Welcome to "Transforming Impact"

Each month, we share insights about industry trends,  resources for building a sustainable business, and opportunities to enrol in programmes and community groups to support your next STEPS towards your goals.

A Personal Note from Rachel: 

Self-doubt, leadership, professionals and coaching... joining dots! 

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I am writing this message this month, with a sense of frustration and hope. The frustration?  Brilliant pharmacists (many of them women), with so much to offer, hiding and playing small.  The hope?  That the world is changed (indeed transformed) for the better, by our greater leadership and engagement, by having the courage, to STEP up and proudly share our skill and expertise at every level.  

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote, I have been blessed to work with brilliant, talented, successful professionals (many of whom are pharmacists).  The fascinating thing is that, without exception, every one of them has experienced (and continues to experience) self-doubt.  This voice of self-doubt gets particularly loud when big change happens (or being considered) - be that

  • chosen change (e.g. career change, leading a new project, going for a promotion, buying or selling a business / house, founding a new business) or
  • unchosen change that is foisted upon us (e.g. bank calling in a loan, redundancy, an illness, death of a loved one, break-ups of a partnership be it business or personal, increased regulatory burden)

This self-doubt voice in our head is driven by fear and works exceptionally hard to maintain the status quo, AT ALL COSTS.  And it is important to become aware of the costs.  Is this a price you are willing to pay? 

  • costs to your quality of life (How is it possible to experience joy when the soundtrack in your mind is harsh and critical?)
  • costs to your professional life (The self-doubt voice urges you to be a meticulous worker, to do things right but it does not inspire you to do the right thing, to speak up and confidently stand for what is most important)
  • costs to your fulfilment and growth (The self-doubt voice is brilliant at helping you to survive.  Thriving, on the other hand, is entirely up to you.)
  • costs to your health (When motivated by fear, stress hormones such as cortisol flood our bodies.  Long-term stress contributes to the genesis and exacerbation of most chronic illnesses, affecting all body systems including the gut (e.g. heartburn, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel disease), the respiratory system (e.g. asthma, infections), the cardiovascular system (e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack), the immune system (e.g. increased susceptibility to infection, increased incidence of auto-immune conditions), the psychological system (e.g. depression, anxiety, overwhelm)

For me, this is a constant work in progress.  And it is important to have a safe space to be asked and to truthfully answer these questions.

  1. What do you really, really want?
  2. What is most important to you REALLY?
  3. What will be the consequences (to you and to others) of selling yourself short, tolerating the status quo and not taking responsibility for living to your true potential?
  4. If you continue to ignore your body's feedback about the physical impact of chronic stress, what will be the consequences?   What type of feedback will it take for you to stop, listen and make different choices? 

That is why I work with a coach.  My coach holds me to my greater vision for my whole life - the life that includes Rachel the Mother, Rachel the Pharmacist, Rachel the Coach, Rachel the Business-Owner, Rachel the Friend, Rachel the Pioneer, Rachel the Wife, Rachel the Daughter.  

My coach isn't just my ally, confidante and truth-evoker in ONE compartment of my life.  Because who I am is the common component in every aspect of my life.  The Professional me.  The Personal me. The Business me.  

She holds that vision even when I feel so overwhelmed that I have lost sight of it.  She doesn't buy into my story.  She doesn't let me away with excusitis.  She assists me dare to face my own self-doubting voices, my performance anxiety, my own inner critics.  She helps me to give them a hearing, acknowledge their concerns and to take action anyway. 

And, in turn, that is what I offer my clients.  I hold their vision for their personal, professional and business life, even when they have lost sight of it.  I believe in them, even when they don't.  I help them get clear on what is truly most important and to prioritise and take actions that honour that.  Great ideas are not enough.  They must be executed in order to benefit those whom we serve.


Because we need pharmacists and professionals like us, people who care, to show up.  We need you to take action towards your dreams, use your skills, honour your values, visibly share your expertise and take care of yourself.   Now, more than ever, we, humanity, needs you to show up in your community, and to be the difference that makes the difference you are here to make.  Right now, you are carrying a solution to your own and other people's challenges.  And for you to fulfil your potential, for you to honour the financial and time investment made in your education, for you to be the difference you came here to live, I believe it is your professional duty to learn not to be controlled by your critical voice of self-doubt.  In addition, learn to deliberately and intentionally listen to your inner coach and mentor and honour who you are.

And for many high academic performers, we have become so used to the critical voice controlling our thoughts and actions, that we find it hard to recognise the critical voice as separate from who we are.  And that is the first step.  


