Well, actually, the odds predict that you’re closer to being a 5. Sorry but that’s just how the math works. According to the math, we are all much more likely to be a 5 out of 10 when it comes to ranking our acumen as orthodontists though most of us believe we are a 10/10. Don’t be upset or defensive. I’m not saying you’re not a good orthodontist, I’m just saying that self assessment is hard and that we are all much more likely to be average than exceptional when it comes to our tooth straightening prowess. Accept it. Own it!

Believe it or not this is a good place to be. Believing I’m average among all orthodontists allows me the freedom to seek out and learn from others who are slightly or even massively better than I am. I cannot do that unless I first admit to the possibility that others can do things I cannot. What a great opportunity and a shortcut!

If, on the other hand, I cling to the idea that I’m exceptional then I believe I already know more than others and turn my nose up at the idea that others know things I don’t and therefore miss out on learning opportunities daily.

Finally, there are just as many exceptionally bad orthodontists as there are exceptionally good. Visualize the Bell Curve to get my meaning. ┬áThe vast majority of us are bunched in the middle but someone has to be the bottom of the totem pole (though none of us consider this possibility for ourselves). In this light, being a 5 out of 10 isn’t so bad!

Look, if you’re awesome and you are presented with verifiable proof of said awesomeness daily then own that. You are one of the few and you deserve the benefits of being a superstar. However, the odds are greatly against any one of us being the Tiger Woods of orthodontics so be wary of and slow to prescribe yourself that mantle. It’s far better to underestimate ourselves, under play our hand and constantly seek to improve no matter what our actual class rank is. Striving to do better every day is what got you here. Why stop now?

 

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