure future conversations will not go there again.

[42:27] How to Do Inner Work

  • Inner work is being consciously aware of what we say, do, and feel. It’s a practice we need to do every day.

  • When we’re aware of our reactions, we can choose whether to hang on to old patterns of behaviour or change.
  • Start with observing how you respond to all situations. Then, process these observations through journaling or other activities.

[45:29] Chrissie and Karen’s Tips

  • Consider checking out the book, How to Rise: A complete resilience manual. It includes concepts for self-awareness and a gap analysis tool to help you develop skills for resilience.

  • Observe yourself for a few weeks. Go on a complaint fast. Let go of your usual reactions to “annoying” situations and look at everything with fresh eyes.

[47:08] Chrissy: “So basically, I decided for one week to completely desist from complaining, because I was affirming how tired I was, that I was in pain, that people were being annoying. And the people in my life were absolutely delighted. And I know, my mood increased — everything was better.”

Click Here to Tweet This

  • Challenge cognitive illusions and don’t assume what others are thinking.
  • Practice gratitude. Create a daily practice of writing at least 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 things you’ve learned.
  • Remember to be physically active.

About Dr Karen and Chrissie

Dr Karen Forshaw is a GP Partner in South Yorkshire, a GP trainer, and GP appraiser. Her years of teaching and consulting have helped shape her holistic view of people’s beliefs and circumstances. People often ask doctors and medical professionals to “fix” them, but Dr Karen realized that people have the power to “fix” themselves.

Chrissie Mowbray is a physiotherapist, hypnotherapist, and psychotherapist at the Bell Lane Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy Clinic. She regularly works with people who experience PTSD, burnout, anxiety, emotional trauma, weight loss, low self-esteem, addiction, and phobia. Her practice taught her the value of the holistic approach in helping clients learn and cultivate the skills they need to take responsibility for their wellbeing.

Together, Dr Karen and Chrissie wrote the book, How to Rise to help others develop techniques to build resilience.

You can connect with Dr Karen and Chrissie on Resilient Practice.

You can also reach out to Dr Karen on LinkedIn and Twitter. While you can reach out to Chrissie on LinkedIn and Bell Lane Physiotherapy.

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 Karen Forshaw: If how you feel is dependent on somebody else, then you have no power over your own feelings, which therefore means that you are at the mercy so you can be as nice as you like, but you could do whatever you like. But if that person still chooses to think that you’re not good enough, is that how you want to be? Do you want your feelings of self worth to be defined by other people? Or do you want to define them for yourself?

Dr Rachel Morris: Are your feelings of self worth and self-esteem dependent on what other people think? Do you tie yourself in knots trying to please other people, only to find that it often makes absolutely no difference? Do you often find yourself triggered and irritated by other people because of past experiences, which might not have anything to do with what’s actually going on in front of your nose?

In this episode, I’m joined by Dr Karen Forshaw, GP, trainer, appraiser and mentor and Chrissie Mowbray, physiotherapist, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist to talk about those thoughts, prejudices and assumptions which keep us stuck, angry, and miserable in life and at work.

Our actions and feelings are shaped by our thoughts. But so often, our thoughts are shaped by our own self-doubt and fear, and are based on past experiences. Rather than an impartial analysis of the situation in front of us. We discuss how to become more aware of these unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and assumptions, and how they’re shaping how we behave. We think about how approaching a situation as if we’ve never met it, or the person before can be transformational in how we react when things get tricky. We discuss simple techniques, which can help you care less about what people think of you, and care more about what you believe about yourself.

This episode was a real eye opener for me and contains some fundamental principles, which I don’t think we talk about enough, and which if we were able to remember and put into practice will change the way we interact with our colleagues, families, clients and patients.

You can find links to many more resources from Karen and Chrissie’s Resilient Practice website in the show notes. You can also sign up to get my handout all about how to change these stories that you tell yourself. Listen to this episode if you want to find out why people pleasing will never make difficult situations go away in the long run.

The difference between compassion and empathy and why this matters, and how approaching every situation with a beginner’s mind might just be the key to fixing those tricky relationships.

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 notice the external days becoming the norm. Have gotten used to feeling stressed and exhausted.

Let’s face it, folks generally only have two options, stay in a pan and be boiled alive, or jump out of the pan and leave. But you are not a frog. That’s where this podcast comes in. It is possible to cross your working life so you can thrive even in difficult circumstances. If you’re happier at work, you’ll 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. That together, we can take back control and love what you 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 programs. We’ve been working with GP training hubs, new to GP fellowship programs, return to practice programs, trainers, groups, health and wellbeing projects and many more organisations. We’re now taking bookings for summer and autumn 2022 and have a few slots left for spring 2022. If your team is 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.

Rachel: It’s great to welcome today onto the podcast, Dr Karen Forshaw and Chrissie Mabry, so welcome both of you.

Karen: Hello there.

Rachel: Karen is a GP trainer. She’s an appraiser and LMC mentor, and Chrissie is a physiotherapist, a psychotherapist and the Hypnotherapist. All those different qualifications Chrissie?

Chrissie Mowbray: Yeah, I wear a few hats in clinic.

