Having undergone recent shoulder surgery, I am now fully engaged with physical therapy.  When I first started, I could barely move my arm in even the smallest circle.  I am being completely honest…it was pitiful.  My shoulder felt frozen.  But each session, my arm and shoulder are stretched and strengthened to expand my range of motion.  Ah, there is pain…lots of it.  But each time, we make more progress.  I say “we” because it is a team effort with my therapist.  In between sessions, I am diligent on doing my exercises and each time, there is some pain as it is stretched.  But slowly, the range and strength are starting to come back.

No pain, no gain applies on so many levels and is a perfect analogy to help you stretch yourself to new limits – in business and life.  No matter where you are in life, you need to stretch yourself to achieve results and improvement.  Otherwise, you will always keep a limited range, stay inside the box and not enjoy the fullness of your life and potential of your business.   Life begins at the edge of  your comfort zone.  Let yourself be a little uncomfortable so you can achieve the most meaningful life possible.  Working through physical therapy is a great analogy to stretching yourself in life and achieving results.  Here are five tips to help you move forward.

  1. Know what your goal is and have an estimated time frame. Having full range of motion and strength again is my obvious goal for my shoulder.  But, without a goal, it’s hard to be diligent and maintain that drive.  You may make progress, but you need something to measure your progress against.  Otherwise, you’ll end up giving up before you reach it.
  2. Plan on having to put in the work. If you don’t put in the work, you won’t move forward.  You’ll end up stuck in one place with no room to grow.  Your range will end up limited.  Remember, no pain, no gain.
  3. Be diligent on doing your exercises. You must execute to achieve.  Every day, schedule and prioritize what you need to do and when you plan on doing it in order to achieve your goal.  Then execute the plan.  Set small daily goals to keep moving forward.  Be realistic and don’t push yourself too hard for an extended period or it becomes counterproductive.
  4. Expect set-backs. Sometimes, life gets in the way.  Things happen that aren’t expected.  You may take two steps forward and one step back.  That’s OK.  In fact, that’s life.  Rarely does it NOT happen this way.  Remember that this is all part of the journey.  With my physical therapy, there are days I wake up so stiff.  But I continue to push forward, and the progress keeps improving.
  5. Be happy with where you are today. This is the most important point of all.  If I kept telling myself, “I’ll be happy when my full range of motion comes back,” I would miss the rewards of my small achievements.  Always, be happy now and pat yourself on the back for any small achievements you’ve made.  And don’t ever worry about being perfect because you never will be.

Now, set new limits.  You’ve got this!