Beyond Your Back Injury: Planning the Future

Looking Forward in Time After a Back Injury: Where Do You Want to Go?

Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems. –Leroy Hood
Life may look different following a back injury, but there’s no need to spend the rest of your days moping. Yes, you’ll face challenges that once seemed unimaginable, but you’ll tackle them head-on and emerge stronger than ever. These suggestions can help:

Sketch Out Your Idea of a Dream Life

What would you do if your disability didn’t get in the way? Be specific. At minimum, determine how you’d one day like to feel. Key adjectives may include fulfilled, energetic, calm, or loved. If it helps, capture ideas about your future with quotes or images.

Don’t Edit Your Ideas (At Least at This Stage)

One of the reasons people struggle to create a vision is that they get locked in certain modes of thinking, known as “paradigms.” These ways of filtering the world reduce information overload, but they also limit your creativity. For instance, let’s say one of your goals is to (one day) climb Mount Kilimanjaro. You’ve had that on your list since you were a teenager—back when you were younger and healthier. Now that your back’s blown out, perhaps that goal seems less realistic than ever. You might be tempted to cross it off your list and never revisit it. However, in spite of your injury, you still may be able to do it. Perhaps there are special trips to Mount Kilimanjaro reserved for people with disabilities—maybe you could even qualify for a sponsorship to get paid to hike! Or maybe your injury will prompt you to invest more in personal fitness. You’ll recover to a higher level of fitness than you had before the accident—and be on target to go mountaineering. The point is that you don’t want to edit your brainstorming prematurely. At some point, your dreams need to come into contact with reality, but first give yourself space to dream big.

Key Questions For Reflection

  • If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I immediately try to achieve?
  • Imagine looking back at your success from after the completion date. What does that look and feel like?
  • What secret resources do I have available to help me?
  • What am I most afraid of? What would happen if those fears came true? (Surface both your big dreams and your big fears, so you have a complete inventory of what matters to you.)

In our next post, we’ll discuss how to connect the dots between your current reality (what you explored and wrote down after working through the last post) and your ideal vision.

Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP today at (770) 214-2500 to learn more about how to collect workers’ compensation in Georgia.