Regardless of what you're facing in life, the way you show up has a huge influence on how you feel, how you move forward, and how you experience the moments of your life.
It's easy to fall into the trap of using words and thinking in ways that don't support the life you want to be leading.
In fact, the power of your words and thoughts can actually be undermining your ability to move forward, by reinforcing the struggle you're facing or the situation you're feeling stuck in.
In this episode, you'll hear some examples of how you might be working against yourself by the way you're showing up in your life.
You'll hear ways to re-frame your thoughts and language and you'll learn why that's important for your healing and your success in life.
You can also download the free action sheet below to help you work through some of the areas where you may unknowingly be holding yourself back.
Listen in for the details, and then take action with this free download.
Start shifting your mindset today and show up like the person who lives the life you want to live!
Read the Full Transcript below:
Welcome and thanks for listening.
Today is a very special show for me. Normally, I spend a lot of time planning, researching, and creating an outline for my podcast to be sure I’m delivering the best evidence-based, information and the best behavior change strategies, and then every now and then, something pops up and changes everything I had planned and in my gut tells me that this is what I have to talk about.
When that happened to me this week and I set up to record another little serendipitous sign told me this was the right topic for today.
This is the 52nd episode of the BCRC and the number 52 is a number I always associate with my brother who, if you listen to this show, you know lost his life to testicular cancer in 1993.
My brother was a big guy, 6’5 and built like a like the center on a football team, which he was throughout high school, and his Jersey number was 52.
My brother’s name was randy, and most people would be intimidated by someone who was as big as randy, but he was a true gentle giant. He was a chiropractor and he was always available even outside of his practice to show up on the doorstep of someone who was ill or had an ill family member to help them and work them to get stronger and to heal
He had an amazing attitude and although he was a big joker and a tease, he was an incredibly positive forward-thinking person. And that’s what, in addition to this episode number ties my thoughts of my brother into today’s show. Because we’re talking about how you think and how you show up to your life vs how you need to be showing up for life and the health that you want to have.
You would think that as a health coach, my main focus would be diet and exercise, and although those are important to health, they are definitely not the most important factors. What I have learned through my life, through my experience with cancer, and through my education and training a wellness professional is the most important factor to good health, is a mindset.
You’re probably familiar with the Henry Ford quote that says, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.”
That is so true and that is why mindset is critical to wellness. And when I say mindset, it’s not just our thoughts but it’s also the language we use. Our thoughts are powerful no question about that but when we take those thoughts and we put them into words, and we express them with emotion they just continue to grow in power and impact. So, we have to be mindful of how we think and speak about ourselves.
_talk about the magic
This applies throughout life and in every area of life, but it’s especially important when you're trying to get through treatment for cancer and when you’re trying to recover from cancer treatment. And that's not because if you think positive you‘ll probably heal yourself...I’ll talk about that in a minute.
Your mindset and your language are important because they give you a better quality of life not necessarily a longer life.
So, here’s the story that inspired me to do the show on this topic of mindset today. It wasn’t my brother; his energy was just a validation for me.
The inspiration was a conversation I had this week with a newly diagnosed woman.
She’s a younger woman, she has a young child and she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer with lymph node involvement. Scary stuff…
This week was the beginning of her chemotherapy treatment and she is not in a good space mentally, emotionally, as I’m sure you can relate to. I remember the sick feeling in my stomach at the thought of getting hooked up to that drip and it still makes me sick to this day.
But as she was talking with me about her feelings she was telling me that she just knew that she would experience all the rare and worst side effects, because that’s what she attracts and the worst things are always the things that happen to her, that she just couldn’t stop thinking about how she was going to tell her daughter she was going to die, how she was sure she wouldn’t be able to work because she was going to get so sick … and I could keep going on but I won't Because I’m sure you get the state of mind she was in.
If I could have crawled through the phone line and wrapped my arms around this woman to help her feel some calmness and roundedness, I would have. And I told her that.
What she wanted to know from me was what natural things she could do to try to fight the effects of the chemo she was about to get. And what I told her was that the most powerful thing she could do right now was to work on her mindset. Which is what we started to do.
