How do I get past people’s negative input about becoming a vet?
Everyone keeps discouraging me about wanting to become a veterinarian but I can’t see myself doing anything else. How do I get past their negative input?
I’m so sorry that everyone keeps discouraging you. It can be hard to hold on to your dream when you are constantly receiving negative input from the people around you. Especially if these are people that are very close to you.
I think it is important to really examine why the people around you feel compelled to warn you away from veterinary medicine. I find that people that do this fall under one of three categories:
The hurt: these are people that have personal experience with the profession and have suffered in some way. This may have manifested itself as physical, emotional, or financial pain. Their quality of life may have been poor or the profession may not have lived up to their expectations. They project their negative experience onto your future and wish to spare you from the struggle or suffering that they experienced.
The worriers: these are people who love and care for you. They may have heard some negative things about the profession regarding suicide rates, poor quality of life, or debt to income ratio. They are discouraging you from a place of worry that you may suffer or feel pain because of your choice of profession. Their desire is to protect you from that pain and guide you towards, what they deem, a safer path.
The dreamers: these are people that may have tried to achieve their big dream and were unable to achieve it. They remember the heartache and sorrow that they felt when their dream did not become reality and are counseling you to avoid their fate. This has much less to do with you and your abilities than it does with them and their past wounds.
The important thing here to remember is that when people are trying to discourage you from choosing this profession, they are largely doing so out of love, concern, and protection for you.
Thinking about this in this way helps to shield you from the negativity because you are always assuming good intent. In this case, once you can see their true desire of protecting you from pain, you can begin to appreciate the good intention, the love, care, and concern that is being expressed. This can allow you to transform these comments that feel heavy, discouraging, and dream-crushing into the pure good intention that they derive from.
When we are able to view these comments as well-meaning expressions of concern, then we can stop trying to defend or argue our point and just take these comments for what they are. Vocalizations that are full of care. No more, no less. This allows you to thank them for caring about you and your well being and then go on with your day.
Only you know what is right for you. Only you know what your heart desires and what purpose is calling you. Follow that call. Make your decisions in alignment with your mission, your values, and your priorities. As long as you know and follow your big “why”, then these discouragements will not sway or scare you into abandoning your dream.
Lastly, find a mentor that is living and loving the life that you want. Someone who is not just talking about being the kind of veterinarian you want to be, but is living it and loving it. Ask them for words of encouragement, advice, or counsel when you need it. Surround yourself with positive people who are on the same path you are and feel good about their decision to pursue veterinary medicine. This is your community, your support system that can cheer you on or lift you up if these negative comments get you down.
You cannot control the thoughts, beliefs, or fears of other people. But you can choose how you view them, and how you let them affect you. The choice is always yours.
You got this.