On June 4th, 2018, I published a blog post titled, “Nurses, The Best Selfie is Internal“. The purpose of that blog post and this episode of The Nurse Keith Show is to urge you to do the internal work of increasing your self-knowledge and inner exploration in the interest of your nursing career and your personal satisfaction.

Take a selfie

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In the aforementioned blog post, I wrote:

At a time in history when “selfies” are dominant in the depiction of our lives (and the potential measurement of our worth), the most important selfie for a nurse to take is on the inside, not the outside.

Selfies are part of our 21st-century culture, and there’s no denying their popularity. In essence, it’s our way of presenting a self-portrait to the world just like Van Gogh or Rembrandt would, except we can effortlessly make dozens per day that can potentially be seen by hundreds or thousands of people.

We have the habit of posting photos of ourselves having dinner with friends, walking on the beach with our dog, or relaxing on the hammock with a book and a glass of wine. In terms of our personal development and how we see ourselves as nurses and human beings, what if we shifted to taking “selfies” of what’s going on inside of us? Rather than focusing on the outward appearances of our lives and careers, what if we delved more deeply into our motivations, fears, and joys? What if that which made us tick — rather than the brightness of our smile or our curated life — became the measure of our lives as nurses, human beings, and citizens?

In the blog post and this episode, I mentioned a quote about Carl Jung from The Mind Unleashed. Here’s that quote:

“Lying behind much of the way we talk about the inner life today is the work of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung. He revolutionized how we discuss dreams and archetypes and gave us our words “introvert,” “extravert” and “synchronicity.” However, what made him a true psychological pioneer was that he looked inside himself in a way that is still unique today.

“Tending to the unconscious, to dreams and to the inner voice are the acts that define Jungian psychology, but it’s not just the act that’s definitive, it’s the attitude. Jungian psychology recognizes that we’re more than just our ego and that there is more to the psyche than just the conscious mind. With this in mind, engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are.”

In terms of bloggers or healthcare professionals really digging deep into their own psyches, I referenced the following:

Some nursing and medical bloggers use the power of their digital platforms to implore readers to engage in particular behaviors, whether it be natural childbirth and breastfeeding, eating a plant-based diet, or staying fit. As a healthcare provider, you can serve as a trusted voice for those who need such support and encouragement, and in this process, your own personal journey may provide profound lessons for both you and your readers/viewers.

Jamie Katuna, a medical student who is also a spoken word performer, uses her platform to communicate her vision of what medicine can actually be.

Theresa Brown, one of the most famous nurse authors in the world, has shared many of her nursing stories on the New York Times Wellness Blog and her various books, including “Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between“.

Here’s one more excerpt from the blog post:

I cajole you to be open to your inner landscape and how you might choose to process what you see, think, and feel. Use your feeling nature and your intellect to express what’s inside of you, no matter who will or will not see it.

There are all sorts of selfies, and taking an internal selfie can be incredibly revealing and eye-opening. What’s happening for you on the inside? What’s going on that’s just below the surface? How is your personal life impacting your nursing career, and vice versa?

In his transformational seminal book, “Leaves of Grass”, Walt Whitman famously said, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” What multitudes are within you? What aspect of your largeness is waiting to be expressed? Embrace your multitudinous experience and open to what’s inside of you — there’s much growth to be had, and a plethora of stories to tell.


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Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses.

From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast.

As of May of 2018, Keith is the host of Mastering Nursing, an interview-style podcast showcasing inspiring, forward-thinking nurse thought leaders and innovators.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at NurseKeith.com.

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