You must change your disabled Life or you will become disabled for Life. When a disability enters your life your old life ends. You may have thought – like me – that after a period of re-training you could resume your former life. Honestly, no one can.
The fact that you faced a disability will change you. This was a major life trial and now is part of your story. You were tested and achieved many things.
Since your life has been changed, are you really living the life you want to live now?
Many times in one’s life we ask this question, usually about some aspect of our lives and not the life itself. Major disabilities force most of us to pause and ask questions about our lives.
As a Life coach I divide life into four areas, physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Now with a disability you will have to re-assess your life in all of these areas.
I talked about how to do that in the first few blogs of this series. You are now faced with the choice of either letting your life go on in a disabled cruise-mode or taking charge and living your life fully.
How do you make such a radical change in your life?
First, you have to decide what you are really trying to do in life. Most of us had only a vague plan of what we were seeking to do when we left home. Now with some experience we can make better informed choices.
If you think you know what you want to do with your life, ask yourself what you did with it in the last 12 months.
Then set some goals for yourself. What do you want to be doing for the next 12 months in the following areas: physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually? You may want to re-read, “How to envision your Dreams after a Disability.”
How often have you thought you made some goals for yourself only to find that weeks later you have made no progress toward them?
Here are some ways to make the changes you want to happen.
- Keep the prize in your eyes. Not only do you need an Avatar of who you want to become but the benefits of those changes need to come to mind each time you begin a new day.
- Enjoy the new experiences. With a disability you will have to do some things differently and in order to achieve new goals there will be new tasks. Enjoy the challenges and be sure to stop occasionally to look around. While climbing a mountain you often stop to take a breather and enjoy the view. In life we also need to enjoy what we accomplish.
- Get clarity on what you are seeking to do. It is hard to see a mountain’s summit from the foot of the mountain. If you just start going up because the summit is at the top, you can easily find a Clift blocking your way. If you had looked at a map or photo of the mountain you might have discovered an easier way up. What are the various paths that might lead to your goal?
- Get a guide. It will be easier if you find someone who has walked this or a similar path before you. You can find these people in biographies, fiction or real life. Living guides can take the form of new friends, mentors, or coaches. Look around and see who you can find.
- Get clear on what you do and don’t want to do. Create for yourself these “This/That” statements:
- I want to do this, but I don’t want to do that.
- I want to do more of this and less of that.
- Hook a new behavior on to an existing one. For example, when I greet my wife I really listen to how she responds to me.
- Always choose this, not that. Choose a smile over a frown.
- Do this now before you do that. Brush your teeth before going to bed.
- Add to your journal each day those this/that statements you made.
So, on which of the changes have you been holding back?
As All Ways, Seek Joy,
This is the 10th in the blog series, “Thriving after a Disability.” they are based on Brendon Burchard’s The Charge