I attentively watched the television screen as Jillian Michaels (an athletic trainer from the show “Biggest Loser”) barked orders at a lady to move faster and push harder on the treadmill. This was at the beginning of the season and the contestant was very out of shape and looked… well..miserable. She was sweaty, red and breathless as she made uncoordinated movements between her legs and arms. Jillian then said something very profound to this women,
"You have to get uncomfortable before you can get comfortable.”
I was caught off guard to hear such sound advice from a reality television show. But Jillian Michaels was absolutely right. This lady had to put herself in some VERY uncomfortable situations over and over until….. one day she could just jump on the treadmill and run miles without giving it a second thought.
This idea has become one of my personal mantras in dental hygiene. In Dental hygiene the list of ways to get uncomfortable are endless:
· Learning to help out in the front office
· Helping the dentist on his side
· Using new dental software
· Using a new type of instrument
· Substituting in a new office
· Performing a procedure you don’t have a lot of experience in
And the list could go on and on. But, just like the out-of-shape contestant, the more we push ourselves out of our comfort zone the more these once uncomfortable, momentous and overwhelming tasks become second nature and we are able to comfortably make large contributions to any dental office.
This theory was confirmed a couple months ago when I contacted a hygienist with over 30 years of experience last minute to fill in for our hygienist. This hygienist was able to get there just as the patient was showing up. She walked in confidently, asked all of the right questions, and then proceeded to go through her day like she had been there forever. The patients were happy, she meshed with the staff and even offered a hand in the front. This hygienist had undoubtedly gone through some uncomfortable and stretching experiences in the last 30 years and it had paid off.
So get out there and plan on getting uncomfortable because the sooner that happens the sooner you can get comfortable.