Do you have it, or does it have you?

Have you ever thought you would like to be a little bit more like someone else?

Is there someone who doesn’t get as angry, is more spontaneous and less structured, has lots of big ideas, and doesn’t get mired down in the details, or has some other trait you would love to have?

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a little more like them?

But wait… those same people are passive and wish they could stand up for themselves, wish that they could have intention, accountability, and organization, or wish they didn’t constantly miss all the steps because they are out there imagining big things. They want to be like you!

Why do both sets of people wish they were like the other? Is either one “better”?

They are not. Every trait has advantages and disadvantages.

One of my anxieties, when I owned my veterinary practice, was employee “discipline”.

It was not an issue when it came to animal care. My priority was the animal, and it was not about me.

Regarding other areas of performance, I would coach, but I would not impose consequences. I don’t like conflict or to “make people feel bad”, and I tolerated behavior often to the dismay of other well-performing employees. That does not work.

I had a friend who also owned a practice. She was nice, caring, and supportive of her team, but she would write them up or even terminate them if appropriate. “It’s business, I’m not here to be their friend” she would say. 

Oh, how I longed to be like her. It would be so much easier! Then one day, I realized that the very traits that made discipline and confrontation difficult were the same traits that made me a great mentor and coach. I brought a level of empathy, compassion, and understanding that so many employees expressed made a huge difference in their lives.

I learned to love and appreciate that part of myself. It wasn’t about wanting those traits to go away, it was about being able to choose, even if uncomfortable, a different way of being in situations where those traits didn’t work.

Everyone is different, and everyone is perfect just the way they are! (Yes, even you)

We all have natural traits, tendencies, and ways of showing up in the world. We respond differently, have different insecurities, and have different areas of confidence. It is what makes us unique and special.

The problem is that our natural traits do not serve us in every situation. While they help us to be successful, they also hold us back. When held back, we feel distress or inadequacy, and therefore we wish them away.


Cultivating self-awareness creates choice. When you are at choice, you have the freedom to create anything, and anything is possible.

Don’t wish away aspects of yourself (it won’t work anyway). If you find there are tendencies that are not serving you, consider whether you have it or does it have you.

In other words, do you have a choice about whether you bring a certain trait to a given situation? Or do you HAVE to be that way?

Try to release judgment and bring curiosity. “Hmmm, if I were just a little bit more this way, and a little bit less that way right now, what might that look like?”.

It’s not about making yourself wrong or trying to change. It’s about expanding your toolbox of behaviors, ways of thinking, and energies to bring more success to more situations. It is very powerful.

I can help you get unstuck

I work with clients to generate the awareness needed to have a choice in how they show up. There is freedom in not feeling stuck to certain reactions and feeling victim to personal tendencies. A freedom in loving yourself just the way you are. 💗

When you start to consciously choose how you are experiencing, interpreting, or showing up in certain situations, everything starts to shift, and this is truly a part of living a created life of your design.

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Dr Jennifer Edwards - blog

Jennifer Edwards is a veterinarian and transformational coach. Her conviction is that everyone can live a peaceful, happy, and joyful life. They just may need help learning how. She understands the emotional and leadership challenges of life in veterinary medicine. With insight, compassion, and being a stand for what’s possible, she helps veterinarians and teams rediscover joy and happiness in their life and career.