Dentists, listen up. We are about to set off on a journey to understand the ‘Art of Dentistry’ so that we all fulfil our potential. Actually, at the moment, it’s only me booked on this trip. But I’d like you to come. I’m going to be really lonely otherwise.
So are you coming or what?
The first step to fulfilling your potential is valuing yourself and valuing your patients. When you value yourself, amazing things start to happen.
- Your patients value you more. Valuing yourself is the first step to demonstrating that value to your patients. When you understand your own worth, a happy side effect is that everyone can tell. Your confidence will show. You won’t bend over backwards and let people waste your energy. You won’t prioritise everyone’s time over your own.
- You provide a better standard of care. If you value your own skills, patients value them too. When explaining treatments, patients will see the benefits and chose the treatments that you recommend. If you’re stuck in a rut where patients want the cheapest rather than the best, it’s because you don’t demonstrate your value.
- You stop running late. If you run late every day, you are trying to do too much. This normally happens when you have stopped being a dentist and started being a filling factory. And why does this happen? It happens because you’ve forgot what you’re worth. Stop it. Take a breath. Slow down.
- You earn more. When you stop running late, you have more time. You can discuss different treatments and you have time to explain why one treatment may be more suitable than another. Patients see your worth and chose better treatments. Please note that earning more should not be the goal. You will earn more by accident. But it should never be why you do dentistry.
- You feel less stressed. If you have discovered your own value, you have more time, you provide better care and you earn more. You also have happier patients that will trust no one else. When this happens, stress levels decrease. Being a dentist is always going to come with stress but the above benefits all add up to make life that bit easier.
- You enjoy being a dentist more. This is really important and is often something that gets forgotten. If you are going to give up the best part of your day to work, you have to enjoy what you’re doing.
- You sleep better at night. Add up all of the benefits listed above and there’s no way that you won’t sleep more soundly in bed.
One of the big perks of valuing yourself is that you start to value your patients more. You stop resenting ‘them’ as if you can group all patients together. Your patients are what make your day interesting. Your patients allow you to demonstrate your value and make your work rewarding. Your patients probably value you a lot more than you think already. Learn to love them.
A final point
When you understand your own value, your problems at work shrink away. Things that used to concern you will suddenly feel much less significant. You start to see that you are a lot bigger than dentistry. This allows you to rise above it all and you can finally see how your career can serve you, not the other way around.
Value yourself and value your patients. Once you do this, dentistry becomes so much more rewarding. Start to reflect on how your work today. Change the way you think, change how you work and change your life for the better.