Second Act Success Career Podcast: Career Change Advice, Job Search Strategies, and Personal Development Tips

Dentist Dr. Jessica Metcalfe Pivoted To Find Her Purpose Inspiring Woman To Quiet Their Inner Critic | Ep #97

August 15, 2023 Shannon Russell, Jessica Metcalfe Season 1 Episode 97
Second Act Success Career Podcast: Career Change Advice, Job Search Strategies, and Personal Development Tips
Dentist Dr. Jessica Metcalfe Pivoted To Find Her Purpose Inspiring Woman To Quiet Their Inner Critic | Ep #97
Show Notes Transcript

If you have ever felt burnout, imposter syndrome, fear of change, and/or workplace anxiety, then this is an episode you will want to bookmark and listen to over and over again! 

What happens when you check all of the boxes to get to that career you have dreamt about since you were a child, only to realize you are not happy?  Dr. Jessica Metcalfe knew she wanted to be a dentist from the age of 14. She put in the work and became a successful dental oncologist. Jessica kept asking herself the question..."Is this it?"  After being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and burnout, Jessica began researching ways to help her feel better. She learned that it is ok to change your mind, especially when it comes to careers. Today, Dr. Jessica  practices general dentistry part-time, while she runs her own consulting firm, The SKYL Group as well. Dr. Jessica is also the author of Speak Kindly, You're Listening, and she hosts a podcast with the same name.

In Episode #97 of the Second Act Success Career Podcast, Dr. Jessica and Shannon discuss the fear behind change, the feeling of being "stuck" in a career, and the damage imposter syndrome can do on a person's well-being.


Shannon on the Speak Kindly, You're Listening Podcast
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Podcast - Speak Kindly, You're Listening

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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - ​​Dentist Dr. Jessica Metcalfe Pivoted To Find Her Purpose Inspiring Woman To Quiet Their Inner Critic
Episode - #97
Host: Shannon Russell
Guest: Dr. Jessica Metcalfe
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:24] Jessica Metcalfe: It was, is this it? Is this what I worked so hard since the age of 14 to get to and I felt extremely trapped trapped in a box with a lid that was just glued shut. And I was just banging on it for years and years, I had convinced myself that, well, you'd worked so hard.

This is. The decision that you made and now you have to suck it up. It took a really long time to finally give myself that permission to say, okay, you don't have to stay in this box. It's not glued shut, and you can start to do other things.


[00:01:30] Shannon Russell: Welcome back to the Second Act Success Career Podcast. I am your host career transition, coach Shannon Russell. I am super excited for this episode. I am speaking to Dr. Jessica Metcalfe. Dr. Jessica had me on her podcast. Maybe in the spring, her podcast is Speak Kindly, You're Listening. And we had just such a fantastic conversation. And as I got to know her, I realized that her story is [00:02:00] perfect for this show and is going to inspire you. So much jessica knew she wanted to be a dentist from the age of 14. 

She became a successful dental oncologist. Jessica kept asking herself the question. Is this it is this what I worked for my entire life. So she started shifting, she started really doing the research to figure out why she felt this way, why she checked all of the boxes and then realized she was still not happy. Jessica pivoted and began a speaking career. Now Dr. Jessica teaches self intelligence and relational intelligence by bridging the gap between leadership skills and workplace culture. And she is the author of Speak Kindly, You're Listening. 

She's still practices, dentistry part-time and she runs her own consulting firm, The SKYL Group as well. Let's meet my friend, Dr. Jessica Metcalfe

[00:02:55] Shannon Russell: all right. Welcome to Second Act Success, Dr. Jessica Metcalfe I'm so happy to [00:03:00] have you here.

[00:03:00] Jessica Metcalfe: I am so excited to be here. So bring on the questions.

[00:03:05] Shannon Russell: Yes. So I was a guest on Jessica's podcast. Speak Kindly, You'r Listening, and it was so much fun that I invited her on this show to share her second act success story. So let's get started. Tell us a little bit about where your career journey began.

[00:03:21] Jessica Metcalfe: Ooh, so I'm gonna have to take you right back to the age of 14 because that is when I made the decision to become a dentist, and when. I made that decision. I was essentially presented with like five options. It was doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, engineering, like those were the top five, and so I thought, okay, well I'll just pick one now.

