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Are you a thermostat or a thermometer? That is, are you a controlling influence like a thermostat; or do you tend to go up and down depending on what happens in your environment?

Most of us come into our profession as thermometers. Then depending on when, or if, we mature, we either remain thermometers (rising or falling with the surroundings in which we find ourselves) or we mature into thermostats and control our own settings. By this newfound stability and strength we help control the thermometers and other thermostats around us.

In the business world there is a term called “rainmaker”. This is the highest accolade for a member of an accounting, architectural, legal, or consulting firm. Because rain is essential to life, business leadership and adapting to change are awe inspiring to all of us. It is my greatest hope that you will strive to be a “rainmaker” for your own business.

We have been conditioned to accept mediocrity in most things. Many of us refuse to go beyond the imaginary barriers of that conditioning. Our parents, siblings, teachers, clergy, and employees have conditioned us. From our earliest memories, we were told to keep quiet, to calm down, not to go where we weren’t wanted, not to trust strangers, to read everything before we sign it, and not to bite off more than we could chew. We were taught to get by, to fit in, and to only the minimum daily requirements of everything. In reality, we were taught to accept mediocrity. Since we have been talking about change, I am telling you that change may be the only thing that trumps this conditioning. We need to rid ourselves of any conditioning that makes us believe we will fail.

  • Fear of failure: The starting point in conquering fear is to recognize, admit, and then control the normal fear we all have of failure, disapproval, and rejection. Denying this feeling does no more than making it go underground while it continues to affect us. Here are a few fears that most of us have.
    • Lack of skill: This shows up as a lack of confidence. If you lack confidence, you know fear.
    • Need for approval: This is in all of us and we are conditioned by this need from infancy. During infancy, there is this need for acceptance. Later, the need for acceptance becomes the need for approval.   For me this happened: When I learned there is a reward (approval) when I behaved properly, and punishment (disapproval) when I didn’t. By the time I reached Dental School, I sought approval by conforming to the values and behavior of my peers. This need for a lot of us becomes so strong that we make every effort to avoid situations that could lead to rejection.
    • A faulty perception of reality: Your performance and accountability to embrace change and create your own success will depend on how you see yourself. You need to see yourself as competent, knowledgeable and have the right perception of your own situations to make the changes that would alter your culture.
    • Poor self-image: Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his text Psyco-Cybernetics, offers: “Ideas are changed, not by will alone, but by other ideas.”
    • Negative self-talk: Everyone does something for a reason, a motive. A motive is a reason for being or a cause of behavior. How strong is your need for change? How gratifying would successfully navigating change be?

Persistence is a key component to a “rainmaker’s “ success. One of the most difficult lessons in life is that failures provide the learning experiences essential for success. Most successful dentists (rainmakers) succeed only after failing. These failures provide learning experiences that come no other way. Failures establish a pattern of risk that’s necessary for significant success. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s the status to which rainmakers should aspire. This is how you Summit
Michael Abernathy, DDS
972-523-4660 cell
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