Life Lessons from Medical School: You are Enough. There is Enough.

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I refuse to sugar-coat it: studying medicine is utterly, mind-bogglingly challenging. It is analogous to a long boxing match: you get knocked down but you get back up again because the rewards are worth fighting for. However, sometimes when you are down, black-eyed and bloodied mouth, you feel absolutely worthless. You lose a fight and you wonder if this path you have chosen is actually worth fighting for. How can you possibly measure up to the highly capable and talented individuals you work with?

Am I really good enough?

Do I have what it takes to succeed?

Am I going to be an asset to my patients or bring more harm than good?

In these moments, remember…

You are enough. There is enough.

It is important to cast away the self-doubt and note that there will be many more opportunities: ‘fights’. You are not going to win all the time but if you keep trying, someday it will be your turn to shine.

In this fast-paced, insanely competitive world, we often feel like we’re falling behind. Wait… that is an understatement. It actually feels like we’re drowning: arms flailing, desperately shouting for help but no one can hear, encumbered with insecurities, guilt and a pestering voice shouting (as if you’re hard of hearing) “you’re not good enough”.

You have to beat this feeling or else you risk stagnancy. You have to have the strength and courage, the resilience, to get back on your feet and look yourself straight in the mirror and say with full confidence…

I am enough. There is enough.

With the right mindset, you can accomplish your goals. When you come across obstacles in your path, you can feel as though you will be stuck forever and watch helplessly as people sail on by.

Do not let negative feelings and panic seep in because you are afraid that there is a shortage of opportunities, that these obstacles are preventing you from all the success in the world, that these people who passed you at your roadblock will take away from your success.

There is an abundance of opportunity. A common saying in the Caribbean is ‘what is for you, is for you’. Take your eyes and thoughts off those who you think are more successful than you – dwelling on them will only lead to unnecessary anxiety. It is a waste of your time. Celebrate their successes and perhaps ask them for any tips if you want to take a similar path.

However, the focus should be on yourself and your path. What are you going to do about this obstacle? What are you going to learn from the experience? How do you plan to grow from it? Eventually, when you pass this obstacle and look back, you may find yourself grateful for it. It may have taught you the necessary skills you needed to thrive, rerouted you to more fulfilment or perhaps protected you from danger. It is of vital importance to remember:

You are enough. There is enough

It is hard to maintain this sort of thinking though. Often when we are dealing with problems, we fail to see the opportunity within. We complain and whine ‘why me?’.
No one escapes difficulty in their life. In fact, once we accept that life is difficult, that puts us in a better position. We no longer stare and gape wide mouthed at the injustices of the world, but we tackle the problems head-on. Problem-solving can be a slow, long drawn out process, an intricate maze from which to extricate yourself. This is a time to remember all you have accomplished and ask for support if needed. Also to reaffirm:

I am enough. There is enough

Your journey is unique. People find meaning in different ways; through work, family, charity, religion. Do not judge. Do not limit yourself to the rat race. Be truly honest with yourself and find out what is important to you. Once you discover that, go after it with all you’ve got. Always remembering…

You are enough. There is enough

I hope you get all that you wish and dream for, all that you are working so hard to achieve. Keep pushing. You are enough. There is enough.

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