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From the editor’s desk: Quit the negative thoughts and carve your own path

Aug. 20, 2020
Only you have control over your thoughts, and you can rid yourself of the negative ones. Do not put yourself down, and do build yourself up. You'll be surprised at the positive differences you'll see in life and in practice.

I want to start by saying this: never tell yourself, “I’m such an idiot. I don’t know why I don’t just give up!”

You must remember that you are in control of your own destiny, truly! You can direct where your life goes.

Have you ever dated someone who said things like, “You’re too fat,” “Your hair looks awful,” “You can’t be successful,” “You’re such an idiot,” or “Why do you even try?” Wow! If you hung around someone who talked that negatively to you, you wouldn’t want to hang around them very long.

Have you ever passed a stranger and struck up a conversation? “Oh, those look good, what aisle did you find them in?” “It sure is a beautiful day.” “You look awful in that.” “What were you thinking wearing that color, it looks hideous.” “Why do think you can accomplish that? You’re an idiot.” Some things you would never say to a complete stranger.

Who do you talk to the most? Your spouse? Your best friend? Your parents? Would you believe the answer is, you talk to yourself more than you talk to anyone else. “I’ve got to do laundry.”  “What am I making for dinner?” “Where should I go for vacation?” There are also all of those negative comments that you tell yourself about yourself every single day! You tell yourself things you would never say to anyone, but when you say them to yourself, it’s OK? Right? No! It is not OK! You need to stop that!

Give yourself a break

I’m telling you, the only limit to your own creativity and success is you. You need to speak to yourself the way you would speak to your friends. Give yourself a break and build yourself up. Motivate yourself and start telling yourself you can instead of you can’t.

We are so critical of ourselves and we worry so much about what other people will think of our choices. We wonder if we will be accepted and liked, and we get lost in that thinking. We think we need the approval of others in order to succeed. Why do we do that to ourselves? I wish I knew the answer.

Negativity is so rampant today. All you have to do is visit social media for five minutes and you’ll become depressed just reading all the crap out there. People think they know what’s best for us. They want to “guide” us and give us direction into what they think is just perfect for us. They have good intentions, but they tend to tell us what they like. In reality, it may not be good for us. Stop allowing people to direct your path. The path of others may not be the best path for you.

Others mean well

I lived a good part of my life thinking that I needed to please others. I allowed people to dictate my path because I wanted to make them happy. These were family members and dear friends who, even though they had good intentions, had no clue what I was destined for. They gave me advice based on what worked for them. I feel like when I quit listening to their ideas of success and did my own thing, I bloomed. I became happier because I was finally in control and did not care what they thought.

Set yourself up for success, the way your friends set you up, and the way your mentors support you. There are many people who love and support you, and those are the people you need to be around. Not for approval, but for support, love and positive attention, and guidance without judgement.

Start telling yourself how amazing you are, because you are! Start paying attention to your goals and plans. Start making time for yourself and take steps to get where you want to be. Start with you

Tija Hunter, CDA, EFDA, CDIA, CDSO, CDSH, MADAA, is a member and current vice president of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), where she holds the honor of Master. Tija is the editor of Dental Assisting Digest and contributes to Dental Economics magazine. She is the director of the Dental Careers Institute, a dental assisting and dental continuing education program, and the author of seven continuing education courses. She is an international speaker and a certified trainer in nitrous oxide in several states. She can be reached at [email protected].