Shining a light on mindset in dentistry

Tracy Stuart shares with readers her perspective on the importance of mindset, how she has used it to overcome some of the challenges of 2020 to her benefitTracy Stuart shares with readers her perspective on the importance of mindset, how she has used it to overcome some of the challenges of 2020 to her benefit, and how we can all prepare for a positive 2021.

Why do you believe mindset is so important in achieving success in dentistry?

Tracy: If you have a specific picture in your head, that’s what you’re going to manage to achieve. So, if, for example, you have a very negative picture towards sales, then you’re going to achieve poor results. When I help clients change their message from convincing or pushing people to buy something to the reality – which is that they’re actually helping somebody have a better life and be a happier person – then people are more likely to embrace those ideas. Only then will they achieve a profitable practice with a dynamic team.

This year, has mindset been more important than ever before?

Tracy: Yes, because – and you hardly need me to tell you this – for most dental practices this has been the hardest year they have ever faced and, without the right mindset, there’s been no safety net that we might have experienced previously. If you’re not in the right mindset and you’re not embracing change, you’re not going to survive. Your practice isn’t going to come through this.


Clearly many practices will need to make some changes, and mindset is key. How does mindset impact the training and coaching you deliver?

Tracy: Experience has taught me that resistance to change and the obstacles people put in the way are the manifestations of fears they have built up over the years. It’s a culmination of their current thoughts, their upbringing and their beliefs over time. So, by focusing on mindset I can help dentists and their teams make different choices and have a different world view, which drives them to make changes and achieve more positive outcomes.

You can’t do that unless you’re actually changing the outlook, which is the mindset. Are you going to be in a judging mindset? Or are you going to be in a learner mindset?

Most of us are actually in a judging mindset, and we’ll always have reasons why something can’t work. Usually those are ideas that we’re repeating from our parents, and we need to embrace our own beliefs and outlook instead. I help people do that.


How does that fit in with your perception of the profession’s current mindset?

Tracy: I think the profession falls into two camps – those who are really fearful and are burying their head in the sand and those who are embracing change wholeheartedly, being proactive.

If I could offer my own experience of 2020 as an illustration, it’s no different to my fitness journey in many ways. When COVID-19 hit the headlines and as we learned more about who was most susceptible to a poor outcome, one of the messages was that if you’re fat, over 50 and asthmatic, you’re in trouble. I’ve a few years to go yet, but I was concerned about my weight and I am asthmatic. I thought, am I going to be afraid and bury my head in that sand and perhaps die if I catch COVID or am I going to fight this and do something about it?

At the same time, like so many others, I was on Zoom and looking at myself for hours every day. The truth is, my online images were from 2013 and I avoid mirrors. So I was suddenly confronted with the reality of how I looked; I didn’t like it and I knew I had to make some health changes.

For all of us in dentistry, it’s time to wake up, smell the coffee, and realise that you need to make a change to survive. That’s what I’ve done from a personal perspective, and that’s what practices need to do from a professional and business point of view.

NBS Training plans to release a survey in the New Year to gain insight to the profession’s opinions on mindset to understand the best ways in which to support the dental profession in 2021.

For further information on this survey or to find out how Tracy could help to support your business through these challenging times, please visit or follow Tracy on Instagram @nbstraining

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar