If you have health challenges and you’re not listening to your body, you’re likely pushing your body beyond its limitations and failing to support your overall well-being in a healthy way. If you have any type of health issue or diagnosis, I understand. It’s tempting to prove to yourself and others that your health condition is not going to get in the way of your success! Call it irony, call it a paradox, call it what you want… but this form of brushing off reality – of denial – will lead to the exact opposite of success.

You don’t need to divulge your health to others but to do your best work, you have to be honest with yourself about the impact a health issue has on your overall well-being and work.

To live a life of joy and impactful work alongside health challenges, you have to embrace where you are and let go of denial. If that pains you in any way to hear this truth, read it again. YOU HAVE TO LET GO OF DENIAL.

Letting go of denial and understanding your limitations

Once you take the time and effort to deeply understand your limitations in a way that helps you set healthy boundaries to protect your well-being and your business, you can confidently show up in your life and work without fear of judgment. Until then, you might find that you try to convince yourself that you don’t have any limitations. I’m going to share a little harshness… out of care. If this is the case, you are likely denying your true needs.

I understand what it’s like to not be able to achieve the same kind of success using the same tactics you previously used. I had to shut my first business down three times in my first five years because I kept denying that I needed to work differently to sustain my business success and my health.

If you’re denying your needs, denying your limitations, denying that your health challenge is negatively impacting your life and business, you’re not living authentically. And if you’re living in denial, it’s nearly impossible to listen to the signals your body is sharing with you in a way that will support your work and your well-being.

Remember this: Denial leads to setbacks. Embracing your challenges leads to healing. It really is that simple. You’re going forward or backward.

If you’re still curious and want to learn more, let’s explore how not listening to your body’s signals might be affecting your life.

Three ways failing to listen to your body’s signals might be impacting your life & business:

1. You experience a perpetual cycle of setbacks.

A cycle of setbacks occurs when you feel good for a day, a few days, or even a few weeks and you work hard, and then you’re ‘suddenly’ struggling to work at the same pace or to work at all. You might be forced to rest, your cognitive function might feel off, or perhaps you’re lying in bed with a bad migraine rather than serving your clients.

The downtime is frustrating. You thought that ‘this time’ you could push through.

The problem with living this way is that you are always catching up. These repetitive ‘failures’ eventually feed into feelings of self-doubt and decreased confidence, rather than into a sense of empowerment around your well-being and work.

Financially, this cycle of setbacks is keeping you from growing your business to the full extent of your capabilities. Push yourself enough, and you might even lose your business, as I almost did three times between 2008 and 2012.

2. You miss opportunities to align your work with your capabilities on any given day.

Let me explain. When you operate solely based on your task list or autopilot, your daily work efforts are driven by external factors only. You are failing to account for the foundation of your business – YOU!

The result is that you might struggle with analytical work on a day when your cognitive skills are not sharp. You might be doing repetitive tasks that could be just as easily accomplished on an ‘off’ day on a day when your creativity level is high.

As a result, you might struggle through analytical work on a day when your cognitive skills are not sharp. Or you might perform repetitive tasks that could be easily accomplished on an ‘off’ day on a day when your creativity level is high. Your work is mismatched with your energy.

3. You fail to find solutions that work best for you and that is hurting your business.

If you are not listening to the messages your body is giving you, you don’t develop solutions that work best for you and this is hurting your business.

Too often, we approach life and business ‘by default.’ Given the option to do things as you always have or how you see others doing them instead of taking the time to explore what would work best for you at this time based on your needs, capabilities, and limitations. The status quo might feel comfortable, but if it’s not serving you, it’s not serving your clients.

When you instead listen to your body and adapt and adjust accordingly, you are now making the conscious effort to be curious and to create new solutions unique to you.

Examples of finding unique solutions to support your needs

  • If you feel pain sitting at a desk, you can explore new ergonomic setups. You can also adapt your schedule, and/or explore modifications you can make in your posture and your activities.
  • If you struggle with focus after 60 minutes of work, you can find a new way to work in shorter increments. You can also rearrange your work so that your most challenging work is during your best cognitive time.
  • If you live with day-to-day uncertainty as to how you will feel on any given day, you can build your business to thrive alongside that uncertainty through the use of type of work offered, types of clients worked with, smart processes and smarter agreements. You can stop doing things as normal and toss aside concerns of what others might think.

To find the solutions that work best for you, you must first accept your limitations; and then focus on your needs, your desired outcomes, and unique solutions. If you insist on building your business while denying any health impact, I guarantee you are not working in a way that best supports your business or well-being. This is costing you time and money and is further reducing your well-being.

The Choice is Yours.

In the above sections, I touched base on the impact on your life and business by not listening to your body, as well as the cause, denial. This denial results in lost income, extra healthcare costs, unmanaged health and well-being, strained relationships, frustration, stress, and overwhelm.

This denial seems to be our last-ditch effort to pretend like everything is fine. That we are fine. That we can do this!

The problem with this mindset is that it’s a façade, a lie.

You cannot live authentically without being honest with yourself. You cannot be honest with yourself if you are not willing to dig deep and gain self-awareness. And you cannot fully gain self-awareness if you are not willing to listen to the signals your body is giving you.

Make the Choice to Listen to Your Body & to Respond Accordingly

Once you learn how to listen to your body in a way that serves you, you can use that information to know how to better respond. Responses can include taking a break, resting, and realigning your work based on your health signals that day. Responses can also be knowing you are on the brisk of a significant setback.

This awareness puts YOU in the power seat. You can deliberately decide a course of action to serve both your well-being and your business. Perhaps you choose to hire an extra hand, renegotiate a deliverable date, or let go of one client to better serve yourself, your business, and other clients. You get to create that space that supports your goals and your well-being.

If you instead fail to listen to your body. If you choose to deny your health challenges. The outcome is much more likely to be that you will need to react to a situation gone awry. A situation of too much stress, too much worry and that comes with a feeling of having no good options.

The choice is yours. If you desire to have the opportunity to respond to your challenges, you’ll need to apply your wisdom long before it feels needed. You do this by listening to the signals your body is giving you every day.

My Thriving Through Self-Awareness program will teach you how to listen to your body in a way that supports your business. You’ll create a personal plan around your most significant health challenges; a plan that you can refer to time and time again in making decisions related to your life and business. You can explore other programs here.

For ongoing tips around building a business that supports your health, well-being, and success, sign up for the BalanceUP® Lifestyle Newsletter.

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Simone Giangiordano, better known as Simone G, is the creator of BalanceUP® Community. She is a business and lifestyle coach who has helped hundreds of clients create a business that works for their unique lifestyles. This despite being told by multiple doctors and professionals that she should not work and to just get on disability because of her chronic health issues. She has used her nearly 2 decades experience in the corporate world and more than 15 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, trainer, and business coach to create the Building Balance to Empower® programs, including her signature program The Power of I Can't® to help individuals with heath challenges create and live a life of peace, joy and yes… success.Learn more about Simone G's story.

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