These are the voices in your head, that speak directly to you and point out ALL your failings, constantly!  These voices aim to control your behaviour, using a range of strategies.  They can be pushy, bullying, controlling, blaming, placating, judgemental, demeaning, rude, apathetic, robotic, distracting.  They have a range of ways in which they communicate with you, that you would likely not tolerate from any one else.  Because it isn't kind.  It isn't respectful.  It isn't fair. 


Once you recognise these voices, NOW you have a choice.  

Are you going to continue to allow your inner critic to crush your ambitions and cripple your ability to transform your ripple effect for the better?  Are you going to continue to act according to the voice of self-doubt and not stretch yourself to your next level of greatness?  Are you willing to continue to complain and be silent, subservient, and unfulfilled?  Are you willing to continue to give your power away by blaming other people and circumstances outside your control for YOUR life not living up to YOUR expectations? 

If so, the voice of self-doubt is the way to go.  It will help you to survive.  It will help you to justify the status quo.  It will keep you in your comfort zone.  It will help you to become (and stay) rigid in your thinking, opinions and limit your possibilities.

But....Does life REALLY owe you one?  Is it really everyone else's job to measure up to YOUR (sometimes exacting and unrealistically high) expectations so that YOU can be happy, fulfilled and live your life on your terms?  When you consider this strategy, how effective has it been, to date?  What does the evidence show?

You could be waiting your whole life for other people to meet your expectations, so that you can be happy, recognised, appreciated and fulfilled.  And really, is your happiness and fulfilment their business, or is it yours?

(Consider this...when you don't even measure up to the expectations your own inner critic has for you, what hope has anyone else?)


BUT, there is another way.  And it IS your business.  Your next step off blame island is to take Personal  Response-ability for owning and creating your own fulfilling life, personally, professionally and in business. 

How willing are you to stop giving away your personal power and to focus on that which you do have control, where you can make a change?  This is the place where you can transform your impact. This is the place where you can begin to make more powerful choices that make a difference, not just in your own life, but have a ripple effect on so many other people.  

Creating YOUR happiness, YOUR fulfilment and YOUR purpose is YOUR job.

Recognising, articulating and honouring YOUR needs, is YOUR job.  

Prioritising YOUR self-care is YOUR job.  

Saying NO to the things that are unacceptable to you, but heretofore you have been tolerating, is YOUR job.  

And while these are your job, you do not have to do it all alone.  In fact, evidence is strong that the support of at least one person who 'has your back' significantly enhances your chances of success.  The support of like-minded family, friends and peers, who are navigating a similar path and have similar values also strongly supports success.


Knowing that your voice of self-doubt (also known as your Saboteur, Resistance, Shadow, Ego, Enemy, Gremlin, Inner Critic),  has been around for a long, long time, and has developed a range of strategies that aim to keep you safe and secure, right where you are by preventing you from doing anything that might threaten your current position.  

Knowing, when it feels threatened, insecure, uncertain or afraid, it will throw all sorts of justification, excuses and fear in your face to limit your advances and preserve your status quo.  

Making new choices in your life, (which involve travelling out of your comfort zone), WILL trigger your voice of self-doubt, FOCUS FORWARD allows you to strategise in advance how you will handle them when they appear.  This provides the doubting part of yourself with the certainty it needs to allow you to proceed and step up to the next level.  

You also know that your highest moments, when you’ve felt the most proud, fulfilled and alive, have immediately followed your defiance of fear. When the voices got loud, you got louder. When adrenaline had your heart kicking like a bass drum in your throat and your body shook between inspiration and hesitation, sweat beading on your palms… and you said YES and made the leap anyway. 

These aren't always chosen choices, but we can still feel great fulfilment by having faced the fear.

Some examples of the situations that I have faced, and the fears that triggered my self-doubt voices include

  • giving birth (fear of the unknown)
  • doing a pharmacy OSCE (fear of being not good enough)
  • doing 'fishbowl coaching' - being evaluated while coaching in front of my peers (fear of not being good enough)
  • presenting my work (fear of being judged)
  • facing debt (fear of failure)
  • being a parent (fear of letting other people down)
  • becoming a business owner (All of the above!!)

Overcoming fear is a satisfying (sometimes thrilling) experience, isn’t it? And let’s face it, when you’re wide-awake, alive, on fire and in flow, things have a way of working out, don't they?

Focusing Forward allows us to recognise our likely triggers, and choose strategies to face these fears, before they show up.    

A word of warning

This journey is not for the faint hearted.  It takes persistence, courage, self-awareness, and self-compassion.  

By taking these steps, learning how to master your mind and manage your inner critic means that you’re going to lose a lot. You’re going to learn to give up some of your most cherished life-long patterns, such as…

  • Burning up all your energy beating yourself up
  • Giving up on your dreams and noble pursuits to avoid responsibility and effort
  • Trying to please everyone else and gain their approval
  • Letting little failures keep you down
  • Letting yourself succumb to the 'I don't have time' story
  • Avoiding crucial conversations to avoid possible conflict
  • And a whole lot more of your favourite fear-based behaviours. 