It also helped having an aunt who is a dentist, so I got to see firsthand because I worked in her office. In sterilization and at front desk up until the age of 20. So I got to see that backhand of what dentistry was like. And so in my head I'm like, okay, this [00:04:00] is it. And then I also saw the lifestyle that.

She was able to provide her family. And one story that sticks out in my head is again, when I was just actually a couple years before, so I probably must have been 12. It was grade seven, grade eight, and I had my braces and my dad would drop me off at my aunt's house and my aunt would take off the day so she could take me to see the orthodontist, and then we'd come home, she'd invite her friends over and we'd bake all day.

And I was like, this was the best thing ever. And I got to hang out with my wee little cousins who were a decade younger than me at the time. And it was that moment when I decided, I was just like, well, this is that life that I want to be able to step into. So I threw on horse blinders, so, And anything that stood in my way, I just kind of went through it.

And it wasn't a straight path. It wasn't just, okay, if you do A, B and then C will happen. It was, okay, we're gonna do A and then D and then [00:05:00] G. Then it'll eventually get there. And then when I got there and I graduated and I was practicing, it was one of those moments in time, and I realize a lot of people have this, but.

It was, is this it? Like, is this what I worked so hard since the age of 14 to get to and I felt extremely trapped and trapped in a box with a lid that was just glued shut. And I was just banging on it for years and years, and I didn't even realize I was banging on it because I had convinced myself that, well, you'd worked so hard.

This is. The decision that you made and now you have to suck it up. And it took a really long time to finally give myself that permission to say, okay, you don't have to stay in this box. It's not glued shut, and you can start to do other things.

[00:05:51] Shannon Russell: What was it that you think made you think you were stuck in a, glued shut box? What was it about the profession day in and day out, [00:06:00] that you weren't loving, you weren't expecting?

[00:06:02] Jessica Metcalfe: So there was a combination of things. My own personality is like very bubbly to begin with, and I felt like dentistry just kind of sucked the air out of me, especially with who. Was in my perimeter at that point in time. So whether it was other academics or other dentists and stuff, I just hadn't found my tribe yet.

And because of that, it became extremely hard to open up about some of the challenges that I was experiencing as a new dentist. And then I felt like there was a restriction around, okay, well now I have this. Looming debt from school. And I graduated with just under half a million dollars worth of debt.

And it was one of those where I was like, okay, well I'm chained here because how else am I gonna make money? I can't go back to school. I can't do, just pick up another job at this point in time because it's not gonna be able to help me pay my bills the way that I want to pay my bills. And then there was the image [00:07:00] of.

Well, this is what I had said I was going to do. I told so many people, and now all of a sudden I'm gonna make this change. And I think that that was the one that actually just stood in the way the longest and really kept me stuck because when I started to talk about what I was experiencing and in and around the same time I was diagnosed with depression and a generalized anxiety disorder.

You can't show that in medicine or dentistry. And I realize you can't show that in a lot of professions as well, you don't feel comfortable asking for help because here I was, the doctor helping patients and now I needed help myself and that was really hard to be able to navigate because when you come from a very old school profession, because it's still old school, there's a lot of changes that are happening, but it's still old school, so.

I would drop certain breadcrumbs and tell people, or ask people saying, well, are you struggling like this? Or [00:08:00] I would say, A friend is saying that they're having difficulty and They're having a hard time getting up in the morning or that they just don't wanna be doing this. And then you would hear just offhanded comments where it was, suck it up.

Well this person isn't strong enough, or they shouldn't be in this profession. Then how are they supposed to be treating patients? And Oh, that generation, and so on and so forth. And there was just so many comments that. In that box. I felt like that was actually the glue, that was what kept me stuck in that box because it was so many people's opinions that I felt like I needed to live up to.

And thankfully, looking back, none of that was my family. Like,

[00:08:43] Shannon Russell: I was gonna ask you about your aunt,

[00:08:44] Jessica Metcalfe: my goodness, none of. So she, I remember sitting in her office crying my eyes. She was the one person that I could like share what was going on. And even then I didn't share to the full extent because I was just, I was so embarrassed and so [00:09:00] ashamed, and I remember sitting there crying my eyes out and I'm like, this isn't what I thought it was supposed to be.

