Do you know exactly what to do, but you’re just not doing it? It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world. For example, weight loss. People know that they need to simply eat less calories than they burn, but they don’t. Instead, they go and search out other diets, check out “fat burning” exercises and skinny teas. It ends up being exactly the same in everything vet related too. Listen up if you feel stagnated, or frustrated at your lack of progression in a certain area.

Go and look up the “Knowing-Doing” gap and you’ll see a more in-depth explanation of how this all works. Instead of doing what we know, we go and seek out more information, widen the gap, leading to paralysis. You know so much, but you do so little in terms of taking action. This is because your subconscious habit loops called paradigms get you stuck. You listen to that negative voice in your head “read a bit more, THEN you’ll be good enough to do this.”

1. Write down the situation. Get a pen and paper, get detailed. e.g. feeling as though you don’t get enough ultrasonography experience and need more confidence.

2. Write down your ideal, what is the end point How will you know when you reach it? e.g. Confidently scanning and identifying XYZ conditions/organs (list the conditions).

3. What do you know now, that can help you to move forward from point one to point two? e.g. asking if you can shadow a colleague, going in on days off to practice, speaking to the practice owners to see if you can scan at reduced cost whilst cases are in, speaking to colleagues, permission to scan your own pet (in their welfare interests, of course).

4. Pick ONE of these pieces of action, and do it every day for 7 days. Write down when you do it, to solidify it in your brain. e.g. Get permission, and just scan every case that you have chance to. Actively go out there, and do it. We are looking for progress, not perfection.

5. Reflect on how you have moved forward after that week. e.g. now you are more adept at using the equipment, you are getting more familiar with what is normal.

6. Choose another point alongside. Once you run out of what you already know how to do, seek more information. e.g. start watching youtube/video CPD, read ultrasonography books.

Take home message? Work on what you know, “continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”. Learning is good, but do one thing at a time, until you re-programme your brain to cope with knowing/doing. Take ACTION.

Read more about Katie Ford.