Twisted Thinking: Labeling
When you think about labeling, you might think about the classic high school labels conveyed in popular movies such as the jocks, the outcasts, the popular kids, the rebels, the overachievers, etc. In each example, a label is placed on a teenager or group of teens based on one fact about them. The teen plays football? He is automatically labeled a jock, even though football is just one aspect of his personality, not the whole. Labeling occurs in many aspects of life, even in the dental and orthodontic world. Sometimes labels are placed on us by others, and sometimes we are the ones placing labels on ourselves.
Labeling is defined as assigning something or someone to a category, especially inaccurately or restrictively, just like in the high school example. Labeling is actually an extreme form of the All or Nothing mentality covered in Part 1 of New Patient Group’s Twisted Thinking series.
All or Nothing Thinking is allowing one action or fact to determine the entire success of something, rather than examining the whole to determine the success. For example, say you’re on a diet and you’re doing really well following the diet’s guidelines. You’ve been on this diet for six weeks without straying from your meal plans and are enjoying your meals and making some strong progress toward your health goals. One night, you break out the ice cream and decide to take a little bite. If you apply the All or Nothing mentality to this situation, once you take that one bite of ice cream, you begin to think to yourself, “Well, I’ve ruined my diet now.” And then you proceed to eat the entire tub of ice cream and you completely quit your diet rather than just savoring the one bite and continuing on with your progress. You completely dismiss the previous six weeks of meeting your goals with the All or Nothing mentality.
Now if you take that All or Nothing mentality to the extreme, you might even put a label on yourself and say something like, “Wow, you can’t even follow a simple diet? What a loser.” By placing a label on your behavior, you’re placing an incorrect name on yourself and ignoring your diet successes. Labeling can be super detrimental to your attitude and your actions, especially if the label is a negative one.
Think about a goal you might set in your practice. Let’s say your goal was to hit $100,000 in your next month of sales, but you only revenue $95,000. Instead of recognizing how well you and your team did, you decide to look at the negatives and think about how your office came up short, you never reach your goals, you’re such an underachiever. This isn’t true in the slightest. Instead of labeling yourself and your practice, evaluate what your practice did over the past month. What was successful? Where can you improve in the next month so that you can not only reach but exceed next month’s goals?
abels negatively affect you and in turn, affect the success of your entire practice. It is extremely important to be aware of our All or Nothing mentalities and to prevent yourself from placing labels on yourself, and others.
Just like the stereotype labels placed on high schoolers in movies, we can’t and shouldn’t place labels on people, including ourselves, just because of one factor or scenario. Once you place a label on someone or something, you really impact your feelings toward that subject, and this can negatively spiral out of control, affecting your attitude and performance.
Remember, scenarios happen, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. Don’t make yourself or others feel worse about a scenario, your attitude affects your reaction and how you react affects now and later.
Our team at New Patient Group is here to help walk you through any and every scenario you encounter in your practice. We are here to help transform your practice, your marketing tactics, and your business culture. Our goal is to use our coaching and digital marketing expertise to help you thrive in the new economy and to help you stand out from your competitors.
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