And. She's like, well, dentistry has definitely changed. And even now she's heading into retirement right now. And she's like, no, it is extremely different. And I can totally understand where you were coming from at that point. And then when it came to my mom, she was my number one fan, so since the age of 14, she was like, okay, go and do it.

And then once I was there, she's like, you did it. You did it. And then I think that that sat in the back of my head being like, well, here's my mom pumping me on. And then my uncle, who is such a hard working individual was just like, okay, well you're here, you like, you've made it. And like that's it. And I am so grateful for my grandmother because I remember sitting at the table when.

I was questioning whether or not to freeze an egg or an embryo and just, I, there were all these like plan A's and plan B's and like you'd like so strategic and like, so goal-oriented for so long. I remember my grandmother just sitting there being like, Jessica, she's like, you've [00:10:00] just gone through so much school and she's an immigrant from Italy and so she goes, Why don't you just go and like take care of yourself for once and go and travel and coming from her, coming from like that matriarchy standpoint, someone who traveled the world started anew then was able to help bring over brothers and sisters with my grandfather.

So, I saw that and it was one of those where like all of a sudden this weight was lifted off my shoulders and I started to question certain things. So it never went to all of a sudden, okay, you can start to leave dentistry. It was. How do I look at things differently? How do I start to choose me?

[00:10:36] Shannon Russell: Mm. Yeah. And that's where it gets tricky. I bet. Because you are working now as a dentist and you weren't just a dentist, you were a dental oncologist.

[00:10:46] Jessica Metcalfe: Yeah. So I specialize in treating cancer patients.

[00:10:48] Shannon Russell: So that, probably pulls at your heartstrings too, you're helping people when they need you the most. but yeah, you've gotta find time to find you because to bring it back to your [00:11:00] diagnosis your, Depression and your anxiety or whatever you were going through, you can't be the best at your job if you're not feeling like your full self to help others. It was probably a big internal battle that you were going through of what do I do? Where do I put my time? How do I take care of myself when I should be taking care of patients 

What did you do when you were at that juxtaposition?

[00:11:22] Jessica Metcalfe: I really had to get clear with what was going on, and I think a moment in time. So I've sat on so many. Boards and associations from local to national committees. And it was once I graduated and I did this in dental school too, I thrive off of, Helping and wanting to make change. And when the saying is, well, if it's not broken, why fix it to me?

I'm like, but why can't we just adjust it and make it a bit better and make it more convenient and allow us to see it from different perspectives? And so it's staying ahead, but also embracing. [00:12:00] Where you are at that same present. And so to me, I was always looking and trying to do all the things. And so I did all the things and I checked all the boxes I had applied to be on the, education advisory committee for a provincial, dental association.

And one of the reasons why I had done that was I was starting to speak and I wanted to be able to be able to speak at my provincial conference. And then I found out I got on the board that it's a conflict of interest and I'm not allowed to speak at that conference and I remember walking into a colleague's office in like at the hospital, like on a workday and crying my eyes out and she's like, Jessica, it's okay.

There's other conferences. And I was like, I know, but like the whole reason was to be able to kind of have that leg up to be able to try to get in and understand the system and stuff. And then it was, I remember walking away and a couple weeks later reflecting back, being like, I am at that tipping point where just everything sets you [00:13:00] off.

Like every little thing, you stub your toe and like you're crying. You watch a dog commercial and like you're crying your eyes out. And for me it's not even that. It's sadness, it's anger, frustration, resentment. So for those types of emotions, Tears come out for me, and so before I actually understood my own emotions and how my body was responding, I had to start to pay attention to where I was placing that time.

And so I had to really do a bird's eye view and say, okay. Which board do I wanna sit on? Where do I wanna be spending my time, who isn't allowed to have as much access to my time? So my biggest thing at that point was really putting boundaries in on who I hung out with, what I was digesting, not just from a food standpoint, but from literature, from social media, from I had to put really protective boundaries on an in and around the same time I stepped away from social media because, What people don't recognize at [00:14:00] times, especially when it comes to Facebook and Instagram, is the algorithms are around your social graphics.

