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You cannot control what happens to you, life can be unpredictable. But you can control your reaction to what happens to you and your attitude moving forward. The hardest part about having a setback is replaying the moment in your mind over and over wondering how you could have avoided the situation or what you could have done to produce a different outcome. These thoughts are only going to cause anxiety because you cannot change the past. Today is the only thing in your control and you have a long journey in front of you to get yourself better. Strength starts with your thoughts. Make sure that your thoughts align with your dreams/goals/beliefs because what you think turns into your actions, views, and attitude.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking about your entire journey to recovery either, keep your thoughts focused on today and how you can be positive and better yourself right now. Setbacks are extremely difficult but never let your setback define who you are. Pain teaches you a lesson and makes you stronger to prepare you for your future. Don’t label yourself as the person with the bad knees or bad luck. Your mind can hear you! Think of yourself as the person who turned their weakness into strength or the person who had the strength to recover from a major injury. This event has changed your life and you cannot change that so accept it and focus your mind on continuing your journey in a new direction in a positive way.

If this is hard for you practicing positive affirmations will help to control your conscious thoughts. Just like you have to train your body to get strong; you also have to train your brain! Try writing down 5 to 25 positive affirmation phrases every morning when you wake up.  Use phrases like I can, I am, and I will. I can conquer my ACL recovery. I am strong and ready to grow. I will comeback from surgery stronger and smarter than before. I can do anything I set my mind to. I am capable of amazing things. I will use this setback to better myself and my athletic abilities. I can determine my own happiness. I am confident in my abilities during my road to recovery. I will not let this slow me down.

Write down these phrases and say them aloud. Repeat them over and over until you believe them. Use these affirmations every morning and throughout the day whenever you feel negative energy taking over your thoughts.

You can overcome this setback and it will make you stronger. Take each day for what it is and focus on your mindset in the moment. One day you will look back and be surprised and proud of yourself for everything that you have accomplished! Mindset is everything.