Monday, November 24, 2008

What is Holding You Back?

Are you happy with your present job, employer, and income? Are you living the lifestyle you desire? Do you feel the self-satisfaction and gratification you are looking for, maybe not at the end of each and everyday, but at the end of the week or even the month? How about self-esteem? If you answered yes, congratulations. For those that can not answer yes to these questions, where are you headed? Have you thought about what you want to do and where you want to go? What are your goals? Do you have a plan? Most important, what is your next step?! Undoubtedly, there are some obstacles.

Procrastination and Complacency

There are two very formidable opponents that face us on a human level: Procrastination and complacency. While there are similarities between the two words, they are two different conditions. The common theme of these two conditions is a lack of results.

Complacency is usually the result of accomplishment or achieving a certain level of success. Complacency is defined with “an unawareness of actual dangers.” Complacency creeps up on us unexpectedly, and most times we do not realize that we suffer from this condition until we are faced with the actual danger. The danger we could very easily face is allowing a lapse in our education, such as the mandatory continuing education required for re-licensure as talked about in a previous article dated October 31st on this site by Margaret Lyons, program coordinator at Villanova University.

Perpetual goal setting is one of the best practices we can employ to prevent complacency from setting in. Using a benchmark set by others can further insure that we will never have a goal in which we are satisfied. Tell yourself there is always someone doing it better, and find that someone.

We also need to create our own mechanism that will prevent complacency. It can be something simplistic such as an office bulleting board (hand-written to do list with due dates), or something more sophisticated employing technology (timed reminders on your computer). Keep your goals in front of you - carefully measured in achievable steps - so that you face them everyday. Choose the mechanism that will best work for you; just be sure to implement something. While at this juncture (nurses in Pennsylvania, California, Kansas and Delaware), have you addressed the mandatory continuing education for re-licensure?

Procrastination can be a byproduct of complacency however it has many sources. Unlike complacency, procrastination does not necessarily (and most times probably does not) result from success. It is a factor that prevents accomplishment.

Procrastination is a more conscious opponent usually a result of fear or poor prioritization. Concerning fear, it is never personal; identify and face your fear in order to alleviate anxiety. Our prioritization sometimes needs to be scrutinized. Life in nursing gives us a work load with more than our fair share. We begin to juggle instead of prioritize, and I am not referring to patient care here. When prioritizing, be sure your personal and professional advancement weighs in.

Time and Money

Now for the proverbial obstacles: Time and money. As you address procrastination and analyze your prioritization, commit the time needed for continuing education. Visualize where you will be and of the advanced opportunities afforded you once you have gained the desired (and necessary) degree. Do not let the economy be your excuse. Our profession is experiencing a shortage with a projected increase for the next 12 years. Nonetheless, by the time the economy improves, you could have positioned yourself for the place you want to be, rather than it being too late.

If you still have unfulfilled dreams and aspirations, take the first step to get started.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation is the first place to look. See if you qualify for the financial assistance they offer. Simply click on their link at left. And do not stop there. Schools of nursing often have assistance for those in need as well. As an example, visit Villanova’s College of Nursing, link at left, to see what they have to offer and peruse their site to learn more about their programs to see if their program may be right for you.

As this site continues to build its resources, please visit frequently for opportunities in education, advancement and employment.

As always, thank you for visiting and please share your comments.

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