So who is in your network? So everything at that point, as an early dentist that was being pumped to me was all dentistry stuff. So I'm looking at. People's perfect cases and stuff. And I'm like, well, why don't my cases look like that? And then of course, within my network it was everyone was getting married, everyone was buying their first house.

Everyone was having that dress moment in time and then their first baby. And I'm like, oh my God, I'm so far behind. And like, what am I doing with my life? And so I had to step away from social media and so, I had to actively sit in a bird's eye view and force myself to do that from time to time to make sure I gave myself the reflection moment to say who gets access to my time.

And it wasn't that easy cuz I gave it away freely and your time should not be free.

[00:14:51] Shannon Russell: Not at all, and that's like in the most crucial time. So at least you could have that self-awareness to know what you needed. To help you get [00:15:00] through the day, and then you are doing that. And then what was that maybe breaking point where you said, all right, I've gotta step away from this I need to make a change, and what is that change going to be?

[00:15:13] Jessica Metcalfe: So when the speaking started, so I initially started speaking on how to improve patient's quality of life, post-cancer therapy to the clinician both in medicine and dentistry, and. At the same time when my diagnosis of depression happened, I also, my mom's bipolar, and my cousin was bullied as a kid and committed suicide.

And so mental health has always kind of been on the forefront in my family, and we openly have always talked about it because it's. Just been right there. Now, when I decided to become a dentist, and I would tell people, people would be like, well, don't they have one of the highest suicide rates? And I was like, no, I'm a bubbly person.

Like it won't affect me and stuff. And then when I was in the pit of my depression, I was like, oh. [00:16:00] I understand. And that's when I thought, okay, well if I'm already teaching others how to improve a patient's quality of life, why don't I start to teach them how to improve their own quality of life? And I initially started with speaking towards women dentists because there were certain aspects that we experienced more that didn't get talked about.

And I had all of these people. When I initially started speaking, come to me saying, oh my goodness, I thought I was the only one experiencing this, and I can't believe that we can start to have these conversations. And so I naturally started to, and it was essentially a part of my own healing journey where it gave me the permission to talk about it and then give people permission to talk about.

Those topics as well and create a safe space. And so if I was creating a safe space for patients, I could a hundred percent replicate that for clinicians as well. And then from there, what slowly started to happen was I then [00:17:00] went back to social media because social media never felt right for me where I wanted to post about my life.

It just, it never fit. And I remember it being extremely forced, but this time when I went back, coming from the education world, it was. I wanna use it as a tool to educate others. And so I started to create posts around those similar topics around how to improve your own personal quality of life, starting with imposter syndrome and what that looked like and how it keep you stuck.

And perfectionism and how we call ourselves and society deems it like the best thing to be a perfectionist. And yet, One of the components of being a perfectionist is actually experiencing negative side effects like acid reflux and stomach ulcers and insomnia. So here I am trying to talk to others in a profession where we didn't usually talk about it, but social media then gave me that access to other people outside of the healthcare profession, and that's when.

It was a natural [00:18:00] progression where people started to say, Hey, we really like what you're talking about it, and you talk about it in a way that does create safe spaces where we can ask more questions. Can you come and speak at our conference or at our company or at our organization? And it was such a natural transition that I decided when my book launched in November, that it was a great time for me to essentially do a rebrand because here I was a dentist and as soon as.

I would say I was a dentist. People would be like, well, what the hell are you doing outside of your profession? Yeah. And so I'm like, I'm like, okay guys, well again, first off, you can be multidimensional so you can do more than one thing. But I was so tired of trying to explain this other aspect of what I was trying to achieve.

So instead of, now when I talk about what I do, it's, I run a consulting firm and yes, I'm also a dentist and. Practice part-time, but there's a different order with the way that I describe what I do nowadays. And so I know at times when. We are [00:19:00] trying to unglue the box and take the lid off. We just want to be able to just rip that lid off and like jump out of it and start something.

But it wasn't like that. it's like I had to take the painter's tape off first and then I kind of chiseled away at the glue and then I opened up a corner and I was like, oh, I can see it. And then as people started to naturally come towards me and say, Hey, we really like what you're doing. That then also gave me the permission to say, oh, I can actually do this as well, and I can totally take the lid off completely.

