How Slowing Down Fuels Your Professional Growth

As a new OncoPT, it’s tempting to want to rush through the early days so you can hurry up & “become the expert.”  However, these early days are some of the most important days of your entire career!

Let me explain:

Knowledge is easy to acquire.  Whether through continuing education courses, reading articles, or learning from colleagues, the knowledge is out there.  But knowledge is only the FIRST step.  

Experience is what we gain from applying knowledgeKnowledge is useless unless we actually put it into practice.  

Experience is what you usually want to rush through to become the expert.  But you can’t “hack” experience.  Gaining experience is a slow, purposeful process that requires intentional effort every day.

For the ambitious OncoPT like you & me, this feels like slamming on the brakes when you’re driving 80 down the interstate.  But there’s actually significant benefits to slowly, intentionally pursuing your professional ambitions:  

Work-Life Integration

Pursuing your professional PT ambitions often requires a significant amount of time and energy. Slowing down allows you to create a better balance between your work and personal life. It gives you the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones, engage in hobbies, pursue personal interests, and take care of your overall well-being.

As we’ve discussed previously on this podcast, you can’t show up fully for your patients if you aren’t caring for YOU first.

Reduced Stress

Ambitious PT career goals often come with high levels of stress and pressure. Slowing down allows you to alleviate some of that stress by focusing on your well-being and reducing work-related pressures. This can lead to improved mental and physical health, increased relaxation, and a greater sense of overall contentment.  

Especially in light of the past several years, stress & burnout in PT are at an all time high, with PTs leaving the profession in droves.  If you want a long-lasting, fulfilling career in PT, you’ve got to manage your stress healthily & proactively.  Pumping the brakes from time to time will absolutely help with this.

Exploration & Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is probably one of the most underrated benefits of slowing down.  Yet, this is the best way to make sure you’re on the right track for you.

When you slow down, you create space for self-reflection and exploration. You can reassess your goals, values, and priorities, and gain a deeper understanding of what truly matters to you. This can help you make more informed decisions about your career path and ensure that your ambitions align with your personal aspirations.

Learning & Personal Growth

Slowing down can provide you with the opportunity to engage in continuous learning and personal development. You can invest time in acquiring new skills, expanding your knowledge base, and pursuing educational or creative endeavors. This can enhance your overall professional competence and make you a more well-rounded physical therapist.

Enhanced Creativity & Innovation

When you slow down, you create mental space for creativity and innovation. By taking a step back from the constant pursuit of professional goals, you allow your mind to wander, explore new ideas, and think outside the box. This can lead to fresh perspectives, innovative thinking, and the ability to generate unique solutions to challenges.

This is especially important in cancer rehab with the nearly constant advances we see in treatment, side effect management, & life expectancy.

Increased Satisfaction & Fulfillment

Slowing down allows you to savor and appreciate your achievements and experiences. It enables you to find joy and fulfillment in the present moment, rather than constantly chasing future goals. This shift in mindset can lead to increased overall satisfaction with your professional and personal life.

Altruistic Collaboration

This benefit sneaks under the radar for most, & here’s why:

When you race forward in your practice, you’re likely leaving others behind.  It’s not intentional, but it inevitably happens.  

When we don’t use our experience to help those beside us right here & now, we’re only helping ourselves.  This is often to the detriment of our colleagues.

Let me be abundantly clear: there is no “winning” in cancer rehab unless we all win.  By only helping yourself & your patients, you are indirectly harming other patients.  

As you step forward in your career, don’t forget to extend your hand back to grab the person behind you & bring them alongside you.

Ready to take your professional growth to the next level?

It’s not enough to just gain experience; it’s time to share what you’ve learned.  Writing your case report is the next step toward growing professionally & helping more patients.  If you’re ready to write your case report correctly the first time, then you’re going to love my Case Report Writing Workshop.

Sign up now at

Until next time, this is Elise with TheOncoPT. And remember: you are exactly the physical therapist that your patients with cancer need. So let’s get to work.

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