3 Things I Learned from Dr. Roy Shelburne
“I make it my job to be under the radar”. For years this is what I said when someone asked why they hadn’t met me in the dental speaking circles. I said it and I believed it. I remember meeting the president of the AACD, [at that time] who almost rushed me after he heard me speak at The Misch International Implant Institute.
He said, “Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t heard you speak before. You’re the real deal.” It was usually followed up with some version of, “my audiences aren’t impressed by books I’ve written or some elaborate bio that I pay someone else to write. I have about seven minutes to EARN their attention on the platform and nothing on a piece of paper or written in a book can do that for me.” This fits well with the way I was raised. It also went along with my Hispanic culture and the “brown stay down” rules, I had grown up believing.
I first heard Dr. Shelburne several years ago at a dental meeting. His story was compelling. He was authentic and believable.
These were speaking traits I had come to respect and appreciate from my mentors and the speakers I would gravitate to at the National Speakers Association every year. They were approachable and always willing to lend a hand or a voice of encouragement to others. They also referred business to other speakers and that was something that brought me great joy. Promoting and connecting others was always something I was good at and it definitely came more naturally than self-promotion did.
Little did I know that after some setbacks with my health and my business in 2017, he would be the one to “deliver me” from the adverse mindset I had found so comfortable.
February 15, 2019, I was privileged to emcee (something I loved because it’s about honoring someone else) an event for our local dental society. My husband, Dr. Chuck Majors and I helped promote and put together the program where we hosted Dr. Shelburne in our small community in Texas. I picked him up from the airport, prepared a small gift in his room and one for his wife since he arrived on Valentine’s day.
The program was great and although we wanted a bigger crowd, I’m a believer in my audiences and others that He always puts those in the room that need to hear the message. I had no idea that day it was me. When I truly “listened intimately” to his message, it was crystal clear. These are the three most impactful things I learned that day from his message.
It’s okay to step out of the shadows of shame to serve the greater good.
It’s obvious that Roy Shelburne has stepped onto many platforms since his arrest. He doesn’t do this in a self-serving way. Dr. Shelburne is absolutely doing this to serve the greater good. He could have clearly stayed in the shadows of shame if not for understanding how his message might save a colleague. My “under the radar” mindset wasn’t really serving the greater good. It was time for me to be okay with the success I had earned as a speaker and writer. Someone who made a choice to grow past where I started.
There is no shame in stepping out of the shadows when it’s not about you. If Roy had stayed in the shadows, there is no telling how many people would not have heard a moving message that likely was a wakeup call for many. When he did it, it was never about him. It was for others. I’m out of the shadows thanks to Roy and it’s my time and my chance to share and help someone else step out of the shadows.
It’s only uncomfortable until it’s not.
When you have full disclosure about your past or you share something that isn’t always a crowd pleaser, it can be uncomfortable. What I have seen over the past few years as Roy shares his story is this. Although it has greater passion each time, he is quite comfortable in his skin today. He’s comfortable discussing the way his arrest impacted his life and his family.
For me, this is a work in progress. I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my skin. It’s been uncomfortable to share some of the mistakes I have made. Also, to speak about my health issues. It often made me feel foolish or weak. What I know is that I’m learning to share these stories and becoming more comfortable and definitely stronger every day.
My new book, Hello I’m Dr. Majors’ Wife – The little black book on how to boldly live past the label you’ve been given, is evidence that I’m going to be really uncomfortable, until I’m not. I’ll be sharing how this is NOT who I am but a label like others, I was given. Roy’s courage inspired me to be okay with uncomfortable.
Community is Critical!
Years ago, I read an article in NSA’s, SPEAKER magazine. It was about some research on true professional speakers, those speaking 24 or more times per year. It referenced how they command the stage, rock the platform with big personalities and confidence. Then it referenced how most after speaking would rather hibernate in their lonely hotel room than to go to the cocktail party or be with people at all. Man, oh man, did this resonate with me.
What I learned from Roy after his program in a more casual atmosphere was how much dental community has meant to him and how it had helped him get his message out. After spending time and conversation with Roy I took a step to find a community in my niche of dentistry.
Now, I have to admit that my dear friends, Melinda Heryford and Margy Schaller had urged me to be involved for years. Anne Duffy was instrumental in pushing me to share my voice again. At the end of the day, it’s about having the faith to know when it’s time, and not a minute before, He will send the perfect message and messenger to help you come back in business and in health. Dr. Roy Shelburne is the DeWd that helped me come back!