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In this episode of The Authentic Dentist, Allison shares a story of her friend, Jessica. Jessica is a world-class athlete who was invited to go to the Colorado Olympic Weightlifting Training Center. Along the way, she was faced with a choice; she had to decide if she was going to just be a fan of the other world-class athletes there or if she was going to become one herself. The story tells of a shift in mindset, and how crucial it was for her to decide before she became.

Shawn and Allison dive into the power of decision and how crucial it is to see success in any area of life, particularly in the realm of dentistry. From running Track and Field to stepping into the role of presidency for the Arizona Dental Association, they discuss how making a decision led them to see greater success and share their stories of the journey along the way.

Inspirational Quotes

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Full Transcript Below

Shawn: (00:58)
Hey, this is Shawn and Allison with the authentic dentist podcast. And I think I say this all the time, but I am completely stoked and excited to talk right now about what we’re going to share because Allison literally dropped a bomb on me that has just, I can’t stop grinning because of how inspired I am. So without further ado, Allison take it away.

Allison: (01:22)
So those of you that know I am married to this amazing man Mark House, and Mark is an announcer for Olympic weightlifting. (Shawn) Have they ever heard his voice before? Who does the intro? (Allison) He does our intro! He has the most amazing voice. I love it. The man with the golden voice anyway. So he announces for Olympic weightlifting and we had the American series virtually last weekend and Mark announced for it, but he felt like there was some gaps in time when they were changing platforms or doing something different. And so he interviewed Jessica, Sarah and Jessica is this amazing young woman who is a world class athlete. And I have to tell the story that she said, cause it just, it just blew my mind. So she said that she went to the Colorado Olympic weightlifting training center and only world class athletes really get to go there. So she was invited, she was invited to be a resident there.

Allison: (02:21)
This is a big deal. So she went and she was training and she was in awe of all the people around her, just in awe. But as she was training, somebody came up to her and said, you know, you need to stop being an odd all of us and step up and be the world class athletes that we all are. And she said, it took a year. It took a year for her to decide. And then one day she decided that she was a world class athlete. She just made the decision. And when she made the decision, everything she did was in, in, in confidence with that. So when she ate something, she ate what a world class athlete would eat. She got up at the time that a world class athlete would get up. She trained like a world class athlete and she did not eat. She doesn’t drink beer. But when she did that, she decided she’s world class athlete. Everything she did was in harmony with that. She became for real, a world class athlete. And I thought that that story of transformation was just so powerful to recognize that once she decided something, everything got in alignment, she became

Shawn: (03:39)
And, and really like, I don’t want to say I’m at a loss, but there’s like, this feels like an infinite amount of directions to go about how profound that story is. I mean, some of the most inspiring movies I ever watched that talk to me, it’s because of this character development and it’s this thing of like inside of them, they feel like there’s more, but there’s that nagging self doubt of you don’t really belong or you’re not really enough. Or you’re just a fake whatever that, that the man is, whatever that voice is, whatever that insecurity is. And what happens in the story is that something gets them to face it. They overcome. And I thought I was sharing with you, Allison. So often I fall under the wrong mindset of the destination I reach is going to dictate to me my worth my value and or the skill set that I finally develop is going to tell me that I’m worth it. When in reality, you can develop an amazing skill set. And then all of a sudden the next excuses, but someone needs to tell me it’s great. Like the world needs to recognize it. And then the world recognizes it. But deep down inside, you’re still running from the fact that you don’t believe it. It doesn’t actually change what’s inside. And that’s what was so profound about this story is that she had to come to grips with, she had to own it. And she had to make a decision. This is who I am.

Allison: (05:15)
And she was a great athlete before. It’s not that she wasn’t, she was invited, she was invited to the training center. She was a great athlete, but it wasn’t until she decided that she was a great athlete, that she was a world class and deserve to be there. That she became that world class athlete. She finally made that leap. She broke through all those barriers. She got to compete at the world trials because she had made the decision, which is funny. Cause you always think, well, after she has made the world trials, then she can call herself a world class athlete. Nope. She had to make the decision before and then do everything in order to be that

Shawn: (05:53)
Again, I feel like I could go on, so I don’t want it like hit me if I’m saying, if I’m talking too much Austin, but I think of, again, a story in high school. And again, I’m not sure if it, if for those of you that know I’m I have a brother and sister that are twins and I’m 13 months younger and they were just amazing, amazing brother, amazing sister. And for some reason it was easy for me to go, wow, they’re great at things. And I can recognize that they’re great. And yet my parents still let me know that I was great. So I had no problem acknowledging other people’s abilities, skills greatnesses and it coexisting together. But I remember freshman year of high school I originally was wanting to be this great football player cause that’s who my brother was.

