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Don’t run from change: Embrace it (Podcast)

Oct. 23, 2019
Kevin Henry encourages dental assistants to embrace change instead of resist it. It's often human nature to like things the way they are, but this discourages growth and opportunity.
Kevin Henry, Cofounder, IgniteDA.net

I’m writing this as I sit in Denver International Airport on a chilly October morning. Yesterday, the high at my northern Colorado house was 75 degrees. Tomorrow morning, we are expected to hit a record low of 15.

In the Rocky Mountains, change happens quickly this time of year. The beautiful golden Aspen leaves don’t stay on the trees for long as the wind accompanying the first winter storm of the season is usually not far behind. It’s a fact of life and my wife and I always make sure that, when the leaves turn, we head into the mountains to see them in all of their glory before it’s too late.

You see, change happens every year . . . and we know it’s coming. We do what we can to prepare for it and we take it in stride. Do we wish the golden Aspen leaves would stay on the trees for weeks so we could enjoy their colors? Absolutely, but that’s simply often not the case. We have to take advantage of the time we can to see them as well as be prepared for the winter weather when it closely follows.

Change happens, whether it’s the seasons in Colorado or our lives. Families gain members through births, adoptions, and weddings and lose members through death. Dental practices have team turnover or introduce new technologies or systems. Whether it’s in our personal lives or our work lives, change happens. How we adapt to that change, however, is the key.

In a recent Dental Assistant Nation podcast (that you can hear below), I talk about how dental assistants can approach and anticipate change through a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. Are you going to embrace the change that’s coming with worry or with hope? Are you going to tackle the changes in your life by looking back and wishing things were “like they used to be” or looking forward with excitement about new challenges?

A friend of mine once told me that approaching life should be like driving. Every once in a while, we should check the rearview mirror to see what’s behind us. However, the vast majority of the time we should be looking through the windshield to what’s coming ahead of us. This is also a great analogy for change. If we’re only looking back at what we were comfortable with or wishing we could go back in time to the way things used to be, we’ll never be able to fully embrace what is to come and the possibilities ahead.

Is all change good? Absolutely not. I’ve lost family members and friends who I wish I could talk to again and I’ve had moments where I made decisions that, in hindsight, weren’t the best. But it’s in the past and there’s little I can do about that. I have control over how I handle each day and the change and decisions that it will bring. That has to be the focus rather than forks in the road that have already been taken.

Change is going to happen. How are you preparing for it? How are you going to tackle it so you not only survive it, but thrive in it? If the thought of change scares you, why? What would it take for you to embrace change rather than run from it?

In the Avengers series, the villain Thanos says, “Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same.” The same can be said about change.

 You can hear more of my thoughts on change and how dental assistants can best tackle it and come out stronger on the other end by listening to our podcast here.

#TogetherWeRise

Editor’s note: While we’re on the topic of change, this is the last issue of Dental Assisting Digest for which Kevin Henry will serve as editor. He has accepted a new position in the dental media market. We thank him for his many contributions to the world of dental assisting. We wish him well in his new position and acknowledge that it’s been a pleasure to work with him.