Getting diagnosed and going through treatment for breast cancer - not easy.
You think it gets easier when treatment ends, but you never really feel “done” and like you can close that chapter, and the fear of recurrence will always be lurking in the background. Always be living scan to scan. Never feeling “normal” again, so you get really used to pretending to be fine.
The worst part is that you are so determined to change your circumstances, put yourself first, and do everything you can to prevent a recurrence. Still, it seems like there is SO much to do and so much conflicting information, and it makes knowing how or where to start to reclaim control of your health, life, and body feel like an impossible task.
I know how overwhelming it feels when you don’t know where to start, and all you want to do is have a plan so you can start to feel safe and relax again, so I did an entire podcast episode on just that one topic, and you can listen to it HERE.
It’s a lot of info, so I’ve taken that information and condensed it down into the 3 steps you need to do right now to reclaim control of your health, life, and body.
Step 1: Understanding and accepting that you will never have full control.
There will always be other people and situations outside of your control that will impact whatever situation you are trying to influence. For example, losing your luggage on a trip or your flight getting delayed are things that are completely outside of your control that can affect even the best-planned trips. These are examples that are easy to relate to and often easy to let go of because it’s so clear that these are external, and we have no influence over them.
However, when it comes to ourselves and something internal, we don't apply the same knowledge, and we don’t let it go easily. We hold on for dear life like it’s a form of protection.
We become attached and addicted to trying to control the outcome of our health, our lives, and our bodies. When you respond to something in the same way over and over again, your brain releases the same set of chemicals, and you become “programmed” to react in the same way over and over.
You get so used to feeling this way that it becomes so hard to feel differently, which perpetuates the feeling that you have no control, which continues to fuel the need to control, which then perpetuates feeling out of control.
Before you know it, you’re stuck in this stressed out, anxious, fearful loop.
So how do you get out of this loop and reclaim your sense of control? That brings us to step 2.
Step 2: Cultivate awareness around your thoughts because your thoughts dictate your actions.
You've probably heard a million times by now that you can't control things or people or situations, but you can control your response.
Thoughts come first; then, they produce a feeling. Then you take action based on how you feel.
As a coach, my job is to get you to feel in control, but for this action to bring a sense of control, I need you to be aware of your thoughts first.
It's important to look at the types of thoughts you're having, where they're coming from, and what emotion is driving them.
Oftentimes, the fear or stress driving the thought is because of something that's in the past, like a cancer diagnosis, or it's something about the future, like uncertainty because of the cancer diagnosis.
What is actually causing the fear/stress/anxiety/worry all the things that you're feeling right now in the present moment is a thought about the past or future you feel uncertain about.
So, the first action step for you was to cultivate awareness around the origin of your thoughts and then recognize that a lot of this is probably rooted in the past or the future.
Step 3: See that we are a collection of all of our past experiences.
It's important to understand that all of the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, and even the really horrible and unthinkable parts of your life, such as cancer, are experiences that are now part of the fabric of your life that makeup who you are.
We are a collection of our past experiences.
Just because you had or currently have cancer, and that experience is now a part of your life, the diagnosis does not define you in any way. I do encourage you, though, to see it as a defining time in your life for your own personal growth and expansion.
Because we are collecting our past experiences and today (the present) will be the past tomorrow, tomorrow's future includes and is dependent on what you choose today.
If you don't take the time to realize this, then the experience of the past will continue to show up in the present, which means it will continue to impact your future, and you will continue to live in that stressful/anxious loop, which I’m guessing is the exact opposite of how you want to feel.
It's essential to become aware of and acknowledge any ways that you might be letting the experiences of the past run the show in the present because this is where we have an opportunity to course-correct, to make a conscious and empowered choice to think and feel differently, and co-create your reality.
The ability to make a conscious and empowered choice to think and feel differently is actually pretty easy to do. What's hard is integrating this new thought pattern into your belief system, which is all governed by your subconscious mind.
What you believe to be true ultimately dictates your thoughts, which dictates your feelings, and subsequently, your actions. So if you believe that life after breast cancer has to be hard, has to be full of fear, has to be full of anxiety - then that will be your experience.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though - you get to choose. You have the power over your thoughts, which co-create your reality.
You can reclaim your sense of control and your personal power by taking control of your thoughts, your actions, and your responses to both internal and external situations. And you maintain control by reprogramming your subconscious mind's belief system so that you believe at your core that you can and will be the healthiest, happiest, most confident, energetic, vibrant version of yourself. This conscious choice to shift your beliefs will change how you feel and change your world experience.
If you want to learn more about how to do this, check out my FREE mini-course 3 Vital Steps to Thrive after Breast Cancer.
You will learn the 3 vital steps to thriving: physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health, and you will receive practical tools to help you reclaim control of your health, life, and body.