Rachel: You’re both practicing clinically right now at the moment as well, aren’t you? Can I just start off with and in a minute, we’re going to get on to be talking all about control, and compassion, fatigue, and all these sorts of really interesting stuff that you guys talk about. But what have you been seeing in practice right now with with health care professionals and other people you’re working with,

Karen: I think we’re almost getting to the point where people are at breakpoint, really, there is a, unfortunately, there’s been a real downturn in the kind of, well, maybe patient’s perspective. I think people are really frustrated, they want things to go back to the way they were, I think we’re trying to brace the changes that came about since COVID.

Perhaps bring forward some of them, such as telephone consultations and remote follow up. Patients are finding that difficult because it is a big change in what they’re expecting. I think they’re cross because, you know, it’s going to take years for the NHS to recover from, in the hospital, from the kind of lists that they’ve got people waiting.

I think that they’re taking that frustration out on the frontline workers that they see in general practice, really. Though, you know, it’s just some days, it feels like, there are too many things to do. I don’t think I’m alone, feeling that rare that.

Chrissie: Yeah, it’s knocked everybody’s confidence. I think, basically, I think, whilst things are going well, and we feel like we’re on top of things, we can get to a point where we can practice confidently, we feel we’re at the top of our game, but it does not take an awful lot.

When I say it doesn’t take an awful lot, you know, sort of things that are happening at home or, you know, if you’re unwell or a spell away from work, and knock your confidence. I think a pandemic and a change in practice. A change in what people expect from the frontline that makes people take it out on the frontline, or complaints about the way that you’re delivering your service, even if it’s out of your hands, is going to chip away at your self worth. I think that all of us have issues around self worth.

What I’m seeing is that manifests in people’s ability to practice, and also just in mood and, you know, enjoying your job enjoying your life. It comes across that people are just generally less happy.

Rachel: Now you both sort of specialise in resilience training and you’ve written a book, and it’s something you’re really interested in. Do you think that there’s other stuff going on, apart from just this overwhelming workload and dealing with criticism from the public?

Karen: Yeah, absolutely. I think that everybody has their own stuff that we’re still, we’re still trying to come up with a better word for it than stuff. But, you know, as Chrissie mentioned before, people have things going on in their own lives. Some people may have, you know, experienced bereavement themselves.

We are human beings, and we’re experiencing all sorts of different things happening on all the different fronts, in those different kinds of roles that we have. Underlying all of that, we have the kind of conditioning that happens as you’re growing up, which is about whether you are, it’s okay to talk about mental health, whether it’s okay to talk about stress and anxiety, things like that, or whether they’re the things that we should push inside, and keep away because we shouldn’t, you know, have to, we should never experience them. Those kinds of things basically form us as a person, and we end up with core beliefs.

A lot of us actually have quite negative core beliefs. I think we’ve boiled it down humbly to not feeling worthy, or feeling broken in some way. If you have negative core beliefs rippling along underneath, they influence how you think, they influence how you feel, and that influences what you do and what you say. All of those things then go around in the cognitive behavioural cycle, thoughts, feelings, and actions, all being driven by core beliefs. If we don’t reframe our core beliefs, or at least acknowledge that they’re there, then they are going to influence us and that influence, they will influence us in quite unexpected ways.

Rachel: I love this, this idea of your core beliefs, I call it the story in your head and all the training that I do and it’s the one thing that just cuts to the heart of things because it is a bit of a revelation. Once you’ve sort of seen it, you can’t unsee it, can you? But all our stress, all our anxiety and worry is caused by our thinking, it’s caused by the stories we’re telling ourselves, not by what other people are doing to us. It can’t…

Karen: Absolutely.

Rachel: It can’t even, it’s really hard to get that because like, that person is so flippin annoying, they are causing my stress it’s not, it’s not me. I think as healthcare professionals, we find it very hard to accept that it’s ourselves and our own thinking causing this because there are so many other things that are contributing to that. But when you are blaming other people all the time and think it’s because of their actions, and it’s because of this, that I’m feeling like this, it’s a pretty powerless place to be, isn’t it?

Karen: Absolutely. That’s when you are completely externalising, your locus of control, which is a term that we’ll talk about. If you have an external locus of control, it’s everybody else’s fault, there’s always a reason for why something’s happened, there’s a reason for why you’re feeling the way that you’re feeling it and as you say, that is completely disempowering, because it means you have no control over anything.

Whereas if you actually try to develop an internal locus of control, which basically then means that you accept responsibility for everything that you do, then you have all the power, because it doesn’t matter what other people do, because you recognise that it’s your responses that are the key thing, and you are 100% in charge of your own responses.

Now I teach this stuff to patients, and they don’t like it very much. It’s because I say to them, well, you’re anxious, are you anxious? Or actually, is that just what you’ve been choosing to think and feel and do up to this point in time, and, and some people are like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I can’t Oh, my goodness’, and then they come back nation, they go, ‘Oh, my goodness’, and other people don’t like it, and they’re not ready for that. But actually, yes, if we can all move towards an internal locus of control, that is a very, very, very empowering place to be.

