During Phase I of Navy SEAL training, the process lasts for about eight weeks. This phase is centered around completely wearing down the trainee’s physical well-being. The first three weeks are designed to be tests of character to see who really desires to be a Navy SEALbl. When they enter week four, they are introduced to hell week. This is the part of phase I where the weak are weeded out one by one. Trainees are sleep deprived, delirious, and on the brink of hypothermia from the cold conditions that they experience. As physically demanding as this week is, the true strength is not displayed from a physical standpoint, but instead a mental standpoint. Those that persevere through all have a common denominator among them. They have a burning passion to become a SEAL and they have a mentality that won’t allow quitting.
In order to be a victor over anything, first we must win control over our minds. This is where our true strength will come from. When I look at hell week, I also think about hustle week for those of you preparing for your NPTE. This is the week that will undoubtedly be the most challenging for you. It is not about the amount of studying you have done; it is not about cramming as much information as possible. Hustle week is about you mentally priming yourself to go into the exam and dominate it. Do you really deserve to be a physical therapist? Seriously, do you really believe that you have what it takes to transition from student to a doctor? It’s critical that in your mind you believe you deserve to be here. After all the research, clinical hours, and examinations over the last few years, it is your time to shine.
I’m sure your anxiety and nerves are trying to get the best of you right now. Don’t let them win, remember you are in control. You worked too damn hard to get to this point and you better embrace that to the fullest. There is no way in hell you should let a test overpower your mind and your will. I know this is a big deal; this test means you finally being able to live out your dream. I get it, you don’t want to take this test again. You are nervous you might not do well, or maybe you are scared that you will go blank when you are taking the exam. Stop overthinking and stop allowing yourself to be consumed by thoughts that are detrimental to your success. You were able to embrace the pain that came along the journey, and you can’t allow yourself to only make it to this point. Take back control of your thoughts! This test will not get the best of you and you will be victorious! Change your mindset. The NPTE will not determine if you become a physical therapist. YOU determine whether you become a physical therapist.
The trainees that make it to become Navy SEALs believed through all the pain and adversity that they deserved to be Seals. If they can endure the process, why can’t you? No more dwelling on negative thoughts and no more feeding your inner critic. Realign your mindset and tell yourself, “I deserve to be a physical therapist.” When you say this, you must feel it down to your core. The person that you are now is better than the person you were when you first started school. Success is calling your name. Your patients are waiting for you. The world is waiting on you. You are ready, I know you are. As test day is approaching, don’t count the days, make the days count. Success is calling your name. Will you answer it?
-Karl Bourne, Lead Blog Writer