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From “I Will Never Be Able to Work Again”, to Working With Passion and Purpose

Mindset to overcome barriers
The neuroscience is clear. People with a growth mindset encourage growth of new neural pathways and connections. Embracing a growth mindset also improves health, well-being, and wealth.
workers compensation assessment

Author of ‘The Biology of Beliefs’, Bruce Lipton stated “Our beliefs control our bodies, our minds and thus our lives.”

When ‘Beth’ was referred to me by her Workers Compensation provider, I was told that they did not have any expectations of me assisting her to find employment after her workplace injury. Beth had been on Workers Compensation payments for nine years and the insurance company simply wanted an assessment of her vocational capacity so they could finalise her claim.

As a person who has come from a diagnosis of ‘expect death or life in a vegetative state’, followed by expectations of my work life being in a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities, it takes an awful lot for me to give up on someone else’s future potential! I believe that most barriers can be managed or overcome if the person is willing to explore options which could become solutions….

When Beth arrived for her Initial Assessment with me, she sat down and after the standard introductions, told me, “I will never be able to work again!”
Beth had bilateral knee injuries as a result of her work and had developed subsequent depression. She would be unable to return to her work as a Nurse, but I began to explore her interests, her values, and her transferable skills. She remained sure that she would be unable to work.

When our beliefs no longer serve us, we need to create new neurological pathways to change our belief system and therefore our behaviours.

Take the 'im' out to make it possible

Beth’s mind began to open to possibilities when we explored her strengths and transferable skills during a vocational assessment.

She had a passion for helping others. Beth was a caring person who was able to share experiences where she had gone out of her way, in her own time, to do things for her Patients. She had really enjoyed her work as a Nurse and had done this work for many years, so when she was eventually unable to work due to her knee injuries, she felt depressed. There was little structure to her life without her work routine and she began to put on weight.

Sometimes, it takes someone else to believe in you!

Beth presented as a very personable, mature aged lady with a stack of transferrable skills from her nursing experience. She had significant administration skills, an ability to relate to people from all walks of life, medical knowledge, and a desire to help people. As her Rehabilitation Consultant, I discussed this potential with Beth and proposed that we look for a Work Trial (work experience) as an Administration Assistant in a business that specialises in assisting people with disabilities. A Work Trial would be a low stress way to test her work capacity in this area. She had never thought of doing this work however she could see how it ticked many boxes in relation to her skills, abilities, and interests. Her neurological pathways were beginning to change as her mind opened to different potential options.

disability sector

I undertook some cold canvassing by telephone to contact some businesses in the disability field and within a month Beth had started a 12-week Work Trial with a company who specialise in work with people of all ages with disabilities. Beth loved the work, and the employer was so happy with her that Beth was hired as a permanent employee by the end of the Work Trial!

Returning to meaningful work that aligned with Beth’s values also meant creation of a new social circle, an improvement in her self-esteem and a purpose in her life again. What you focus on is what you get. I love helping people focus on the possibilities, which can become the solutions to overcoming perceived barriers.

Yes, an injury or illness such as brain injury, back injury, knee injury, personality disorder etc can be permanent, and there will be some physical and psychological limitations as a result but when we focus on what we want rather than what we don’t have, we can use our most powerful tool – our mind, to go much further than we may have initially believed.

The first question you need to ask yourself is “What do I want?”
The second question is “What does that look like?
Then start to imagine how it looks, feels, smells, tastes.

Then, let your brain do what it does best to turn those sensory experiences into actions.

The neuroscience is clear. People with a growth mindset encourage growth of new neural pathways and connections. Embracing a growth mindset also improves health, well-being, and wealth.

For more information on embracing a growth mindset to overcome or manage your barriers to having the life you want, reach out to Nicole


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