In the field of hematology, as in any other professional space, we may encounter challenges related to bias and struggles with fitting into established norms and expectations. These experiences can lead to feelings of exclusion, microaggressions, and even explicit acts of bias. Understanding these dynamics and developing strategies to navigate them is crucial for our personal growth and success. In this blog post, we will delve into three valuable lessons that can help hematologists overcome bias and foster compassion within the field.
The Struggle to Right-Size and Fit In
One of the fundamental challenges faced by those of us who are different from the majority in a professional setting is the struggle others have in accommodating our uniqueness. When entering a space where we are the minority, we often find ourselves subject to a mental evaluation process where others attempt to fit us into preconceived notions and existing frameworks. This struggle arises due to the absence of prior experiences or reference points that would enable others to seamlessly integrate these us into their understanding of the world. The resulting cognitive dissonance and the subsequent efforts to right-size and fit us into pre-conveived frameworks can lead to discomfort, microaggressions, and acts of explicit bias. Recognizing this struggle as a shared experience can help us approach these situations with empathy and understanding.
The Power of Self-Validation
When facing resistance, bias, and attempts to marginalize our presence, we may start questioning our own worth and abilities. It is essential to understand that the negative energy directed towards us is not a reflection of our true value; but rather a manifestation of the struggle within others to fit us into existing frameworks. It is crucial for us to recognize the external nature of these challenges and not internalize them. By practicing self-compassion, we can protect ourselves from the harmful effects of negative energy and maintain both our confidence and self-worth.
Cultivating Compassion for Others
While it is important to prioritize self-care and distance oneself from toxic environments, fostering compassion towards those who struggle to accept differences is also beneficial. Recognizing that individuals who exhibit bias are, in fact, struggling themselves. Recognizing this can help us approach these situations with empathy. Understanding that biases arise from deep-seated programming and societal conditioning allows for a more compassionate response. Compassion does not equate to tolerating harmful behavior; but rather involves recognizing the struggle within others while prioritizing one's own well-being.
In the realm of hematology, as in any field, we may face challenges related to bias and the attempts of others to fit us into their established norms. By acknowledging the struggles faced by underrepresented folks and those who struggle to accept them, we can work to navigate these situations with compassion and self-validation.
Recognizing the external nature of these challenges and embracing one's uniqueness can empower us to shape a more inclusive and equitable professional environment. Together, we can foster a community that celebrates diversity and ensures everyone's voice is heard in the pursuit of advancements in hematology.
Are you struggling with acts of bias that are leading you to question your place in the academy? Perhaps you are ready to quit. Before you do, let's talk about how I can coach you to a thriving career. Don't wait. Book your discovery call with me today.