Dare to Dream Physician Podcast

Ep 15: The Joy of Honoring Self-Integrity with Dr. Johanna B. Moore

August 19, 2021 Episode 15
Dare to Dream Physician Podcast
Ep 15: The Joy of Honoring Self-Integrity with Dr. Johanna B. Moore
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode you will hear from Dr. Johanna Moore, MD, a physician, medical director of multiple laboratories, founder and owner of She.is.Money. 

Dr. Moore shares her story of:

  • How she had a total life transformation and helps other high achieving women professionals do the same.

  • The importance of living in integrity and honesty not just with others, but most importantly with yourself.

  • The importance of understanding ends goals versus means goals to accomplish growing into the best version of yourself.

    …and so much more.

Resources for Dr. Johanna Moore, MD:

She is Money at https://www.sheismoney.com


@she.is.money on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/she.is.money/


Dare to Dream Physician Resources:

Dare to Dream Physician https://daretodreamphysician.com

Dare to Dream Physician on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/daretodreamphysician/

@DreamPhysician on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dreamphysician/

There's exciting news at the Dare to Dream Physician! For those of you who wish to get clarity on your own "why", and get energized as you explore, envision, and create your dream life, I am taking on a limited number of one-on-one clients for Life Planning! To get the complete details, visit my website at Dare to Dream Physician https://daretodreamphysician.com

Note this document may have human or computer-generated errors in transcription. Refer to the audio file for the actual conversation.


[00:00:00] Dr. Gray, Host: 

Welcome back to another episode of The Dare To Dream Physician podcast. I'm so excited today to bring on my guest. Her name is Dr. Johanna Moore. She is a physician, a medical director of multiple laboratories, business owner and mom. And her mission is to eradicate overwhelm and disappointment in women's lives. She believes that every ambitious professional woman deserves to live her own version of success, which is why she founded she.is.money. 

So for any guys out there who are listening to this episode, please don't stop listening. This interview with Dr. Moore will help you better understand support and love any high achieving women in your life. She could be your wife, your sister, your mother, your daughter and or your colleagues.


[00:00:49] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

Awesome! So happy to be here. 


[00:00:53] Dr. Gray, Host: 

I'm so glad to have you on. And I would love for you to just start with telling us a little bit about yourself and your story.


[00:01:04] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

Yeah, so as you said, she.is.money is a platform that helps me inspire, teach and motivate other women to become the best people they can be. And I think that's where true fulfillment really happens. And in my house, I have twins, they're seven, they're totally amazing boy and girl. And we only have two rules since the day that they were born. And the first rule is stay alive. And so far, we've been pretty good at that. And the second rule builds on that, and that is be the best person you can be. So that's it. Those are the only two rules, and then everything else follows into one of those categories. I'm pretty good at rule number one. But Rule number two, I think has really become my mission in life is like fulfilling my greatest potential. How do I become the woman that I think that I can be? 


And I don't know, if you've read that David Goggins book, he is a, an ex-military official, he was a navy seal. And he became an ultramarathon runner and started doing some really crazy, crazy athletic things. And, and now he's a motivational speaker. Well, he wrote a book, and he talked about how, in his mind, when he dies, he will matriculate into heaven's gate or see God, and God is going to pull him into a room and sit him down, and show him a graph. And the graph is gonna have two lines. And the first line is, okay, this is how your life went. And it's pretty good, you did this, and you did that, and you influence these people, and you had a pretty good life. But this line is what I intended you to do. And most people you can imagine, fall really short of that. And he said that what he wanted to do, when he walked into that room, was to get God to stand up and shake his hand and say, “You rocked it,” you even exceeded my expectations for you. And that really resonated with me when I heard him say that, and it made me feel like, I want to do that, too. I want to meet God, and look back on my life and say, "I exceeded all expectations." And just feel really proud of that. How would you feel if you just rocked that interview?


