When I googled, ‘how to accept change,’ I got 5,890,000,000 links.

Obviously, there’s an epidemic out there of people yearning for change yet scared they’ll make a mistake or shake things up too much.  Often, they’re waiting for some magic to happen to uplift them. So, do I have something new to add to this huge conversation?  I believe so and particular how change comes into play for Endodontists.

My mentor, Kendrick Mercer always talked about how change gives you back the power instead of allowing outside forces to dictate your life.  This, in my mind, is very empowering thought. We think we’re in control if we don’t change anything, however, it’s just the opposite. He said there are only two ways to deal with anything that is not working in your life:

Change it or find a way to be at peace with it.”

The fact is, companies of all sizes and stripes (that includes Endodontists) need to change with the times or get left behind. Chasing stability, sameness and predictability can’t work in a world that is moving so fast. Nor can it get you out of the doldrums. Without changes, we can’t grow as people and our practices can’t realize their full potential. 

Change can be gradual.  You do not have to replace your whole staff; move your office to a new city; and recreate all your office systems immediately. Once you take an honest look at what is frustrating you, you can address it in small steps in collaboration with your staff. Frustration only grows.  Have you ever had a room painted a color that you disliked as soon as it was up on the wall?  How did you feel about the color 1, 2 or 5 years after? 

Here’s why I think it’s so important for today’s Endodontists to roll with the punches:

Patients Change. Patients have new expectations, in part, because they have become more educated about Endodontics. Word is getting out about the myths surrounding root canals and how advanced procedures make it more comfortable and successful. But they also expect an elevated level of care and compassion. Reputations are built not just on great root canals but on the whole patient experience.  Making smart changes in how patients are treated and the general efficiency of your office usually cost little to nothing and yet can change the trajectory of your practice.

Technology Changes. We can do root canals as we’ve always done them or we can embrace a better way.  It took time for me to make the step to NIE but the rewards have been tremendous. No company or practice that hopes to thrive with ever-higher pressures and competition can afford to ignore the opportunities that changing technology represents. It’s a big change I know, but do your due diligence to find out if the risk will be worth the rewards.

Beyond root canal technology, let’s not overlook the power of the web.  If you’re not using social media to tell your story, you are missing an important part of marketing your practice or “building awareness” as I prefer to call it. Make this change now: assign someone to create even a post a week that will be valuable to patients and/or general dentists.

You Change, Too. Change comes at us, no matter how we hide from it. Some of the benefits of keeping nimble and open to change are a little smaller and closer to home. For a start, embracing change means you get to avoid burnout and routine. You’ll be less frustrated and happier.  That’s what happened to me, big time. If you haven’t given change an honest try, change just one small part of what you do on a daily basis.  It can leave you feeling invigorated and inspired to embrace even more changes in the name of efficiency.

If you’re still worried about weathering change when it happens, don’t be. Change elevates your life if you’re prepared with the right mindset. Be positive. Believe in yourself. Get unstuck!

And finally, take a moment to ask yourself: “Do I love my life. Do I enjoy my work?” If the answer is “not so much,” consider shaking things up one AHA moment at a time!