Chrissie: I would say, conversely, the challenge to that is that we all have an inherent need for approval that comes from childhood. That follows us into adulthood, unless we make it conscious, and we’re aware of where it’s kicking in, then it externalises our locus of control, because we’re looking for external validation and approval, and that comes from the need to survive as children because without being approved of, we’re dead, aren’t we? Because we’re abandoned.

What tends to happen is we never really shed that survival instinct, and we look for it all the time. Even you know, when you’re the most resilient you can possibly be and you feel like your locus of control is entirely internal and that you’ve bought that all of your responses conscious and under control, you will still find yourself seeking approval occasionally.

Rachel: That people pleasing thing, it’s like you said it’s an existential thing, isn’t it? Because, you know, when our, when we were living in caves, you know, forget being kids, but as an adult, if you pissed everybody else off.

Karen: Absolutely, you’re out in the cold.

Rachel: Yeah, you’d be eaten by a bear, die by exposure or both. When people say ‘Oh, just stop people pleasing’ or ‘She’s such a people pleaser.’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, cuz I want to survive in this world.’ But it really doesn’t serve us very well does it?

Karen: Not at all, actually.

Chrissie: I think people actually described themselves as people pleasers as well. As soon as you you own up to that new what you’re wearing it on your, on your clothing, and people know who to ask then because you have designed yourself as this kind of, ‘I’m the lovely doctor’ and I will… then the lovely doctor that the receptionist will then actually ask to do the extra patients, five o’clock, because the one who should be doing it is a little bit less pleasing. It makes it easier for people to ask you.

If you are a people pleaser, you’ll be the one that people ask. It all comes down to that need for approval, and the need to be liked as well. I actually think that on the frontline, as healthcare professionals, we are a self selected group of people who have a need to be liked as well, because we were probably conditioned that we were carrying as children it was approved of that we, you know, that we cared for others and that we wanted to go into a caring profession.

That is within us, and it is very, very difficult to see ourselves in a different way. That we need to for our own survival, otherwise our resilience is at stake.

Rachel: But can I just ask you play devil’s advocate here, I mean, it’s quite a good thing to want to be liked because that means what you’re doing is trying to do things for other people that they that they are going to like, so it means you’re being a nice person and you’re not a psychopath, right?

Karen: Perhaps, but if you if how you feel is dependent on somebody else, then you have no power over your own feelings, which therefore means that you are at their mercy. You can be as nice as you like and we all have seen this patient, don’t we?

In fact, it’s the patients that you often feel like you’ve gone out of your way for, they’re the ones that tend to complain. You could do whatever you like, but if that person still chooses to think that you’re not good enough… Is that how you want to be? Do you want your kind of feelings of self worth to be defined by other people? Or do you want to define them for yourself? Do you want to say, ‘You know what, I know that I did the right thing in that consultation.’

I, you know, used my skills, and I shared knowledge and I was kind. I was compassionate to that patient, full stop. That’s why when you get a complaint, if you know that you did the right thing, you’re not bothered by it at all. It’s only if you actually think that you probably didn’t do what you should have done, that you feel bothered by complaints, in my experience, having had complaints.

Rachel: Haven’t we all? I think the thing that bugs me about that is that you get a complaint or you look back through the notes, and correct. What did I do? What did I do? ‘Oh, thank God, I did the right thing.’ Oh, it’s someone else? Yeah, I probably did that.

You know, sometimes, you don’t do the right thing, right? You just get it wrong for absolutely no reason at all, because you just got distracted or you were tired, or we all make mistakes. Remember that practice pharmacists coming up to me saying, ‘Rachel, did you mean to prescribe 280 diazepam?’ I did not. Let’s just change that prescription, shall we?

You know, literally finger slips when typing it. Yes, we all do things. We need to be okay, when we’ve made a mistake and get complaints, and it is our fault.

Chrissie: There’s a sort of a bit of a British thing about being sorry. I’ve patients who apologised on the couch or, you know, of bumping people who apologise when they bump into you. We talk about saying sorry, when we’re actually responsible for something that’s gone wrong. When you’ve made a mistake with the patient, and they complain, I think if you have made a mistake, it’s perfectly okay to say, ‘That was actually my fault and I am sorry.’

But I think we are also in danger of being sorry, when, as Karen said, a consultation has gone well, and we’ve done everything that we could possibly do. We know that patient is disgruntled, whatever we would have done, it would have been the same outcome. There are other ways to handle that.

We can say, you know, it’s unfortunate that you feel that you haven’t had a good service without saying I’m sorry, and taking responsibility that for something that is not your fault, or that that didn’t particularly go wrong, by the way, that you see it. I think it’s all about being conscious with your responses.

Asking yourself when you’re saying sorry, or when you’re thinking when you’re being accountable for something, do I really mean that? Am I accountable? Am I sorry for what happened there? Or do I feel it was a good service? But it’s unfortunate that they don’t? Can we explore how they would have, you know, how they would have liked it to have gone?

Rachel: I guess Chrissie, hearing you say, ‘It’s unfortunate that’, it immediately makes me think actually, if someone said to me, ‘It’s unfortunate that you feel that way.’ I’d get a bit annoyed because I think that this is just being fobbed off. But is it ever okay to say, I am really sorry that you feel that way? Because you can be genuinely sorry that someone feels that without being sorry about what actually happened? Does that make sense?

