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Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals Podcast
Episode 692

Sabrina Runbeck, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Peak Performance Coach and Speaker

Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals Podcast

In this episode, we are privileged to host Sabrina Runbeck, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon and a Peak Performance Coach and Speaker. Sabrina talks about her burnout and her mission to empower ambitious professionals to find their voice, reconnect with their passion and become influential in their fields without feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, or undervalued. She discussed how to be more than just health care professionals doing a job for patients, to work for the meaning of living, to think of how to keep the momentum going, how to give yourself credit, and many more. We could oftentimes get carried away with the day-to-day, and this interview is a great reminder of what we need to be more effective in what we do. Please tune in and enjoy my interview with Sabrina Runbeck.

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Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals Podcast

Episode 692

About Sabrina Runbect

Sabrina is a Cardiothoracic Surgery P.A. with more than 10 years of experience in Public Health and Neuroscience. She is called the Queen of Performance and Productivity. She hosts the powerful and passionate Health Care Professionals podcast, which has been featured on Kevin M.D., Authority Magazine, and numerous stages such as Fox Five, CBS 13, Screw the Naysayers podcast and Live on Purpose Radio. She’s also an author of an upcoming book, Asian Women Who Boss Off

Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals Podcast with Sabrina Runbeck, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Peak Performance Coach and Speaker: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals Podcast with Sabrina Runbeck, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Peak Performance Coach and Speaker: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket listeners, Saul Marquez here. I get what a phenomenal asset a podcast could be for your business and also how frustrating it is to navigate editing and production, monetization, and achieving the ROI you’re looking for. Technical busywork shouldn’t stop you from getting your genius into the world, though. You should be able to build your brand easily with a professional podcast that gets attention. A patched-up podcast could ruin your business. Let us do the technical busy work behind the scenes while you share your genius on the mic and take the industry stage. Visit moothpodcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

Saul Marquez:
All right, everybody, what’s up, Saul Marquez here. Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket Podcast. Today, I am privileged to host Sabrina Runbeck. She is a Cardiothoracic Surgery P.A. with more than 10 years of experience in Public Health and Neuroscience. After overcoming burnout herself and feeling stuck in a career that drained her, she became an international Peak Performance Keynote speaker to empower ambitious professionals like yourself to find their voice, reconnect with their passion and become influential in their fields without feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, or undervalued. That’s why people call her the Queen of Performance and Productivity. She hosts the powerful and passionate Health Care Professionals podcast, which has been featured on Kevin M.D., Authority Magazine, and numerous stages such as Fox Five, CBS 13, Screw the Naysayers podcast and Live on Purpose Radio. She’s also an author of an upcoming book, Asian Women Who Boss Off. Find out more about Sabrina at Sabrina Runbeck.com but here in today’s podcast, we’re going to be covering just that, the importance of staying refreshed, the importance of avoiding burnout, how to do it. She’s got some great tips and I’m really excited to host her here today. So, Sabrina, thank you so much for being with us today.

Sabrina Runbeck:
Thank you so much Saul for having me. And thanks, everyone, for listening in. And we know you can be doing anything in the world right now and you choose us and listening to this episode. And I so appreciate you.

Saul Marquez:
Thank you, Sabrina, for that. And yeah, really, really appreciate everybody tuning in. You can be doing anything. And here you are with us. So you’re in for a treat. Sabrina, you’ve got such an interesting background. The book coming out, your work at the bedside, you take care of patients. What inspires your work and health care?

