In this video, we cover the most common wounds and injuries that we have seen while working with hundreds of clients. We also share a couple of mental models to address how to heal them. Please find it useful!
Alright guys, welcome back. Thank you so much for your attention. Today we’re gonna talk about the three most basic and common wounds that I see in my clients when I work with them and how to heal them. How do we work around the wound and into it so we can heal it and go on living a productive life.
My name is Dayana Pereira. For those of you that don’t know me, I’ve been working with executives, athletes and performers for the last 13 years, and we do something that I like to call high performance, which is identifying where they are –they’re usually at the top of their game, but they know something is missing, they know there’s another edge that they could push through– and we work together on how to get there.
So why are these three basic wounds important? Because they show up a lot. In the hundreds of clients that I’ve seen, I see this as being a very interesting mind map to understand where we are in performance, and how to achieve greater results. So I put together a little diagram here just for you to see the information in a visual way.
So I put together a little diagram here just for you to see the information in a visual way which helps me a lot to understand, especially if there are concepts that are not familiar to me. So I want you to take a look at the left side of the board here for now and just understand that we’re gonna be talking about physical body wounds, emotional body wounds, and mental body wounds, and I’m going to give you a couple examples from my life and then we’ll see about you pulling in some examples from your own life.
Basically, I want to put this concept in front of you: this idea that the body is an organism and is composed of multiple areas we separate them, just for the sake of language. It’s a convention but really we are an integrated organism. And when one part of the organism is wounded, or or hurt, then everything else is a little bit out of balance.
So why start the model with understanding physical parts of the physical body first? Because those are easy ones to see. Those are easy injuries to notice because they’re visible, right? You may be able to look at your body. Notice that something’s off. You could see it on an MRI, you could see it on an x-ray. You could see blood, you could feel pain very, very easily. So it’s usually a very nice way to start understanding and also to start training or healing. So let’s look at two basic examples of physical body wounds. I’m going to link them to some more emotional things later on, but right now, we’re just going to look at the physical body.
So one example is “I cut my foot rushing to meet a person that I just met”. Really an example from my life. I was showering, in a rush, a little ahead of myself. My foot got caught under the shower door and I cut it. Blood everywhere. Slowed me down, but still healing it. So what to do about that is address the injury, right? So another example: I hurt my shoulder working out too hard, pushing. Yeah. Again, physical pain, joint pain, foot pain, lower back pain, digestive issues.
Whatever it is, look for an example from your life where you can see oh, this is an injury to my physicality. This is my physiology, something is off.
Now the next set of wounds is the set of emotional body wounds. What I like about emotional body wounds is that sometimes they get a little bit under the covers, right? So they’re not fully fully visible. They are sometimes old, right? And they may be coming from the past, and they’re not so easy to address, we’re gonna get into that in a moment.
So an example of an emotional body wound is that my heart is in limbo after meeting somebody. You can imagine an example where you meet a person. This person has some sort of troublesome past or situation around them. And I am not feeling so keen to just jump into that picture and take in the whole package. So I am a little bit in limbo. I’m uneasy, I’m restless.
Okay. So that’s an example from real life. Another example –you please look for yours– is that I have been hurt in the past. I’ve been abused. I’ve been disrespected. This could have happened in the recent past or in the old past. But in any case, it’s clearly an emotional wound. It’s some sort of trauma that is there. Yeah, look for something that you can relate to.
Lastly, we have mental body wounds. Why these are important is because they become automatic. They become our mood. They become our attitude. They become our personality over a while. It’s very interesting how the mental body affects everything because we are thinking beings and we have this huge brain. So the thoughts that are running us become part of who we are to the point that they get to be invisible.
Unlike the emotional ones where we may feel something is off but we don’t want to address it because it’s painful, the mental body wounds are those that run us like a program and sometimes it’s outdated but it’s still running us so we don’t know that is something that we can change.
We think oh, this is who I am. I’m always negative. I’m always depressed. I’m always bored. Right? So that becomes something that sometimes it’s hard to address. It could be a limiting belief, it could be something that you heard over and over when you were growing up and it became your default thought, and you don’t even question it anymore.
So I’m going to give you two examples again, one from my romantic life because some of you may relate to this, and one from my day to day work life. So I am confused right now about somebody’s potential as a partner because he disappears on me. I like him. There’s a lot of good qualities there. But he disappears, so I’m confused. I’m in a constant confused state when it comes to that, and it’s almost like I’m idling. I cannot move forward or back. I just confused. Mixed signals, right?
