To find how we become addicted to unrealistic expectations and continue to judge ourselves/develop our self esteem based on our imperfect work,
To accept that we are perfectly imperfect,
To find out how to stop using our short crown margins or short endo fills as a definition for our self esteem,
To forgive ourselves for not being perfect.
Dentists set unrealistic goals of producing text-book like dentistry in a difficult to navigate oral environment. Frustration is triggered when standard-of-care worthy and clinically-acceptable restorations are the norm. Further stress is amassed as our “bread and butter” dentistry begins to be compared to (in our own minds) lecture-circuit-worthy proof of workmanship. Comparing ourselves to the speakers on the big stage makes us feel inadequate. All of those of those combined can be debilitating. Its’ unending intensity can lead to not only to burnout but also to depression.
How do we overcome this? Can we do better? Can we produce more ideal dentistry, to increase the highs and eliminate the lows? Can we work harder at being perfect? The answer is simple: NO. So to say, that if we just became better dentists is unrealistic and erroneous and quite frankly impossible. It’s impossible to attain perfection, each and every time, maybe even ever. We must accept that we are perfectly imperfect.
But, how to stop using our short crown margins and endo under-fills as the definition for our self esteem?
We forgive ourselves for not being perfect. Not walk away from it, but simply forgive, and build on it. And we give ourselves permission to be imperfect.
We also: celebrate strengths, marinade in good moments for at least 90 seco
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