Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Does It Take Courage and Curiosity to Recover from Chronic Illness?

I speak with potential clients on a regular basis suffering from chronic health conditions that say they want to get well.  They tell me they want to work with me but fail to take action. I hear all types of excuses disguised as reasons. Why is that? What would cause a person to choose to remain chronically ill?
The answer is simple. Fear of change.

It is easy for me to detect hesitation and fear by carefully listening. As a skilled health and wellness coach, I hear both what they say and what they don’t say. I empathize because I know what it took for me, after seven long years of chronic illness and disability, to make the decision that I wanted to get well. It required both courage and curiosity.

I doubt many of my clients would classify themselves as courageous. Most of them come to me afraid and tentative. What sets them apart is a strong desire to change their current situation.

When I look back at the major events in my life, deciding to get well was the most impactful decision I ever made.  It was also the most difficult. Like my clients, I wouldn't have said I was courageous. I too was afraid and tentative, but I knew I to wanted a different life. I wanted to be healthy again. I desperately wanted my life back.  As with any major decision my inner voices were bombarding me with doubts and “what if” questions.

  •  What if I can’t get well?

  •  What if I can’t find a job?

  • What if I give up my disability and then I have a relapse?

  • Will I be able to handle the expectations put upon me?

  • What if I’m not prepared for the changes?

  • Will I have the courage to give up people places and things that are standing in my way?

  • What will people think of me?

  • How will my life change and will I be able to handle it?

  • And the biggest one of all - What if I fail?

Many people avoid change because it "seems" easier and less stressful to remain in a life situation where we know what to expect. Change forces us to deal with the unknown. Additionally, for those suffering from a chronic illness, their condition often provides valid justification to avoid people, places, and situations. It can be comforting to know that you always have an excuse to fall back on - a reason to cop out.  It is far more difficult to open ourselves to make the necessary changes to get well. But I’m here to tell you it is well worth the risk!

Looking back now, I can see that it took both courage and curiosity. My curiosity caused me to begin searching for answers that Western medicine was failing to provide. Once my decision was made, I was willing to do almost anything to get well. And it took a tremendous amount of courage to ignore those little voices in my head that tried to make me believe it was easier to stay sick. It wasn't.Chronic illness is just one of the many life situations that can pose these types of challenges. Many people choose to stay in jobs they hate, abusive relationships, unhealthy environments, etc. simply because of the fear of loss and the fear of change. Being afraid can prevent us from taking all types of actions including ending an unhealthy relationship, committing to a new relationship, moving to a new city, going back to school, breaking an unhealthy habit, launching a new business idea… the list goes on.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.  — Mary Anne Radmacher

So what can a person do to create change in their life?How does a person find the courage to make changes that seem so difficult?

It starts with being curious!

If what you’ve read resonates with you, if you can identify yourself in these words, then I invite you to join me at this powerful, life changing event.

Twelve Thought & Wisdom Leaders are coming together in a global virtual conference: Game-Changing Questions and How They Can Transform Your Life!  This event begins April 16, 2016, and invites you to think about how courageously and authentically you are living your life and provides game-changing tools and guidance for making your next shift. I invite you to join me at this powerful, life changing event where I will be discussing the secrets your body holds, and more.

Whether you’re dealing with a chronic health condition or fearful of making other changes in your life, this conference will enlighten you and help you to find the courage to be curious about your future. Register now by clicking here.