[00:03:54] Dr. Gray, Host: 

Wow, it sounds like a lot of pressure there. So I find what you said, very fascinating. And I'm trying to think about the parts of it. So one is this idea that you're mentioning that we have this growth potential, right. And even in my first episode of The Dare To Dream Physician podcast I talked about who was a Dare To Dream Physician, and what are the qualities that we tried to cultivate in ourselves and one of them, the second one is actually that we really seek to grow ourselves. And so that growth potential is a very powerful idea. 


And then you were mentioning expectations, and that's where I want to hear a little bit more about, because in this interview that you talked about, you're interviewing with God, right, who knows everything. And that that is very interesting, because as a professional woman, there are many expectations that are perhaps laid upon us, right? So it's not necessarily God's expectation or our own expectations. It's the expectation of society, the expectation that the stories that we may tell ourselves and the external voices that We may perceive the expectations of work and you're a physician, there are certain expectations when we are pre-med when we're in medical school when we're residents. 


And so I want to hear a little bit more about that. I love the idea that, wow, we all have this innate potential to grow to be more than we expected, or more than something where we wouldn't even have imagined. But then also, how do you tease that out? Is it someone else's expectations? Or is it our own expectations? Is that a divine expectation?


[00:05:31] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

For sure, so you want to get deep fast? I love it. So I think in order to answer your question, I need to talk a little bit about what my paradigm is. So I believe that there are different ways to interpret God. And some people say it's their higher power, some people believe in the universe. Some people don't believe in any of that, and just think it's your mind. And to me, I personally believe in God. But I think that all of those things is the same thing is like your most purest version of yourself. And expectations either come from that, or they come from other parts of your personality. 


So I think of my personality as being separated into parts. So I'm living in a house with a whole bunch of roommates. And there's like my purest self, which I just defined what that is. And then there's the one who's really feels guilty all the time, the one who feels stressed all the time, the one who gets angry, the one who mistrust people, the one who always wants love, and all these people live together, and they're telling you their expectations of you, like, don't eat that you'll get fat, don't go to this person's house, they don't have your best intentions in heart, like they're telling you all these things. And most of them are crazy. 


And so I think that, you just have to accept that. And thank them for what they're trying to do to support you. But always know that it's your true self, your true being that makes you happy, that makes you fulfilled, that helps you become the best person you can be who you need to always come back to. And so that kind of roomful of people who's just in yourself, I think, expand into your family and your friends and your boss and people that you work with. 


And I think that most people really do want you to succeed and want to help you. And that, you just need to understand where they're right and where they're wrong. 

And so I think the most important thing, and I think you also believe this is to really understand who that person is that true person, and to really understand what that dream is that you have that your life is going to end up becoming. And to stay true to that. 


And all of your life is about, to me, integrity and honesty. And so that's a really hard thing to stand behind not only integrity and honesty, with your boss, or your husband or your kids, but but with yourself. And I think that a lot of people get into challenging situation, when they have a boss who says, I think you should be doing this, these are the things I want you to be doing. And you don't have the courage or the understanding to say that doesn't align 100% with who I am, like, how can we make that align with who I am. 


And I think that really segues really, amazingly, actually into something that is been on my heart lately that I wanted to share with you. And that is the importance of understanding ends goals versus means goals. And for me, understanding the difference between ends goals and means goals and focusing on ends goals instead of means goals, has really transformed my life. And I've seen it transform other people's lives as well. So I really wanted to share that with you today. 


[00:09:54] Dr. Gray, Host: 

I have not heard of these terms before and my guess is a lot of our listeners haven't so I'd love to hear more about that. But before you continue with that, I wanted to just say how much I resonated with what you said about having these core values of honesty and integrity, because I find those two values to be really important. And like you say, it's probably at least for me, I think it's, it's easier to be honest with other people, but it's being honest with yourself and staying true to your integrity with yourself, I find that to be much harder. 


