A common trait among those who are struggling in practice is the predisposition to find someone or something to blame for their predicament.
These days, the most convenient culprit is the economy. Nice try. (Read, It’s Not the Economy.) Yet, when this excuse is used, friends and family will knowingly nod in agreement, essentially holding the practitioner faultless for his or her under performing practice.
And if the economy isn’t sufficient, there are always the stingy insurance companies to be blamed. This one-two punch of excuses is enough for many chiropractors to embrace a “learned helplessness” of resignation, emotionally “checking out” of their practice, waiting for the election, a miracle or some other condition to change their circumstances.
But these pale in comparison to some of the other suspects that are blamed. Ironically, they reveal a pattern, which holds the key to putting the blame game behind you.
See if you can ascertain what these frequent targets of blame have in common:
Parents – Whether it was your parent’s divorce or a father who was distant or disapproval of your career choice or marriage partner, parents are easy scapegoats since we all have them.
Chiropractic college – It’s so easy to blame the school you attended for not adequately preparing you for practice. But remember, that wasn’t their objective. Instead, it was merely to equip you to pass the boards. Oops!
Ex-spouse – If your own divorce has made you scarred, angry or resentful, it’s so easy to get sucked up into your self-righteousness.
Practice management company – What they taught didn’t work, was too hard to implement, required you to adopt a new religion, wasn’t “you” or some other shortcoming.
Chiropractor down the street – It’s so easy to think you’re being held back by the jerk down the street “giving it away,” doing stuff that’s illegal or simply ruining it for everybody else.
Chiropractic profession – Did you think this was going to easy? Were you misled to believe that a high traffic location, back lit sign and great clinical results would be all you’d need?
Patients – If the medically-oriented patients in my town weren’t so stupid, my practice would take off.
Do you see the commonalities? They all point to someone or something outside themselves as the cause of their misery. (Outside in.) This is the approach used by children, politicians and the immature. While it conveniently absolves us of responsibility, it simultaneously erects a barrier to our ability to respond (response ability). Thus, until we take responsibility for our circumstances we’ll remain stuck. Or dependent. Victims.
If you wish to extricate yourself you must take responsibility for your circumstances. (Inside out.) This willingness to take responsibility is one of the hallmarks of successful leaders. And while they are quick to seek Divine guidance, they are fully invested in their circumstances—the key to creative problem solving.
Does that mean you take responsibility for the economy, unemployment and diminishing third party reimbursement? No, but take responsibility for adapting to these realities. Which is impossible if you deaden your creativity by secreting even a whiff of one of these unattractive odors:
Entitlement – As in, “I’m a doctor. I shouldn’t have to ________ at this stage of my career.”Waiting for others to solve your problems is just as unhelpful as blaming others for having created them.
Pride – As in, “I’m such a great chiropractor I wish I could adjust myself.”
Rigidity – As in, “I insist that the world line up the way it has in the past and how I want it to.”
Huge opportunities await those who abandon the blame game and the expensive luxury of a private pity party. You absolutely must get into action. Plant your flag. Find your tribe. Ask question. Listen. Serve like you never have before. Regardless of the economy, there are more than enough people who value their health and have the resources to pay for your valuable service. And the first step is to stop blaming others. The next step? Stop blaming yourself!