Three and a half years as a PA in the spinal injuries segment having covered most of UK counties made me appreciate what it means to lose bodily functions and what practical and psychological effects it has on life.
Now I can deeply empathize with those who return home for the first time after two years in hospitals. I understand what it feels to meet the mundane with a completely new realm of challenges you’d never dream of. It seems the goals aren’t reaching far enough to be worth it and every step requires immense inner effort.
I keep seeing disabled people who achieve incredible success, and at the same time I see those who are perfectly fit and wholly miserable. The only valid prerequisite to achieving a goal seems to be the deep trust in ourselves. And it’s true for everyone, whether disabled or not. The mind is where it all begins.
The main principle of most psychological support, coaching or therapy, is to acknowledge the now and to accept what is. Only having understood where I stand and how I got here, I can know where I truly want to go and how to proceed.
In my career as a personal consultant I have found five stages that people have to go through when they’re about to make progress.
1. Experience what is and fully accept the situation.
2. Realise what is wanted and why.
3. Discover the limiting thought patterns.
4. Make the first step to enhance confidence.
5. Remain aware of the why to maintain motivation.
The first stage is the most important one here. Enough time has to be given for self-reflection before taking the next step. Once the acceptance is there, the second stage starts automatically. We begin to open our eyes to new possibilities. Then having understood where we want to be, it becomes obvious that there are reasons we aren’t there yet. Most of them come down to our old thought patterns and limiting beliefs. It can be “I am not confident enough”, or “I could never go on the stage” etc.)
At times it is enough to merely acknowledge our limiting belief for it to lose strength. And that provides just enough momentum to make the first step. And it’s got to be the smallest possible step that’s easily done. This creates a wave of confidence in the process and in ourselves – about enough to make another step. Then another one.
Every journey is dynamic and bound to have highs and lows. Understanding our why is what provides us strength. And knowing the purpose of our actions is the strong foundation that keeps us going through all the challenges.
In the end I believe everyone has brilliant ideas deep inside, some of which don’t need much to become a reality. And when that happens, when it’s done consciously and with the full understanding of why, it is bound to bring happiness not only to the individuals, but to their families, their communities, their societies, and to the whole planet. It is this ripple effect that in the end affects us all, and this is the why that keeps me doing what I do.