Chrissie: I think you can. Yeah, but I think we use the phrase I’m sorry, without thinking about it.

Karen: When you say I’m sorry, but it basically means you’re not sorry.

Rachel: Sorry, not sorry.

Karen: Yeah. Let’s think maybe try and think of a different way of doing that. The last time I got a complaint, I actually said, ‘Thank you for your letter.’ That made me feel quite good. Because I thought actually, ’I am really,’ because this letter is pointing out something that is highlighting I’m a bit unorganised, actually, and probably ought to sort that out, really. I started it off with saying, ‘Thank you for your letter.’

Actually, I think that really sets the tone. I wasn’t saying sorry. I didn’t particularly say sorry in the letter. I just a bit but I started it off. That’s because we said that’s about your intention. It’s about the intention that you have, when you say it and saying, ‘I’m sorry, but’ means you’re not sorry. Think about what you’re saying, think about what your words really mean. Think about the intention behind them.

Also think about why is this triggering you? What core belief, what negative core belief is it poking at? Is that the universe saying, ‘Here’s another opportunity for you to grow for you to actually change the way that you think about yourself internally.’ It’s win win, really.

Rachel: Yeah, that’s a really interesting observation. Because my observation is when the media are criticising doctors, and they’re saying you’re not working, you’re not seeing patients face to face. You know, looking at it, I’m thinking, ‘Why do people react so badly?’ Because we know it’s not true. I mean, it’s obviously not true.

I tell this story so many times, you know, one of my colleagues, you know, he’s saying Gandhi literally just finished examining a patient, patient is putting on his jacket, patient turns around and says, so when you’re going to open, doctor?

Karen: That’s hilarious. Yeah, we had exactly this on a course that we ran recently, didn’t we? When basically the first thing that somebody said was, ‘Oh, it’s really awful and depressing.’ I just laughed and I said, but we know that’s not true, don’t we? Actually, we know that. Why are we bothered about what other people think?

Rachel: That’s right. I think what you’re saying exactly like if someone came up to me in the middle of the street and said to me, ‘Oi you! You’re rubbish at what you do. You’re a rubbish coach, and you’re a rubbish trainer.’ They’d never met me or they haven’t seen it. I just laugh because to think? You have no idea.

If someone had been on one of my courses came up and said, ‘You’re really not that good,’ I’d really take that to heart. Yeah, well, it’s the same with the general public, you know, if they, they’re coming up to me and say, ‘Actually, you’re you’re, you’re useless and not seeing patients.’ they say. We are. The problem is, what it’s doing, the reason why we’re getting upset about it is because it’s hitting that raw nerve, it’s going maybe I’m not doing enough, maybe I’m not good enough, maybe we can’t provide the service we can.

This is back to your locus of control, because I think health practitioners take on too much responsibility. We’re feeling dreadfully responsible for the health of the nation. But that’s completely out of our control and what’s happens out of control. But that’s it hits a raw nerve when they criticise us. Because we know we can’t do anything about it when we get very defensive, because deep down, we’re telling ourselves we should have done. Is that right?

Karen: I think so. But again, that’s, that’s and it’s triggering core beliefs, isn’t it? If you think about us, as doctors, we are fixers, aren’t we? We like to think that we can make people better. Actually, really, maybe we ought to move away from that this is pushing us towards our compassion versus empathy argument.

Should we be taking responsibility for how our patients feel? Should we be absorbing their pain and their anxiety all of the time? We agree no, we absolutely shouldn’t be, because that’s really bad for us. When we think about horrible things happening. Or imagine how somebody tried to imagine how somebody felt when that happens. In fact, we will have a release of stress hormones in our own bodies, because remembered events trigger the same kind of flight-fight response in us.

If you’re doing that 10/20 times a day, when you’re talking to people who are upset or anxious, then you will at the end of that be drained and you will have high levels of cortisol and high levels of adrenaline in your system, which is not a good way to work. It’s really unhealthy for us. Stepping back from it a little bit, and being compassionate. The definition of compassion is feeling sympathy for somebody and wanting to do something about it. We don’t advocate just being served people, obviously.

But actually recognising the impact of a problem on a patient wanting to, to genuinely do something about it to help them is the definition of compassion. That is absolutely what we are advocating for clinicians, we have particularly young people coming through now, because it is overwhelming, isn’t it, because we know that the pandemic has affected the mental health of the population.

We can’t absorb all of that, ourselves. Actually, it’s bad for patients too, because if we’re absorbing all of that from them, they get the idea that they can calm and just offload on the doctor and leave it all there. Then they go away feeling better. Again, they need to take responsibility for what’s going on in their life. They need to take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and behaviours just like we do.

Actually, then being compassionate, rather than over-empathising with people allows you to help them do that. You can bring your expert knowledge, they bring their expert knowledge of themselves, so they tell you what they can and can’t do. You give them a range of solutions. Together, you can come up with a plan that fits them.

Rachel: I was listening to episode three of the podcast, we recorded almost two years ago with Agnes Salzburg, and she was saying that when they put people in an MRI scanner and show and played them, sounds of people suffering their empathy centers lit up, and they and also their pain centers lit up. They actually felt that in the same way as you feel physical pain, is that right?