Now this story is raw and real and I’m sure you can relate to her fear I certainly can. And the point of me sharing this with you isn’t to judge her reaction but to help you understand the power of language.
did you feel a little anxious as you heard me say her words? A little sick to your stomach…
I know I do. Now here’s the thing. I didn’t want her to work on her mindset because I think everyone should keep a positive attitude, so they stop saying negative things.
She and you and I have every right to express our fears and it’s important that those fears and anxieties are heard.
But when you’re in a spin...no matter how valid the reason for that spin is...it’s important to walk through what’s real about those thoughts and what is only plain old fear.
It’s important to develop skills and tools that don’t suppress these thoughts but give you something to work with when those thoughts come up so that you feel like you have at least some power over your situation.
Let me give you another example. Again, if you listen to this show regularly you know I have struggled with the weight that I gained and the blood sugar and cholesterol issues that started when I was in chemotherapy. Without question I can say that my fight to return to get these areas in check has been one of the biggest pain points in my recovery.
So, one day, I was talking with a woman who was sharing her frustration with me over her menopausal weight gain and her inability to lose it.
as she was sharing her story with me I heard her reinforcing with her words that she could not lose weight, that it didn’t matter what she did she just couldn’t lose it so she was beginning to give up some of her healthy practices because they weren’t getting her to the goal she wanted so why waste her energy.
And as I listened to her I thought oh my god. I totally relate to her frustrations and I am beginning to talk like that. I am no longer showing up as a person who is working on weight loss. I am showing up as a person who is broken and can’t achieve weight loss...holy cow how did I slip into this role?
It was a real eye opener for me. I talked about this in a previous episode, I got so focused on the problem that I was no longer working towards a solution and I didn’t even realize it. Thought patterns are very sneaky.
So, I invite you to take a moment as you’re listening to me now and think about your biggest challenge to creating the life you want right now.
Is it weight gain, fatigue, pain, fear, worry, loneliness, confusion, trying to get back to normal?
What is keeping you stuck and frustrated? Causing you to feel like cancer robbed you of something in your life.
You probably already have something in mind.
Now ask yourself, how are you showing up in this area?
If you’re stuck because of fatigue how are you showing up every day? Are you using language that reinforces how tired you are, or are you reevaluating your life style and setting yourself up in a way that works around the times when you feel the most the most tired or the most energetic?
Are you stuck because you don’t feel like you used to and are you showing up as someone who’s lost and frustrated, or are you able to let go of what was, use language that supports how healthy and strong you can be as you are now and with a mindset of looking forward?
Are you feeling like your stuck because now that you survived cancer, your lifestyle or your work doesn’t fulfill you in the way you need it to? Are you showing up and using language of being stuck and unfulfilled, or are you showing up with a mind open to the possibilities, and ready to find resources and solutions to take you in a different direction?
Or the ever popular...are you stuck because you want to lose weight and it’s not as easy as it used to be. Are you showing up as someone Who won’t buy cute clothes for yourself anymore, or you won’t go out to certain places because you don’t want to be seen by certain people, and who constantly uses words like, I’m so fat, I’m a whale now, I can’t believe how fat I am, and you indulge in food and lack of activity because you’re feeling frustrated and sorry for yourself?
Or are you showing up as someone who has a plan for increased activity every day, are you setting aside time to plan your food, managing your time so you get the right amount of sleep on most days and taking steps to get whatever support you need.
Dr. Lissa Rankin in an article published in Psychology Today, writes that “thinking is "real" medicine, as proven by the placebo effect. When given a sugar pill in place of a prescription drug, an average of 30% of subjects will show a positive response. What causes this response isn't a physical substance but the activity of the mind-body connection. Expectations are powerful. If you think you've been given a drug that will make you better, often that is enough to make you better.
So, what are you thinking? How are you thinking and what are you expecting from yourself today?
The challenge over the next 5 days is to really pay attention to your language. Listen to the words you use when you refer to your health and to yourself in general. Even if you laugh as you say it, if you’re tearing yourself down or not supporting your success in the language you use or the way you show up.
First of all, thinking is "real" medicine, as proven by the placebo effect. When given a sugar pill in place of a prescription drug, an average of 30% of subjects will show a positive response. What causes this response isn't a physical substance but the activity of the mind-body connection. Expectations are powerful. If you think you've been given a drug that will make you better, often that is enough to make you better.