And I think it's because that takes a lot more self-knowledge that takes there's more discomfort because usually, when you're being honest with somebody else, it's more factual, like, Okay, well, this happened, I'm just telling them exactly what happened. Whereas when you're being honest with yourself, or staying true, staying with your own integrity, you got to you got to find the time and the energy to really search deep within to say, Well, what is that? What do I stand for? What do I really want? How do I really feel, and that I think, can be even more uncomfortable than just telling my husband the facts of what happened?


[00:11:11] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

For sure. And I think that it is always a little bit uncomfortable. I mean, I don't know about you. But when I realized that I needed to figure it out, like figure out my why it took me literally like four or five years of asking myself in journaling and writing and reading and going to conferences to figure out, Okay, well, I'm feel pretty good about who I am. But even like every day, I mean, I think that you are endlessly evolving that that person. 


I have a similar story to yours. I went through undergrad, and then I got into med school. And it was a great school, I went to the Ohio State University, and then I miraculously got into Mass General for my residency. And I was just so proud because I was like, number one or number two in the nation, you know, I looked at all the lists and, and then I got into my dorm path fellowship, which is like a really prestigious fellowship. And then I continued to do more fellowships, and I got more board certifications. And finally, I got my first job. 


And I can remember sitting at the pool that I belonged to when I got my first job in California, and it was an outdoor pool. And I can remember sitting there on the lounge chair, and my toes were like perfectly painted like French manicured, and behind my toes, the water was just like sparkling. And I was pretty proud of myself. At that moment. I was like I so made it. I worked all these years, I did all these things that I didn't particularly like most of the time. And here I am now a physician in private practice. And that feeling of security and satisfaction, and fulfillment lasted just about the amount of time that my toenail Polish started to chip. 


And that is so disheartening. I think, what happens just sort of weaving in end goals and means goals is a lot of people live their entire life. Following mean goals, I know you you're not familiar with these terms, but you know, the phrase like, Oh, that's just a means to an end, right? So a means to an end would be you're doing something only for the result. And I think that a majority of humankind lives their entire life doing means goals, means actions. And part of it is what you were saying living up to other people's expectations, and maybe living up to expectations that you thought you had, but you just didn't do the work to figure out if that was true. 


And I think that that way of living is what leads to overwhelm, and dissatisfaction, and burnout, which is a hot topic right now in the medical field. And ultimately, it leads to people quitting. And in my world, I deal with women who are highly ambitious, so we don't quit. So we're not those people who quit. We just deal with it. Right? So I for me personally what happened Was I had a midlife crisis. And my midlife crisis wasn't that I spent 20 grand on a Porsche. It was I spent 20 grand, and I went to see a Tony Robbins event. 


And I feel grateful that I was pushed to do that. And from then on, I became obsessed with trying to figure out who I am and how I become the best person I can be and how I can find that fulfillment in my life. And and then once I figured most of it out, I thought, other people should feel this way. Other people should wake up in the morning so excited to get up and do what they want to do to make their life better. And they should go to bed at night, feeling like I made a difference for myself and for other people. And if there's one or two or three things that I can teach someone to help open up their mind to do that, then I feel like at least I made a little change in the world. So that's, that's really, I think, what I'm hoping she.has.money does for for women. 


[00:16:18] Dr. Gray, Host: 

Yeah, wow. So I want to better understand you said, you went from this sort of perfect moment where your toenails were perfect and the sparkling water was perfect. And you just felt like everything, like you made it everything was right. And shortly after that. You said you had a midlife crisis. Tell me more about how did you know you probably at the moment you're having it, you may not have known that. What did that feel like? What was that day to day like?


