Embracing Challenges in Life and in Your Career: You Don’t Get Anywhere by Saying No


by Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CRC, CDEO, CMPE, CHC, COPC, CGSC, CPEDC

I went running yesterday for the first time in ages. You see, I hate to run but I crave discipline. Discipline to show up and do hard things, discipline that continues to transform me. Running was always a boundary for me, something I routinely said no to. Years ago, I suffered a bad ankle injury and some people who I spoke with who had the same type of injuries told me horror stories of how they limped still or couldn’t wear heels (gasp!).

I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I started running. Now let’s be honest. It was more like a slow jog with a major limp, but each day I talked myself into continuing. I continued on until I ran a half marathon for my 50th birthday. I used the same discipline for running that I did in building my career by not setting limits and always saying yes to myself.

Yesterday, I ran for a mile. To be clear, I walked most of that. I let all the negative thoughts consume me. I didn’t like the shoes I was wearing, my allergies were bad and I couldn’t breathe through my nose, I didn’t have the gum I liked, my ankle hurt…

Today I remembered one key thing. You don’t get anywhere by saying no. Think about it, you didn’t get your job, your experience, your abilities by talking yourself out of hard situations or by saying no to challenges. I regrouped and reminded myself that I was in charge of me.

Today I ran 3 ½ miles. The first half mile was brutal in my mind. I felt every single step. What changed though was my reaction to my negative thoughts. Instead I reminded myself that any boundaries I had were made in my own mind. I looked inwards and I coached myself. At first it was little thoughts, “it doesn’t hurt that bad,” or “just breathe” which progressed to “just do three more songs and then you can quit” and then “just one more song.” My goal for the day was 2 ½ miles. I was able to motivate myself to go that extra mile simply by remembering that I am my only limitation.

It isn’t just about running. I have used this same approach in each step of my career path. I went from a practice manager to leading one of the largest challenges to ever hit healthcare when ICD-10 was implemented by saying yes to new opportunities, by continual learning, and by perseverance.

You can apply this same concept to challenges you are facing today in your role. It’s the time of the year when code sets change and new concepts are applied. We are seeing significant shifts in coding patterns due to COVID-19 and the new Evaluation and Management Codes that will be implemented. Will you dedicate yourself to learning new things and bringing others on your team along? The time is now.

What is your limitation or boundary? Maybe you too have forgotten that you are the only one in control. Set the bar high, seize the day and make it yours. Good or bad, it’s what you make of it. It begins with you.

“Transformation begins with a calling, stands on a cause, spreads from me to we, and breathes with urgency.”
– John C. Maxwell

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About the Author
Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CRC, CDEO, CMPE, CHC, COPC, CGSC, CPEDC
Owner, Coding and Reimbursement Experts
Rhonda Buckholtz is a leading authority in managing and improving the performance of physician practices. Rhonda’s 30+ years of experience in healthcare, working primarily in the management, compliance and reimbursement/coding sectors, has provided her with insights to how physician practices can achieve operational excellence. As a VP of ICD-10 at AAPC, Rhonda was responsible for developing comprehensive ICD-10 training materials ensuring AAPC membership and their employers were prepared for the monumental changes facing the industry. Rhonda has authored numerous articles for healthcare publications and has spoken at numerous national conferences for AAPC, AMA, HIMSS, MGMA, AAO-HNS, AGA and ASOA. She is a past co-chair for the WEDI ICD-10 Implementation Workgroup, Advanced Payment Models Workgroup and has provided testimony for ICD-10 and standardization of data for NCVHS and is on the National Advisory Board for AAPC. Rhonda is a John Maxwell Team Executive Director where she fulfills her life’s purpose by adding value to other people.

About the Author

Libman Education
Libman Education Inc. is a leading provider of training for the health care workforce offering self-paced and instructor-led online courses designed and developed by leading industry experts in Health Information Management (HIM) and Medical Record Coding. Our courses are specifically designed to improve individual skills and increase the efficiencies and competencies of health care providers and institutions. At Libman Education, we understand the needs and challenges of a well-trained workforce and offer the right-mix of online education to ensure that the health care professionals are prepared to meet the challenges of the changing workplace.

One thought on “Embracing Challenges in Life and in Your Career: You Don’t Get Anywhere by Saying No

  1. Shayna - October 30, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Its a great reminder that you have to keep going. Ironically, I decided to run a mile today also BEFORE I read this article! I needed to hear this. I just started training for the CPC program. I want to succeed at this so bad. This article is great inspiration. I can relate to it in every way… down to the wrong gum during the run 🙂