[00:19:29] Shannon Russell: You took it off, Jessica, you did it. And in such a smart, smart way. You are still practicing part-time as you said, so you're in the field still, so you're staying true to the profession that you work towards, but in a way that probably is a lot more healthy for you, would you say?

[00:19:49] Jessica Metcalfe: A thousand percent I actually stepped away from the hospital two years ago when I moved across the country, and I stepped into general dentistry again. And [00:20:00] it gives me more leniency to be able to really create boundaries around practicing two days a week. And that is it. And. That gives me the opportunity to be able to be my creative self

and it's funny because looking back at the age of 14, it's actually when I started teaching piano at the Conservatory of Music. So teaching has always been in me to begin with because I like to take really complex topics and. Simplify them and teach them in a way that other people understand, so then they can relate to it.

And I feel like a part of that comes from not just the teaching, but also having immigrant grandparents. We had to change the way we spoke to ourselves or spoke to each other because we had to make sure we understood each other at the same time. And so that plain language is so important in a world that is so complex and with so much information

now that gives me the opportunity to take [00:21:00] everything that I've learned, the research that I've gone through, the companies and the people that I've worked with, and deliver it in a way that people can utilize on a day-to-day basis. And. Stepping out and doing dentistry still allows me to activate a certain part of my brain that is a hundred percent needed that I don't get in the consulting aspect of it.

So having both being both gave me the permission then to say, well then this is totally okay because it works for me. Right now, there's no comparison aspect anymore. And that's where we can get sucked into, especially from a social media standpoint, where we're consistently seeing what others are doing.

But this gives me the opportunity to also go back and forth now where. I can step out of clinic and fully run the consulting firm, take some time off from dentistry, but eventually always go back to it.

I had to give my permission to [00:22:00] myself to say, you can do both things.

[00:22:03] Shannon Russell: That's such a great example for people because sometimes when we talk about second acts, it's okay, shut that door. Start the next one and just move on. But it doesn't have to be that way. And I try to explain to my clients and listeners of the show that you are still that person from your first act.

You're taking all those skills with you, you're building on your life's resume, and you can go back and do that anytime. And you are so perfect at showing that you can do the dentistry, you can do the consulting, and 

figuring out how to find peace within yourself, speaking and helping other people. The education piece, and still going back to dentistry, which is still kind of intertwined in your family with your aunt. 

I mean, it's all just coming together for you,

[00:22:46] Jessica Metcalfe: Yeah, and it's fascinating because when I look back at it, it wasn't an easy road to be able to give myself that permission. Going back to that comment about leaving dentistry altogether, so on social media, back in the [00:23:00] summer of last year, I had announced that I was leaving dentistry in October.

And that was going to be it. And then I got to October and I was like, what? So I had announced to people, and I think that this is where if I had announced that years ago, I would've been extremely embarrassed to say, well, now I'm going back on my word. But now it's, no, no. And this is the beauty about our second act success is we get to decide that.

Sure people can have their opinions, but it doesn't mean I have to listen to them, nor does it have to mean that I have to internalize what they're saying either. Right? And everyone is going to have an opinion. Everyone is going to have something to say, and so you just have to make sure you've surrounded yourself with the people that.

Are going to support you are going to want to see you thrive. And yes, some of those closest people may question at times, so maybe you have to create a bit of a boundary on what you choose to communicate about. But you get to [00:24:00] decide for you at the end of the day. And so coming off of October and now to where I am, it's, a great space to be in because there's this healthy aspect of.

Sleep because sleep was something I always sacrificed. It was always something that if I had to pull from something, I pulled from sleep and I no longer do that. It is one of those times where it's like, Nope, shut down is at this time, and I'm gone. That to me is that healthy moment in time.


[00:25:14] Shannon Russell: I wanna know how you felt the confidence to get up and start speaking and talk about your book too, Speak Kindly, You're L istening. So let's talk about the book and just where that came from.

[00:25:28] Jessica Metcalfe: Oh, so the book came out of the teaching, so I started initially lecturing on three main topics, so imposter syndrome, perfectionism, and burnout. And I. When I dove into the literature and the research behind it, everyone was talking about it so independently of each other. But because I was diagnosed with burnout, I was trying to unravel, okay, well what actually got here?

