We dentists are way too worried about people getting mad at us - people including our patients, our colleagues, our friends and family.
It’s our nature. Most people who are attracted to dental school are approval-addicted, and spend way too much time trying to please others.
Caring for ourselves first and foremost gives us the ability to care better for others. Caring for ourselves first and our family second makes us better dentists.
Because when we are at peace within, we present peace to all around us. Because when we feel good about “me”, we make others feel good about “you” AND about themselves. We emanate strength, love, surety.
When you learn to be happy with who you are, it frees you to pursue all you want to become. (And, the opposite is true. When you are fearful about whether you are “enough”, “good enough,” you are imprisoned and unable to pursue growth, change, and joy).
Approval addiction is an illness that keeps you from living life on your own terms. Pleasing others - you think - will help the others like you, want you to provide their orthodontic/dental care, love you. Nope. It’s the opposite.
Your working to please others is way too hard and doesn’t work. It’s borne of way too much fear. It’s the way you teach others you are a sucker. Oh sure, they may say how “nice” you are, and hang around to get what they want to get from you, but in the long run, the approval-addicted one is way too exhausted, way too confused, way too used, and your life is just way too hard.
Your life is way too valuable and potentially way too wonderful to keep being vulnerable to the fear that begets approval addiction.
As you live in the surety that you are indeed valuable, that you are indeed a love, that you bring incredible life to those around you, you can release the habit of being addicted to others’ approval.
Are you worried about what your staff thinks of you? What your patients think of you? What your colleagues think of you?
It’s time to decide - once and for all - that you are great the way you are, that you will keep growing and learning, that you will design your life, your practice, your each and every day, yourself.
“If you don’t, chances are you'll fall into those other people’s plans. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” ~ Jim Rohn
Once the other folks get what they want from you, they move on to work on someone else’s plan. And someone else moves into your life to try to plan your life.
Decide today. You are way too valuable, way too capable. Let others leave their future, their lives in others’ hands. Not you!!
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