It’s very easy to sit back and stay in the area that you’re comfortable with. We all know exactly what we should do, but we don’t do it; it’s called the Knowing-Doing Gap. People often widen the gap by reading more, and never completing the “doing”. As Gary Vaynerchuk says “you can read about press-ups all that you want, doing them is a different matter.”

If you want to move forward, you need to start acting in the way that you’d act when you reached your goal. For example, if you want to be a head nurse, think about the characteristics they’d have; kind, compassionate, organised, a good example, forward thinking, leadership. Think of ways you can apply those in practice right now. Don’t resent the role that you’re currently in, use it as practice to build up the skill set for your next. Waiting until you’re in the job to change is unproductive, whilst practising it before you apply is going to make you far more appealing of a candidate.

I see so many times people avoiding taking certain consults through (tactical toilet breaks, 5minutes before dinner), not volunteering themselves, not trying new things. This isn’t because of laziness, this is that your old paradigms and that negative voice in your head tells you that you’re not capable, maybe you don’t think you know enough, or it’ll cause too much disruption to your day. You genuinely believe that someone else will do a better job than you, which simply is not the case.

Aim to be the vet or nurse you aspire to be; the one that’s confident, caring, assertive and up for a challenge. Face those challenges head on. There are always people to ask if you’re not sure (maybe not in your building, but you can call the lab, call the specialist, call your boss). Breakthrough that terror barrier and make the decision to just start doing it.

Spending my first 9months in practice doing open surgeries gave me a good foundation of realising that I had to grab the bull by the horns and just get on with it; you couldn’t bypass one consult, as you knew the next one could be equally as challenging. You learn so much more by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Then you start to wonder what you worried about in the first place.

Read more about Katie Ford.