Comparison has become a destructive force in our society, particularly in the field of dentistry. While comparison may have served an evolutionary purpose in the past, helping us gather information and make decisions, it has now transformed into a trap that steals our joy. The rise of social media has only exacerbated this issue, as we are constantly bombarded with false narratives of others’ perfect lives. The accessibility of electronic devices has made it all too easy to compare ourselves to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.
One young dentist, Amber, has experienced the detrimental effects of comparison firsthand. She has spent months comparing herself to her more experienced colleagues and has developed anxiety as a result. This anxiety manifests itself in fears about cases not progressing perfectly, temporary veneers falling off, and other aspects of her work. What is particularly disheartening is that Amber’s experience is not unique. Many dentists struggle with comparison and the toll it takes on their confidence and mental well-being.
During her own periods of healing, the author of the article also experienced the fear of falling behind. The pressure to keep up with colleagues and not miss out on important opportunities can be overwhelming. The fear of missing out, or FOMO, often leads dentists to neglect their own healing and push themselves back into anxiety and stress. It begs the question: can we truly take time to heal and disconnect if we are constantly preoccupied with what others are doing?
The danger of succumbing to FOMO and returning to the rat race prematurely is very real. Just as with any unhealed condition, reverting to old habits can lead to depression and anxiety. It is crucial to combat FOMO and prevent it from taking hold. This starts with the explanations we provide our minds. Life is difficult and unfair for everyone at times, regardless of gender or profession. We all have to face challenges and take time to heal. No one is exempt from this.
The author is happy to report that Amber is doing better with the help of therapy, medication, and support from her family. She has learned to manage her anxiety and stay away from social media to avoid negative self-comparison. The key is to understand and believe that we are all on equal footing in the game of life. We may experience hardships at different times and with varying intensity, but we all have the tools to overcome them.
In conclusion, comparison is a destructive force that steals our joy and leads to anxiety and stress. It is exacerbated by the influence of social media and the fear of missing out. Dentists, like Amber, often struggle with comparison and the toll it takes on their confidence. However, it is possible to combat FOMO and embrace healing by understanding that we all face challenges and need time to heal. No one is exempt from the hardships of life, and it is important to prioritize our mental well-being.