When it comes to scarcity syndrome I won’t sugarcoat. I’m going to be direct and you’re going to need to be open-minded as you read this article to see how this could be a crop worth weeding out in your life.
Some of the things that have been shared with me by other dentists (and see if any version of them have been thoughts of yours, too) are: If there are other practices nearby, mine won’t succeed. There aren’t enough patients to go around. “Helping other dentists rise will slow down my growth”. “I will only contribute in the ways I want to be contributed to like paying money for marketing to get new patients. But I won’t be hopping on a call with another doctor to brainstorm some ideas for his hygiene department because mine is already humming. I’m busy, and by the way, and what’s in it for me to do that?”
These types of thoughts are detrimental to your time efficiently, poisonous to your creativity, and stunting to your personal development. I’ve spent countless hours with incredibly talented dentists who have fallen into these mind traps. Their focus becomes survival from a fictitious scarcity of patient-flow and self-created fear-driven energy of fending for themselves.
Ask yourself if fending for yourself, being an army of one, knocking others down, fearing change or competition, worrying about a shortage of patients and opportunities, deciding in advance that there won’t be enough…are any of these thoughts producing the kind of energy you want?
Are any of them impacting your personal or professional growth in a way that you want? And if you think that they are, is it possible that there is a more lucrative form of the same benefit you’re after? What is often fueling these cut-throat types of behaviors is fear usually involving insecurity that you can create the level of and consistent success that you desire.
So as you’re reading this, as comical and out of left field as it sounds, I want you to seriously consider where up until now you’ve been doing, or not doing, things that are driven by an energy of scarcity. Driven by the false belief that there might not be enough, or you might not get some, or yours might run out. This could be in reference to patient referrals, case acceptances, profit, or time. If this is a struggle of yours, you know how it feels and where it shows up in your life.
Why are you afraid of competition? Why aren’t you sure of the value you bring to the dental community? This is a big one, why are worrying about other doctors? Whether they’re specific people or just “other dentists” as a generic, faceless group.
Think about the employee who seems to be on their phone every chance they get. In a sense, they’re stealing time from the business. Use that as your parallel whenever you let scarcity syndrome into your brain. Into your BY FAR most valuable asset, your creative space, and let them dwell there. And for what? So you can feel less able? Less motivated? Less focused on building and more focused on destroying someone else’s thing?
Guys, that isn’t nutritious energy!! It’s chewing you up and spitting you out as a less energetic, less enthusiastic, less creative dentist! You’re spinning your wheels on a concept that you’ve bought into that isn’t motivating you.
Create exactly what you want! I am 100% sure that if you truly want something, you’ll figure it out and have it. I know this to be true because it is exactly how I have the things I want and it’s how I build the things I want to have. Vacillating between creative energy and destructive energy costs time and creative space.
When we look at this topic this “scarcity syndrome” from a mind management and brain wiring perspective it’s enlightening. The brain is designed to avoid pain. Failure is, for many people, painful because of the thoughts they have about failing and what they make failure mean about themselves. So the brain is scanning, seeking, and acutely aware of the details in your situations. When something pops up, like the prospect of another dentist practicing the area, the brain registers that as a threat. If you’re not aware of what’s happening, you’re going to follow the bunny trail of threat exterminating and safety-seeking thoughts.
What if you noticed the possibility of another dentist moving in a couple of miles from you. You noticed that your brain offered you thoughts of scarcity. The shortage of possible patients in the area divided now by two or three or so. And you paused… and decided to take a 30,000 sqft view of what was happening. What if you could see yourself as the ambitious dentist that you are. Determined to grow your practice and serve your community. You watched yourself become uncomfortable with the knowledge that another dentist might be joining the party.
Notice why that makes you uncomfortable. Notice the thoughts you’re having, notice the worries, notice the fears, and question all of them. It’s fine that they pop into your mind. But one thing I’ve learned as a strong and determined person is that my thoughts are so well articulated. I’m so strong-willed that when I come to a conclusion about something it seems factual. I’m sure of it! But I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. As temporarily uncomfortable as it can be, consider being wrong about thoughts or conclusions. It is far more painful to remain attached to an incorrect idea that we’ve decided is true.
So if you notice that your brain is telling you that another doctor in the area is a threat to your ability to succeed, or that there aren’t enough patients for you to generate the kind of wealth you’re wanting to, or that because your techniques are different, or your software is frustrating, or your pano is too clunky, or whatever evidence your brain is finding that things aren’t going to work out…redirect. Immediately. I see absolutely no benefit to you in marinating in those types of thought processes. It’s scarcity syndrome. They aren’t facts, first of all, they’re fears, and they don’t generate the kind of feeling you need to stay focused on and rapidly heading toward your goals.
Look at where you’re at, decide where you want to go, and consider whether the obstacles in front of you could be incredible opportunities to grow and succeed rather than reasons that you will fail.
Figure out how all of it might be in your favor?!!
With the new dentist in town, is there something you can learn from him? Are you possible business partners? Or simply friendly neighbors with at least one obvious thing in common?
How are there definitely enough patients in this world within your reach and what do you need to do to reach more of them? What additional value can you bring to the warm bodies already in your practice? What can you do to improve the value you and your team bring?
You are the CEO of your brain. It is under your direction at all times. Enforce your authority. Especially when there are untamed thoughts telling you there’s a scarcity of the things you most desire. Because you may be wrong about that.
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