Who is the boss of you?

Don't you love it when your co-workers tell you how to do your job?

“You should use less gauze on that dressing.”

“You need to set stronger limits with your patients.”

“You're not going to do it like that, are you?”

As a new nurse, I was appreciative for the support and help from my peers. As I gained experience however, I found myself getting more and more annoyed and resentful about some of these comments.

I assumed it meant they didn't think I was good enough.

I assumed it meant they didn't think I was smart enough.

I thought about how much happier I would be if only they would change their behavior.

Eventually, however, I realized that the problem wasn't with my peers, it was with me.

I had poorly defined boundaries and I was assigning them responsibility for my feelings.

I realized that when my peers were giving me advice, it wasn't about me, it was about them and what they believed.

Most importantly, I realized that I was under no obligation to believe anything they said.

This was a huge shift in my perspective and freed me from the frustration and resentment I was having with people whose friendship and knowledge I valued. I didn't have to get annoyed when they offered help. I could listen with appreciation, take the bits that sounded good and just let go of anything else.

In fact sometimes I would let go of everything they said. ;-)

Instead of making them be responsible how I was feeling, I was once again in control.

Having a different opinion didn't make me a bad nurse. It made me my own nurse. No two nurses do everything the same. And under most circumstances, that is perfectly ok.

What about you? Who are you making responsible for your feelings?

If the answer is anyone other than yourself, you setting yourself up for a lot of frustration and difficulty. I'd offer it might be worth it to consider who exactly it is that you want to be the boss of you. (Pro tip: make it be you!)