Sure, we have a definition of what burnout is, but why? What is happening? [00:26:00] What parts of my personality, what habits are happening. And so I was unraveling and trying to navigate what I was doing while I was actually lecturing at the exact same time. And when all the pieces came together I was like, why has no one talked about this?

And put this into a place that is just all in one spot? And so that's where the book came out of, because what the biggest link for that high achiever is our inner voice. And how we choose to speak to ourself. And so if we talk a little bit about the science parts of our brain that light up when we're having a conversation with someone else, light up when we're having a conversation with ourself.

And so that inner voice, and now you may hear words, but you may also see pictures. So some people don't actually have inner words that get shown. Their inner voice is actually in the form of pictures and. When we start to hear that, so we're speaking to ourselves, whether it's speaking softly or speaking really loud, or shouting at ourselves or bullying ourselves.

We're hearing that as if we're hearing it [00:27:00] from a loved one. So why do we choose to speak to ourselves that way? And now when I look back, I know I use that voice as a way to motivate myself, but it was crippling, like absolutely crippling to the point that I remember sending texts to my friends in dental school being like, I can't believe I did that.

I'm never gonna get into a residency program. Well, I'm such a failure like going, like I would just tear myself down. And so speak kindly. Your listening gives you the opportunity to. Understand your own internal voice because for most of our life it's just been with us and we don't really pay attention to us.

It's that voice when we're reading in our head, or practicing and rehearsing speeches or standing in the shower and potentially playing out. An argument that may or may not happen, it's you driving in your car saying, ah, Why did I do that? I'm so stupid. And if we can [00:28:00] change that and understand that voice and then give ourselves permission to create a new voice that then supports us into our second act, that G then gives us the confidence to find proof that we are in fact capable.

So it starts with us internally first.

[00:28:18] Shannon Russell: So the book came out fall of 2022.

[00:28:21] Jessica Metcalfe: Yes,

[00:28:23] Shannon Russell: Were you scared to death to release it? How did the process go for you to get it out there? That's a lot.

[00:28:30] Jessica Metcalfe: so I wasn't scared because I had shared some of these stories, but when I had shared these stories, they were in front of an audience who I knew essentially was sitting in front of me. Now it's like anyone can grab your book and, and read about it. Right. And I had shared some really personal stories about my family and about myself, and so I gave the book to my family before it was published and I.

Gave them the permission. And I even write this as a little tag in the beginning saying that this is from my perspective, because someone else is gonna have a different [00:29:00] perspective of our childhood or our interactions and stuff. And so I gave it to, my family and more in particular my mom, because I wanted my mom to have a read at it and.

Honestly, if she'd come back to me and said, Hey, you gotta cut this, I would've been like, okay, what don't you like about it? And how can we change it in a way that does make you feel comfortable? Because all of those pieces of the story played a part in who I am today, and I wanted to be able to share that with others.

And so the response that I've gotten is similar to when I initially started speaking on these topics as well, is, oh my goodness, thank you so much. I can't believe that. You put into words what I was feeling and I couldn't express it, and there was someone who I hadn't known reached out on Instagram and said I had to put the book down so many times because I felt like I was reading my own story.

And those are the moments in times when. I look back and I'm like, that's why I wrote the book, because I want others to be [00:30:00] able to connect to it. Those high achieving women who keep pushing themselves, who from the outside checked all the boxes, but internally are just kind of wallowing and wondering, what the heck am I doing wrong right now?

Because they just don't feel it. And so, The book response has been absolutely fantastic, which leads me to, I started my second book,

[00:30:22] Shannon Russell: Yes, I was gonna ask you about it. I remember you telling me that last time. You have a couple that are down the pike. Tell us about it.

[00:30:28] Jessica Metcalfe: Oh my goodness. So it's the Speak KIndly series that's gonna be coming out. So the next one is Speak Kindly, They're Listening. So the first one's on the high achiever, the leader, the inner work that you need to do, and then the they listening is now from a women c e o founders perspective on how to lead teams.