An example from work is that I tend to overthink sometimes, instead of reasoning something through and then allowing for space to process. Yeah, so I will think and then think again and look for another angle and put it upside down, and ask somebody for opinion, and keep thinking and researching and never really having a little bit of quiet so that it can simmer and my unconscious can step in and fill in the missing pieces.
Another example that I think might be familiar to some of you is a tendency to have negative looping thoughts and to allow these ideas to run in the background, like: “I never get things right” or “I always say the wrong thing” or “I am not enough” or “I’m dumb” or “I look fat”. Whatever it is… it begins to combine sometimes the body and the emotions, but just clearly cut, simply said, when you have a thought that is looping that is negative, it’s usually undermining your performance, and it’s very dangerous because it runs on autopilot. And you don’t even question it. You think it’s true.
So what do we do about this? We know now that we have three distinct types of injuries and wounds, and that they’re not really helping us move forward because they tend to pile up. So let’s find another way to look at this.
Life is really never stagnant. If you look at nature, if you look at the rhythms in life, animals, seasons, it’s always moving. It’s always changing. It’s always evolving, right? So our nature as humans in this environment on planet Earth, is to move to move forward, to move up, occasionally to move backwards, but continuously progress and evolve, right?
You may see this in a couple of different ways, if you want to think about it. I love to study the paths of mastery. So there’s a great book by George Leonard called “Mastery”, where he says the path of mastery is one where we have a little bit of improvement and then a plateau, and then another bit of improvement, and then another plateau, and then another bit of improvement, and maybe another plateau. Right?
So we go through these processes: we have learned something, and then we assimilate, integrate, and it feels like nothing is happening, nothing’s happening. And then we learn something else and nothing’s happening for a while as we integrate. But you see that the process is forward and up. Right? We might feel stuck a little bi,t or nothing really changing, but it’s because we’re integrating and then something else happens. This is the mastery path.
My other favorite mental model for this is Ray Dalio’s. And Ray Dalio looks something like this. And what happens there is that you have some sort of a goal or an idea and you begin to take it into the world and that begins to happen, and then sometimes you fail. Sometimes you encounter a problem, right? So you have to identify what is happening there. You have to maybe come back with a diagnosis for that and then design a solution. Right? Will you feel at some point that you’re in the bottom of the hole when you’re diagnosing what happened, during the autopsy… and then you design a solution. And that leads you forward and up again, it’s a quantum leap into another idea, and you do it. You do something else that takes you in and this eventually turns into a path that looks like this. What I love about Ray is that he also sees this as a forward and up motion and he is accounting for that moment where something fails, right?
So this is where I see us, sometimes identifying the wounds and noticing “Look, I am carrying this thing”. This is part of the diagnosis right? When you say I’m carrying these wounds and if I don’t do anything about them, I’m gonna keep carrying them as I go up to my next iteration, to my next evolution right? And overtime, if you imagine the weight of this…
You can see, you can imagine this as a backpack full of rocks, right? And you’re carrying all these wounds, and you’re on a path either that one or this one or whatever path you are, maybe your path is a zigzag, maybe you just don’t know exactly where you’re going, so you have to swing a lot to find that middle place. Maybe you take two steps forward and one step back, and then another step forward, and who knows what the shape of your path is.
But my point is, that is a forward and upper path. And if you’re carrying this bag of rocks, these wounds… if you do nothing about the injuries, they just add on to the weight, and they don’t let you move freely, which slows you down. It’s a lot of friction.
So let’s say these are all the wounds, and you’re doing your best to move on. But you still have them and you may think “okay, well this one we’re gonna patch, we’re gonna put a little bandaid on, because it’s small enough, so I’m gonna put a bandaid on that one”. “For this one we’re gonna take a pill, because if I take a pill, this pain will go away for a while and I don’t have to think about it, I’ll think about it when it comes back”.
“This one… you know this trauma is too heavy, so I’m going to ignore it for a while because I can’t deal with it, it’s too much. It will distract me, it’ll hurt. I don’t want to go there”.
“This one… you know this one needs a surgery, but the surgery is too expensive, is going to take me out”.
And when I say surgery, I don’t only mean physical ones. I’m talking about sometimes things that are so big and heavy that they will really need to be dissected out. But we think that sort of deconstruction and undoing, unlearning is gonna be either too expensive or take too much time. You can think: five years of talk therapy. You can think: trauma healing, who knows what’s on your mind, or the research that you’ve done, and you put this aside for later and want to take care of this surgery later. On and on.
You’ll see where I’m going with this. We avoid looking in for different reasons. And this just gets patched, patched, ignored, delayed, postponed. The root cause is never addressed. And we just keep adding because the nature of life is that the stressors keep coming. And we continue piling up wound after wound after want.