[00:16:54] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

Yeah, for sure. So I think when you're sitting in the sun at the pool, and everything's great, then you don't really have to think about whether you're on the right track, because it feels good. It isn't until things start to feel really bad that you start to wonder, maybe this isn't right. So what happened to me, and I think this is industry wide is that I believed that when I finished all the work, to become a doctor that I would be able to enjoy my life. And I would be able to have the means to do what I wanted and the time that I would get out of work at 5pm or maybe even four. And that I would be sort of like my own boss. Because the attendings that we saw, in our mind that could do anything they want it. 


And I realized, shortly after I got my first job that those things weren't really true. And part of the reason was my expectations were wrong. Part of the reason was the industry of medicine and medicare cuts. And part of the reason is the transition of private practices from owning the laboratory owning the practice to working for someone who owns it, or having sold it and not getting that extra revenue that I think really buffered a lot of my past partners. And so all of those kind of expectations and, and things that I expected came along with working so hard to become a physician changed. 


So I think that's one of the problems with working towards a goal that you want, instead of having a goal that you enjoy that you're doing every day is that when things change, which they often do, then you're like, Oh, my gosh, I did everything I was supposed to do. I took all the right steps. And then I got to where I wanted to be and the train has already left.  


So I think that that is a risk that you take when you're not enjoying everything that you're doing in the moment. And for me, when I was sort of trying to figure out like, Okay, well, I'm not happy, and I didn't achieve the goals that I thought I was going to achieve. What happened so I looked back on my life. And I thought, Okay, well, I mean, I do love medicine, and I am a really good physician. And so it wasn't a total waste. I did have friends who quit our program and I felt like wow, they went all this way and then they just quit like all the resources that they put into it and everything. I didn't feel that way. I didn't feel like I made a grave mistake by being in medicine. But I just felt like what I loved about medicine, and what I'm really, really great at in medicine I wasn't focusing on. 


Do you know, the theory of attraction? So there's this theory that I've always thought was a little bit out there for me is the theory of attraction. And that is where you think of what you want, and then the universe conspires to make it happen for you. So one way that I think about it, that sort of makes more sense to me is like your reticular activating system in your brain. So your reticular activating system, basically, your brain's whole function is to answer questions that you give it. So everything you focus on everything you think everything you notice, turns into a question that your brain wants to answer. 


And so if you're thinking, when I interviewed for all my medical jobs, like my med school, my residency, my fellowship, the questions that I knew that they wanted answered the answers were, I want to better the science of medicine, I want to become an amazing diagnostician for my patients. I want to help other physicians learn how to be great physicians. And those are all great, great things to want to do. 


And I, I do, I'm good at those things. But that wasn't really why I was doing all that stuff. I wasn't doing all that work to become a scientist and an academic center, or to become an attending at a big hospital. For me, I was really doing that stuff so I could help people in the community because I was good at it. And because I wanted to live my own life outside of medicine. 


And I think that that discrepancy is where I personally had had a hard time with. And I think that it goes back to what we were saying about lying to yourself. So I was kind of not lying to all these people interviewing me. But I wasn't being 100% truthful. I was telling them what I knew they wanted to hear like, okay, Mass General is very scientific place. Oh, half of the people there are PhDs, I better tell them that I want to move the field forward. 


And to me, that wasn't why I wanted to get that position, I wanted to get that position so I could have a trade that I was proud of and live my life. And that wasn't something that was valued there in that sense, and but by lying to them, by not being completely truthful to them, I was also not being completely truthful to myself. 


And I think that the things that I really loved about being at Mass General, were helping others succeed, succeeding and helping others succeed. So just like the competitiveness of it. I loved learning, I loved learning new paradigms that changed the way I thought. I loved creating things that made people feel that change in in their paradigms, and inspiring, leading, motivating. 


I was chief resident that was my time was when I was a chief resident. And I was thinking about we had to give these science talks. They're called MPR. I don't even remember what it stands for. And it was a really big deal. The chief he, it was like his baby talk. And once a year, you had to give it and it was on a science based article. And then you had to give a presentation. And I think a backup to all my MPRs and they were good. I mean, they're fine. But I didn't really feel like I rocked any of them. I didn't feel like how I watched some of the PhDs. They just rocked it like you were like, That was so good. 


