2 min read

I'm Afraid. All the time.

By Dr. Lincoln Harris on Mar 3, 2020 9:15:02 AM

Topics: Cases
Dr Lincoln Harris performs dentistry

Are you

A. Afraid to try a new procedure

B. Afraid to learn a new procedure

C. Afraid you might not be good enough if you did try

D. Afraid you might fail

E. All of the above?

I am also afraid. Only all the time

 I was 15, when I was learning to fly a plane. After several lessons, the instructor suddenly got out of the plane and said, you are ready to fly solo. My heart pounded and with a nervous voice, I made the radio calls. Ten minutes later, whilst not the tidiest landing, I had successfully completed my first solo flight.

I was still afraid, however with repeated practice, the fear subsided to a healthy respect for what I was learning.

  • When I did my first block injection, I was afraid. It took years to grow comfortable giving local anaesthetic.

  • When I opened my practice, I was afraid.

  • When I first started to run conferences, I was afraid of failing. And I did fail.

  • The first time I spoke publicly at one of my courses, just introducing speakers, I was feeling sick, my hands and voice shaking. 15 years later, I no longer feel afraid to speak. Just by practice.

  • I was terribly afraid of implant dentistry and did not learn it for ten years after I graduated.

  • When I started to run courses again, I was even more afraid that no one would come than the first time.

  • I had a huge phobia of sinus lifts for many years.

  • As I look to expand Restoring Excellence I am afraid.

The reason I say this is sometimes people think I can do things because I have no fear. It is not true.

I am afraid. I just do it anyway

Each time I do, I fear that thing less and less.

So if you feel afraid, or anxious or nervous, this is normal.

If you are taking a course in some areas that make you nervous, this is normal.

If the first time you pick up a scalpel makes you nervous, this is normal.

If you begin to teach, and you are afraid that you don't know enough, or that you will be criticised, this is normal.

Many things in dentistry are very difficult and demanding. And if you aren't afraid at the beginning, you probably have a condition.

You are afraid. Do it and the fear will go

What aspects of dentistry make you afraid?

What makes your stomach curl up in a knot?

What have you put off learning because you don't think you are good enough?

Dr. Lincoln Harris

Written by Dr. Lincoln Harris