Your Dental Future: Fearless or Frightened

There are two sides to everything.  The good and the bad, the risk and the reward, the hope and the anxiety, the liberty and the responsibility.  We’ve got one such example next Tuesday.

And then there’s tomorrow, Halloween, with both Tricks and Treats.  Everyone loves the surprising, mysterious, magical, and unexpected when hidden in a haunted house, dressed in costume, or covered in chocolate.

In business, and I’d say especially in dentistry, those same surprises, mysteries, and the unexpected aren’t so welcome.

The good news is, they don’t have to be.  In fact, the more purposeful you are with your actions and the more detailed you are with your vision, the more apt it is to come true – sans the unpredictable.

That is your choice to make: march forward ever fearless as you take on whatever scary challenges arise or remain frightened of the unknown, hesitant to enter the darkness ahead.

There are certainly Tricks, and not just those on Halloween, that should scare you because they are what hold you back from being your best self, prevent you from achieving your highest potential, and stop you from enjoying more fulfilling success.

There are five really Tricks that haunt even the most accomplished doctors and inevitably inhibit you from fully realizing what you are capable of.  They cloud your view, darken your path way, and create a more hazardous trek.

However, if you are able to break free from these frightening hexes and spells, then you really will be without fear for your future and be able to go (as the quote says), confidently in the direction of your dreams!

I’ll give you the five Tricks you let be played on you right now and that’s the best Treat I can offer you this Halloween…

First, there are Limiting Beliefs; the real-feeling shackles that are nothing more than illusions in your mind.  

No doctor achieves more than they believe they can and every doctor whom I help breakthrough to levels they once didn’t even imagine always points back to releasing themselves from the limiting beliefs they have been chained to for so long.

Next, there are those ghostly Preconceived Ideas that haunt nearly everything you do.  These are what you assume to be true (for any number of reasons), even though they only appear because you allow them to exist.  Your past does not determine nor dictate your future.  

They say perception is reality and it’s so very literal when you’ve made up your mind in advance of ever even giving something – mainly you – a chance to succeed.

Whether this relates to money up front, treatment in full, how much dentistry you can do, taking time off, or doing more in a lot less (days, hours, space, patients, etc.).  You predetermine what to expect and, guess what, it’s typically what you receive.  If you cast these ghostly notions out, you’ll soon see what’s possible.

The next vexing spell that hovers over your entire practice is Industry Norms.  Who wants to be “average” after all?  Well, I’ll tell you, there are plenty of boring ghouls and goblins that want every doctor to be the same and every practice to function the same.

The first sign that a doctor and I are destined to be lifelong friends and have a great player-coach dynamic is when they identify by NOT wanting to be like every other doctor or already aware just how uniquely different they are.

You might make Halloween snacks with a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter but you can’t make a business successful with one.  I’m sure you will agree, no two doctors (let alone teams, patients, practices, locations), are the same.

Once you rid yourself of the cursed industry trends and start practicing on your own terms (not beholden to set metrics, hours, fees, or anything else), watch what happens to your practice, your attitude, your energy, your optimism, your confidence, and your bank account.

They tell us “you should be at, the very most, 85% of 2019 numbers” because of the shutdown and then they say “you shouldn’t expect Dentistry to ever return to the way it was… costs up forever, patients down forever, diminishing profit forever, and increased commoditization forever.”  You can accept this if you are fine with near mandatory insurance for every patient or the need for massive numbers of new patients or running up your overhead to unsustainable levels.  

I say, “No Thank You!”  Many of my doctors (who represent a wide variety of practices), are having records years or at worst remain on par with 2019 with greater profitability.  Plus, they are excited to take the same number of weeks off next year as this year but do it on their own terms without shutdowns and still crush it… Because they (and I hope you too), set your own norms and standards. 

Next, we move to the curse that results from breaking free of the first three evil Tricks and that is: Negative Criticism. 

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about… the “don’t you have enough” or “you work too hard” or “why aren’t you satisfied” or “that’s not how it’s supposed to be” or “who do you think you are.” The best way to counteract this hex is to put it all in your jack-o-lantern and light it on fire.  None of it is constructive and none it is valid.

You will only continue to thrive if you put a magic cloak around your psyche, protecting it from those who wish ill upon you.  Allow it to be fortified by the people that support your vision, ambition, preferences, and dreams.

Finally, we arrive at the one spell which is the hardest to break.  It will always and forever plague even the best of doctors and high performers.  I’m talking about the reality of Underperforming Complacency that robs you of your most precious potential.

Countless doctors waste years of their lives stuck in the muck of mediocrity because it seems ‘good enough’ even though they know it isn’t.  It’s the feeling that you’ve already arrived or that things can’t get better or that you’ve been forced to settle or that you gave up on your grandest dreams.

Yet, upon breaking this spell, their grasp upon you begins to deteriorate and you find your truest self, you get your passion back, and you discover new dreams to chase.

Whether that’s finishing your career strong or it’s kicking it into high gear to arrive at your ‘work by choice’ status of financial freedom faster or it’s to expand your practice or enhance your lifestyle by having more fun or all of the above.

As you have wisely shown up here, knocking on my door saying “Trick or Treat, Scott.”  I offer you this TRICK of the brain: What are you afraid of if you have nothing to fear?

Second, my final TREAT to you breaks each one of these five spells so that you can be the victor over not victim to.  I am giving to you the permission to defeat these Tricks, because you already have everything else you need.

So, now that you’ve been trick-or-treating with me, let yourself discover your real potential and open your mind to all that’s possible.  It’s time to cast aside the fright and go fearless into your future…

Happy Halloween!

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