There’s no question that the field of dentistry is in desperate need of a mindset transformation. Dentists have the highest suicide rate of any medical profession despite reporting some of the highest rates of job satisfaction. There’s a disconnect between what our industry claims and the reality of the career. Something has to change.
Dentists, You Deserve More.
I recently sat down with Paul Sheppard, a life coach, IEM therapist, and NLP practitioner, to discuss this critical need for a mindset transformation, starting with raising your deserve level. You can check out the podcast in its entirety here, but I’m going to share three of the points I touched on during the interview: establishing a healthy deserve level, becoming your authentic self, and stopping self-sabotage.
1. Establish a Healthy Deserve Level to Create a Healthy Mind
The first step to raising your deserve level involves establishing what a healthy deserve level looks like.
What do I mean by “healthy?” When we think of health, we typically only think of physical or mental health. However, there are five domains of health that are critical to our overall wellness:
Each of these five domains are interrelated with respect to our health. If one suffers, the others will suffer as well.
For example, your mental health is affected by your financial health. If you sit up at night worrying about retirement, debt, or payroll, you are not functioning with optimum mental health. This creates a cascade of negative impacts on other areas of your life. Your mental health can also affect your physical health by causing you to feel too anxious or depressed to exercise and eat a balanced diet.
Shoring up each of these areas of your life allows you to create a baseline for recognizing that you deserve more.
2. Be Your Authentic Self
The way we present ourselves can stand between us and our happiness.
We have two ways of presenting ourselves. The first is our social persona — the way we interact with the world and the image we project to others. Some individuals create a mask between themselves and the people around them to avoid exposing aspects of their lives and personalities they think that others won’t like.
How unbelievably stressful! Spending your day hiding from the world in secret shame is not going to improve your mental health or help you feel worthy of upping your deserve level.
That’s where the second way we present comes in — the way we see ourselves. Giving up the internal stories we repeat about ourselves can actually be harder than removing the projection we’ve created. Some of us have a pretty high tolerance for misery and can accept a lot of self-punishment.
Becoming your authentic self is not easy at first. You may have to acknowledge hard truths. You may have to share things you’ve gotten into the habit of hiding. Once you’ve practiced authenticity for a while, you’ll find that you were probably participating in a combination of denying your actual faults while making up new ones to help you berate yourself further (we’ll talk more about that self-sabotage shortly).
Being your authentic self is far easier than projecting what you think the world wants to see. Whatever you’ve been doing to mask your authenticity, it’s time to get it out and transform your mindset. Get the hard stuff past your teeth and interrupt the patterns that cause you to expect the worst and hide who you truly are from those around you.
3. Stop Self-Sabotaging
You don’t get what you deserve in life; you get what you think you deserve.
That concept holds true in your career, your family, and your friendships. Too often, we limit ourselves by setting arbitrary benchmarks that have nothing to do with the reality of what we can actually achieve. That’s where self-sabotage begins. If you do not recognize that you can aim higher than your own self-imposed limitations, you begin to sabotage everything outside of your expectations to fulfill the prophecy you created.
You don’t feel like you deserve more. You have artificially frozen your own progress because your mindset is forcing you to reside in pain and suffering.
Stopping self-sabotage begins with integrity. We tend to think of integrity as a behavior we practice with other people. However, integrity begins within, as part of your relationship with yourself. Do you keep the promises you make to yourself? Do you think you deserve to honor the goals you set?
Working from a foundation of integrity allows you to establish the deserve level for your life. You are the one thing in life that is completely within your control. You set the tone for your life. Once you realize that, you can begin to grow in ways you never imagined.
Transforming your mindset and raising your deserve level may be uncomfortable at first. I know that better than anyone because I have had to do the hard work myself. However, getting through the discomfort can help you recognize and establish the patterns that will bring you freedom, joy, abundance and a future free from fear.
You deserve it.
Want to learn more about how raising your healthy deserve level can help you personally and professionally? Right now I’m giving away free copies of my book Raise Your Healthy Deserve Level. You can grab yours here.