Living with a traumatic brain injury faces us with many decisions. In today’s article I would like to share a decision that changed my life.
A decision that helped me to break free the notion that my life was stuck. That my life was linked to and limited by what I could not change.
Break free from the belief that I could do nothing to change the course of my life.
A decision that helped me to discover that I no longer had to stay stuck. Stay stuck by focusing on what I could not change to start working on what I could change.
A decision that helped me to realize that I could re-set the course of my life.
The Power of My Decision
In the process of making this decision something became very clear to me. I had more power than I realized. And this power gave me the freedom to no longer see myself as merely a survivor. Merely a survivor of my traumatic brain injury and my circumstances.
Below are several awareness’ that changed my life
The Mindset of “Merely a Survivor”
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I focused on what I could no longer do with my life.
What I discovered was that having the mindset of a “survivor” I nurtured a victim mentality.
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I bought into the notion that I was limited by my limitations and deficits.
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I did not consider the possibilities of what I could do with my life.
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I bought into the notion that I deserved to be labeled, stereotyped, and stigmatized.
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I bought into the notion that I deserved to be kept in a “box”. In a box given by the label, stereotype, and stigmatization.
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I traded my opinion. My opinion of what I could accomplish with what the “professional and provider” community told me I could or could not accomplish.
What I discovered was that by having the mindset of a “survivor” I never considered that I had other options. I never realized that I could create a good life despite my deficits and limitation.
We can move beyond the “box” of a system, that by design seeks to define who we are as individuals. Define who we are as individuals through a diagnosis, a treatment plan and a prognosis. We can move beyond the mindset, that leads us to believe that we are limited as “survivors”.
We can move beyond a mindset, that leaves us feeling like prisoners, in our own skin.
We can move beyond a mindset, that perpetuates a stereotype. A stereotype and stigmatization that leaves us questioning ourselves.
We can live our lives beyond a mindset, that keeps us focused on our limitations. We can move beyond a mindset, that leads us to believe that we have few choices. We can move beyond a mindset, that minimizes and marginalizes who we are as individuals. We can move beyond a mindset, that dismisses, discounts and does not take us seriously.
We can move beyond a mindset, that shows us little, respect and serves to offer us little hope.
We no longer have to remain trapped by a “survivor” mindset. We can live our lives beyond the confines of diagnosis, a treatment plan, and a prognosis. We can live beyond the grasp of a stereotype and a societal stigmatization. We can live beyond the “voices”, that seek to undermine our hope, dreams, and destinies.
Quotes that Inspire Me to Realize the I am More than Merely a Survivor
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” Helen Keller
“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-possession…Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” B.C. Forbes
“Regardless of your lot in life, you can build something beautiful on it.” Zig Ziglar
“Don’t judge your day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add specifically your own creation.” Bruce Lee
“If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
“I will prepare and someday my chance will come.” Abraham Lincoln
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar
“Decision is the spark that ignites action. Until a decision is made, nothing happens.” Wilfred A. Peterson
“Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but they are meant to build us up.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” Zig Ziglar
“In my experience, I have found that adversity is what has made me successful because I refused to give up because of adversity.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” Mother Teresa
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