And so, That way that we as women tend to step into emotional intelligence differently. We lead very differently. We have difficult conversations very differently, and how do we go about doing that [00:31:00] and showing that it is just as successful because we. Are still in that same thing like education in the academic world where it's that raw, raw, suck it up corporate world that just isn't functional anymore.

And we have now new studies coming out with the four day work week and culture shifts and all of this stuff, and we're heading into a post-industrial age and we have to make those changes. So the second book is around workplace culture. So the woman leader and workplace culture.

[00:31:30] Shannon Russell: What a great, great time for that to come out too. So needed and I think the fact that you are. Helping your patients in dentistry and you're helping so many other women just focus on themselves, focus on how they work and how they show up in the world is just so, so beneficial.

So much good stuff and your Speak Kindly, Listening book led into your podcast. So let's talk about the podcast aspect of it too, you're not busy enough. Your [00:32:00] podcast is incredible too.

[00:32:01] Jessica Metcalfe: Oh, thank you so much. So what I wanted to do was, cuz in my book I shared my stories and my client's stories, but now I wanted to put faces to some of those other stories as well and bring in more women to be able to share about that internal voice. So Speak Kindly, You're Listening is an extension of the first book where I bring in amazing individuals like yourself to be able to talk about that internal voice and.

How it has kept you stuck and how you navigate out of it, and the way that people can change at any point in their life and allow themselves to be multidimensional. 

Just. Women coming together, sharing their stories around those tough times, those tough moments, so that others can then recognize that they can navigate through their own.

And going back to those seasons, it's a rollercoaster of seasons and it's okay to be in the thick of it right now. [00:33:00] It's not that it's bad nor good, it's just it is what it is for right now. And if you can have more stories and more information, then. We tend to connect more and we recognize that we're not only not alone, but that's when we start to give ourselves more permission.

[00:33:17] Shannon Russell: Permission to change at any time. You can decide in a year. Eh, I'm done with consulting. I'm gonna go. Back full-time into medicine, like things can change and that is okay, and we don't have to feel stuck. We don't have to be in that box. We don't have to ask permission either, ask for permission from the one person who truly matters and that is ourselves. Because sometimes we spend so much energy in making sure everyone around us is served. That's a woman thing, right? We serve everyone. We. Cater to everyone, but you have to check in with yourself to make sure that you are in a place that's happy and sustainable you don't want that burnout.

What I love about following you on Instagram, [00:34:00] Jessica, is that you do the Sunday reframes that I really do love. That really are these little tips. And I'm gonna post your social media and everything in the show notes because everyone really does need to follow her. But it's the Sunday reframes that you just talk about, just a little mindset shift.

To get you going for your week.

[00:34:16] Jessica Metcalfe: Oh, the number of times that I've had, whether it's my clients or people in passing and I'm talking about leaders, both men and women who are in these high up positions and. They come onto a chat with me and they tell me everything that went well, and then all of a sudden it's so easy to just automatically turn it around on yourselves and just tear yourself down.

And so in that moment, that's when I get to step into and say, okay, let's actually talk through that. So all of those Sunday frames are real life examples that I've. Kept from people, and I also actually did a TikTok video asking my followers to jot down what they hear their inner gremlins say [00:35:00] too. And that Sunday reframe is just enough of a nugget to say, okay, I'm gonna do this differently today.

And if we can change our words, Change the tone that we choose to speak to ourselves with. Then we change how we choose to show up in our day-to-day life, and it really can be that plain and simple.

[00:35:21] Shannon Russell: Tell me about all of the ways that listeners can connect with you.

[00:35:25] Jessica Metcalfe: So consulting firm has now turned into, The SKYL Group S K Y L is Speak Kindly, You're Listening. That is where we get to go into organizations.

Companies and organizations. But I do have individual clients who reach out to me who want to work with me personally, but this is where I get to go in and help leadership change their teams and their culture. So now we're not just doing the internal work, but it's the external work of how, how everyone is communicating.

It's talking about that emotional intelligence. It's talking about the way that you want your company to look and to [00:36:00] feel within the teams. So then that way there is sustainability long term.

[00:36:06] Shannon Russell: I love it, and it leads right back to your book that you're working on the second book as well.

[00:36:11] Jessica Metcalfe: Exactly. Exactly.

[00:36:19] Shannon Russell: Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you.

