If I had a dollar for every time, I was labeled by someone, I would be rich. Everyone always thinks they have me figured out. People will believe something about you without knowing you as a person. I’ve been labeled academically, spiritually, mentally, and physically before. No matter what people say, they can’t force me to be what they think they see. I think about being labeled, and I think back to taking my G.R.E. I prepared for it and studied as best as I could. In my mind, I just knew that I was going to do phenomenal on the exam. This was one time that what I envisioned in my mind did not project into reality. My score was average at best. It was the type of score that would be followed by the typical, “you should consider taking it again.” Looking at my application from top to bottom I knew my G.R.E. was a weakness. However, I knew that the rest of my application was strong enough to balance out my score.
To other programs, I could be labeled as unfit for a doctorate level program due to my score. Whereas to other programs, this was only a small part of the bigger picture. I could back track even further into my past. If I did that, I could tell you about the rejection I faced at the hands of a crush of mine. I could tell you about how the fact that I didn’t have the newest shoes or the freshest clothes, was a nonnegotiable to her. She labeled me as someone that did not fit the mold of what she was looking for. Wait! Or, what about the time I was labeled as too cool to hang out with a certain group of people in high school? The point is that I have been getting labeled damn near my whole life.
My story can resonate with you too because you fell victim to being labeled at some point throughout your life as well. The unfortunate thing about being labeled is that it can cause you to lose sight of yourself. Before you know it, you are caught in a whirlwind of different emotions. You are stuck trying to live out a life that is not meant for you to live. This is due to you allowing other peoples perception of you to become your reality. Avoid this at all costs. Don’t let them win and don’t let them control your narrative. There are many things in life that are critical to your success. I just want to highlight two of them. The first is showing exceptional self-awareness. You must be so in tune with yourself that you know who you are inside and out. Many people spend years of their life trying to answer the question, “Who am I?” This is the importance of self-awareness. The second thing that is critical to your success is learning how to put on your blinders. This means being able to filter out the garbage that other people may feed to you about yourself. Someone else’s opinion of you does not have to become a fact. This is completely up to you.
It took me awhile to realize but I am one of the chosen, and you might be as well. At different points in my day, I may have a different cap on. I could be someone who loves to overanalyze, assume, or over think. Let me let you in on a little secret. These are all labels. In fact, they happen to be the three labels that are destined to get a high score on the NPTE. The way this will occur is by having the proper system that can allow you to thrive in your studying. You are the future of this physical therapy profession and so you must own it. In 2019, the only labels you should have, are the positive ones you give yourself. Start labeling yourself as being intelligent, well rounded, and prepared for the NPTE. Ultimately, the best label you can give yourself this year is doctor of physical therapy. Remember how challenging the journey has been up to this point. Remember, that you are going to be a clinician. The only way you lose is if you quit. If you are reading this, that shows me you are not a quitter. Keep fighting the good fight. I look forward to seeing you walk into your greatness. I look forward to seeing you rid yourself of the labels people have put on to you. You can be whoever you want to be. Never forget, definitions belong to the definers, not the person being defined.
Karl Bourne, Lead Blog Writer