Throughout my years as a dental practice owner, I remember times when different fears crept in and sat with me a while:
“What if my practice is losing patients and I don’t know it?”
“What if my best employee leaves?”
“What if I am not as good a business manager as I think and I lose everything?”
I didn’t like these fearful times. It was uncomfortable to say the least.
However I started to see the benefits of these fears. I came to believe that my fears had their own unique and powerful purpose.
Experiencing these fears pushed me to evaluate that which I feared.
For example, when I would suddenly fear that my practice was losing patients without knowing it, I developed a process to find out if that was indeed the case. I also reassessed and finessed our customer service systems to ensure the practice was retaining as many patients as possible by giving them a positive experience.
When a fear came over me that my best employee could leave, I established a system of holding regular one-on-one discussions with each employee. This provided my employees with a safe and supportive space for frank conversations with me about their personal satisfaction, and any issues they saw playing out in the practice that affected their happiness.
When fears about my own performance as a business manager plagued me, I set about to read and research ways to continually improve my skills.
The acronym FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real is true. It is becoming concerned and distracted by things that are not actually happening. It is not reality.
However another acronym that I believe turns fear into a helpful process is FEAR: Face Everything and Rise.
In every instance, once I faced that which I feared and made a plan to avoid it becoming a reality, the fear left me. As the Bible says, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain!”
Fear became my ‘call to action’ that guided me to greater success and helped me to avoid many of the pitfalls of dental practice ownership.
It was when I decided to embrace fear that the question of “What if…?” revealed its unique and powerful purpose.