And I was like, Well, what did I rock during residency? And we came up with it was the end of the year video. That's what I rocked the end of the year party with the  memes that we did and I can remember sitting there and watching it with the whole department and thinking, oh my gosh, people think this is funny too, people resonate with this and it was to me, like the real humaneness of the program. It wasn't about the science. It was about being people and the community and your connections. And when I thought back to that moment, and I realized, holy crap this whole time, I was trying to be the scientist, and I got good at it. 


But it wasn't really what I was there for, I was really there to be the glue for other people, and to gain those connections and to help people thrive. And when I realized that, that really changed my life a lot, because it was like what you said, I figured out my why.


[00:25:43] Dr. Gray, Host:

Mm hmm. Wow, that's so good. And I really appreciate your your honesty and sharing this because it certainly can be uncomfortable at times when you realize that you weren't being truthful to yourself or to others. And I can only imagine that is a very common adaptation humans do. You mentioned at the beginning, that your people are the high achieving women, right? I'm curious about that. 


Tell me more about high achieving people. And as you're saying this, I'm trying to figure out, am I one of those people? I mean, probably by definition, we're all professionals, physicians have some of that in them. And all of us had to sort of adapt to a certain certain image, right. In order to get into medical school and residency, we couldn't have gone to the interview and said, we're here because we just want to make a good living and live our own lives. And yeah, that's the only reason why I'm here that that wouldn't fly. 


So I'm really curious as to what you think about reflecting on yourself and maybe other high achieving women? What are they there are characteristics like, what drives them? And why are there certain people who are so focused on achievement?


[00:26:56] Dr. Moore, Guest:

Yeah, for sure. I think that it's different for different people. I think that it depends how far along on their self-development they are, I'm just going to preface but at baseline, most high achieving women that I know, follow rules, they aim to please. 


They are intensely strong, they persevere, often at their own expense, in order to achieve a goal, and often it is to make somebody else pleased or happy. And I don't know if that's a woman thing, or if that's a high achieving professional thing. I think it's a little bit of both. 

I had a boss once who was very intense, totally type A. And he would get upset if our opinions differed. And I always tried to sort of smooth things over. And I remember was complaining to another colleague of mine about it. And he told me to just tell him to F off. And I thought to myself, I could never, I could never do that I could never do that. And to me, it stuck with me because I think that it's easier for men in general to do that. And that's a huge generalization. 

But I think that you may resonate with that. It just it's hard to stand up for yourself, I think sometimes, especially if you truly don't know what it is you really want. And and even if you do know, it's hard. I mean, that's why part of what I teach and and help people with is negotiating because a lot of women who I work with, they do not want to do that. That's very uncomfortable for them. That is not something a stage that they want to get into at all.


[00:29:18] Dr. Gray, Host:

Yeah, yeah. I love that topic of negotiation. By the way, I love we could talk more about that. But going back to some of what you had shared, and I'm trying to sort of think about this and put it together. I'm trying to do it without like a positive or a negative connotation, because we're just trying to be really, really honest here, which sometimes when we're like, is this positive or negative, it makes it harder to be honest. So I'm just trying to be completely neutral. When you say high achieving women may have some tendency to want to please people and at the same time, they're very strong and in fact, they can use that strength to really go out of their way and be a people pleaser and I find that so fascinating. 


I think for a lot of people, that certainly can be true, I can see how that can happen. I think what you're saying is that for this group of high achieving women, depending on where they are in their self-development phase, they can really use those strengths, especially if they've found a way to honor their own integrity and not be so people pleasing to really sore, right reach their full potential. That makes a lot of sense to me. And you mentioned the self-development work you've done. 


