Myths, widely held yet false beliefs or ideas, are generated throughout dentistry by chronic fear and stress, as well as by having a negative filter of daily situations. They are perpetuated at study clubs and conferences, in message forums or chat rooms, and masked as dentists offer their experiences and advice while dripping with cynicism and jadedness.
Some regularly held myths include the following:
- Dentistry is stressful.
- The best way to deal with a team member is to show them the door.
- If teeth weren't attached to people, dentistry would be so much easier.
- You're a doctor, so that inherently makes you different than everybody else.
Any held myth affects how you work and live, and dentistry is plagued with its share of falsely held beliefs. There are three myths that dentists believe that deeply affect their practice and personal life. These three myths keep them from massive success. They keep dentists stressed, hating their jobs, and leaving money on the table.
1. 'I'm a superhuman'
The "I'm a superhuman!" myth comes from the practice of overlabeling yourself -- as a dentist, doctor, fixer, mother, father, breadwinner, leader, and all the other labels you give yourself that you somehow are or should be more than everyone else. The "I'm a superhuman!" mentality is perpetuated by the "But I'm a doctor" mindset. This mindset sets you apart from everyone else. You don't connect with the team because you're the doctor; you don't share your struggles with anyone because you're the doctor; and you go it alone because you're the doctor.
This myth keeps you from massive success, because mentally you're stressed, physically you're drained, and emotionally spent. There is no energy to put into anything or anyone else as this myth takes a lot of energy to perpetuate.
2. 'It's not me, it's them'
When you consistently point the finger at other people and external things as the reason for your lack of achievement or success, that's myth No. 2, "It's not me, it's them." The following are three common areas blamed:
- Environment: Not enough equipment, old technology, practicing in a small town, practicing in a large city, insurance companies, or not enough op space
- People: Team members, patients, lab techs, vendors, family, or competitors
- Process/systems: Front office doesn't talk to back office, no consistency in tracking numbers, or lack of job descriptions
Playing this blame game keeps you from massive success, since you think, dream, and act small. You sabotage your solution choices by removing yourself out of each equation and focusing on resolutions you have no control over.
3. Things are black and white
What makes you a great dentist is your ability to think logically and problem-solve through analytical decision-making. Myth No. 3 is created when your versatility to tap into other ways of thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making is low.
It then taints your world view, the filter by which you interpret what you see, hear, and take in from every situation. You create a lens that has been sculpted by your upbringing, experiences, and messages that cause you to narrow your perspective. Often a single detail is focused on and all other elements, regardless of their validity and truth, are dismissed because they don't support your world view. Of all the myths, thinking in black/white, good/bad, or right/wrong keeps you from massive success the most. You become a prisoner in your practice and life.
So now what?
Myths in dentistry are deeply rooted in the belief structure passed down from professor to student and mentor to protégé. It's going to take a cultural shift to eradicate these false beliefs.
As with any movement, it starts with the individuals willing and wanting to work and live differently -- those who are not going to settle and be like everyone else. They want to live their legacy today by leaving a large footprint of change within their industry and the lives of the people they serve. The first step is to acknowledge change is needed. After that, you're creating your own path to massive success.
Jen Butler, MEd, certified professional coach (CPC), board-certified coach (BCC), has been working in the area of stress management and resiliency coaching for more than 20 years. To learn more about her services, programs, and the Jen Butler Practice Analysis, contact her at 623-776-6715 or email@example.com for more information.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.