As a dentist coach, I hear about professional and personal problems daily. I also spend a lot of time helping my clients to identify the flaws and missing pieces in their practices. I help them set goals and establish plans to achieve their goals. However, even though I think a lot about what’s missing from my clients’ lives, I also know how important it is to focus on the positive. Gratitude will make you a happier, healthier person. Somewhat ironically, it can also help you to define your goals and make changes in your life. When you know what you are truly thankful for, you can make those things the focus of your life. Think about the things for which you are most grateful. How can you make them the center of your personal and professional world?
For most people, family tops the list of things they are grateful for. Whether you have children, or you are close to your own parents, your family should be central to your life. Unfortunately, like far too many dentists, you may be so caught up in your practice that you don’t get to spend as much time with your family as you would like. You may spend such long hours in the office precisely so that you can provide for your family!
Luckily, there are solutions to this seemingly unsolvable conundrum. First of all, just making the commitment to spending more time with your family may help. Tell someone else of your goal, so that you have a third party who will hold you responsible. Second, ask yourself why you are spending so much time in the office. If you are working 60+ hours to keep your practice afloat, there is probably a root cause. Disorganization, micromanaging, poor communication, and the inability to delegate will all mean longer, thankless hours for you. Fixing these problems can help you meet your goal of spending more time with your family.
Your Office Team
Your employees are central to your business. Therefore, it’s a good bet that your staff also makes the list of things to be grateful for. Does your team know this? Do you express your gratitude on a regular basis? Showing appreciation for your team is vital for practice success. Employees who feel valued are more likely to perform to their highest potential. They are also more likely to stick around, so you won’t face the expense and inconvenience of high employee turnover. Expressing your gratitude doesn’t have to be a big production. In most cases, it can be as simple as a word of praise after a job well done. At the same time, however, it is important to acknowledge accomplishments publicly. Mention professional accomplishments at team meetings, and celebrate personal milestones as an office family.
The Opportunity to Do What You Love
Even when things get stressful, you know you are lucky to have found your passion. However, if you have lost your love for dentistry, your career may not even make your list. Before you panic, thinking you are stuck in a field you no longer care about, ask yourself why you have lost your passion. In all likelihood, it isn’t because you stopped caring about the science or because you no longer want to help people. It is because there is a key component missing from your practice. Perhaps you are not focusing on the area of dentistry you are most interested in. Maybe you are unable to connect with your patients on a personal level. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with financial responsibility. Whatever the problem,