By Jay Geier
President Andrew Jackson wisely advised that you should "never take counsel of your fears." Another wise man, author Napoleon Hill, reiterated Jackson's point in his book "Think and Grow Rich." Notice, fear is No. 1.
Hill details seven major NEGATIVE emotions.
In contrast, these are the seven major POSITIVE emotions:
Most people don't recognize that they make most of their decisions by taking counsel of their fears. But reality is, that's what people do because decision-making happens "between the ears." The brain is influenced by literally everything that goes on around us. If we let it, the world will zap our positive emotions by constantly barraging us with negative emotions. Through comments, attitudes, and actions, the people around us will either feed our fear, or feed our desire.
Think about this:
- What do you desire that fear leads you away from?
- How often does your "faith meter" get knocked back to zero so you lose your confidence?
- How frequently does your enthusiasm get dashed and you decide to just forget it?
If you let this happen often enough, you'll become best friends with "the excuse." The despicable excuse wheedles its way into your life whenever you take counsel of your fears rather than pursue something you desire.
Have you ever heard of kudzu? It's a leafy vine that grows rapidly and consumes entire trees, bushes, and flowers, slowly killing the plants by depriving them of necessary sunlight and nutrients. Once it shows up, kudzu is difficult (if not impossible) to remove completely and it multiplies at a rate of 150,000 acres every year. I live in Atlanta where kudzu is rampant; it's nothing short of devastating.
Excuses are like kudzu. It may seem harmless to make one little excuse, but one excuse leads to another and then another and before you know it, you're 150,000 acres in and have an excuse environment in your office that will be very hard to control. Excuses are dangerous and can destroy parts of your practice if they become part of your culture. They will suffocate your hard work and suppress your progress.
Proactively fight off excuses to prevent them from taking root and taking over your practice. This starts with you, the leader, and should funnel down to your staff and even your patients. You must create a "no excuses" culture and become completely intolerant of people making excuses. The most important rule you must follow is -- you can't make excuses. You set the tone for what is and is not acceptable in your practice, and this is an area you must laser focus on.
The best way to combat excuse making is to make results happen. Set goals, make plans, and do everything you can to achieve them. If you fail or don't make it all the way, learn from the mistakes and write down what you should do differently, but DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES! If you waste time making excuses, you will completely miss the valuable lesson to be learned.
Commit to being aware of your tendency to take counsel of your fears, and be intentional about not letting yourself make excuses. It's not easy to combat this, but it starts with focusing your energy on what you DESIRE and driving toward it. Don't leave room in your mind for fear to set in, and remember that life is a long journey. Perfection is unachievable, so strive to get better one day at a time. Jumpstart your faith and enthusiasm by pursuing something you desire with great passion. Share your desire and intentions with those around you so they feed that desire, and simply refuse to allow anyone to feed the fear.
Jay Geier is president and founder of the Scheduling Institute. For a free video explaining the system Mr. Geier created for his clients to help them control their outside influences, go to www.SchedulingInstitute.com/bubble. To speak to one of SI's practice-growth specialists, call (855) 589-2919 or email [email protected].
Past DE Issues