Many people are self-conscious without even having a physical disability, but we need to try and overcome this and not worry what people may think of us.
Many people say that they don't even notice that I have a problem with my left arm. I'm lucky that I have managed to regain quite a big range of movement, but there is still a part of me that doesn't like looking in a mirror.
How can we be less self-conscious?
"It's ok that some people don't notice my Erb's Palsy arm, but I do and I need to find a way to move past it."
We live in a world where image and possessions seem more important than who we actually are. This means that we end up caring too much about what people think of us, by what we look like and how we act. If someone has a strange walk or holds their arm a bit differently, then people notice it and may label us instantly. I'm not saying that everyone is like this, but there is certainly pressure on people to be a certain way.
I often say "I don't care what people think of me, or what I look like". So why do I still feel self-conscious in the gym? Why do I always look at my arm in any reflection I see? Why do I always look at my arm first whenever I see myself in a photo? I think it's a fear of being different to others. Having said that, who actually wants to be the same as everyone else?
These are the kind of things that are constantly going round my head. It's ok that some people don't notice my Erbs' Palsy arm, but I do and I need to find a way to move past it. When I talk about it, people just say things like "Nobody notices Matt, it's fine". I don't think you can just say "it's fine" to someone who is suffering from a thought that makes them feel like crap. I do believe that it's down to me to remove that limitation, but it doesn't feel great when people just shrug it off as being "fine". The way I feel is real to me, just as much as your feelings are real to you and if you feel sad about something, me just saying "It's ok" to you, will not make it better. We need a real way to move past it.
What can we do?
I have recently started talking about my #brachialplexusinjury during my #workout in the gym. It's interesting because not a lot of people have heard about it and usually they are interested in how it happened. I've always made an effort to hide my #erbspalsy arm, but now I'm starting to be proud of it and trying to get my head around believing that it was meant to happen to me. I've met some amazing people like Kyle Stokes (check his Youtube here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf3GRBJZ-HYG7ajItgrXiTA) who have inspired me to get my ass into the gym to improve my strength. I have also had people in the gym give me tips and advice of exercises I could do. This wouldn't have happened if I was trying to hide.
What we really need to do is get to a point of acceptance. Think about what you can learn about yourself through having this problem. Shift from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. If someone does call you a name, realise that they probably have their own insecurities about image. These sort of people are not the type of people you want in your life. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people then soon our self-consciousness will improve and hopefully be a thing of the past.
The video below is one I recorded a while back about living with #erbspalsy
Much love x