Every athlete knows that aches and pains are part of the process. Especially as we get older, something always hurts a bit.
The challenge is distinguishing between aches and injuries.
For an ache, the best approach is to continue to work the area to promote healing. Usually a slightly different activity is best, but, counter-intuitively, healing happens faster through more use of the affected area. This increases blood flow and stretches and strengthens the supporting muscles and tendons.
Injuries, on the other hand, require rest. We suspend activity, ice the area, maybe immobilize it until it stabilizes and is ready to be built up again.
These truths apply to our mind and hearts, not just to our bodies.
When we are challenged emotionally, when we take what feels like a professional risk and fall short, we often misdiagnose the difference between discomfort and injury. Any blow – in the form of embarrassment, a critique, a sale we didn’t close, a displeased client – hurts our ego.
It can feel like an injury, but it’s usually just discomfort.
If we allow ourselves the mistake of bandaging up and immobilizing that new muscle that we’ve just used the first time, healing will take forever.
What this new muscle really needs is more work and more effort, so it can be strengthened.