For us dentists, we have been guided by a need, a dream, to help others. Going to dental school, and to residency and further training, takes a whole lot of “get-up-and-go” and a whole lot of “stick-to-it-iveness.”
Our schooling and hard work was (and is) driven by our need and dream to help others AND to make a good living for our families and ourselves.
Sound familiar? Then, in practice, you start working, working, working, calling on your “get-up-and-go” and your “stick-to-it-iveness.” You take more continuing education. You believe in education.
You work long hours, after your staff has gone, and sometimes before your staff arrives in the morning. You take time away from your family. For some of us, probably especially us girls, we have the children at the office frequently because that’s where we are. Still, your family time and routines are centered around your job, your practice. After all, it’s how you take care of the family, right?
You do whatever you can for the patients, because you want them to be happy, to like you - to love you - to become part of your “family.” You do whatever you can for your staff because you want them to be happy, to love you, to be part of your “family.” And they are. Often the staff see you as the benevolent “parent” in this purported family. Your immediate family may not see you enough.
And somewhere along the way, it feels all mixed up. Do you feel significant? You feel tired.
Do you feel capable? You feel confused.
Do you make enough money to support your family the way you want? The practice overhead is huge, eating you up.
Do you have enough time with your family? For yourself? Do you feel appreciated, loved?
What is missing in your picture?
Why doesn’t your life work better? Why doesn’t your practice grow?
Because YOU don’t.
How will you solve your dilemma?
The only way is by reinventing your system to solve it.
Start by identifying what is missing. Certainty? Security? Love? Significance? Growth?
Each element or core human need has a corollary that holds you back. Certainty - stability, security, consistency - is hidden by your fear. Fear of what patients, staff, family, even strangers think of you. (Read recent blog, “Way too.”) Fear about your capability.
Love may be hidden by your being too “busy” to notice, to participate. While doing for others is the way you give love, your need for love may be so depleted that there’s not much to give.
Significance may be so hidden by your exhaustion, your need, that you cannot see it. Your life is just way too hard.
And growth? Who has time or energy for growth when you are THIS busy?
What is missing in YOUR picture?
What does the most important person here need? YOU!! What do YOU need?
To solve your dilemma, begin creating a system that will free your time, your energy, your emotion. Believe it or not, growth is what’s needed.
“Wha-a-a?” you say. “How can I have time or energy for more education?”
This education will help you find the tools, the methods, the processes to begin the system that will free you from the whirlwind of your life.
You are too valuable and too wonderful to keep being vulnerable to your fear, your whirlwind and your exhaustion.
Why not now?
Why not you?
Books to read ASAP:
Dalio, Ray, Principles
Gerber, Michael E., The E-Myth Revisited
Baker, Chris, Real
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker