Years ago soon after I graduated from chiropractic school (Palmer Chiropractic University class of 97′) *Damn has it been that long?? I struggled to make ends meet. I had a very difficult time taking everything I learned in school and applying to the real world. It seemed no matter what I tried things never seemed to work out. I had a hard time getting patients and when I did they never stayed for long. I started doubting my abilities. Was it supposed to be this hard? Why did I spend all this time and money on an education when it’s getting me nowhere fast?
My passion was fading quick, fast, and in a hurry.
I siad to myself, ‘this must be what people mean when they say life sucks, it’s hard and it will kick you to your knees.’ I was this close to leaving the profession. I had enough rejection. But, I gave myself one more chance. I decided to go and work for a successful chiropractor who was actually known be for being a real ‘hardass’ on his Associate Doctors (Doctors that come in and are low down on the totem pole) To be put it honestly, he had a reputation of being a complete ‘dick!’ Associate Doctors would leave and burnout as fast as they came in. Friends warned me not to go work for him. Not sure why I decided to work with him, maybe it was the Universe telling me this is what you are meant to do.
What else did I have to lose?
My first month working for him I was still struggling and falling back into the same old habits. Yeah I was getting the ‘hardass’ feedback from the Doctor all the time and I won’t lie, it hurt. But I did not quit. However, this doctor must have seen something in me that I could not see in myself. I will never forget the life changing advice he gave me. It was the end of a rough week. He had a busy practice seeing over 75 patients a day, so by the end of a full week were are shot emotionally and physically. He brought me into his office on a Saturday after all the staff and patients had left. I thought for sure he was going to say things are not working out and he is finding a doctor to replace me.
He sat me down and said, ‘Perry I think you have what it takes to change the lives of many people and be one of the best chiropractors in the profession IF YOU JUST GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!’
‘IF YOU JUST GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!’
Man, that phrase hit me like a tsunami wave of hard truth. ‘GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!!!!”
In that moment I understood the road block to my success….ME! I was blaming everything and everybody else.
I went home and thought about it all weekend. When I came to the office Monday my mindset was different. I looked at myself, other people, and the world from a new perspective. The self doubt and the world is against me mentality (was truthfully still there, but now I began to control it) began to diminish. I made a conscious effort to always remember that statement. Most of our obstacle are internal, not external. I began to embrace the obstacles and realize they are the way to success. Even the external obstacles change when you change internally first. No, it’s not easy and you always have to fight. But successful people do what others don’t. Success being what is important to you..happiness, money, family, purpose, etc.
When I speak to any chiropractic student, new chiropractor, or struggling chiropractor (insert any profession for chiropractor) my best piece of advice is the one I received long ago from the hardass, ‘GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!’
Magic happens when you begin to do just that. See you on the other side.
STOP CHASING PAIN by Perry Nickelston
A Vital Guide for healing your body, moving well, and regaining control of your life