I’ve been chatting with lots of people about their biggest blocks to resolving their pain, improving mobility, flexibility and posture.
And interestingly, what I’ve heard over and over from people struggling with pain is absolutely the biggest way to make sure your pain not only persists, but also gets WORSE.
What is it, you ask?
- The Important Thing No One Is Telling You About Pain
- How To Pain-Proof Your Body For Good
- Psychosomatic Pain: 3 Reasons Why It’s Not Just “All In Your Head”
The Number One Block to Healing Your Pain
Waiting until you feel MOTIVATED to start stretching, start mobilizing, start exercising and start taking care of your body.
A lot of people will spend years or even decades of their lives living with uncomfortable symptoms and uncomfortable problems — shoulder aches, back pain, plantar fasciits, etc. — because they’re waiting until either it gets so bad that they need severe medical intervention to function or they have to start taking drugs to manage the pain.
Or, worse, the damage is so severe in your body that you’re going to be looking at invasive surgery with potentially drastic side effects.
And in the meantime, you’re missing out on so much of your life.
You are missing out on hikes.
You’re missing out on family activities — being able to go swimming with your kids, or walking your dog even.
I have had people even just tell me that they can’t go upstairs to tuck their kids in at night because they’re just in so much pain. They’re laid up on the couch with a heating pad.
How awful to miss those amazing opportunities to build connection with your children and develop a solid relationship with your family.
So many people just keep waiting, telling themselves things like, “I know I should stretch more,” or, “I know I should do yoga.”
I know I should, but I just don’t have the time. I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the incentive to do it (because it’s not bad enough yet?).
And I don’t have the motivation.
That’s a big problem because your body is not static. It’s either getting better or it’s getting worse. There is no standing still.
You’re Either Growing or Dying
A lot of people think about their bodies as though it were an object, but the reality is that your body as a process. It’s always either building up (anabolism) or breaking down (catabolism).
So if you’re not addressing things that aren’t working well — misalignments that are causing friction, for example — they’re going to simply keep causing friction and pain.
If you’re driving a car with the tires misaligned, the longer you do that the more severe your repairs are going to be and the higher the bill. You’re going to have to spend a lot more money and potentially time to get the car fixed if you wait until things fall apart.
So here’s the thing…
Motivation Isn’t Actually The Problem. (Gasp!)
The old way of approaching health and wellness is to use willpower and determination and grit to push you past your resistance to do things that will make you healthier.
That’s what we see in fitness culture today — no pain no gain, just do it, knuckle down, the juice is worth the squeeze, etc.
But there’s a very fine line between self-love and self-hate, right?
You can only hate yourself through a workout or an exercise plan or stretching program for so long before your willpower runs out ‘cuz willpower is a finite resource.
You will just simply run out of it and you’ll just stop because the reason you’re not doing the thing that will make you healthier is not because you don’t have time, energy, motivation or incentive.
It’s because “being healthy” somehow doesn’t line up with your identity. Or there’s a fear or a belief that is creating resistance to the action that will make you feel better.
So this really has less to do with a lack of motivation, but rather resistance to feeling better.
And that might be hard to hear, especially if you’ve poured a lot of time, money and energy into solving this problem in the past.
You might have thoughts in your head right now like, “No, I just need to do it, I just need to get up earlier so I can stretch.”
But you’re NOT doing it.
Why We Resist Feeling Good
The thing is, if you are holding onto resistance, or if this pain is serving you in some way (yes, I know, even though you definitely don’t CONSCIOUSLY want to be in pain, sometimes there are fringe benefits that our subconscious minds hold onto), no matter how hard you try to shake it off, you’ll somehow sabotage the results.
Or repeat the same habits and patterns that caused the pain in the first place.
Leading you to believe that the pain is here to stay. A permanent houseguest.
I’ve been having a ton of conversations over the past few days and this is the number one thing holding people back who are dealing with pain on a daily basis.
You don’t need another video tutorial on how to sit at your desk, or an article on how to stretch your hamstrings!
If more information we’re going to solve this problem it would be solved ‘cuz we all have Google.
I’d like to propose a different way of approaching this that is going to be much more sustainable for the duration of your life. Because the way I look at it I want to get better as I get older.
I don’t want to become less mobile. I want to become more flexible, agile and capable. I continue to feel better with every passing year, much more flexible and balanced than I was even as a teenager.
So if that’s something that you want for yourself as well, we’ve got to find a more sustainable way because otherwise you’re always going to fall off the wagon.
The No-Wagon Method of Getting Healthy
And I would like to propose that not only can you not fall off the wagon using this method but THERE IS NO WAGON. We’re not going to get on a wagon. There’s no reason to.
Instead, we’re going to take a hard look at why you are resisting feeling good.
What is this resistance all about?
How is the identity of I am healthy, I am mobile, I am active, running counter to the current beliefs about who you are and how you relate to the world?
And I get that those beliefs are subconscious. So I’m not saying that you’re, like, waking up in the morning and choosing beliefs that hold you back. But we learn these beliefs as we go through life and we don’t know we hold on to these stories about ourselves until someone shines the light on them.
You wouldn’t know you were breathing oxygen if you didn’t learn that growing up. You just wouldn’t know air existed until someone drew your attention to it.
Well, you don’t know you have these beliefs either.
Bad Habits Might Not Actually Be Bad
A lot of people say they have bad habits, and that those habits are holding them back. But habits aren’t really “good” or “bad.” Those are judgements we put on them.
“Bad” habits are the ones that don’t align with the identity of the person you’d like to become…but they do align with an identity that you hold, or they wouldn’t be your habits.
Your beliefs determine your behavior and your behavior determines your results. So if your results aren’t what you want then we have to look at the behavior.
And what shapes behavior?
You got it…beliefs.
So if your behavior isn’t what you want it to be and the results aren’t what you want, we have go deeper and uncover the beliefs that are shaping the behavior.
How to Get Your Beliefs in Line (Easier Than Herding Cats, Promise)
Inside of my Pain Free Naturally Facebook group — it’s a free group, you’re welcome to join us — I’m going to run a 5-day challenge to overcome your resistance to doing the things you already know you need to be doing to get healthy.
We’re going to unpack this resistance and move past it, once and for all. Because I know I don’t have any moments of my precious life that I want to spend being held back by my body.
And I’m sure you don’t, either.
The challenge is totally free, and it’s going to kick off inside the Pain Free Naturally group, so you do need to join if you’d like to participate.
Just click the link and request to join. I’ll get you in lickity-split.
Can’t wait to see you there!2