One of the greatest fears we have in our professional lives as dentists is failure. Case failure, communication failure, marketing failure, team management failure, and on and on.

Dr. Nosti on why failure is necessary in a successful career. What we may not recognize is that a career without risk (and therefore, without failure) can become boring and uninspired. If there is no catalyst for growth, then we can’t learn or change.

We sat down with Dr. Nosti for an introspective interview to discuss this conflict. He has some important things to say about creating systems and explains why always winning can be a form of losing.

Failure to Grow: Dr. Nosti on Systems and Success

Q: What was a pivotal moment in your career?

A: A pivotal moment in my career was being introduced to high quality continuing education in my residency. Leaving dental school, I didn’t feel I was put on a plan for future growth, nor did I understand the influence continuing education could have on one’s practice and career. Participating in advanced dental education with courses that were 12 credit classes or greater (and allowed more in depth topics to be covered) had an unbelievable effect on my dental career.

Q: What is your advice for troubleshooting problems?

A: One word – SYSTEMS. Having a set of systems allows you to be more consistent in your daily practice, including when problems arise. Whether or not you are performing a crown preparation, a posterior direct restoration, a set of veneers, or a full mouth reconstruction, systems allow you to always have something to go back to when situations arise that deviate from the norm.

Problems are a natural occurrence in practice. Over the years, you will face many problems that occur in nearly every procedure you are trying to perform. Just as you have developed a series of systems to complete your procedures, you should likewise develop a series of systems to deal with the problems that arise. Take each problem one step at a time and develop a system that works best for that particular problem.

Q: What about dentistry keeps you motivated and inspired to deal with difficulties or letdowns?

A: I truly feel that in order to grow we must face and overcome challenges. No one likes to lose and no one enjoys failure, but winning all the time becomes slightly stale and boring as well. From our losses or failures come some of our greatest learning experiences. Choosing not to give up, or choosing not to quit, is what allows us to grow and achieve greater success in life.

How do you deal with the fear of failure in your career? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!