3 flawless tips for the veterinary perfectionist

September 30, 2016
Kimberly Pope-Robinson, DVM, CCFP

Lets face itnobodys purrfect. And striving for the impawsibly impeccable is bad for you and your practice. Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson is here with some advice to head down a healthier path in judging yourself and your work.

More often than not, striving for perfection is something you do before you even reach veterinary school. You use it to get into a veterinary program (or a veterinary technician program), and you don't stop using it for a moment during your time in school. (Practice managers, we're looking at you, too! We know you wrote the book-err, employee manual-on perfectionism, so pay attention!) Having a fine appreciation of impeccability is all too common in the veterinary world. 

According to Kimberly Pope-Robinson, DVM, CCFP, founder of 1 Life Connected Consulting, a veterinary coaching and support service, in San Clemente, California, there are a few ways you can help yourself out of your perfectionist prison. Consider these tips she offered at a recent CVC. 

Shutterstock/yusuf doganaySelf-forgiveness

Dr. Pope-Robinson says forgive yourself for your mistakes, and be safe in the knowledge that you're going to disappoint someone every day. Be OK with it! Own it! Accept yourself for who you are and for the great things you will strive to accomplish. But you need to also be aware of the fact that you will not be able to do it all, and do it all perfectly.

Shutterstock/yusuf doganayBring it back to basics

It's time to stop and smell the roses. Take some weight off your shoulders by getting rid of clutter to minimize your life. Dr. Pope-Robinson says to think about what you're prioritizing in your life, especially when it comes to expenses. Are you spending money on experiences or are you spending money on “stuff”? Learn to be able to tell yourself “I don't need it” and let go.  

Shutterstock/yusuf doganayGo with the flow!

Last but certainly not least, you should learn to accept the world as it is. You can load the dishwasher 20 times before you get it perfectly ordered, only to realize that the dishes are still going to get cleaned, taken out and put away regardless of how they're arranged. Learn that the world keeps spinning, and trust that things will work themselves out-don't rely on things to be perfect, because they often won't be. And that's OK. 

Dr. Kimberly Pope-Robinson, CCFP, is a veterinarian, consultant, motivational speaker and founder of 1 Life Connected Consulting in San Clemente, California.