Although in the title I used dental assisting, this article is about every person who wasn’t sure what they wanted to be, but felt the pressure of society looming in on them and just picked the first thing that sounded like it would pay the bills and wouldn’t be too difficult.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that an adult from the ages of 18-48 has an average of 11.7 different jobs in that time period. According to Forbes, only 52 percent of people are satisfied with their job. What do those two statistics tell us? We can’t decide what we want and even when we do decide, there is only a 50/50 chance of being happy in that position. So what’s going wrong here? Where does it start and how can we be one of the 50 percent of people happy with their jobs? Lets think back to childhood.
We’ve all heard it as children and we’ve all said the first great thing that pops in our little heads. When that question is asked to an adult, there is one big difference in the response. While children will say the first great thing they think of; Doctor, fireman, veterinarian or princess. Adults will think of those same great things but tell themselves they can’t do it or it’s too much schooling or some other excuse. They then proceed to go down the line in their heads, physician’s assistant? No too much school and I might not stick with it. Investment banker? No I’m not that great at math and it’s got to be hard if it pays that much. What can I do that pays a decent amount, but isn’t that hard and doesn’t take too much school? Maybe a dental assistant!! (or enter in whatever safe and decent job you could think of or you may be actively doing) I don’t need tons of school, the work is fairly easy, it’s a safe job and pays a decent amount. Sure why not, I’ll just be a dental assistant.
Many of us are maximizers. We are always looking for more, and who can blame us? What do you get when you mix the fear of failure with the search for “more” from a job? You get 11.7 different jobs in your life and likely not truly enjoying most or any of them.
There is nothing wrong with the drive for more. It is a quality that has made many people, including me, very happy. The issue is mixing the fear of failure into that. Do you want more? Great. Do you want more, but don’t think you could do it or worried you might lose everything you’ve worked for? Not so good. It keeps us in a state of constant clocking in and clocking out and following people living a more fearless life on Facebook or Instagram.
So dream big! Please realize how much you deserve your dream job and your dream life. We all experience that fear; likely that feeling will never fully go away. All you can do is recognize that fear, realize that fear is our brains trying to keep us safe. That fear can be good, but not in this instance. Tell your fears that you’re smart enough and hard working enough to do anything you want and to fuck off.
P.S. I send my deepest apologies to all the dental assistants who find this offensive. My bad.