Karen: Yeah, absolutely. It’s true. This is absolutely what starts to happen. But actually, what we want people to think about is, do we know what that person is really thinking or feeling? Of course we don’t because we’re not them.

We have a different worldview. Yeah, because we were brought up in a different way. We were conditioned in a different way. We have different life experiences. When we are empathising with people, we are actually probably trying to guess how they feel. Yeah. Or we’re basing it on our own experience. Yeah.

We start reliving a lived experience and this happened to me in clinic not that long ago. My mum died in May and the patient came and she’d lost her husband. She was talking about it and I got really upset. I was like, Oh, I can’t believe I’m doing this because this is not me. Actually, it was me, it was my kind of grief about my mom came out.

Actually, the patient kind of looked at me, she was shocked. I could almost feel her thinking, ‘Why are you upset? This isn’t about you.’ I was like, ‘I’m so sorry. This is because of my mom. It’s nothing to do with, you know, I’m butting into your consultation, so just give me a minute. Then we’ll come back to you.’ It does go both ways, really.

Rachel: It’s very interesting that about, yeah, things that but, you know, if any of my children ever have friendship issues, for example, I talked to him, I feel absolutely agonising in pain after this. I know how I’d feel it, then often, it’s all resolved for them within half an hour. I’m like, Oh, almost like in the physical? Because, because of how I would feel if it was, if it was me as a woman of this age, not as a, you know, 10-year old child. It’s really tricky. I mean, Chrissie, how do you advise your clients to turn from this empathy bit into the compassion bit? Because that’s the bit that I don’t quite understand is how you get from this constant feeling of empathy, because that’s what we do as human beings, and you don’t want to have a complete lack of empathy, do you? Because that’s a psychopath, presumably.

Chrissie: No. I mean, I think the first thing to do is to make it conscious to be aware, I’m being empathic I’m starting to feel, and I have a kind of an almost an inner voice that says, ‘Okay, you you need to step back because you’re feeling this as opposed to observing it.’

It’s not that I don’t want to feel it. It’s just I want to be aware, if my emotions are getting involved, that really muddies the waters, because in actual fact, we project then our needs onto our patients. I’m assuming what they need, I’m thinking well, and actually to back from my own experience, and back, when I realised I’m being over-empathic, and I’m kind of feeling for the patient. To say, I can see this as distressing for you, what do you need?

Because if I ask them what they need, quite often, they will usually surprise me and say, ‘Well I need to speak to a GP and find out my diagnosis.’ Or I need to know what actually was on the X-ray report, or I just need you to do some physical treatment. But and I, I was thinking you needed a hug, because yo’re really sad! For me, it’s about standing back and being aware that I’m a human being, I am empathic, but I’m supposed to work as a professional, so and it is a self selecting profession, or group of professionals. That’s perfectly okay.

But to observe it and to ask myself, is empathy appropriate in this situation? Or is it going to cloud the issue? Should I actually stand back from my own emotions, and my own feelings about the situation, and that person described to me how they feel and what they need and what I can do for them, and in what way I can be of service to them.

It’s not really about saying, empathy is not the best way to be compassionate. It’s about looking at the argument and saying, in this situation, where do I sit, and also about being really good at switching on the observer part of the psyche, the part that does say, ‘tell me that you’re upset, but don’t end up feeling upset.’ The part that says to observe everything that’s able to notice my emotions without collapsing into them. If I’m a real, really good observer of my own consultation, then I can notice when that empathy kicks in, and I can decide whether it’s appropriate, let it run or not.

As Karen said, sometimes, you can’t help it, you’re already there. You’re already welling up and you’re already thinking wrong. That’s okay, that makes you an empathic doctor. But I think, from in terms of being able to decide, it’s about observing it first, and then choosing to decide whether to let it run or not. Then you can go to the question, you know, I can see your distress, what do you need? Then you can act on that.

Rachel: Do you have any particular tips or techniques that would work and I know, you’ve talked about Beginner’s Mind and Shadow Work. What’s all that about?

Karen: Our shadow, all those parts of ourselves that we just like that have been disapproved of, that have been kind of, you know, trained out of us as we grew up. The things that we felt we needed to hide, to avoid being abandoned as children.

When we come into contact with people, so actually, Shadow Work is a bit different. The compassion versus empathy, I would say is the tools are what Chrissie’s talked about, and also maybe even some visualisation exercises to think about protecting yourself from absorbing things from people when they come in and making sure after you’ve seen a patient that you literally do housekeeping. That’s not just about getting up and having tea, but it’s about, you know, really getting rid of feelings that were developed, or that came up in you, when you had that first consultation.

Visualise washing your hands and visualise all those feelings disappearing. Because you need to come to the next person fresh. Shadow Work is more when people ignore you, actually. When somebody does something, and you’re annoyed, or it triggers you in some way, it makes you cross or it makes you upset, it’s because they are reflecting back at you something that you really dislike about yourself something that is in your shadow.

If we can acknowledge that we’ve all got all of those parts, we can all be cruel, we can all be unkind, we can all be disrespectful, we can, you know, in the right circumstances, we can all do certain things. If we can acknowledge that there is a part of us that is potentially capable of that, then we stop judging ourselves. when we stop judging ourselves, then we’ll stop judging the people around us. Actually, then what they do doesn’t affect us.

