Where’s the PT career I dreamed about in PT school?

burnout career Nov 15, 2019

I dropped my backpack and sunk into the couch. 

I had held it together all day and I was now moments away from a full blown pity party. I HATE talking about these moments, but the more people I talk to, the more I realize we all have them.  

I had finished an average day in the clinic.  A day that in isolation would not have seemed that bad.  But, it felt like it was my millionth average day in a row.  I was just going into work, treating patients, listening to their problems (many not even PT related), and going home absolutely exhausted.

The monotony and emotional fatigue started an unstoppable stream of thoughts. 

PT sucks. I hate work. I can’t listen to anymore patients.

I can’t listen to anymore complaints. Is it really THAT hard to do home exercises?

What about me, am I in the same place I was last year? Have I made ANY progress toward the career I want? Holy crap, I haven’t.

Seriously, is this all there is? Does an ideal career in PT even exist? Why am I spending all my time and energy trying to get a career that probably doesn’t exist?

The ideal career doesn’t exist. Not in PT. PT sucks.

Whenever this happens (and it happens more than I’d like to admit), I realize I’ve entered into what we call the Stuck Loop.  Basically the Stuck Loop is the point where we start going through the motions, get frustrated and begin to lose hope that there is anything better.  

You hit the Plan Paradox, are blindsided by the Expectation Gap, and then before you know it you’re in the Stuck Loop.  The problem with the Stuck Loop is that once you’re in it, it becomes exceedingly difficult to get out of it. When you feel stuck, you don’t have the energy to get unstuck.

So, what can you do about it?

The Stuck Loop happens because you’ve experienced the Expectation Gap for a period of time.  You thought there would be more to PT, but you start doubting that there can be. There are two things that may be causing you to be stuck.

1. You don’t know what you want

If you don’t know what you want, you are bound to get stuck at some point.  We talked about how high achievers often get caught in the Plan Paradox. When there is nothing that we are working toward, we tend to feel like we are just going through the motions.

 Action Step:  Figure out what you truly want.  If you could do anything, if you had no barriers, what would you do?  We go through a comprehensive guided exercise in the Bulletproof Career Rebellion, but the concise version is what would make you love going into work and stop hating Monday mornings? Write it down….don’t let any barriers creep in.

 

2. You don’t believe it can be different

Sometimes people know what they want to do, they just don’t believe it’s possible. Or sometimes they can’t figure out what they want because they have put so many limitations on what they can be.  

Action Step: Confidence in something better comes from experience.  Waiting around to feel ready won’t make you feel ready. Take one step outside your comfort zone.  Don’t plan, just take one step.

If you are in the Stuck Loop it is increasingly difficult to get out.  The frustration, fatigue, and monotony can make it hard to gain any momentum toward getting something better.  To break the cycle, join our community and take action by doing the What’s Next 3 Day Challenge.

We all need a push, especially when we are stuck.  Let us help you make a move toward your ideal career. You’ll be surprised how much momentum you can gain just by starting with one action.

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