Redefining success when illness changes your life

As you may know my tag line has always been Inspiring Success, Health and Well being. Because of my background of being self employed for nearly 20 years, including experience in owning a small business, I have mostly worked with small business owners creating structure , systems and routines to support the development of themselves and their businesses. So the focus has been very much on creating success within this environment.

Recently however I have been working with a few clients with major health issues from genetic illnesses to autoimmune diseases and depression. I am a great believer in having really great support as you challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and deal with issues that are getting in the way of your success. I keep hearing that these clients are not finding value in support groups who meet with a focus on the illness and indeed the whole definition of what success looks like changes when faced with a health condition that completely reshapes your life.

So how do you handle it all?

These clients have expressed an interest in wanting to be around positive people who can see the person behind the illness, who recognize and encourage opportunities for learning, growth and understanding. So you can set the intention to build or connect with a community that will support you in this way.

There is a real need to learn to talk to ourselves in a positive and supportive way, to be kind and gentle with ourselves when dealing with illness. We tend to beat ourselves up for not being healthy, for not handling things as well as we used to – there is often a real lack of understanding or acceptance of the emotions that we all go through as we come to terms with new limitations. So start to notice how you’re talking to yourself and be willing to be more compassionate as you come to terms with the changes.

There are many beliefs that exist around various illnesses about what is and isn’t possible, that can get in the way of  having a different experience, which could allow a person to transform their quality of life. Start to become aware of these beliefs and to really explore and challenge them. Are they really true and can you find examples of people who think differently about what is and isn’t possible?

The rules that society use to define success will also no longer apply. It will be the small steps, the little things that we can complete that give us satisfaction each day and the moments of peace that we experience in amongst the turmoil that will have more meaning. It takes time to adjust to this change in particular. So start today, exactly where you are right now and start to pay attention to the little things that matter rather than dismissing them too quickly as not good enough. You may be surprised to discover that the small things that you can contribute actually have so much more value to others than you might have once thought.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and welcome comments to this blog to share you experiences. And if you need some extra support as you go through any changes with your life call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email heather@inspirationscoach.co.nz to arrange to time for a chat.

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