Because what we’ve done is we’ve moved to a more internal locus of control, and we’ve gone ah, that person did something that annoyed me. Why was that? What is it about me that is making us bond in that way? Okay, I need to do some inner work here. It becomes not about that person, it becomes about you.

When it becomes about you, you have all the power, because you can reframe your core beliefs, you can think about your you can reframe your thoughts. You can alter your body chemistry by doing positive things. You can look at the things that you do, can’t you and actually act in a more positive way that you’re driving positive behaviour cycles rather than negative?

Rachel: That’s really interesting. Would you say then that the things that annoy you most are generally the things that you dislike about yourself

Karen: That you have pushed down as far as you possibly can? Yes, the more it annoys you, the more you’ve pushed it down, the more you can’t or can almost not face that you may have the capacity for that characteristic.

Rachel: Okay, that’s interesting. We thought it was the things that annoy you most of things you’re definitely not like, but actually, you’re saying no, maybe it’s the thing you really uncomfortable that super…

Karen: They’re no large parts and that tiny, tiny parts of your name. That’s why it annoys you so much, because you aren’t an unkind person, you aren’t cool, but in certain circumstances we can we all have the capacity to be all of those things where they, and don’t think about behaviours, think about characteristics, on a course of hours, just the people, people don’t like this, actually, it’s challenging, isn’t it? To think that there are dark parts of yourself?

Somebody said, so if I find child abuse abhorrent, does that mean that part of me has the capacity to be a child abuser? But actually, it’s about the characteristics and the traits that somebody who does that kind of thing has, and that is, broadly, manipulation, isn’t it and so it’s the traits that underlie a behaviour, not necessarily the behaviour.

Rachel: That makes sense. That’s really interesting. So you notice why they’re irritating you? Think about okay, what’s that hitting in me, that’s causing it? Yeah. Then you can, then you can change that because it’s about you rather than about them.

Karen: It won’t bother you anymore.

Rachel: Yeah. So many people are so focused on trying to change other people. That’s so stressful, isn’t it? Because well, isn’t that? Well, unless you’re married to them? No. I’m lucky because my husband doesn’t really listen to every episode, so he won’t hear this.

Chrissie: I was going to talk about Beginner’s Mind because you asked about it. This is a really brilliant tool for when we get into a rut with some of our what we term heart think patients, but also with people that we regularly interact with who our expectations become very rigid of them, because we have lots of experience with them, and it affects how we communicate with them.

The benefits of beginner’s mind, it gives us the joy of experiencing every positive situation as the first time so that that gives us a good boost of positive body chemicals. It enhances the well being. It allows us to come at every situation, from a completely fresh perspective with no limiting beliefs or judgments. That way, our decisions aren’t contaminated by past experience and others are free to be themselves without having our expectations placed upon them.

We’re not imagining the worst and expecting, again that that gives us the opportunity to learn from the current experience instead of expecting something and catastrophising about what’s going to happen and it keeps us present, allows us to live in the present moment, avoiding the fight or flight response and the negative chemicals that that invokes. The way to practice that is to cultivate the habit of reassessing and re reframing boundaries. Somebody has upset you or there has been an issue in the past with somebody and it has been repetitive, then you take that situation, and you decide how your boundaries will be affected because of it.

For example, if you’ve had an argument with somebody or got into a really heavy argument, I’m somebody who will say, after that experience, next time I see that person, these things won’t be on the agenda for discussion, I’ll keep it light. You set your boundaries at the time so that the next time you see that person, that those boundaries are in place that you’re not going to expect anything different from them, but you’re basically acting only on current information, how they are at the boundaries. In all situations that leads to different interactions, it changes things and people are different with us then as well.

Rachel: I do remember once I’d seen a patient, I thought very pleasant patient and wife was worried about him, problems with urine infections, was way to see a consult and had another one, we chased some things up. You know, they left happy, I left happy then I went to coffee. One of the people I was working with said, ‘Oh, my goodness, you’re seeing so and so this morning, such a nightmare, honestly dread seeing them.’

Every time she was obviously really triggered by- I just seen him. I said, ‘Oh, I just seen him,’ and it was fine. I was so grateful. I’d seen him before I’d been to coffee. Because if it comes into coffee, and you know, and I think either this this poor doctor had just been so ground down with the stuff that had gone on and stuff in the past. Maybe there had been a-. I don’t actually know what had gone on in the past.

But I was so grateful I didn’t carry that baggage. With the consultation, and I’m sure it’s much better because of that. But how do you avoid that? Because if that had been me, you know, we all we all have those people that your heart it genuinely thinks to the to boost. That person’s coming in. I guess a lot of it’s because you can’t help them and you’re feeling bad. You can’t people please and all that sort of

Karen: Exactly. Exactly. It’s about recognising what it is that it’s triggering within yourself. Yeah, so I can’t fix this person, therefore, does that mean I’m not a very good doctor, and actually letting go of that. Recognising that fixing people isn’t what we should be doing and actually just empowering people, giving them our knowledge, and helping them make sensible decisions. Yeah, is actually what our goal should be.

