Sticks & Stones
You're probably familiar with the old adage that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me."
It couldn't be further than the truth.
Because it all can hurt.
Physical pain hurts. Tearing your ACL, rolling an ankle, or tearing a shoulder muscle HURTS.
If you aren't careful, then pain starts to compound.
What hurts even more, is feeling this sense of loss. What you no longer can do because of this physical pain.
That could lead to feeling damaged or not good enough.
All the things you will miss out on because of this loss.
Words can actually be the most painful of all. They might not break your bones, but they can break your spirit. If you let them.
Your EXPECTATIONS of how you should be.
...the injury that shouldn't have happened.
...that you should be getting better faster.
...what you coach should or shouldn't say to you.
...your friends should know better.
All of these little hurts start to create something deeper and more painful.
Physical pain hurts, but what is even more painful is the emotional and spiritual pain that comes after it.
Until you realize that how you think it SHOULD be is just an illusion.
One that you created with your expectations.
So what message does hurt have for you?
It is simply here to tell you that you have an expectation that is not being met.
Anytime your expectations aren't met, you will feel hurt. If you try to dismiss this feeling without addressing it, then that hurt will start to stack up and turn into something even bigger.
Instead, acknowledge the pain. A simple exercise is to place your hand on your heart and offer yourself some comforting words.
Of course it hurts. Of course you are feeling this way.
Your ACL recovery [insert any other painful experience] will be long, and painful. There will be things you will miss out on. Acknowledge that pain.
And of course you will be ok. You can handle it.
You are the perfect person to overcome this challenge.
It might be just the challenge you need to drive you to that next level.
Trade in your EXPECTATIONS for AGREEMENTS.
If things don't go your way, agree to have your own back. To respond with compassion.
Give yourself permission to keep trying. For as long as it takes.
Give yourself permission to be flexible. Flexible in your expectations and in your approach.
Be willing to hear the message, find the real message the pain has for you.
"The cure for pain is in the pain." - Rumi
Share what you have learned from pain in the comments!
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