The Greater Impact of Understanding the PAIN Factor

This morning I had a rather painful physical therapy session for what has been diagnosed as a frozen shoulder.

While Mark, the therapist was twisting my arm into a rather uncomfortable position, he asked me why it took me so long to deal with the problem. “The reason it’s so sore” he said, “is that you waited far too long. If you had come in sooner, it wouldn’t be such a long journey to recovery.”

Mark was right. If I had come in a year ago when my arm first started to hurt, it would have taken 2 therapy sessions instead of 22.

So, why did I wait to so long? The reason is simple – the pain wasn’t severe enough.

I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge that my mind assoociated the hassle of going to doctor with greater discomfort than the discomfort of my sore shoulder. The pain of the shoulder had to increase incrementally and override the pain and apprehension of a 2 hour wait at an orthopedist.

Isn’t that true in life? We will take action only when the pain of our current situaton outweighs the pain of having to confront or deal with a problem.

So the question is, what in your life would you like to deal with or change? What in your life would you like to do more or less of? Take a moment and really ask yourself. Then ask, why I am not doing it?

Am I not going on a much needed diet because the pain of depriving myself is greater than the pleasure of getting into my size X jeans? Or in my case, the pain of depriving myself of delicious red wine is greater than dealing with a few extra pounds.

Am I in an unfulfilling relationship, that I know I should get out of, but I don’t because the pain of confronting the issues is greater than the daily discomfort?

Do I need to reach out to someone who could impact my career, but I don’t because the pain of the possible rejection is greater than the discomfort of not getting where I want to be?

The reality is that sometimes we wait too long and we let ourselves live in discomfort. Don’t do what I did with my shoulder; don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable, let the discomfort be enough to propel you to take action.

Wishing you a wonderful and PAIN free Memorial Day!


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