You may not be ready yet to let go of your self-imposed limitations. You might not be willing to explore your leadership potential, what is possible for you.

But, if you have had enough of letting the voices in your head run your dreams into the ground and you want to take your life from the plateau you are currently on, to the next level, find a trained professional coach (click here for Coaching FAQs) and CLICK HERE to log onto the International Coach Federation (which is the professional body for professionally trained coaches)

My wish for you is that your coach will 

  • be your ally on your journey of self-discovery,
  • support you as you re-ignite your inner scientist,
  • help you to articulate your hypotheses and face your nemeses
  • create experiments to test your theory against reality,
  • celebrate your achievements, 
  • overcome your barriers to success 
  • recalibrate based on feedback and new insights 
  • maintain forward momentum

All high performers (in sports, business, career, life) have coaches, to ensure they don't settle for their self-limiting comfort zone, and instead expand into their zone of genius.

Why shouldn't you?

This is your ONE life.  How do you choose to play it?

Rachel Shares These Resources

Hear from one my inspirational coaches, Tara Mohr.  In the TED talk below and her book, she shares her perspective on what is needed to inspire students, academics and professionals to take a transformational leadership role in the world. 

If we want professionals to transform the systems in which they work, I agree with Tara that we have got to start raising their awareness of who they are and teaching them that what is IN them (who they are), shapes their professional contribution at least as much as what they can learn from others.

She also addresses the risks of rewarding students for behaving like 'good pharmacists,' if that means knuckling down, doing what you are told, regurgitating what other people think and protecting yourself from failure.  To develop transformational leaders, we need to develop different skills, such as overcoming fear of failure, recognising the inner critic, taking risks, asking questions (including questions of those we perceive to be in authority), being present and jumping into action for the greater good.

Here are the links!  Enjoy.

Women in Higher Education - Tara Mohr (15 mins)

Playing Big - Tara Mohr

Upcoming Events + Save the Date 

IPU Pharmacy Conference 2018 | 27 – 29 APRIL 2018, CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL, WEXFORD |

Celebrating its 8th year, the IPU National Pharmacy Conference is the largest pharmacy educational and networking event in Ireland and plays a vital role in supporting pharmacists with CPD, covering a range of clinical and business topics. This year’s programme is the best to date, with top-class international speakers.  

Rachel's topic on Sunday 29th April is 'DISCover Four Behavioural Styles to Deal with Difficult Customers.' 

In this presentation, Rachel explores four powerful behavioural styles which, when applied, transform how you deal with difficult customers, resulting in optimal outcomes for all involved. At the end of this presentation, you will be able to apply a four-quadrant model to observe your own and your customer’s behavioural style preferences, recognise typical responses of the four styles to conflict, discuss how to build rapport, trust and connection with even your most difficult customer, and explore style-specific STEPS to deal with specific scenarios at the pharmacy counter.  

Click here to learn more: https://pharmacyconference.ie/programme/

Be sure to email Rachel if you are going, so we can connect at the event!  I'd like to create a session that is directly relevant to you, please let me know the following:

  • What kind of conversations do you dread?
  • What makes them difficult?

Want to Transform your Impact Through Coaching and Training?

DiSC Behavioural Profiles

One of the first steps in raising your awareness of who you are, how you show up in the world, how this behaviour of yours is perceived by others and how they respond to it, is to take a behavioural style profile.  This awareness is TRANSFORMATIONAL.
The tool I use in my coaching practice is the Everything DiSC profile.  It is a validated, non-judgemental tool used for discussion of people's behavioural differences. When you decide to participate in a DiSC Behavioural Style Profile for yourself (and your team), you'll be asked to complete a series of questions that produce a detailed report about your behavioural style preferences. To learn more, click here.

Next STEPS Strategy Session

Are you considering hiring a coach to support you (and your team) on your personal, professional and/or business development journey?  Not sure if this is the right step for you?  Stop wondering!  Find out!   Click here to schedule a 30-minute, complimentary, "Next Steps" Strategy Session with Rachel.

Connect with Rachel

4Front Founder, Rachel Dungan is a Pharmacist, Trainer and Professional Medical Coach.  She has 20 years experience in hospital and community pharmacy.  Her passion is empowering pharmacy leaders and their teams to be and do their best.  You may recognise Rachel as an IPU Academy Tutor, IIOP Peer Support Pharmacist or Webinar Facilitator. 

Rachel Dungan
4Front Pharmacy Solutions Ltd