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Note from Jason Tierney: Dr. Jeff Rodgers was a dentist just like most of you reading this. He wanted more. He was dissatisfied with his career, with his life.  Then something changed. He changed. From his physical fitness to the immense growth he’s experienced in his practice, Sleep Better Georgia, he is a living testament to the rewards of executing habitually on one’s commitments. Welcome to Dr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood. —Jason Tierney

I have a saying that sits on my desk as a constant reminder of where I was and where I want to be. It simply reads: “Don’t be a dead squirrel.” Squirrels are certainly quick enough to escape oncoming traffic, but only if they choose one path, i.e., get the hell out of the path of oncoming vehicles. If they freeze in fear, they’re not going to live to eat another acorn. I should know. I used to be a dead squirrel, languishing in the middle of the road doing nothing and suffering from analysis paralysis. I failed to act because of my fear over what could go wrong.

My internal dialogue was constant and exhausting, sounding something like this:

Should I buy stock in that widget company? What if it goes down? What if it goes up?

Should I hire that extra employee? What if revenue doesn’t go up?

Should I treat this patient for OSA even though they may need some dental work? Will they be upset if their appliance needs to be remade?

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was living out of a scarcity mentality, and I was trapped in the small world I had created for myself. Thanks to some traumatic life events and the help of an outstanding counselor, I had a conversion at the core of my being. I learned to recognize the mental, emotional, and relational cost of living in fear and staying small. The office was stagnant, my number of friendships was small, and I never moved forward. So, I changed. Dramatically.

My circle of friends changed. My personal life changed. My office changed. My body changed. Even the car I drive changed.

Don’t get me wrong; this kind of change is really hard, and I can’t tell you how many times I was wracked with even more fear over the changes I was trying to make. I was being told that this path would lead to a better life, but I didn’t experientially know it yet. Luckily, that too, changed quickly.

The fear doesn’t go away completely; it’s still there sometimes, but it no longer rules my life or hijacks my internal monologue. It’s simply a reflexive instinct, left over from some old beliefs that I’ve learned to work through. Now those thoughts are less like roadblocks in my way and more like clouds that float through my mind while I press on to bigger and better things.

If you suffer from “analysis paralysis,” I encourage you to look closely at what it’s costing you and how it benefits you. After all, you get to create your own life. It takes courage to work on yourself and take big, bold steps, but it’s a fun road to be on when you’re not stuck in the rut of your own fear. I’m still on the journey—and it is a journey, not a destination—but I know that there’s no way I’m ever going back.

Start working on yourself. I’ll be here on this road with you, and there are lots of other people out there who want you to think big, live big, LOVE BIG. Here’s the thing: when you consciously create your own life, you inspire others to do the same.

If Dr. Rodgers’ words resonate with you, and you need a real kick in the @$$ to change your practice and change your life, then pick up your copy of Transform Dental Sleep: The Step-by-Step Guide to Doubling Your Sleep Patients, Increasing Physician Referrals, Simplifying Processes, & Improving Your Life. You’ll do more. You’ll grow more. You’ll be more.

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