Sabrina Runbeck:
When I was growing up, I was the only girl in the family. I’m an only child. All my cousins are male. When you grow up in an Asian family, typically is just about get good grades, that eventually get a job. But the family’s goal for you necessarily is only, hey, as long as you have some kind of job and you have a great relationship, that should be it. And for me, I feel like why should the boys are always doing something, going to business, medicine, law? Why should I be taking a back seat? So I feel like I’m constantly just fighting against things that women should also do as well. So from a little girl, I was doing that. Then my mom came to the US and while I was turning 12, I end up falling hard. I have to fly here by myself across the world. And unfortunately, she got into a car accident. So things got pretty rocky for a while. And I remember as I was still learning English, I was going to flea markets every weekend selling pots and pans trying to really figure out who I am as a person, but just doing the family a little bit of service and tried to make a living. And that’s also the time where I realized you got to work hard and so many things we can’t rely on other people. We have resources. We can ask for help, but we have to fight for where we need.

Sabrina Runbeck:
But that kind of tough skin that buildup led me to have nonstop gained two bachelor’s degrees, two masters, get my medical degree and certified MPA and finally guy into one of the best cardiac centers in the whole country. And then I feel like I still not just made it, now I’m in the competitive round. I got to show up and it becomes a constant cycle, working 80 plus hours, taking calls almost every day. Until one day I was feeling exhausted. It was barely eight o’clock in the morning and I took a call again, slept maybe for three or four hours. It wouldn’t be so bad, except I had a fever of 101. My body felt weak and my hands were even cramping and probably anybody who had been sick you know when your body just starts to force you to stop. But I was in the hospital, scrubbed in, and trying all that I can to finish open heart surgery with my co-surgeon. Typically I’m always talking and listening to music. I’m chatting even throughout the case. And that day I was quiet. So one of the nurses realized, oh, Sabrina is quiet, probably not good.

Saul Marquez:
Something’s going on.

Sabrina Runbeck:
And she was passing and cough drop under my mask just to keep me going. And the next morning when I woke up, I was barely able to just get a cup of water. I was covered with nice sweat. So I finally admit to myself, you know, despite how much I wanted to be there, I know there are cases to go on, I just can’t do it. We always value our patients, our clients, other things around us to properly think about what needs to be done. But we actually don’t treat ourselves that way. And I had to own up to that. Instead of getting into the cycle of blaming how come this person is not doing this? How come I got stuck? I have to own up to let myself be in that cycle. So I had to go back to my route in neuroscience and public health, dug out my own thesis, which is self-care, self-efficacy, stress management, and learning from other big neurologist psychologists, and figure out a system really to turn my life around. And I would say I love medicine because it’s so intriguing. You need to be thinking really fast. And time is also now. You need so many of us to have the cycle of feeling like we got to fight for it, but we don’t. We just have to understand that we truly don’t have stress management or burnout issue. We have a boundary and leadership issue.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, interesting perspective, Sabrina. And, you know, you’re in that moment where you were just that at your wit’s end, you crashed and you made some good realizations. And so now you sound like you’re dedicated to this mission of helping others do the same thing. Talk to us a little bit more about that and how you’re doing it.

Sabrina Runbeck:
Yeah, I believe we all work so hard to get to where we are right now, and we didn’t do I just hate it. We did it because we earned our degrees, earned our experience, earned whatever title they had. But if we’re just being so good at doing and feeling like if I don’t do something, I’m non-productive, those that are sabotaging behavior that holds us back. So, for example, the first time all of us got into our dream school or dream job, the happiness is exhilarating. We are jumping up and down. We’re so happy about it. However, think back to those moments. How long did that happiness last? Now, one of my coaches and mentor from Stanford has a concept called passive intelligence. So his example is many of us feeling like we got to have another degree and Ph.D., MBA, X, Y, Z. So then you can then move forward in your life, get another better position. All of those, despite how many books we read, podcasts we’re listening to, all the worksheets that we did, they’re just knowledge-based. What truly creates satisfaction is the other part where we need to understand there are nine different categories of sabotaging tendencies that we have that are pulling us down. And if we do recognize those and then we can pivot all of that into the empowerment state of us, where we can be resourceful, curious, wanting to be innovative and creative and empathetic. But if we constantly being stuck in the way that we’re doing or just being such a good machine and going, we don’t realize actually we’re living without aim. So what I help people with from speaking and consulting is to really dive deeper. How can we truly become an influential figure in our organization, in our field? Has our voice been able to do more things with less time that we won’t live overwhelmed being feeling like were unappreciated or undervalued?