If you stop trying to fix somebody, then actually they stop bothering you. All you have to do is listen. Yeah, and a lot of what they talk about will be negative. But actually, all you have to do is listen. That’s what Chrissie is talking about with expectations isn’t that? Actually what I found with a lot of my patients that I did consider difficult is either we have better conversations when they come in, and then they just go, I don’t offer anything else. I just list it.

Then they say oh, right, okay, then thank you, and then go, or they start to go and see other people. But the trick, the tricky thing with that is that you’ve got to be careful that you’re not kind of having them accumulate all with other doctors, so everybody needs to be doing the same kind of thing, don’t they? When a patient is in that the right part of the cycle of change that’s the time isn’t it to get in and go?

Well, actually, we were aware that this might be useful, this is something that you could think about. Actually a really good language tool in a conversation with the patient that you find difficult is to try and not use the word ‘I’ and just try and keep it all about you so that the so that the whole attention is focused on them. They then start to get the message that actually it’s about things that they need to do, as opposed to coming in and asking you to take responsibility for their health and their health decision. I think it takes a long time to get there.

But no, recognising that it’s an issue is probably the main thing.

Chrissie: I think it’s useful to ask people what they need from you as well. You know, something brought them into surgery that day, particularly, you know, there might be somebody who, who, who does suffer with the negative thinking, as you say, Rachel, the story that they’re telling themselves is I’m in pain, I got this and actually something brought them in. If you can narrow down what it is they need. Again, it might be something that you haven’t, you haven’t thought, you know, might and it might just be that they need you to listen.

Rachel: It’s a very coaching-orientated technique, isn’t it? I remember going on a health behaviour coaching courses, just my first introduction to coaching I was just blown away. I was like, wow, it was the first time anyone had taught me to consult in any sort of a different way. It was wonderful because, you know, it was ‘Okay, I’ve got some ideas, but what would you like? What do you need?’ Just listening and do a lot of work with leaders in healthcare.

I think they feel a lot about their teams in the same way as we do feel apart seeing patients, you know, some of some team members are just really difficult. You end up dreading that one to one interaction with them or that appraisal, or that ‘Oh, no, they’re gonna just moan’, or whatever.

All this is, I think, useful for that as well. Because you then flip to the coaching approach. Okay, what do you need from this conversation with me? What would be the most useful thing? What do you think you could do about it? Yes. Focusing on you, you, you so I think it works not just with patients, but with, I think-

Karen: Everybody in your life.

Chrissie: Some people are really difficult, but it is our perception of them as difficult, we perceive them as difficult, and that’s it. That’s a me-thing. If I find somebody difficult, that’s my stuff. I need to find the tools, make conversation with that person more easily so that I’m not affected by it. I don’t go away feeling drained. That person is giving me real difficult interaction, really is about sourcing the right tools and the right ways to speak to people and also doing the inner work that makes me not be.

Rachel: I think there’s that idea of coming to things with a beginner’s mind is great. I was out with some friends the other week, and there’s one person I find particularly difficult, just because of a few things that have happened in the past. I’m always quite guarded, because I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want the conversation to go south or stuff. If I just came to it as a beginner’s mind going, Yeah, let’s just, you know, it’s no assumptions.

No, no sort of triggers. But also knowing that probably, let’s not go down that route of conversation. wise about this, it would just be a lot easier, wouldn’t it?

Chrissie: Because you don’t want to get your fingers burnt again. When you got your fingers burnt the first time, you would readjust your boundaries and say, That’s off the you know, so you can feel the conversation going down that route. That’s the boundary, we’re not going there or change the subject.

But you’ve taken all of the thinking and the emotional angst out of the interaction, because you’ve already decided what you will not talk about, or you know, the keep the conversation light, or whatever those boundaries are. Then you’re free to go and actually have her pleasantly or him pleasantly surprised you had a nice time.

Rachel: We’re nearly out of time. But I just like to get into some really practical application of this. Because, you know, we’ve had some really interesting stuff about identifying this sort of, your shadow, and thinking about beginner’s mind, being able to respond out of compassion, rather than your empathy zone. I’m just thinking, you know, and you’ve talked about inner work quite a lot. How does one go about doing that? It’s very well, knowing all this stuff, and it sounds brilliant, and I’m fully on board with it. But like how?

Karen: It’s an ongoing, it is an ongoing thing, really, it’s something that we all need to do every day. It’s about being conscious. Yep. Make everything that you think and say, and do and feel conscious. Because then you can choose whether you want to let something run an old pattern of behaviour. If it’s appropriate, that’s fine. But if it’s not, then you have the opportunity to choose a different way.

It really is all about choice. We have got a website, it’s free. So www.resilientpractice.co.uk. We post a blog every week on there. There’s usually a tool attached to it. That people can have a go at, there are a list of them. There’s a tool kit on there that people can have a look at. It’s a host of different kinds of things that people can try. People need to go out and explore and find the things that work.

Chrissie: The one takeaway thing I would say from today, people listening to the podcast is go away and observe your own responses and behaviours if you do nothing, but observe, this is what I say to a lot of my patients who are stuck, you know, what if you just for, say, three or four weeks, just observe how you feel and how you respond. In all situations, you’ll affect change without actually having to do anything else. That would be the takeaway thing. Start by observing your own responses and your own emotions and your own strategy for gaining what you need.