So one last example just to see how to maybe take all of this away from your life. And what do I do about it. So I work with my clients in this way. This is your path. And this is the wound that we encounter. There’s different entry points. So let’s for a moment consider that there’s different entry points to each person. So for you maybe the entry point is your physical wounds, because it’s easier to address, because it’s less intimidating, or less uncomfortable. Or maybe the physical body is something for you that you’re more familiar with. So you will be less resistant to share what is really going on.
For some of you maybe the mental body, because that thought is just so heavy on your life that you can’t even sleep. It is taking away your joy, creating problems at home with your wife, with your kids, or at work with your colleagues. So you really want to address that tendency to overthink or that confusion, whatever it is, lack of focus… For some of you, maybe the emotional body. Why? Because you see that it really hurts and you are unable to have a fulfilling life. Right? It could be all trauma, it could be present confusion or heartbreak or something that is not really functioning for you, and you know that. You know that you had Joy some time ago and you want to re recover that, you want to find it again.
The reason why we have to identify where the entry point is, is because your limbic brain it’s in between the emotions, for example, which are part of the limbic brain, and the mental body in your cortex. They are all sitting on top of the primitive brain, the reptilian brain, the one that detects danger and will say: run away! Hide! Fight! Yeah.
So if we go too hard into a place where there’s not an entry point, where you feel resistance, you will go: “well, that’s too much; that’s gonna make me uncomfortable, that’s gonna hurt”. Then your reptilian brain will immediately send a danger signal to your whole body, shut down, create a huge amount of resistance, and we’re out. We cannot.
So what we need to do in that case is create a base of trust, a base of support, by going first through where the easiest entry point is. So we will identify that together through an interview, a series of questions, and we’ll find out okay, this is the easiest place to start. So we address the pain, we take care of it, and then we create our basis of trust that doesn’t create any resistance or the minimum amount of resistance, easy, viable, the minimum change that we can implement. And then we continue building from there.
I like this image a lot. This is the path, this is what we’re and define is the entry point, the easiest entry point but it still feels like a boulder, right? Something that if you already know how to deal with you’ve already done it. You’re a high performer, you know, you know how to move in the world. So what happens when we find a boulder there, and we already know that just sitting and becoming a victim or ignoring it won’t make it go away. So I want to give you this. This is how I work with clients and the issues that we identify.
One way to deal with this could be that we together climb this boulder. We are very good climbers –I love climbing, for real–. So we climb the boulder together. And then before we know it, we’re on the other side of the boulder. That was easy. Sometimes it’s really that easy.
But maybe we’re not climbers. Maybe you don’t want to climb. Maybe you’re afraid of heights. So maybe I climb and I throw your rope and then you use that rope to come up and jump to the other side. And I’m saying this is a metaphor, right? I’m not here to fix you. But I have tools. I have training, so I can put together some systems, some processes that will allow you to climb the boulder and get to the other side.
Maybe climbing is not an option at all. So what can we do? We could get a big sledge hammer, a saw, we could get a hammer, and then make a hole through the boulder, a tunnel and together we walk through it. Okay, that’s another option. Sometimes impact, sometimes a big change, a big jolt right, especially after we created some trust and you know that this works and you know that I’m here for you, and that these systems work and they’re based in science, so then we can go at it hard.
Lastly, I will give you one more option. There’s many, but one more option. Maybe we can go around the boulder together. Right? Because we thought it was a huge boulder that was covering the whole path but maybe it’s not that big. So if we go around… this is where perspective is really important. We can go that way, we can go this way, we’ll go around the border and we get to the other side before needing to use any force or use any risk. Right?
We can just turn around the problem, go around it. This is a beautiful metaphor that my colleague Josh Waitzkin uses also with high performers.
So this is just to give you an example, guys, of how we can tackle big things and scary things. Some of these are scary. Some of these are very ingrained, but they’re not set in stone and we have many ways to look at them.
The main challenge, perhaps, is to say: “Yes, something can be done”. “Yes, I don’t have to do it alone”.
And yet there’s multiple ways. If you have one way to do something, you’re a prisoner. Yeah, it might serve you very well when you’re in a rush, when you’re under stress, but maybe it’s not the best option every time. So we want to find two ways, three ways of doing the same thing or looking at a problem,looking at an injury or wound, looking at a challenge, and have solutions that are just like tools in a tool belt where you can say “okay, I’m gonna use this one now because not everything is a nail, so I don’t need a hammer every time”.
So with this, I want to leave you. I hope you find it useful. I wish to continue presenting good content for you, so subscribe to the channel. Let me know how you like this and I will see you in the next one. Thank you so much, and have a great day.