Can I be a doctor?

I’m worried that I won’t be good enough.

Our elder prescribes a course of vision, passion and action to get this letter writer back on track.


Dear EWC

The thing is I am scared and confused. So, I will be going to college this year, it’s a big step for me. My plan is to go to med school and become a doctor. This plan was okay to me until I started getting scared. It became confusing. “Am I capable enough to become a doctor?” “Will I disappoint my parents again?”. These questions arise because many people think that I am an introvert and shy; I pretty much have this image of a weak girl. My teacher even questions how I would become a doctor. These things are affecting my mind. I am unsure but this is the only thing I could pursue, the only thing I like. Many people made such remarks, making me scared. I was pretty sure about it earlier but now I am confused and scared. I am so nervous about college. 

Another thing is that people say that you have to be really motivated to undergo med school and become a doctor. Because of being scared I am losing that motivation. I am just scared – no, terrified. What should I do about this? Why do I lose my motivation? I want to become motivated and less scared. I want to undergo this with confidence. I also think that maybe if I undergo college things might change. College would surely have some effect on me. I just don’t want to give up in between. But this nervousness is making me unsure about things. Can you help me with this? It would be a great help. Thank you for reading my words.


Grandpa-Matt replies

You are correct. Significant changes can be scary. All changes bring up questions as to our ability, capacity, desire, and willingness to do what it takes to succeed. Fortunately, the caterpillar doesn’t question their ability to change into a creature that can fly. For a human to succeed in every adventure, three things working together are necessary for unison. It is like a three-legged stool to achieve balance. They are vision, passion, and action!

To become a doctor, you must have a vision of what is required to successfully get through medical school. Since it is unknown to you, I’d recommend interviewing recent graduates of med schools for their experience of what it took to overcome their fears of passing the classes and labs in school.

The second requirement is having the passion for becoming a doctor. It means getting rid of everything that stands in the way of your moving ahead. Specifically, it means to stop listening to those folks that question your abilities and stop heeding your internal judgments and fears that stand in your way. If you handle the vision and passion concerning the medical practice, nothing will happen without action!

Action requires motivation. Motivation is a minute-by-minute decision, just like walking. You constantly choose to take one foot and move it in front of the other, the next step, the next, and so forth. The minute you decide not to take that next step, you are at a standstill, and will stay in that position forever until you choose to move forward. Only you know the answer to the question, “What will it take to get you back on track?” 

It seems clear that your heart wants the goal you envision. Your mind, however, is throwing up roadblocks by sowing doubt in your path. This conflict between your heart and your mind requires you to follow your heart. 

Let us look at some possibilities that stop you. It could be laziness or a fear of some kind. Perhaps a fear of failure or something more deeply seated, like a fear that we are unworthy or damaged, or not good enough, etc. The failing might be not living up to a standard they set for themselves or standards set by teachers or parents. The thinking goes like this: “If I do not get to do it, I don’t fail to complete the task well enough.” Rather than fail, a person will put off going through with the job, so they won’t have to admit a failure. In a way, accepting failure in a task gives a person evidence that confirms the judgment that they are not good enough.

Many of us want to be right about any decision we make about ourselves. If we decide we are incapable, we will want to be right about our point of view. We will gather evidence, like not finishing the book, to prove we are right. It might even be the fear of success. Some people fear success because they might not be able to sustain success, and it is like raising the bar and calling forth continued better performances. So the fear of success is tied to a fear of failure to maintain the successful completion of more tasks in life. 

Some advice for you. Don’t reach for the moon. Start with tiny steps. It has been proven that small successful efforts completed consistently over time produce the most significant results. Break down the task into many small steps and act. Then go on to the next step. It is like eating a pie. Don’t put the whole portion of food in your mouth at once. Cutting it into small bites can allow you to finish the entire thing.

I hope this makes sense to you and will enable you to risk going for the best. The action is preparing to take the tests required, completing the application, and doing the mental activities to get accepted to medical school. Vision, passion, and action are your checklists.

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