Often, when I talk with individuals, they share how their health challenges have impacted their relationship with themselves and others. Mostly, the news isn’t positive. Lost friendships. Family members that don’t understand. Impacts to how their colleagues work with them, and too often, a sense of loss. A loss of connecting with oneself. But this doesn’t need to be the case. As your own health changes, you can change your relationship with your health in a way that empowers you to gain resiliency, to have more confidence, and to create your own new beginning.
First, let’s back up. Invisible health challenges can impact every area of your life. It’s common to feel misunderstood or unsupported by family, friends, and even doctors, as well as in the workplace. This often results in a loss of confidence and feelings of frustration or self-doubt. This is completely normal. There truly is much misunderstanding, much stigma, and an even overall lack of compassion. It’s beginning to shift, but the process is slow.
By being aware of the stigma, the impact that has on top of the actual health challenges, you can sooner move forward with accepting and living well with compromised health, whether that be temporary, long-term, or permanent.
I’ll share how changing my relationship with my health positively impacted my life and business.
There was a time years ago when my prior marketing business was booming, but my health was failing! I ended up in complete overwhelm because I was suppressing, rather than accepting, my health challenges. My overwhelm caused more suffering, more symptoms, and more health problems. I started doubting my abilities. I worried about whether I could continue to support my clients. My self-doubt climbed to an all-time high.
Finally, I called TIME OUT! I leaned into my health challenges and became curious. Instead of trying to hide my challenges, to push through, I asked myself questions about what I wanted and needed in my life; the RESOUNDING answer was… PEACE. This was the beginning of understanding and changing my relationship with my health. And it shifted everything.
Suddenly, I had a new definition of what success meant to me. I created a new business model for my business with new strategies and processes. I created a new lifestyle that made space for a lot more peace and joy. Being overwhelmed and stressed was no longer acceptable. I used my health as an inner compass to direct my choices, to base my decisions, and around which to build my business.
The results? A life and successful business that I LOVE! And this is what I want for you. In hindsight, I realized this all happened because I changed my relationship with my health.
Shifting your perspective around your health is empowering.
I know firsthand how health challenges can hold you back from success in your business. You can read about how I shut down my first business three times in the first five years of my being a business owner. Thankfully, that last shutdown was back in 2012!
5 Benefits of Embracing Your Health Challenges and Creating a New Relationship with Your Health
Changing your relationship with your health begins with leaning in with self-compassion and accepting where you are – right now. This frees you to:
1. Re-Architect Your Life in a way that supports your well-being and begin to develop new strategies and processes that help you feel empowered.
2. Celebrate that Your Health Challenges Do Not Define You. You are so much more than your health! Your physical health is only one area of your well-being. By stepping back and acknowledging this, you can see the gifts that other areas of your life give to you.
3. Have Fewer Setbacks and Emotional Distress. When we feel that our health limits and defines us, we feel worried, shame, or perhaps weak (incapable). This stress can trigger a flare-up or symptoms that then result in a setback. And the cycle continues… This can have a negative impact on relationships, our own self-esteem, and even the success of our business. Letting go of that attachment frees us from the emotional suffering that can set on top of the actual health challenges.
4. Build Resiliency and Confidence. As you change your relationship with your health and look through the lens of a new perspective, you can make lifestyle choices and incorporate business strategies that support you and your well-being, which in turn builds your confidence that you CAN successfully grow your business. And that you will work through new challenges thrown your way, whether they be health, relationship, or life challenges.
5. Set a Solid Foundation for YOU! A healthy relationship with your health, wherever you are on your journey, is the basis for setting boundaries that support you. Read that again, this is really important! The stronger your relationship with yourself around your health, the stronger the boundaries you will set AND enforce to further protect your well-being. You are simply in a place and better equipped to practice self-compassion in a way that supports you in respecting and supporting your needs.
So how do you get started in creating a new relationship with your health?
It’s easier than you might think! First, you need to FOCUS ON YOU! And then realize…
- It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint. Understand that this process takes place on multiple levels, AND also understand that every small shift is a BIG step forward.
- Start with Self-Compassion. We all have challenges in our lives. Suffering is part of human nature. When we acknowledge this and give ourselves the same compassion we give others for their challenges, we begin to reset our relationship with our health.
- Be Curious. Instead of viewing a health challenge or compromised health as something that holds you back or that is attacking you, view it with curiosity. How can you work with it? How can you work around it? What changes can you make in your life or business to bring your strengths and capabilities to the forefront?
- Live in Gratitude. Be grateful for the capabilities you do have. Every capability is a gift unique to you. Be grateful for the support and encouragement in your inner circle. They support your foundation. Be grateful for all your body has done for you. It might not be perfect, but whose is? And last, be grateful for each and every day. It’s a true gift.
When you sit with your challenges and even lean into them, with curiosity as to other ways you can accomplish the same goals, you’ll likely be surprised at the solutions that often surface. Solutions you otherwise would not have considered. They might be partial solutions, but each step forward improves your well-being and quality of life.
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