A few years ago for Christmas I got given a book called “The Mammoth book of Insults”.
Whether someone was trying to tell me something I don’t know.
Anyway, it’s sat on a bookshelf largely forgotten about until yesterday when I took it down, blew the dust off the top and dipped in to it.
It’s pretty funny. Full of the put-downs and come-backs we all on occasion wish we had come up with and think of only far, far too late. And as you might expect the vast majority of the content consists of quotes by the famous about the famous – a real who’s – who throughout history.
And reading some of the more acerbic of them got me to thinking about what one of my mentoring clients said to me a few weeks back. We were deciding upon strategy to grow her practice, and she said “won’t my colleagues get upset by all this?”
I said to her “You know something, chances are they will. Particularly when they see that it’s starting to work”.
If there is one thing that is very clear from that book of insults, it is that if you stand out in any way whatsoever, you will be the subject of comments, criticism and ridicule. It is full of insults aimed at every person of note throughout history by their contemporaries.
But there is no escape. Because even boring, dull, beige people who upset no-one are also mocked by others in real life (when they are noticed).
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
So why care about what others might say? Fear will only hold you back, not spur you on to success.
Just get out there and do your thing. And if that thing results in a bigger private practice, a good reputation amongst your patients and a bigger income for you to boot – well, that’s great, isn’t it?!
And sod the naysayers.
By Dev Lall FRCS