The work we do is often invisible to the eyes of our patients … Do they know the quality of the adhesive ? the brand of that expensive implant ? or the diligent “know how” hidden in a procedure ? “know how” maybe developed during a long course travelling abroad.
There are details of quality that we are the only ones able to see and recognize and we feel often frustrated….. a lot of work, a lot od care to details for what?!’ nobody knows, it seems nobody cares.
And after all your care you have maybe a patient asking : Why this treatment, doctor, is more expensive in your office than others ?!?
The world collapses in these moments…I know. .cause I ‘ve been there.
I had the feeling I was doing that sometimes just for a sort of feeling of “duty” without any reward for my effort. Just the fear of feeling guilty was bigger. So I was going on with a slight sense of frustration.
But That was just the surface …finally I understood what was beneath the surface …and it was when I started reading about a sport I was not really aware of ….Aikido, a martial art.
A good Aikido athlete when goes over the ring (tatami ) is dressed with a special dress (called hakama), this uniform has very long and wide pants completely hiding the feet.
Coming over the ring the athlete will take his place before the match…. sitting in a traditional position (za-zen) :
Knees of the floor, weight on their heels, straight back, a neutral expression on their face and, despite nobody will recognize this …they will force themselves to put the big toe of the left foot over the big toe of the right foot.
Everything happens under the big pants covering feet.
Who could recognize that he is performing everything int he right way? the answer is easy…
Nobody but himself.
Doing this small gesture he is taking a commitment with his teacher, with the art of the discipline he is training for and, moreover, with him self.
Knowing he is performing in the right way gives harmony to the soul of the person.
Knowing that he is doing the right thing shapes his behavior in order to improve his discipline.
The discipline he is building, along the time, gave him the strength to struggle for a goal.
The discipline he is building, is the key to improve the trust in himself and the motivation to overcome the struggles of the life that, soon or later, always arrive.
The discipline he is building soon or later will grow in something other people can recognize..confidence.
So when you re figthting in silence on your dental chair, don’t think you re doing this without a reward.
It’s a ritual you ‘re doing, a ritual where you’re building discipline, determination and confidence in yourself.
You have to wait for the reward…it’s not about doing this a couple of times but hundreds of times.
Like all rituals, the daily gain is invisible but, along time, the result is huge.
Patients recognize the confidence you have built in yourself, and they are attracted by people with real confidence, they accept their treatment plan and they are willing to pay more.
But gaining confidence is not something you can buy, or that you can obtain with shortcuts.
Gaining confidence is a long process, day by day, and everything starts like in Aikido with two big toes in the right, maybe painful, position ….with a neutral and relaxed face waiting further instructions from their sensei, their teacher.
So when you re struggling on your dental chair doing the right thing, don’t think you’re wasting energy, don’t think to the feedback of that single patient.
You’re building something greater…
You just need time.