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There is a commonality to circumstance that many of us overlook. Open a newspaper, watch the news or encounter people who, in at least one aspect of their lives, are super successful, and we are envious and want to duplicate that success in our own lives. In the same media, we also hear of the downfall of people with incredible talent, that had everything going their way and somehow ended up being convicted of murder, embezzlement, drinking and drugging themselves to death, divorce, bankruptcy, etc., and we believe that it will never happen to us. This is called Optimism Bias.

Any and every circumstance, good or bad that we have heard of, or could even conceive, can be a reality in our own lives. The mistake most of us make is thinking that we will be the “one” that escapes the downfalls and succeed in family, faith, and finances only to realize there is a greater power. This power is that most of us will be average and a few will fall far short or exceed wildly. The bell curve is the visual representation of the reality of your life. There are reasons why the successful and the ones that fall short find themselves in this predicament or privileged position: Cause and effect. When looking at change you need to overcome the fear of doing something new and not get comfortable with what has become habit. Last week we covered the 5 Change States:

  1. Pre-Contemplative
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance

These change states should define each and every person that is reading this article. We are in a constant state of change and those that harness its magic are destined to be successful in whatever project they take on. Those who refuse to embrace change are destined to lose traction and slide backwards in their quest to the next level of practice.

There are a few prerequisites to embracing change. Most of us will eventually realize that the number one cause of coming up short was ourselves. It wasn’t the economy, the dental IQ of our patients, poor staff, location or mediocre systems, it was you. If you want to be successful, you must give up these ten areas.

  1. Give up on thinking small. Making big hairy audacious goals will always win the day. Raise your deserve meter and expect that you can accomplish anything you can conceive. If others are doing it, then it makes since that it is doable.
  2. Give up on making excuses. This is the “yeah, but” syndrome of justifying failure. Accountability for your success is like rain. We all need rain to live, but no one wants to get wet. You need to realize that you are responsible for what happens next in your life even though it is both frightening and exciting.
  3. Give up thinking there is a “Magic Bullet”. Overnight success is a myth. That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day. Even in an average office, 1% a day is millions of dollars by the time you retire.
  4. Give up on perfectionism. Nothing will ever be perfect. There is never perfect timing to start or take on a new challenge. Fear of failure (even fear of success) can prevent us from taking the very action that could define our future success. Lose the “I will do ____________ when I ______________.”  Just do it!
  5. Give up the need to control everything. If you are reading this, hopefully you have already figured out that having total control has not made you happy or successful. In a way, your inability to partner with your staff and delegate a lot of the jobs and responsibilities that you hold dear, is the number one reason you struggle. It certainly is holding back each staff member’s ability to grow and be more engaged in their jobs. Not partnering with you staff creates a poor culture of commitment.
  6. Give up on toxic people. As writer and speaker Jim Rohn states: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I was forty before I decided that I would no longer work with people that make my life more difficult. Make the hard decision to change and know that often times it requires freeing up someone’s future. Keeping that marginal staff member tells the rest of the team that you don’t care or it doesn’t matter. Remember: You encourage what you allow.
  7. Give up on an unhealthy lifestyle. Here is another quote from Jim Rohn: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” A healthy diet and physical activity are the first small steps in having the commitment, energy, and endurance to be successful.
  8. Give up the short term mindset. Long term goals are essential to your current success. These goals of 5 years, 10 years, and beyond will define your future as well as a successful today.
  9. Give up on saying yes to things that don’t support your goals. There are only 24 hours in a day and only so many tasks you can take on. Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals they will have to say no to certain tasks, activities, and demands from friends, family, and colleagues. In a way you may have to sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.
  10. Give up your need to be liked. This is a tough one for me. Approval addiction will sabotage your actions while negating your goals. I encourage each of you to remain authentic, improve, and provide value every day. You are responsible for your personal results and the results of your practice despite any noise or distractions. Results rule the day. No one remembers who came in second place.

This is how you Summit.

Michael Abernathy, DDS
972-523-4660 cell
[email protected]