Core Strengths – step out of your comfort zone

Catherine Rutland shares the value of meeting people in different areas of dentistry and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Catherine Rutland shares the value of meeting people in different areas of dentistry and stepping out of your comfort zone.

As with friendship groups and family, we often find that in our professional lives we tend to meet and communicate with people who we get on with most easily and are familiar with.

Recently, I was asked to speak at a conference where the professionals worked in very different areas of dentistry to my normal group. I attended, but with a little trepidation. 

I soon realised I had no need for concern. The openness and kindness, added with a warm welcome by those I met, was lovely.

To listen and learn from a different perspective was good for me. It made me realise that as much as we think we are keeping our minds open, sometimes you need to step out of your usual comfort zone in order to understand the wider picture.

All areas of the profession are facing similar challenges and ethical considerations in these times of uncertainty and looming change, although slightly different in each jurisdiction.

Patient care is at the centre of everyone’s agenda, especially those most vulnerable in society. 

It can be very easy to stay in a preferred comfort zone of learning and knowledge. 

Alternative challenges

This is important for our scope of practice, as we always need to be learning and reflecting on those areas that are our day-to-day professional lives.

However, sometimes it can be worth expanding out of your own comfort zone. You don’t necessarily need to go with a specific intent. Rather, go to widen your field of knowledge or explore an area that interests you. You never know what might grab your attention or interest!

It won’t necessarily be all about what you learn, but also the views of those professionals that you learn with. Their different experiences, different perspectives and alternative challenges. 

As we navigate the changes ahead, having a wider understanding of what different areas of the profession are facing and therefore being able to see any possibilities of working together, surely must be a positive.

You never know where stepping out of your comfort zone will lead you. Although it may initially seem scary, that’s usually put aside once you realise the benefits of learning something new.

Catch up with previous core strength columns:

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