Stress, stress, stress… most of us try to avoid it, some of us abhor it and inevitable we humans seek to achieve homeostasis or balance at all cost in our surroundings. We view stress be it physical, spiritual, mental, financial etc as a nuisance, an annoyance, a distractor and even a deterrent to our success. A few years ago I became obsessed with the idea of failure and how people fail. After talking to both people who considered their lives a great success and others who viewed their endeavors as total failures I realized that the end result of their ventures or endeavors was intricately linked to the way that they handled stress.

It quickly became very evident that success and failure were almost immediately preceded by a stressor and the way in which one responded to that stressor was bound to determine whether or not they failed or succeeded. I pondered that thought for a few months until I came upon a quote of Myles Monroe which stated “Stress exists to make a demand on my potential”. I was immediately reminded of my grade school physics teacher who drilled into me the concept of potential energy. In Physics, potential energy is defined as the energy an object has due to its position relative to some zero position. This is in contrast to kinetic energy which is due to the object’s motion.

I was thrilled when I read this because potential energy was essentially innate ability irrespective of outside socioeconomic factors that may affect current standing. However, a possible influencing factor on potential is how one choses to position themselves in their individual environment. Once I understood that concept, I felt there was hope for average people like me.

Remember this everytime you face a stressor in life: Stress exists to make a demand on your potential! The way you choose to deal with stress will either mar you or build you up aka fail or succeed! This thought process inspired me to write the above statement: “Stress is a necessary prerequisite to incite growth”.

Feel free to share any insight or comments you may have as we learn and grow together. Watch my Youtube video on the same topic:




In the field of healthcare, burnout is often considered a rite of passage. It is worn like a badge of honor; physicians and nurses alike talk about how hard they had it in the “good old days”, how much they sacrificed and how good the current generation has it.

In the past decade, I have met die hard worker bees in the workplace specifically in healthcare who tout their 20 years of experience while proudly maintaining the same position. When I became a nurse 10 years ago, I was surprised by how many “seasoned nurses” were proudly paraded as old faithful employees. I wondered what could convince anyone to work for 20 years in a company they did not own without a substantial promotion. As they ranted on and on about their years of slavery… I mean servanthood… oh sorry, I really meant service, one question came to mind; “why would anyone sign up for this?” As far as I am concerned working for 20 years in virtually the same position either meant you did not grow for almost 18 years or you were under appreciated for that same amount of time. Either way you’ve got to go.

As suicide rates among healthcare workers specifically physicians continue to rise, the issue of burnout will have to be addressed more frequently and head on. Wellness for healthcare workers is not just a good idea, it is a must! As we spend our days taking care of patients and making career choices over the years be mindful of one thing; BURNOUT is not a rite of passage, it is a CHOICE!

Interview season

Rehearsed lines, perfectly ironed shirts

Lists of strength and weaknesses memorized.

Butterflies fluttering in my stomach.

Artificial smile planted on my face

I prepare myself for the greatest performance of my life.

I must show just the right amount of confidence, the perfect dose of humility, the right amount of ration.

Be well read in most topics, be comfortable for 8 hours in a suit and uncomfortable heels.

Show interest on research I can barely remember.

And some how in a couple of interviews convince everyone that I am fit to be a doctor.

Surely Shakespeare must have felt this way before his first play was performed.

Moliere must have experienced this sick feeling before his first performance.

A matador must have his heart pounding in his chest this hard before going in the ring.

“Hush now” I tell the still voice inside, “I was born to do this!”

Berthina Coleman

Daily Prompt: Hyperbole Debunking pop culture’s greatest hyperbole “Be afraid of FAILURE”


I always floored by how many people I meet who think successful people never fail. Truth be told, most successful people I know fail more times than they are successful. Personally, I have failed at most things I attempted. However, I have learned that success is not a destination rather it is a mindset, a way of life, a certain perspective, a prism through which I view life. When other people see setbacks I see an opportunity to re strategize. I firmly believe that failing is not designed to stop you, it is designed to give you an opportunity to re strategize. So please stop misusing and misinterpreting your failures and start re strategizing. -Berthina Coleman

via Daily Prompt: Hyperbole