Helping people to look and feel better while helping them regain and maintain their health is highly commendable. Unfortunately, patient resistance, opposition from your team, insurance companies, labs, suppliers, and countless other forces can gradually wear you down. They divert you from your mission of serving others with the skill and healing gifts you’ve acquired. The result? You become “off purpose”. Your focus is on all the negative aspects of a dental practice and the negative, challenging patients. Sound familiar? There are ways to re-focus on your purpose, and re-kindle the fire for practicing dentistry. The first step is to clearly define and write down your purpose. Then, make it widely known to your patients, your team, your associates – everyone. People will agree with your purpose, and strongly support you when they feel it radiating from you each day that you are fired up and love what you do which is more important above all else. A good gauge for determining if you are on purpose is to ask yourself a simple question: Do you still enjoy talking about dentistry all the time, all day long? It’s amazing what transpires when your conversations are about what you love and believe in, rather than on what you dislike or what is superficial (i.e., politics, the weather, the economy, etc.). Remember why you chose to do what you do, and why you chose to make the huge commitment and investment of your time, finances, and other resources into the practice: To help sick people get well, and to prevent the well from getting sick. This a noble cause, and everything else that happens over the course of your day which does not align with this mission of serving other in this way, should be secondary, and should not negatively control your life.
One final suggestion would be to seek coaching. Having a strong and trusted ally in your corner, helping you overcome obstacles and challenges in your practice, can keep you on track and on purpose, which is a sure route to success. A good coach will help you stay on your game and remain enthusiastic. He/She won’t let you be content with your successes, and will keep you certain that the best thing that could happen to a person would be to come into your practice.