Saul Marquez:
Those are really important things. And, you know, many of us fall into that trap. We will fall into getting overworked and in the trenches lose sight of the why and really start the burnout process. And so talk to us about how you do it. Sabrina, what exactly are you doing and how is it different or better than all else that’s available for folks to feel more fulfilled and to get that traction they’re looking for?

Sabrina Runbeck:
Yeah, I appreciate you asking that. Our society is always on. People feel like between the eat, work, sleep, they hardly get anything else fit into their schedule, but they still have so much they feel like they haven’t tapped into, and that means you could be wanting to create a new project and just not getting out there and missing out that promotion because you haven’t really put yourself into a spot or even feeling undervalued because you’ve been doing so much. But somehow people are not really verbally or physically showing that. Appreciation is what drives our performance in the workplace, better salary and bonuses, and even autonomy and training. So how can we go back to the place where we feel fulfilled, satisfied? We’re not just chasing happiness, but we understand why we even do that. So the first step is to redefine your motivation. One of the most common questions we were asked when we’re younger, is what do you want to do when you grow up? Even nowadays, when we go to a networking event or just meeting someone new, people always want to ask, what do you do instead of really asking who you are? So the doing part is the main thing that got us trapped and we are constantly doing these check marks of doing, doing, and get to the next thing at the next task instead of thinking about how do we want to live, what would it be an ideal lifestyle for you?

Sabrina Runbeck:
And that really encompasses both the way that you want to work, who you want to, to hang out with, what type of people you want to be in your life, your family, and what is your personal mission. How do you want it to show up? If we don’t really know that so clearly, then people tend to have all different types of dreams but procrastinate and not able to make them come true. So the first step really is defining what really ultimately we want in life so that we can have an internal compass to take steps to get there instead of making checkmarks of getting the good degree or good job, a house, or car. But all those checkmarks don’t really lead us anywhere because once you get them. Now what?

Saul Marquez:
Well said. And it’s that feeling right where you did what you said you were going to do. You earn that degree, you earn that salary, you got that deal. Insert the goal here. And then once you get there, it’s done. It’s over. How long do you actually feel good for? And the answer is to your point is that success is a journey. It’s not an endpoint and it’s defining that Why. So really appreciate you highlighting that for us today, Sabrina. And so if this is something that’s been on your mind, I feel like it’s something we’re thinking about right now. How has what you do help out your clients and how has it improved the things that they’re doing in health care? Because you work with a lot of health care people.

Sabrina Runbeck:
Yes, it’s those from small group hospital units to individuals as well. So we discussed our first step is defining what that even looks like for us. We’re no longer just health care professionals doing a job for our patients. We are thinking bigger. We’re no longer just work to work. We actually work for the meaning of living. And so we can understand the purpose of why we even get into this field so we can go further. So what’s next? Once we know what we want to do, people need to start thinking about how can we keep that momentum going so we no longer having so much emotional roller coasters to really show up every day and enjoy your day. Now, figure out all these sabotaging here.

