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Change is Absolutely Necessary

feel live think Aug 10, 2020

Have you ever noticed that near the 8 year mark most therapists are simply done?  Done with the grind.  Done with the stress.  Done with the day to day.  Done with all of it?  The crazy part is that the therapists that hang in there this long are immensely driven and passionate.  So why does it come to an end?

Simple.  Meaning.

'Meaning' can be thought of in many ways:

  • Related to the direction you're headed
  • Why we're all here and how we're supposed to be living
  • The feeling of living one's true self
  • The impact you're having beyond yourself

During our career we've lived in all the corners of of profession, grown and developed an abundance of skills, gained immense perspective and clarity, yet change is absolutely necessary.

Also quite important is the rate that finding this need.  For some, it is immediate, for others it slowly manifests.  Either way, the truth is the same.

Now the question is whether you have the courage to take action.  Sure, there are tons of reasons to keep you exactly where you are today, but can you trust what you know is true and take the first step?

Let me share with you the crazy story of my moment of 'change'.  First, I am absolutely NOT a risk taker.  So when I decided abruptly (and yet painfully slow) that I needed change, I had NO IDEA what was next.  But I knew that change was absolutely necessary.  And now. 

I woke up one Saturday morning and I said aloud that I was done, and 2 days later on Monday I resigned from an amazing position and company that I had been with for 10 years.  When the CEO (and my boss) asked me what was next, I simply answered that I was going to Northern California to sit on a rock for awhile.

Wait, what?  His response you can imagine was a bit of shock as he couldn't understand why I would leave after being a significant part of a growing organization with opportunities beyond what most therapists experience in their career.

Even in the absence of a plan or any level of certainty of what the future held, I FELT absolutely at peace.  And there it was for the first time in quite some years.

Did you catch the subtle note about 'painfully slow'.... well it was absolutely true.  For more than 3 years I had been struggling with the direction I/we were headed, the level of impact I was having on my colleagues and mentees, and more so with myself.  If I had just listened to my internal dialogue, I would have avoided the painfully slow part.  Well that's what I told myself for the first few years after taking action and starting my own business from absolutely nothing.  I knew for a long time that change was absolutely necessary, but I stayed in the struggle because it felt easier than the unknown and the uncertainty that road shotgun.

After my abrupt resignation, I asked myself the simple question, 'what did I love about being a PT'.  At the time I was unfamiliar with the concept of 'finding your ikigai'.  In Japanese culture, to find meaning and purpose in life is to find one’s ikigai.


I built my clinical practice from a place of what I love, knowing what I was good at, and serving the community in a way I believe they deserved.  In that, I love going to work as much as I love coming home at night to family.  Living my meaning is closer than I ever imagined, and I continue to evolve in that journey.

Today I celebrate my circle of mentors and experiences that gave me the courage to take action and live what I expected my life to hold, both professionally and personally.  One of the questions that sticks with me and pops up for me time to time is, 'what am I tolerating'.  If the list is long or heavy, I know that the commitment I have to living my truest self is the key to joy and fulfillment and such demands me to address that list quickly and fully.  No more painfully slow yet abrupt needs for change.

I see and hear of various versions of those struggles throughout therapy professionals every day, and not just those that have some mileage on their license.  I respect that newer generations are screaming out loud how important meaning is in their lives.  I encourage each of us to embrace that space in which we truly grow and prosper.

The question is, do you have to courage to make that absolutely necessary change happen?

I can promise you it will be more amazing than you every dreamed possible.


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