This past weekend, as I hurried to make it to the afternoon lecture at Perform Better, they caught my eye.  The three of them stood around a table talking.  I couldn’t hear what was being said, but I imagined it as a highly intelligent conversation amongst three experts in the field of rehab and fitness.  These were the people that I’d looked up to since the beginning of my career.  As I passed the table, I thought maybe that will be me.  Maybe I’ll stand at a table along with other experts one day.

I smiled walking into the lecture because these thoughts were in stark contrast to a few years prior.  It had been at the physical therapy Combined Sections Meeting three years earlier that I chose not to introduce myself to one of the three people standing at that table.  I remember thinking that I should introduce myself, but deciding not to because I wasn’t good enough.

Last week, we talked about the power of being a novice.  However, the downside of being a novice is inexperience often with the byproduct- lack of confidence.  I realized that as a novice, you can look at experts in one of two ways.  You can be inspired, or you can be intimidated. Two years ago, I was intimidated, today I choose to be inspired remembering…..

All success stories start as novices and keep going.

They all started as novices

The people we admire, the people that are successful, all started as novices. It is important to keep things in perspective.  The people that lead continuing education classes once took the course and struggled with the material.  Most speakers at conferences started out as attendees.  And, expert clinicians once turned to more experienced colleagues for help.  It is so easy to see someone as they are and forget what they did to get there.  No one starts out at the top.


And they kept going

If you ask anyone at the top of your field how they got there, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that didn’t struggle along the way (and for much longer than we assume).  The difference between the ones that make it and the ones that don’t is that the successful decide to keep going (and going). To push past the novice stage, to keep improving.  The experts recognized that the difference between great and average comes down to effort and the belief that success is possible.  


Being intimidated is inevitable if we look at where experts are currently and ignore where they came from. We have to remember that they started from the same place we did, but made sure not to stay there.   Intimidation exists when we look at how  far we are from where we’d like to be, but inspiration develops when we realize we have what it takes to get there.

As I ate brunch on the last day of the conference, I looked at my table.  Next to me sat three other friends and colleagues and I thought we can be a future table that inspires someone passing by on the way to a lecture….as long as we keep going and choose to be inspired rather than intimidated along the way.

Are you inspired or are you intimidated?


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