Sabrina Runbeck:
You have so truly master your psychology, reprogramming our neural cognitive behavior to recognize, hey, you know what? These are just tendencies that are pulling me down like professionals, like controlling, like over-logical thinking, like avoidance of pain. But I don’t need to criticize myself for those things. I can empower myself and change the way that I’m thinking, the way that I’m doing things, every single opportunity, and to change to that empowerment side. And then once we have the ability to clear all the roadblocks out there, then we can think about what else can we do despite having the basic core foundation, we need to have the right energy to do it. And do you even know that you have a natural energy cycle? It’s now all about give me another five minutes, just let me do this, then maybe I’ll take a water break. And plenty of people I have talked to have said they don’t even drink water or go to the bathroom because they feel like things are always going to be another another another thing come up. That’s ultimately a boundary issue. So now we can truly talk about productivity. When you know your energy, you can reboot that within two minutes and you bring back your focus. One of the exercises I showed doing my last talk with a cardiac center and they actually just came off overnight shift for 12 hours. And after the exercise, she told me that she can probably go on for another 12-hour shift. That’s the other point of saying we put our bodies on the floor. I keep going. But if you feel good, if you feel intunes with yourself, we get things down with the most other efficiency and you can make better judgments for yourself and truly be able to say no more often. Not just constantly feeling like you have to say yes because you are obligated about it totally.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, yeah. It’s having that that inner wisdom, that inner wisdom to say no, say no is actually saying yes to yourself. And oftentimes it’s easier said than done. And you shared the tough road that you began with and really inspiring to hear that you went from selling pots and pans at a flea market to all the amazing stuff that you’ve done today. What would you say is one of the biggest setbacks people deal with and akey learning that could come out of that? And maybe it’s one of your experiences that you want to share or maybe a general experience? Your call.

Sabrina Runbeck:
A major setback. I go back to our negative tendency is that these sabotaging tendency I have and its judgment. I even remember when I was in high school, I barely sat down. I was chatting with my friends, just got into my AP calculus class, and I can see my teacher start walking around, passing out the quiz that we had taken a few days ago. And now I am not chatting. My hands are sweating and my heart is pounding. I just remember when I took that quiz. Yeah, I did not feel good because there are so few questions I keep thinking about. How am I not remembering how to do these things and now I start thinking, oh my gosh, is my score. And this girl doesn’t cry and people start to stare at me. What is going out with her? And the score I got was 82. So for some people that might think OK is a B minus big deal and some people probably will agree with me. Yeah, that should happen. But ultimately is I never learned how to have self-empathy.

Sabrina Runbeck:
And many times we are taught about empathy and giving empathy, but also never learned about giving ourselves or receive empathy. Because the judgment tendency we have is we’re so hard on ourselves, we create an arbitrary stander internally on how we need to be and ought to be. And however, we don’t do it as such. Almost like a slap on the face. Why would we constantly beat ourselves down? And that is the same thing in medicine. And health care does so many things we cannot predict which trying our best to do. And just like COVID situation now, some patients are supercritical and you can do all you need to do to help them. But not everyone can come out healed and come out fresh and new as how they were before. But many people also hold on to that guilt, that sadness. So we criticize everything that we do every day, but we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Even you can finish 80 percent of what you need to do for yourself, for other people today. That should be honored. That should be praised. And that’s one thing we have to look into. What type of tendency that you have and how can we quickly get ourselves out if we constantly repeat and rehearse all of the things that didn’t go well, now we’re stuck instead of looking at, OK, we understand there is a lesson to be learned, but once you got the lesson, then we have to detach and move on.

Saul Marquez:
Well said. And we often don’t give ourselves credit, know? I mean, if you’re an achiever, you’re probably really hard on yourself and you don’t give yourself that credit that Sabrina is talking about here. And so a lot of things to reflect on. And these are things that we don’t think about often enough. You know, and I’m glad that you’re here to remind us that we do need to give ourselves more credit, that it’s OK. And so I appreciate you mentioning all of these things, bringing us back to the basics. It’s so key. We could oftentimes get carried away with the day-to-day. And as you reflect on some of your clients and the work that you’ve done this year, what would you say you’re most excited about?

