The Female Principal blog series part 4: Onion skins

Onion skins
Stop comparing your inside to other people’s outside.
It seems a common attribute of female Principals that you want to look at everyone else around you, imagine their success and compare that with your perceived “failure”.
So another round of self-doubt begins.
I was taught many years ago by a wonderful personal coach that we are all like an onion skin – with many layers protecting a fragile core.
In this world of affluenza, many of those skins are material:

  • the house you live in
  • the car you drive
  • the school your kids attend
  • what you and your partner do for a living
  • where you holiday
  • where and with whom you socialise

Again, men can be the weaker sex in this respect – too many young male dentists who think that owning a sports car is symbol to their peers that success has been achieved.
Social media has become a device that allows us all to parade our skins for the world to see, without revealing anything about our core.
Those people on Facebook are not really your friends – they are just looking at your skins whilst they show their own (and I say that as a committed Facebook user – only child of alcoholic parents – go figure).
As I have gotten older I’ve realised that the only real friends I have in the world are those who are unafraid to share their core with me and don’t give a rat’s ass about the skins we do or don’t have.
There’s a version of that in dentistry of course. All those dental dinners and award ceremonies populated by the glitterati, some of whom haven’t got a pot to piss in.
Don’t be taken in by onion skins.
*An excerpt from The Female Principal manuscript by Chris Barrow – to be published as an ebook later in 2014


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.