By: Savanah Craig
I was inspired by the latest Instagram trend showing a thought or doubt you have about yourself, followed by a photo of your younger self who could only dream of being in your shoes today.
I think this trend is really powerful because it is so easy to look ahead and keep moving the goalposts.
- What do I need to do next?
- Where am I lacking?
- How can I improve?
It is easy to get wrapped up in these thoughts, but I think we should all take a moment to reflect on just how far we’ve come.
Reminder: You Have Achieved Something Great
You don’t enter a profession that cares about millimeters and leave without some imposter syndrome.
Dental school breeds competition and teaches you to keep looking for the next obstacle up ahead.
Social media has us comparing our work in the first 3 months out of dental school to those who have perfected their craft over decades.
We all need to take a moment to slow down and remember that we’ve achieved something great.
Reminder: You Get To Help Others Doing What You Love
I would argue that most people became dentists to help others.
You may not have the most impressive cosmetic office, but you’re still dedicating your life to providing services to others.
What a gift you have to be able to use your hands to help those around you!
Yes, the work of being a dentist is hard. It is mentally and physically tiresome to do what we do every single day.
Take a few seconds and appreciate what you are able to do. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be critical of your work and want to improve, but I think we could all give ourselves a bit more credit.
It took so much work and dedication to get to this point in your career and in your life.
Reminder: You Get To Have an Impact on Your Community
I think back to the late nights of D1 year when I couldn’t imagine anything other than textbooks and exams.
Now I get to study procedures and treatments that excite me.
I get to help patients improve their health and educate them about their oral condition.
I get to have an impact on my community, my coworkers, and my profession.
Reminder: Try To Not Get Lost In the Day-to-Day Struggles
It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day struggles of the profession.
Focusing on the negative- on the cases that had bad outcomes, on the patients who didn’t like you, on the crown prep that wasn’t as good as you wanted it to be, is easy.
Maybe the key to surviving and reigniting your passion for this profession is to realize what a gift it is to be able to do what you do each day.
Think about your younger self who couldn’t imagine sitting in your shoes today and how proud they would be that you achieved this goal!
Photo by Karyme França