Sabrina Runbeck:
I think what I’m most excited about is to see that there’s a lot of things we have to learn about each other, about ourselves. And the one day I focus with everybody from a program, if that influenced part because if we can truly understand how we can appreciate ourselves by understanding our true passion zone and genius and live in that zone more than 80 percent of the time and knowing everybody else is around, you bring out the best in them. And so you can magnetize these geniuses to you that we won’t accidentally be diminishing people and we can show up as the influential person that we already are. People don’t realize you are a leader. If you have a new thought, if you have a team, even you just work with someone, you are leading in some way. And so why not become a magnet for talent, for goodness? And that’s how we can drive even more impact in the world and not becoming an agent of diminisher. And that’s what I’m excited about to see. Don’t think about a stuck yourself into a bubble, a mode of leadership, and to truly become that performer, the ambitious person that you already are. Well, feeling good and satisfied and not missing out truly in life. We need to know who we are, how we want to show up and be able to connect and be able to become that influential person and enjoy your life and make sure you pat yourself on the back.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. I’m excited about that to get to take some time. And, hey, you know, I beat myself up, too, you know, and at the end of the day, there’s a lot of things that I should be giving myself credit for. So this is a great reminder for all of us. And Sabrina, you are doing lots of things and we’ll be leaving links to all of the awesome work that you’re up to, all of the ways that people could get in touch with you, and as well as a link to the to book when it goes live. I love the title, by the way, Asian Women Who Boss Up. And so before we conclude and folks, by the way, just OutcomesRocket.Health, type in Sabrina into the search bar. And you guys all know I got a new search bar up. It works awesome. You’ll be able to see all the show notes links everything that is available to you here today, so make sure you go there type and Sabrina and find out the different ways to connect. But before we conclude, Sabrina, leave us with the closing thought and tell us what the best way that the listeners can get in touch with you is.

Sabrina Runbeck:
Yeah, so, so appreciate you having me on your show. And again, thanks to everyone for listening in.

Sabrina Runbeck:
I’m very active on LinkedIn and Instagram and for people who are listening on the show, I am giving our five peak performance blueprint calls where we can really dive deeper into what’s your number one killer preventing you from seeing this awesome, powerful career and a passion in life. And what are the things that you can really do to figure out your passion zone and genius zone so you can truly live in fulfillment and people can go to SabrinaRunbeck.com for Sash Blueprint to grab a cup with me.

Saul Marquez:
Well, that is awesome. And folks, why not take Sabrina up on these five of them. So make sure you reach out to her, take advantage of the limited number of sessions that she’s offering for free. Sabrina, thank you for doing that. I really appreciate you doing that for our community.

Sabrina Runbeck:
Yeah. Thank you. I so appreciate everyone for support. And then really, especially in the time of right now, we can really leverage on each other.

Saul Marquez:
Agreed. So thanks again, Sabrina. So again, folks, make sure you take her up on the session. SabrinaRunbeck.com/ blueprint. Check her out there. I know we shared a lot today, so you can also find it on OutcomesRocket. Health and we’ll add the link there. Just happens to bring on a search bar and you’ll get to that very easily. Sabrina, thank you so much. This has been a great session with you and definitely looking forward to staying in touch.

Sabrina Runbeck:
Yes, please. And thank you, everyone. I hope you all have an amazing day.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, everyone. Saul Marquez here. Have you launched your podcast already and discovered what a pain it could be to keep up with editing, production, show notes, transcripts, and operations? What if you could turn over the keys to your podcast busywork while you do the fun stuff like expanding your network and taking the industry stage? Let us edit your first episode for free so you can experience the freedom. Visit smoothpodcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • Find out how to dive deeper into your motivation and be an influential figure in your organization, how to do more things with less time without feeling overwhelmed, unappreciated, or undervalued. 
  • Appreciation is what drives our performance. 
  • Redefine your motivation. Define what you want in life so you can have an internal compass to take steps to get there. 
  • Success is a journey. It’s not an endpoint. 
  • Empower yourself and change the way you are thinking. 

 

Resources

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinarunbeck/

https://www.instagram.com/sabrinarunbeck/

https://twitter.com/SabrinaRunbeck

Website:

https://sabrinarunbeck.com/

https://sabrinarunbeck.com/blueprint/

Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5l1FDKMi3tPg3XeFRbRMzw