Shawn: (06:42)
And I had to follow in his footsteps. I was little Zajas, you know, he was Zajas and I was a little tired, a little Z and I just wasn’t as big, faster, strong. I didn’t develop as quickly as him. He was playing on varsity as a freshman. I was on freshman as a freshman. And you know, so all of a sudden in the off season, I’m like I got to get faster. So I decided to sign up for winter track. And I remember I was actually a great runner. So as a freshmen, they took me to the varsity meets, which you had to travel to UNH, you know, university of New Hampshire. And it was a big commitment to make the bus. So I made the bus, but I was there and right off the bat, my first instinct is just to like, look at all the people that are great.

Shawn: (07:25)
Look at how great that’s the best eight or 600 meter runner, you know, indoor track. And I was already becoming a fan of those that were great. Not folk, I still had ambition, but I was so willing to just root for others while at the same exact time being fine with maybe that’s not me, you know? And I remember it was not until my senior year, I needed to qualify for a certain event, 1500. And it was my last chance to qualify. And my mom just took me aside and she’s like, stop overthinking it. Like stop wondering if you can do this or not. Like you were made to run. She’s like just, just run, like just do it. And she just spoke so much like strength and just release me to be me. And of course I qualified it. Like I just ran the race of my life and I just did it. And I was free because I got almost like you saying authenticity is getting out of your own way. I finally got out of my own way of all that overthinking self doubt and just let my heart be free to be who I was and to own my strength.

Allison: (08:43)
So I, I just don’t think that these people around you are competition, but they’re, you need to see yourself as an equal. You are an equal, you deserve to be there. You had earned your spot. Absolutely. You were a great runner and you had every right to be there. And that doesn’t mean that you were mean to other people or put them down. That’s that’s not what a world class athletes about overclass athlete is somebody who acknowledges. I have every right to sit at this table and I’m good. And every decision that I make reflects that part of me

Shawn: (09:20)
Totally. And I’m thinking even now, so there was areas where I had a lot more of like, Oh yeah, I’m, I’m competent. And I’m, I’m strong. And I, I owned it. But even that’s why as you share this story, even now, professionally, I’m like coming face to face with those, those mindsets or whatever it is. That’s still like, I don’t want to say plaguing me, but I’m up against, and I’m challenged again by this story to, I have to make a decision and I need to spend some time with this. But the scary thing is when you make that decision, what happens is the ceiling gets blown off. And that means that you can climb higher, fly higher. And that’s scary

Allison: (10:08)
Because there’s risk all of a sudden there’s a lot more risk.

Shawn: (10:12)
I, yeah, I think sometimes we get comfortable in that place that we’re at. And I, I mean, think about it, the excuses we surround ourselves with help us to strengthen that narrative of E but there’s a reason why you, you, you know, you don’t have that career. If your dreams or the reason why you’re not starting that own business or the reason why you’re like, don’t worry. There’s a reason. There’s a reason you’re fine, but you’re still ambitious. You can still dream, but it’s not a real dream. Cause you’re not doing anything about it. It’s just a, like a a hope that you’re not willing to have the courage to follow.

Allison: (10:50)
So I, I think in dentistry, a lot of times we see another office or a colleague doing something that we would love to do. And then we just, we become fans of them. Oh, aren’t they cool? Aren’t they impressive. And we are like, but I could never do that. That’s not who I am. Well, if you want to do that, then you just have to decide, yes, I am on part with them. Now that doesn’t mean that you have all the skills, but you are on par. You’re just as good a dentist. You just have to learn how to do it. And once you make that decision, I am as good as all these other people. Then every decision you make, you speak with confidence to your patients. You, you go and read and you go to classes and you, you just become who you want to be. But you have to make the decision that you are, you are that great dentist already standing right here in your truth. And all you need is to gather the skills, but you’re already there. I, I love

Shawn: (11:54)
That. It’s this whole inside out philosophy of you, you become in on the inside. It’s like at the heart of it. And what is at the heart will manifest in life. It’s not about waiting for the external to tell you who you are. It’s about owning it and knowing that. And I love that piece that you shared Allison about alignment because the second you own it, it changes everything. Well, hold on a second. So why are you not doing these things on Friday night, where you’re staying up to one or two in the morning and doing stuff that’s sabotaging yourself. Oh, because this is who I am. And that’s not what you do when you’re at your best. I give my body, I love my body having energy and health and vitality. So I give it rest. I gave it the best nutrition mentally. I have a coach.

