Many Doctors may have self sacrifice schemas. Of course, that is to be expected, as our profession is a good “trap” for this trait.
Of course, “self sacrifice” is very good for society, but if excessive, it can be problematic, especially if it’s not balanced with adequate self care. It’s hard to give, what we don’t have.
When our needs are not met, and our self care is neglected, our mind may default into the self preservation mode of “what about me”.
The problem is, when “self sacrificers” put their needs first, they tend to feel bad or guilty, and this will create an inner conflict between self sacrifice, and “what about me”. This will increase the chance of burnout.
So how can we minimize or mitigate this?
Simply be aware, defuse from our “self sacrifice” schema, accept that every superpower has its own Kryptonite, and remember the mantra of oxygen mask on us first, so that we can look after many. Looking after ourselves first does not equal selfishness. It’s looking at the bigger picture.
Many of our patients will fall into this trap too. Teaching them will also help us, because teaching is the best way to learn.
Have you ever been caught up in this? You are not alone.