"You're Fine...But You Could Do Better"

Saturday, 6 May 2017

These were the words spoken to me by my tutor at my end of term meeting, and ouch, dit it hurt! She was basically just referring to how I'm doing in terms of my knowledge and keeping up with my study commitments this term. The reason why it hurt so much to hear was, of course, because it was what I already knew. 

I've been sick with the flu this term, and instead of taking the few days off that I needed, I made myself go back to placement after only one day off and have subsequently been consistently exhausted for a good few weeks. Well, I think I've learned my lesson! This, in conjunction with personal stuff going on, has definitely contributed to my performance in uni work not being up to my usual standard. As I go along it just seems to get harder to find the motivation and energy to keep going. I'm feeling really sick of making excuses for myself and feeling like I'm dragging my heels through medicine when it's supposed to be my passion. Which it is-it's just easy to forget sometimes!

This kind of comment about my work is so hard to hear as the perfectionist that I am. It was a bit of a wake up call to realise that the anxiety I struggle with is actually grounded in reality for once. The anxious thoughts that plague me on the tough days- you're not good enough, even though you're technically passing you still don't know anywhere near enough to be a good doctor, you don't put enough work in and everyone can tell...It got me wondering if everyone actually does think that about me. 

I generally deal with these fears by a combination of ignoring them and trying to reassure myself that everyone feels the same way, but now someone has noticed me struggling it makes it that much harder to keep under control. I'm aware that the more stressed I get about not being as good as everyone else, the less energy and motivation I have to study, as I start to feel like it's all a lost cause. It's therefore vitally important to acknowledge this constructive criticism for what it is, and use it to reinvigorate me without dwelling on it too much. Easy, right?

We're taught over and over again that fine just isn't good enough in the world of medicine. Well, I'm here to say that fine is FINE. If fine is all you can manage for a day, a week, a term- that's ok. Fine is a hella lot better than failing! At the end of the day, we all go through this journey in different ways and we can't all be top of the class. So for now, I'm going to be happy with my 'fine' whilst working to turn it into a 'great'! 

Right now I'm making sure I get plenty of exercise and fresh air, whilst filling up on healthy food and getting plenty of sleep while I hang out with my Mum at home for a few days. Just what a seriously exhausted gal needs to feel strong enough to tackle the world again!

Tune in for my next blog post to hear how I'm planning on doing just that in my next term.

Until then, keep smiling and remember to let the sunshine in!

Kate x

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