Rachel: It’s a bit like observing particles in the Hadron Collider, you know, the act of observation, changes, changes things. If you’re observing, do you recommend that people journal and write them down? Or?

Karen: Yes, very much. Journalling is amazing. You can process something that’s happened, you can unpack your day, a specific type of journal, a thought diary is what people using cognitive behavioural therapy if you want to actually start to reframe thoughts that you’re having. Yeah, absolutely journalling is a brilliant thing.

Not everybody likes to write things down, you know? Don’t be constrained by that. You can record it on your phone. Yeah, right. speak and tell yourself some notes. Some people can need to dance it out, you know, there are lots of different ways of processing and expressing yourself.

Absolutely find what works for you if that’s what resonates with you, and then do it. The other thing is we get really lethargic, don’t we, stop doing the things that we know are good for us. It is about making them become habits. That’s about doing them over and over and over again until they become a habit.

Rachel: In a sec, I’m going to ask you for your top three, top three tips, maybe top three each, because you guys have got so much. But if people want more, you’ve mentioned the website. I understand you guys have written a book as well.

Chrissie: Yeah, it’s called How to Rise: A Complete Resilience Manual. It’s published by Sheldon press, which is the imprint of Hachette books. You can buy it most of the major booksellers, you can get it on Amazon, and it basically talks about everything that we’ve talked about today. If you want to know more, these concepts are in the book.

But also, there’s quite a lot more that we go through the concepts of self awareness that you need to know about how you became who you think you are, and then some four skills which you need for resilience. There’s a huge toolkit in the back, which you can match your own Resilience Gap Analysis Tool, which you can fill in, and you can see where your needs are. You can map that, but there’s loads of ways to use it. Just dive into the tools you want.

Rachel: It sounds brilliant. When you’re saying, you know, observe yourself and you know, use some of these tools, you can just choose whichever tool works for you, presumably.

Karen: Yeah, as well. For each of the tools, we’ve basically listed the things that it will be useful for you so it’s well mapped out.

Rachel: Well, what a great resource. Yeah, we’ll put all the links to those in the show notes. But now, top three tips that start with you, Chrissie then Karen?

Chrissie: Observe yourself completely for a few weeks. That’s tip number one. Tip number two, do a complaint fast. This is an experience that I had, and I could not believe the results. I decided for one week to completely desist from complaining, because I was affirming how tired I was that I was in pain, that people were being annoying. The people in my life were absolutely delighted. I know, my mood increased, everything was better. Actually, I stopped observing that I needed to complain because I went to, I don’t have to complain about that. It was massively liberating. That’s a definitely on that I would suggest, understood when I would say come at everything from a fresh perspective, let go of your expert is still there, all the knowledge is still there. All the stuff you work so hard for is still there, it won’t go away. Look at everything with fresh eyes, but reset your boundaries.

Rachel: Brilliant. Thank you, Karen, what about you?

Karen: Okay, so I would say challenge cognitive illusions. They are those distorted patterns of thinking that we engage in regularly.

Assuming the worst, assuming that we know what other people are thinking in mind during adding emotional weight to things that people have said and done, when really there’s not there. i That’s my first one. Definitely. Second one is practice gratitude, this is the quickest way to get a boost of positive body chemistry. We would say write down three things that you’re grateful for, then write down three things that you learned that day.

Yeah, so it’s a step on from a gratitude journal, because it’s easy to be grateful for the good stuff. Actually, what we need to learn to do is live gratefully, which is about being grateful for everything that’s happened, even when it was a rough day.

That’s about the lessons that you learn. We always learned every there’s always gonna be to them. Then the third one, and Chrissie is gonna laugh at this one is physical activity. But actually, it is really brilliant. If you can weave physical activity into your day. It just makes such a difference. I definitely try for that.

Rachel: Great advice. Well, thank you so much for being on podcast. It’s really interesting. We have to get you back another time. I’m sure there’s so much more to talk about. People want to get a hold of you through the website.

Karen: Yeah, absolutely. So info@resilient practice.co.uk. That’s a direct email. We’ve had we have people email all the time. We’re happy to you know, chat to people to share advice. Have a look at the website. Absolutely. Yeah. Have a look at the book.

Rachel: Right. Thank you so much. Have a good rest of day. Bye bye.

Karen: Thank you very much.

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

Get in touch and book a slot with us for live program courses of the Shapes Toolkit. Bookings are open for Autumn 2022, with only a few slots left for Spring 2022.

Connect with Dr Karen: LinkedIn I Twitter

Connect with Chrissie: LinkedIn I Bell Lane Physiotherapy

Develop resilience with Resilient Practice! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Rise: A Complete Resilience Manual by Dr Karen Forshaw and Chrissie Mowbray

Episode 10: What We’re Talking About When We Talk About Compassion Fatigue With Rachel Otzelberger

Get access to the THRIVE Weekly Planner!

Have any questions? Contact Rachel through these platforms:

LinkedIn: @Dr-Rachel-Morris

Twitter: @DrRachelMorris

Email: hello@youarenotafrog.com

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