Shawn: (12:47)
I’m giving myself the best because I’m worth it. And this is, this is who I am. That’s what you do. When you’re a world class athlete, you say no to Twinkies. Why? Because garbage in garbage out, you know what happens if you throw plastic into a bonfire, do you, have you been there? No, I haven’t sorry. I messed up. Okay. So if you’re putting healthy OK. Normal fuel into a fire, it burns clean. You put plastic in and the fumes and off gas is terrible. Like it is terrible. So I’m just saying like, as an athlete, like if you eat bad, you burn, you don’t burn clean. And a lot of people are like, Oh yeah. But if you’re burning all these calories and whatever you can, the fire gets hot enough. You can burn anything. Yeah. But you don’t burn clean. So that’s where it’s like, when you are wanting to be at your best and aligning everything you want to EV it just, I don’t know how to say it. Like everything gets aligned and it’s just supporting that identity based off of what you’ve chosen to be, who you like, it’s who you’ve chosen to be.

Allison: (13:58)
And back in dentistry, once you’ve decided that you are this world-class dentist, then yeah. You take the steps and you stop and talk to patients. You look for things that you didn’t necessarily look for before you look for airway issues. You look for TMJ, you look for patients that need a full mouth rehab instead of single teeth, because that’s who you are. Now, you eat your breakfast. So you’re at the best for your first patient. You eat your lunch and it’s not Cheetos. You come in at your best. You train your team at your best because that’s what a world class dentists would do. But once you do all those things, guess what? Your practice becomes a world class practice. You become that world-class dentists that you want to be,

Shawn: (14:43)
And you make sustainable decisions because it’s not about like, you know what I’m saying? I feel like there’s a piece. When you look out on the, once you own this, I know where I’m going and I’m going to get there because this is who I am. So it’s no longer about the quick fix. It’s about, I’m going to build something that’s going to last. So you wouldn’t cheap out on the foundation because you know, this is going to be something that is going to gain momentum. It is going to be something that is going to last, even beyond you. So you end up making decisions for the longterm too. But, but tell me, so Allison, you were the youngest president for Arizona Dental Association at that point in your life. I mean like how, how does this play into even that time in your life of like, yeah, I can step up and be the president, even though I don’t know what was going through your mind when this was happening.

Allison: (15:39)
I was terrified. I was terrified, but as I’ve read before courage, isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is when you just look fear in the eye and you just do it. And so I did, and that doesn’t mean that I didn’t spend a lot of time researching. I hired a coach actually, before I became president to, to get me up to speed because I was the youngest. I didn’t have 20 years of experience at the time. And I certainly did. I didn’t know much about parliamentary procedure. I mean, I walked in very green, but I also knew that I had this opportunity to do something great because I was so young because I saw things from a different perspective. And I think I did a good job. The problem is only a year. So, you know, you don’t get to do everything you wanted to do, but I did. I got to be the president as a young person, and I think I was effective

Shawn: (16:32)
Now, do you believe, okay, so prior to that happening, did you believe you belonged like that there, that meaning did, was it somewhere along that journey that you were like you had to make that decision or you had already had made the decision and that’s why you got there? Like, how did that play out?

Allison: (16:50)
So it was the phone call several years earlier. And I was in my thirties when the phone call came, we’d like to nominate you to be president, we’re going to put you on the ballot. And I was like no, no, no, there’s this other guy who’s quite a bit older than I am. He would be better. No, no, we really think you, you would. And so I had to think about it for a little bit, but I decided that, yeah, I could own this. I could be this president and I could do great things, but I had to really decide to do it. And then it was the journey to become that,

Shawn: (17:26)
Oh man, I’m just thinking. So it’s like going into 2021, what decisions need to be made, where it’s like, where do you want to blow your ceiling off? You know? And we’re not talking about something that’s comfortable. Again, like, man, the second you have to grapple with the fact that there is freedom, freedom to able to go higher, to be able to be more expressive, to be able to pursue something that really, really matters to you. Sometimes that’s like, it’s scary, but it’s the joy of living, right?

Allison: (18:01)
Well, I think there’s this fear. I’m going to make a mistake. And a world class athlete would never make a mistake, but let’s be real. World-Class ethics, making mistakes all the time. They go to a competition, they bomb out. It’s part of it’s part of life. No one is perfect, but the world class athlete says, alright, well that competition didn’t go well, I’m gonna go home, train some more, get back out there because that’s what they do. World-Class tennis is the same way. Yeah. This didn’t go well, I’m going to fix it. Let me do my best. And then they go out there and next time I’m going to be better. And you have to have that mindset that no, everything’s not going to go smoothly that year, his presidency, it did not go smoothly. Let me tell you, I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned and I kept going.

Allison: (18:44)
And that’s what it is to have that mindset. So, as we’re wrapping this up, I think there’s a challenge here that you need to look at. Who do you want to be? And then you have to decide to be that person, even if it’s not actually who you are today, if you want to be this dentist that does all these things, be that person and start going. If you want to be this world-class business owner, do it. Maybe there’s something else in your life, but you have to decide. And then every decision has to support that decision and then it will happen.