You Need To Believe in Your Own Self Worth Before Anyone Else Can See It


by Lisa Holland

So how many letters after your name do you believe it will take before someone believes you are as valuable as any other clinical doctor?  I am curious because I have been playing my primary care, cash based game to some extent since 2000 before I let go of my ATC and way before I was a clinical doctor.  I did it in many forms with several bridges I created between the fitness and medical industries on the side and at many price points and responsibility levels as my children grew and my husband navigated his entrepreneurial spirt.  I went from going to people’s homes or gym to an eventual multi disciplinary wellness studio and now as a women’s health care consultant and soul coach I work virtually and with a small room and collaborative shares.  I am here writing this because I believe you can do all this too, but do you?
So what is really holding you back from becoming a professional PT? 
In many discussions I find myself explaining the use of professional in the profession of Physical Therapy. The conversation often proceeds to a debate between those who believe in themselves enough to start showing up at the professional level and those who for what ever reason chose not to.  I have written or spoken before on my belief that having a PT licensure is NOT the equivalent to practicing as a Professional PT and with the way prices for training have skyrocked, the time has come for the rise of that Doctor of Physical Therapy Medprenuer to save allopathic health care. Let’s take the role everyone else has very little professional training in a more wellness model for. If not us then who?  The NCCHWC health coaches being accepted by the National Board of Medical Examiners for the role?   So where am I basing this rather courageous call to action?  Well,  I am a certified Health Coach as well but I personally created a professional brand ( two in fact) based upon being a yogi.   As such, with my choice in obtaining integrative credentials, I can take advantage of the mind body science finally making the big leagues.  So before you head out to pay someone 10,000 more dollars to sell your PT,  anyone who walked down my professional path can do so right now with me. You can also get trained in technical skills such as axiological assessment and use your professional ability to make good use of the evidence to begin coaching performance better and coaching pain instead of treating it. 
Proof is in the Pudding
I have been a licensed physical therapist for twenty years. Before that I received my bachelors in Athletic Training and sports therapy and before that I helped out at the gym on the side. That means I am coming at you with this advice having been in the conversations of physical rehabilitation and direct access orthopedic injury for at least a quarter of a century . I can honestly say many of you reading this were most likely in kindergarten or younger when I began ranging and strengthening people’s knees and still my brand of yogi PT as an extension of yogi me is what pays my bills.   In the time that you grew up, I have remained active on and off in the various professional organizations such as the NATA, APTA and IAYT.  For various reasons,  I let go of my ATC, a personal training certification, a pregnancy fitness instructor certification and added on other credentials such as women’s health coach, experienced level registered yoga instructor and certified axiology practitioner of all things.  Over those same years I have added on my three most important professional roles: CEO of Belly Guru, Mommy and wife , none of which I carry emblemed on my calling cards but yet wear all over me everyday.  People may have no idea what I do all day but they know I do not wear kakis or a white coat doing it and seem to ask me questions like they believe I am at the top of my field.  What makes me grateful is not being asked to start a conversation, but the fact that I can start one doing it as a mompreneuer with a freedom lifestyle to decide how to spend my energy each day.  I have never waited for the APTA or Insurance industry or even medical hierarchy’s stamp of approval to do my thing. No one has to.  I am a professional. That mean I believe I can create a clear vision of how to serve professional women who were not being served well. I could set up my services to not only become my work/life integrative solution but to become a personal and professional health solution for my clientele. So what does all this have to do with you being a kick ass clinically skilled physical therapist.  Absolutely nothing and that is my point because I would not be any of those things if I failed to be something first, a believer in me. 

All You are Missing is The Belief You Can and Some Action on Strategy

See, call me crazy but I am done with having a ton of paths shoved down my throat and being paralyzed by fear from taking action. So I am servicing the profession helping other health leaders own the one that speaks to her most.  If she has no clarity on what the heck she professionally needs to feel free or safe or valid or sustained then I work as her coach or therapist or spiritual guide to find it. A professional draws energy from his or her mojo which is a story, a pattern of beliefs in action.  Then, I am going to keep this super simple… YOU NEED TO NOT BE LAZY.  It is as simple as it can make it.  Sure money makes it easier to believe me.  Time makes it easier to believe me and yes, a big ol’ stamp of approval by CMS or Blue Cross to pay for all offer would make it a much easier sell but I just flat out can’t believe any of that would keep me feeling courageous back in 2002 when I was sitting in Elizabeth Nobel, PT’s kitchen ( the creator of the women’s health section of the APTA) making these crazy dreams of being a total crazy women’s health advocate like her. I believed in the mission. I believed I was led to this work and that the only way to ease the dis-ease of natural fear and resistance was to try it on. So if you are someone who feels your title as a clinicial doctor is an albotross you just spent 100K placing around your own neck or the fact that someone else did is a threat to you,  then by all means, seriously think of saving yourself a lot of grief and just redirect your game.  Become that hospital administrator or set up being one of the team and at 5pm just let it go. The belief you are a professional PT and even more so, a Primary Care Professional,  requires a certain mindset and belief in dreams and has nothing to do with how well you mobilize a joint.  There are plenty of people out there who moblize a joint or relieve a painful tissue very well but you know what? Human beings are not just biomechanical things so that approach alone is not going to stop the opioid epidemic.

The Work You Do Should Be Aligned with The Work You Want To Put into Becoming the CEO of Your Life

Hey, I am not going to lie. I believe I was 100% smarter than a lot of my high school friends because I got out of my comfort zone.  I needed to believe in my ability to leave the comfort of my home town first. I then needed to take that experience to believe I could become someone’s wife and to have a desire to take on that work before I said yes to my husband right? I guess technically, by the societal norm of divorce being okay, I could have taken the easier route and just jumped at every opportunity to be in a marriage.
I could have also felt sorry for myself after a while and took what ever guy asked me to partner with them as my savior but aligning with my inherent belief,  I was worth the energy exchange of a great relationship.  That was the smart thing to do correct?  If not, I would could not be free to be me.  I would not have been happy and I would have wanted to bail out at the first sign of resistance. After all,  the only other choice would have been to just get comfortable with what I had. To become complacent with the dysfunction in my marriage , in my house and distract myself with the kids.  These are my clinical clients and they all have persistent physical inflammations and pain. Instead,  I believed from the moment I got the call from the ONE waiting list I banked all my professional dreams on, that I am a professional PT and I was on the road less traveled to live it,  not prove it to me.
So Was it Luck? 
No. it was flow.  Flow works with the universal intelligence that there is going to be resistance along the way. Let’s just stop having the majority of it come from within our own profession, especially from my fellow PTs who lost their mojo and seemed threatened by mine or anyone else’s for that matter. Over the past twenty plus years, the one profession that knocked me down the most was my own.  Not the wellness DC or the corporate health ruled physicians.  They had excuses. If they wanted to get paid but my another PT?  He or she should have been celebrating my victories and catalytic ideas because we were all in this together.  So here is to paving the way for a very flexible future and abundant change. Believe me, it is a smart thing.