There are generally 2 types of people: one is comprised of the workaholics or the super-productive set who advocate waking up at 4 am to get more out of the day to either work, exercise, nurture a side hustle, or allocate a bit more time to a hobby. The other is made up of those who acknowledge that there is simply not enough time during the day and that it’s best to take a step back and enjoy life before becoming burned out or depressed. Majority of the Amputee Store staff fall under the latter.
While these 2 types couldn’t be more different, both are actually propelled by the same mindset: the scarcity mindset. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
You see, it’s human nature to believe that there’s not enough time or resources to do and have everything we want. In many ways, it’s true. You might want to work on improving your gait, fight insurance to acquire the best prosthetic setup, being the best parent, worker, or friend, all at the same time, but some of these things will presumably fall from your list of priorities.
Taking these “failures” to heart and constantly harping on what we haven’t yet accomplished or possessed can only damage our positive spirits. The result is that we tend to become harder on ourselves and push for greater improvement, just so we can finally stop telling ourselves that we’re “not there yet.” While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve, not knowing when to stop or slow down or understanding what's not in our control can be detrimental. It can lead to a vicious cycle that can inevitably lead to unhappiness.
The good news is that we can break the cycle. We only need to recognize the signs and start thinking differently by forgetting these top 3 myths in the amputee community:
Myth #1: I need better prosthetic components.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a better prosthesis. However, there are other things that we need to consider first. We have to view our relationship with a prosthesis holistically. It’s always important to consider what limitations a manufacturer placed on a particular prosthetic component (ie a prosthetic foot), however its' important to understand how this relates to the activities you strive to accomplish.
Initially perceiving any situation as a zero-sum game is easy. In fact, it's one of our first reactions. However, when you expand your horizon and consider all variables, you may realize that those seemingly lose-lose situations are actually big wins.
In the case of needing better prosthetic components, you may want to first work on stretching and strengthening your body. Simply put, a stronger and healthier version of you can make a basic prosthesis fit better and do more.
Myth #2: More physical therapy will make me walk better.
Don’t get us wrong; physical therapy is crucial for learning how to walk with a natural and smooth gait pattern. Physical therapy sessions can also help you gain a full understanding of how to operate any components, for example, prosthetic knees. As health insurers place caps on how many physical therapy sessions they'll cover, it’s easy for new prosthetic users to feel overwhelmed.
In reality, more physical therapy doesn’t always mean better outcomes. Take what you've learned during your allotted physical therapy sessions and work hard to master those lessons at home to maximize what sessions you're alotted.
Myth #3: That’s the way it’s supposed to fit.
It’s easy to feel as if certain prosthetic elements--for example your socket fit--are out of your control or working on forming new habits is too overwhelming. Believing this myth only entrenches us into our existing prosthetic mindset that can leave us feeling stuck and wanting more, which are often not the solutions.
So, what’s the solution here? There is no simple answer. However, you can always start with shifting your mindset—keeping an open mindset and working on believing that change and self-improvement are possible. You don’t need to experience chafing or uncomfortable pressure along a bone. You can walk around your neighborhood without discomfort. It all starts with—as Tony Robbins likes to say—changing your state, your strategy, and your story. With this mindset shift in place, over time you can look for solutions that systematically improve your well-being.Were you able to identify the presence of these myths in your life? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.