November 2014
Volume 10, Issue 11

What’s Keeping You Up at Night Is Holding Your Practice Down

Examine your personal burdens to find the path to success

Jay Geier

I recently met with a group of the doctors in our 5X coaching program to talk about their journey toward growing their practices five times. We dissected the interplay of their strengths and weaknesses, and brought to the surface what was holding them back. This was a very personal, revealing discussion. We discovered what was holding them back was all in their head—mental barriers. I had them write down three things that were preventing them from achieving everything they wanted to achieve.

This is a list of the top 10 barriers they shared:

10. Negativity

9. Lack of faith in myself

8. Lack of direction

7. Self-imposed limits

6. Fear of unknown

5. Conflict with spouse

4. Procrastination

3. Unhealthy habits

2. Saying “I can’t”

1. Fear of failure

Fear of failure is one of the greatest setbacks in life. It literally means people are terrified of messing up and it paralyzes them from moving forward. They’re terrified of trying something and not being the very best.

Focusing on the Lesson

Today I own and operate the largest training and consulting company in dentistry. I have 170 employees and two training facilities. I can guarantee you I have made more mistakes and failed more times than most people who are going to read this article. What differentiates people is how they respond to failure.

The only way to overcome the fear that you will fail in the future is to leave your past failures behind. Most people just won’t let go of the failures they’ve had and end up carrying them around like baggage. The bigger your baggage gets, the more weighed down you become.

So what does your baggage look like? Is it an oversized, overstuffed, taped-up suitcase with stuff spilling out and seams that look ready to burst? Or is it compact, neatly packed, sleek, and lightweight? Really, think about this. What kind of baggage are you carrying? Are you light on your feet, or being weighed down by everything you’ve shoved in your bag that you won’t let go of?

Maybe someone else even handed you baggage—a parent, your spouse, a partner, or old friend—because they just couldn’t carry all of their luggage alone anymore. They left a piece of their baggage with you—never feeling good enough, anger at another family member—and, because you felt like it was your personal responsibility, you picked up that added weight like it was your own. You didn’t give it a second thought. One day you might even hand it down to your kids, like an inheritance of exhaustion.

The thing is, you have carried all of this junk from your past into the present with you, and unless you change something, you will continue to carry it into the future. It will hold you back.

You can’t eliminate risks, and you can’t go through life living in fear. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to fail. But don’t give up before you learn the lesson. So here’s my advice. When you let a failure come full circle, you also get the lesson, which is very valuable. Instead of carrying all of those negative emotions with you, just carry the lesson. Walk around with a bag full of lessons, not a bag full of regret!

Setting Yourself Free

I want you to try something. Right now, find a piece of paper and something to write with. For 10 minutes, think about your heaviest burdens—the really big ones that are weighing you down. Write down the three things that are holding you back from what you could accomplish—things you should’ve left in the past, things you need to leave in the past right now.

I’ve done this with hundreds of doctors, my entire team at the Scheduling Institute, and my family, and I can tell you that if you commit to writing these things down and leaving them behind, it will change your life. Leaving your baggage behind is a work in progress; it doesn’t just happen in a day. This step will be the beginning of lightening your load, and the first step of many. But you actually have to do it.

Once you’ve written down your three things, give them a good long look—the last look. Now cut yourself loose from that baggage. Take that paper and destroy it—burn it, tear it, flush it down the toilet, bury it. Commit to it.

There are 753 doctors participating in our coaching programs who are focused on building on their strengths and reshaping their futures. If you’d like to learn more about our coaching program, or any other training we offer at the Scheduling Institute, call us at 844-242-1992.

About the Author

Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute. With more than 16 years of experience and more than 2,900 members, Jay Geier’s Scheduling Institute has redefined the industry standard for excellence and is the largest dental training company in the world. For more information on their award-winning coaching and training programs, call 844-242-1992 or visit

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