[00:36:22] Jessica Metcalfe: That change is inevitable, which is so cliche to say, but that. If you are more accepting of change, then the easier it is to move through it. Yesterday, I went out looking for a new couch and my car was vandalized while I was in the parking lot and.

I came back out and I saw it and it was the like permanent marker on the glass itself. And the first thing that I. Went into was, is that gonna come off? So I went, I had car wipes in the car, went to go, and I'm like, okay, you just need to get home. Go grab your bleach, your sponges, like all the things, and then go, and it came off.

Old [00:37:00] Jessica would've been, oh my God, this ruined my entire weekend. This is brutal. Like it would've just been a downward spiral. So Jessica, in the midst of burnout, her depression and her anxiety would've cried because of anger that I can't believe that this. Just happened and oh my goodness, why did this happen?

But to me, so going back to that change aspect, I changed the way that not only I show up to certain things, but how I interpret things, it's not gonna ruin my day. It sucks. Don't get me wrong, but it came off and I was able to go on my day. So realistically, it was an additional 30 minutes. Now it could have gone way worse.

Right, and that's where I get to see things from a way different perspective now because I've given myself the space to sleep, to take care of myself. So change when we give ourselves permission to change, we get to see all the yummy changes that happen inside of us as well that we don't realize.

Because as our brain changes, we don't necessarily see the physical [00:38:00] changes. But those changes that are happening are so important and to me, if not even more important because you get to take a little bit more pressure off of yourself.

[00:38:12] Shannon Russell: What a great example. So sorry that happened to you cuz that really is just,

[00:38:17] Jessica Metcalfe: Great story to share now.

[00:38:19] Shannon Russell: Ugh. It just shows the kind of world we're living in, but that you can say, okay, it could have been a key to the side of the door, but, I love that you handled it in that way. And you know what?

You felt lighter because of it. You weren't, it didn't, you weren't curled up on the couch. You just went on with your day.

[00:38:35] Jessica Metcalfe: exactly.

[00:38:36] Shannon Russell: Hopefully on your new couch. I hope you got one. Alright. Let's see. Number two, would you recommend taking a leap into a big life change to your best friend?

[00:38:45] Jessica Metcalfe: A hundred percent. And what I would say is I would be her or him inner cheerleader while they're going through that change. It's because it's gonna suck. And so it's recognizing we cant, [00:39:00] in realism, optimism, and support while also recognizing that. Yeah, it's going to be hard, but I've got you and I'm gonna be there to support you too.

So a hundred percent, I would tell them to make that shift.

[00:39:14] Shannon Russell: And what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone today who is about to start their second act?

[00:39:20] Jessica Metcalfe: Be kind to yourself, really, truly be kind to yourself. It is a hard world out there, and you can make it that much harder on yourself. And so if you. Take that moment. If you notice that inner voice come up, take a moment and recognize that that is your inner gremlin or inner, , critic, whatever you want to call it, and know that you can create a different voice to support you instead of tearing you down.

[00:39:48] Shannon Russell: So what does the next act look like for you? 

[00:39:51] Jessica Metcalfe: Right now it's gonna be building out the consulting firm, uh, that's top of the list. So book writing and stuff. Book writing is just, it just happens [00:40:00] because it's my creative outlet to begin with. But building out the consulting firm cuz I started within healthcare and now I'm starting to expand my team as well as expand into other organizations.

So that's the goal over, that's the goal in general right now.

[00:40:13] Shannon Russell: And for anyone listening that wants to. Connect with you on social media, your website, where is the best place for them to go and find you?

[00:40:22] Jessica Metcalfe: They can pop over to social media and check me out @drjessicametcalfe and shoot me a message over there. If you're not a social media person, head over to my website, and send me an email through the contact page there.

[00:40:37] Shannon Russell: This was such a lovely conversation. I was so excited to chat with you and you delivered on all of the things. I'm so proud of all of your, all that you're doing and all that you're, working towards. So thank you so much, Jessica,

[00:40:50] Jessica Metcalfe: Thank you so much for having me, and thanks for holding a space to show others that this is in fact possible and that you don't have to be stuck.

[00:40:57] Shannon Russell: and you're such a great example of that. So [00:41:00] thank you for sharing.​