So after you realize the pain in what you call your midlife crisis, and how there's a huge discrepancy of what you want and what you have and how a lot of that could be because you weren't completely honest with yourself. So then you came to this realization. And I don't know if all of our listeners know who Tony Robbins is. But you attended this sounds like fancy expensive events for self-development. Tell me a little bit more about that process.


[00:30:57] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

Yeah. So the point that I had my midlife crisis, it wasn't exactly the amount of time it takes for your toenails to chip, it was a few years. But I think I was unhappy for quite a while at the point where I decided that enough was enough. And I felt like my career was not really moving forward the way I wanted it to and my ideas about where it should go, I was starting to voice them at that point. And that wasn't really going very well for me. 


And I think that when I started to really listen to my heart, I realized that every person's journey is their own. And I was relying heavily on my direct boss and the partners that I worked with, to give me what I wanted, and that they really, it wasn't really in their agenda. And so I had to create something that was me. 


And I actually, I looked around for a new job, I looked at other locations, I asked around, and I actually I called them up my mentors. And I kind of told them the situation like this is where we're disagreeing and what can I do. And one of my mentors who I adore and think is so amazing, and she does a lot of work with physician overwhelm, and she was a director of one of the programs, one of the academic centers, and she said, "Nothing, you can't do anything." I was like, what, I did not expect that to come from her. 


And it just gave me more motivation to figure out how to make my situation the way I wanted it to be, and to live my life on my terms. And so I actually quit my job. And I stayed in the area, and I started my own Corporation, and I did my own thing. And I can remember when I quit, my boss said that he could not believe that I was putting my family and myself in such jeopardy by leaving. 


[00:33:27] Dr. Gray, Host: Wow.


[00:33:28] Dr. Moore, Guest: 

And I was like, okay bye-bye, this is not where I want to be. This is this is definitely not where I want to be. And I had a few hard months there because of Medicare reimbursement, taking 90 days, but I put everything together, I worked outside of my direct subspecialty for a little while I really affiliated with my leadership skills, which was part of the change really with a hospital I gained many of my directorships at that point, and rebuilt and learned a whole bunch of stuff. And eventually, about a year later, I was rehired by an affiliate group with a much better deal, a much better deal. And I ended up bringing in almost the same amount of money that I would have if I had stayed. And I was so much happier because they understood the things that I really wanted to have in my life…


Dr. Gray, Host: 

That was part 1 of a two-part interview with Dr Johanna Moore. She is a pathologist, medical director, wife, mom and founder of She.Is.Money. I appreciate Johanna being so open and transparent with us, as she reflected back on her life during her midlife crisis. I love our entire conversation, but my favorite section was when she had that lightbulb moment, realizing she was not being truthful to the interviewer and to herself when she cited her reasons for applying to her residency program at a prestigious institution.  More importantly, that failure to be completely honest and making statements out of anticipating what other people want to hear, rather than statements that align with her true self, started a chase for “means goals” that ultimately led to her midlife crisis. And when she flipped to “end goals” by seeking self-integrity and pursuing goals in alignment with her true self rather than outside expectations, she was able to go from trudging through each day with pain and tears, to waking up daily with joy. 

I love Dr Moore’s high achieving spirit and her willingness to recognize pain and using that as a vehicle for growth.  You can find Dr Moore via the links in the show notes and join the So Money Society with other ambitious professional women who also wish to grow to their highest potential.

Please stay tune for next week’s episode which will be the second half of our interview. We’ll be discussing some of my favorite topics including the art of negotiation and human connection. 

There's also exciting news at the dare to dream physician. For those of you who wish to get clarity on your own why. And get energized as you explore envision and create your dream life. I am so excited to announce that I'm  taking on a limited number of one-on-one clients for life planning. To get the complete details and sign up for an exploration meeting, go to my website, dare to dream physician.com.   I really look forward to working with you. And it would be such an honor and privilege for me to be able to help you create your life plan. I truly believe that life planning will transform your life and will give you that energy to pursue your dream life sooner than you ever imagined.