Don’t be coy. We all suffer from dental envy and envy in general. It is about time that we admit it and use it to propel ourselves to success.
The definition of Envy:
- Noun: A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, luck or success.
- Verb: Desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else.
Unless you are totally checked out, we as humans tend to always compare and contrast. So it’s only normal that we do the same with our careers. This one slight flaw in humanity may be the principle key to changing our situations for the better. We have all had the experience of learning that the student with the worst hands and lower grades ends up with the million dollar a month practice, no debt, uncountable savings, and just married a super model turned brain surgeon. We finally realize that grades in dental school, initial talent with our hands, or a good location will not guarantee success in Dentistry. So let’s take a moment and see how we can use envy to propel us to the next level of practice.
- Compare and Contrast: Taking the time to compare your situation to others is a great learning experience. I spent the first year and a half of my practice visiting other practices that were successful and doing everything better than me. After the journey, I felt like these great practices really had nothing more than a “can do attitude”, and that the only thing holding me back was me. Remind yourself that you don’t know what you don’t know. Go out and find someone that is doing what you hope to do and emulate them.
- Get mad, and decide to do something about it: You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you deserve. Isn’t it about time that you turned up your “deserve meter” and take back the outcome of you future? Emotion is a very powerful tool. It’s important to know that you have to find some motivation to change that is greater than your fear of failure. This tipping point will propel you to the next level of practice.
- Buying into a new and better future is an emotional decision: Logic will not rule the day. It is the persistence, engagement, and follow through that will make the difference. Whatever it takes to get your game face on, do it.
- Find mentor or coach: Most of us are visual learners. Most of us want to avoid making mistakes that can be emotionally and financially expensive. Partnering with some group or person that can function as a mentor or coach is essential to turning up the dial for change. This may sound counter intuitive, but free advice rarely changes anything. Most of us value the advice that we pay for.
- Be selfish: That sounds terrible, but you are going to have to feel like you should be at a certain level of success. It needs to be a stretch for you to make it, and a level that challenges you to strive for it. Easy goals are not really going to change your past or influence your future. It takes BHAGS (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) to inspire you and your team to strive for success. Constantly reassess your “deserve meter”.
You can have anything you want in life. You just can’t have everything. It is important to make the time to dream, plan, set goals, and execute. Decide what you want and go after it. The doctors that I know that have been exceptionally successful could always see where they wanted to go in the future, while always adapting to change. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS