I see a lot of discussions online about how our assistants can’t be relied upon and how our front desk can’t handle complex issues and our labs don’t give us what we want, etc, etc, etc.  There have been some folks who try to shame others because of products they use or treatment plans with which they disagree. However, there is one place I rarely see fingers pointed.

The mirror.

By nature, most orthodontists are really smart, driven and focused individuals. We want successful lives and when things don’t workout, it’s normal human nature to want to make it better by creating more systems for others to follow or change labs or hire a different consultant.

But that’s not the answer.

Please don’t take this post the wrong way. You may be an amazing human being. You help your fellow man, do right by your patients and team and generally make the world a better place. Honestly, that’s how I view you. I wouldn’t be spending my time blogging, podcasting, organizing, etc if I didn’t have HUGE faith in my fellow orthodontists. Nonetheless, I ask you following: Are you the BEST person you can be?

Ironically, if you answer “yes, I am the best I can possibly be”, I’m guessing that’s not really the case. We can all get better with how we view ourselves, our patients, our families and the rest of the world.  Self-inspection isn’t everyone’s strong suit. How do I know? I’ve done some crazy things to try and get a better understanding of how I can become a better version of me. How crazy?

I sent an email to 10 friends and family members asking them: “What are a few of my strengths and describe a few things about me that are problematic.” Now here’s the funny part: I got back responses that had the same thing listed over and over again and the even crazier part is that I wasn’t aware of most of the negative ones. So, what do you do when you can see-in clear black and white- the issues that stand in the way of you and your loved ones having better relationships? You have two choices: Ignore them and assume they’re the ones who are the problem, or accept their truth and choose to make changes in your life. I chose the latter, and starting reading books, checking in with those around me and seeing a therapist AND a coach, all with the belief that I can get better.

I know what you’re saying to yourself. “A therapist?!?! C’mon, I don’t need a metal health counselor to help me. I’m good.” Let’s assume you’re not a part of the more than a quarter of American adults who experience depression, anxiety or another mental disorder in any given year.  You WILL benefit by having someone help you look at yourself in a way you simply can’t alone.

Think of it this way: You work out to get healthier even when you’re in decent shape. You try to eat right to get healthier even when you’re not experiencing health problems. You see a chiropractor or massage therapist to avoid bigger issues. Mental health is no different. See someone when you’re feeling great and make your life even better.

I would have told you before therapy that I had an awesome life, a fantastic relationship with friends and family and that I was a pretty good boss. I compare who I was then versus now and I am simply a far better version of myself today.  The effect of therapy on me, to paraphrase the great American Poet Robert Frost:”… has made all the difference.”

And when I think that I’m finally getting “there”, I am reminded of another Robert Frost poem line: “I have miles to go before I sleep.”

Never stop improving in every way you can. The rewards it will pay will be immeasurable.

Wishing you all the best!!!

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we do deep dives into these discussions (and more) , please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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