Pain in its many manifestations is a formidable foe to productivity and success. Having experience of chronic physical pain for some time, I have had to sort out the most effective ways to remain focused on my goals and mission.
I work to help people overcome the obstacles of pain in my daily work. Some are overcoming chronic emotional pain that is yielding crippling fear and anxiety. Still others have physical pain form old sports injuries and emotional pain exacerbates the physical pain. There are others who have chronic pain that tends to linger and cause difficulty but not debilitation in daily living. There are specific beliefs and actions necessary to continue your growth and success even when in pain.
Here are strategies on how to keep going even when in pain:
- Remain focused on your goal/mission – Never lose sight of your vision for your life. Pain can easily distract us and even create a sense of doubt. I wonder now if I can do what I used to do prior to the truck hitting my car. My mission is to keep doing good for the world the best way I can. I am moving slower now and I have to pace myself differently yet I have not let go of my mission to do good for others in this world.
- Allow your pace to change to accommodate the painful challenges – Changing pace and seizing the openings is what made Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith famous. They ran fast and they could also slow down and wait for openings then seize the seam in the defense. Changing pace is also common in tennis. The pace of the ball can make or break a shot. So, often when pain arises, internal or external, a pace change can help accommodate focus and perseverance when attaining a goal.
- Allow the guidance of trusted professionals – When experiencing pain on any level, it is important to understand that your decision making is impacted by the pain. Often, you may become short tempered or quick to make a move that would be better if you invested more time. You may experience frustration or anger that you could be served by allowing a trusted other to offer support, guidance and suggestions. I believe in hiring the pros so I listen carefully and follow the suggestions of those trusted others whom I have assembled for my welfare.
- Take appropriate action for your healing and your vision every day – Every day is an opportunity to take some sort of action. By keep your eyes fixed on the goal, your actions are smart and can yield more productive results even when hurting along the way. It is difficult for me to sit for periods of time now so I have made an elevated desk to help with some of the writing work. It is not a perfect solution yet it does assist some. I schedule fewer meetings and sessions in a day now to allow me to stretch to decrease the chronic pain so I can focus on my work.
- Remain hopeful for your future and stay true to your passion– I know who I am and what I am to be doing in the world. Hope and faith are strong and even when I am discouraged or frustrated; I tap into my inner hope to be my guiding compass. I am certain that things will work out as long as I follow directions and continue my focused action toward my healing and my vision. You too have the ability to stay true to yourself.
- Be flexible regarding how you attain your vision and goals – There is more than one way to reach your goals. Flexibility is paramount. Like many athletes who are injured and they come back in a new way to excel again. The same hold true for you. Be flexible so the pain doesn’t break you. Bend with the tides and currents while not losing sight of the finish line. How you win is not as important as winning as long as your strategy is built on integrity and doing the right things for all concerned.
- Celebrate small success and progress – Celebrating the small successes helps keep you moving forward. The rudder of the sailboat works best when the boat is moving, so taking focused action will lead you to the next action. It is important to be flexible in getting tasks accomplished. I have had to hire others and solicit help from friends to get my basic tasks done. If I had let my stubbornness stop me from asking for help, I would be drowning in physical and emotional pain that could be paralyzing. So, I celebrate being able to take a bath and not struggle to keep my balance. I celebrate the progress I can make after receiving treatments that help break the pain cycle. Yes, it is possible to be optimistic even when you are afraid or hurting.
- Maintain Responsibility for your healing – Whether it is emotional, mental or physical healing, you being responsible for your welfare is paramount. All others, even the trusted professionals, are outside of you and can only project what it must be like to be you. By taking their professional and objective opinions, you can “try them on” and make the best decisions for your welfare. The important key here is to keep your focus on your vision and understand that adjusting timing does not mean you are defeated or giving up!
These 8 steps are meant to help you remain confident in your vision in the face of painful adversity. There are additional strategies as well and others that may suit you. The idea is to remain focused and determined, using your perseverance to assist your healing process. It is when you allow your hope and faith to diminish that you are asking for increased problems. Many others will have their opinion and still they are opinions. You are responsible for your welfare and your timing. Slowing down with a focus on your overall mission is preferable to becoming distracted by fear, doubt or worry. If you find yourself distracted, refocus your thinking and actions in a loving way, smile and move forward.