Yesterday, my husband and I attended the Global Leadership Summit and one of the speakers we heard was Dr. Henry Cloud. Dr. Cloud is a famous psychologist who wrote the 4 million best seller “Boundaries.”
His topic yesterday was taken from his newest book, “Boundaries for Leaders.” While the topic specifically targeted C level people (CEO’s, CFO’s etc) I couldn’t help but apply his ideas to my lisfranc recovery situation.
I realized that after hearing my surgeon tell me I still had 3 more months of recovery in front of me my sadness and grief came from a sense of loss of control. After all, I was taught that A + B = C. In my reality, that would mean therapy plus ice/elevation = healing. My thought was the harder I worked, the better outcome I would have. I never considered the one thing I couldn’t control……healing. Bones take time to heal. That is something I cannot speed up, no matter how much therapy I do. And I cannot control the amount of pain I have either as my foot continues to adjust to the titanium plate drilled into my foot.
The loss of control is what started my downward spiral in attitude on Tuesday. Did you know that when you start the attitude spiral decent that your actual brain starts to change? Dr. Cloud explained his theory of the 3 P’s:
Personal: A negative attitude causes the brain to interpret the situation in a personal way. In my case my negative thoughts started telling me I’m not good enough or that I haven’t worked hard enough to “earn” pain free walking.
Pervasive: A negative attitude causes the brain to interpret the situation as all encompassing. In my case my negative thoughts include saying my whole life sucks, not just the pain when walking, but every area of my life is terrible.
Permanent: A negative attitude causes the brain to interpret the situation is never going to change and is permanent. In my case, my negative thoughts included starting to doubt if my foot was ever going to heal. Will I always walk with pain?
So now it is time to reverse the 3 P’s!
To dispute the Personal I have to tell myself that 99% of my negative thoughts are false. I know I have worked hard trying to rehab my foot! In my case, I have worked too hard at rehab and haven’t let my foot rest and heal enough in-between therapy sessions.
To dispute the Pervasive I have to realize that everyone’s life has injury and pain and just because I still have 3 more months of serious re-hab doesn’t mean I still can’t enjoy the parts of my life that are working well. It is time to count my blessings once again
To dispute the Permanent I decided to Dr. Clouds’s suggestion and make a list of things I can’t control and compare it to the list of what I can control and then focus on the things I can control. I mean, I do have control of some things, even if I have limited mobility. According to Dr. Cloud, It’s all about disputing the negative brain noise.
What I can’t control
Amount of pain during healing
Amount of swelling
My sneaker not being able to fit
Walking with a limp
Walking with a cane
Using a handicap motorized cart while shopping at Target
Not being able to walk downstairs
Not being able to walk 1 block
What I can control
The amount of therapy I do each week
The amount of walking I endure
Stopping my activities and icing when I am in pain
Finding activities that don’t require mobility
Making someone smile at least once each day
Being grateful for all I do have and not focusing on what I don’t have.
These lists are far from complete, but you get the general idea. Thanks to Dr. Cloud, I have a brand new attitude and am now ready for the 2nd half of my lisfranc recovery period.
The above ideas were taken from Dr. Henry Cloud’s talk at the Global Leadership Summit 2013 and were meant to explain the downward spirals of people in leadership and to provide a solution to get back on track. If you would like to read Dr. Cloud’s ideas without my interpretation for my personal journey they are included in his newest book:
“Boundaries for Leaders.” http://www.drcloud.com http://www.drcloud.com/resources