I touched on this on my very first Hodgepodge post, but the best advice I’ve ever been given was the phrase “Fake it till you Make it”. Before I dive in to why that simple phrase was/is so helpful let me say that over the years my parents have given me TONS of life advice. My Dad has many one liners that stick with me (such as “don’t be a victim”), and my mom basically gives her advice by living a life worth following.
Putting all the parenting advice aside, lets take a walk down memory lane to Angie in Dental Hygiene School. Those 3 years in the program were a whole other level of intense and stressful. Besides the rigorous and insane academic load, we had (obviously) to spend a lot of time in the clinic. When I was a senior in high school I got in a serious car accident that led to a good 5 years plus of dental work. Why I still wanted to go into the dental field I’m not entirely sure, but I digress. I had built up an intense fear to dental injections due to all the pain associated with that accident. I knew going into hygiene school that I was going to have to learn how to give them, but that also meant getting practiced on. So we learned the injection techniques in a book, practiced on a hot dog in class once, and then we got paired up to practice on each other! Not only did the thought of getting a shot drive me to tears, but administering one to my friends? I didn’t know what I was doing! Talk about shaking hands and frayed nerves! About half way through that year, and a week after I had a meltdown where the instructor thought I was going through anaphylactic shock (no lady, I’m a redhead, my face does this when I cry), a Dentist on staff said something that stuck.
Fake it till you make it.
I was particularly worried about delivering a tricky injection, and he said to act like I’ve been there before. To pretend I’m confident and then the skill will follow. Oh my gosh, can I tell you how much that worked! It worked that day in class and the rest of hygiene school (which somehow I survived), and it worked my first week on the job in the “real world”. In areas I viewed myself as “weak” in that phrase would give me confidence to believe in myself, at least the future self that would one day be tackling that obstacle with ease.
So thank you Dr. Ward, for trying to calm my nerves, and in doing so giving me an invaluable life skill. Words do have an impact :).
Needles and nerves~