In the past the concept of mindset was not something I had given much thought to and it was not something I particularly believed in either. However, over the past couple of years my beliefs have changed considerably and it wasn’t until recently that I started to understand that this process is known by some as a mindset shift. This term really makes sense to me so I am happy to acknowledge it as this.
Three years ago I was very suddenly diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of Leukaemia, totally out of the blue; this has thrown me onto a different life path, changed my perspective and opened my mind to new things.
Previously my life had just happened to me rather than me having some control over it, I would fight fires rather than prevent them, reacting to what was thrown at me and not in the best ways. Obviously many things in life cannot be avoided but equally a lot can be. By the time I had used all of my energy, both physical and emotional, seeing to the needs of others, I was was too exhausted for any self care. In a lot of these situations it was not reciprocal either, my needs were never considered which left me hurt and let down. Now I know it was a contributing factor to my times of depression and phases of self doubt where I would question the point of my existence.
How did I get to this point?
Having spent a long, arduous six months in hospital, much of this time alone in a room, just me and my thoughts I did a lot of soul searching. At the time the odds were stacked against me, I felt incredibly vulnerable and fragile. When you strip everything away and all you are left with is your body, the vessel that carries you through life and it is failing to thrive absolutely nothing else matters. Those things I’d thought were important weren’t going to save me, they weren’t going to stop my bone marrow failing, they really were insignificant. I didn’t care about anything but what was happening inside my body; I didn’t care that I never went to the gym enough, that my house was never tidy enough, that my body wasn’t thin enough, that I didn’t earn enough, because suddenly I realised that without my health these were of no consequence. How could I have thought that they were so important? I was angry that I’d wasted too much of my precious life not really living, even though wiser people around me had advised me against such habits, I never truly understood.
At first I found it hard to deal with my new mentality because it was so unexpected and unfamiliar, it was like I had been taken over by another entity. I felt like I’d come out of a fog that had been plaguing me for years, this diagnosis had finally given me the reason I needed to really be myself.
I still spend much of my time helping others, paying it forward is extremely important to me now and becoming involved with charity has given me the right place to channel it. I don’t feel guilty saying no to someone who’s never appreciated me if I am busy fundraising, campaigning or supporting others. I never used to be so confident in my own mind, I used to let myself be influenced by others, usually the negative types. Now I don’t doubt myself because I have such a strong feeling that this is the path I am meant to walk. I know my worth, that I have integrity and am a good person and I have a lot to contribute. This mindset is incredibly liberating and has given me an inner strength that I never knew I had.
This is one thing that my diagnosis has given me and for that I am extremely grateful. Grateful because without it I wouldn’t have been thrown into this new path of better understanding and consequently be living a more meaningful life.
My thought processes are different now and the values I’d always had deep down are now magnified. I find myself prepared to stand up and say no when I’m being taken advantage of, not being heard or respected. For years I had often walked away from conversations or situations feeling undervalued whereas now I don’t because I will stand my ground.
I found this article while researching for this blog and its a great example of my experience. The new cancer survivors – Psychology today
I am happy to say that now I am in a much better place despite living in remission, my mindset is such that I practice self care, believe in myself, my judgement and self worth. Even though I am no expert my life is calmer, happier and I am certainly fulfilled.
How about you? Have you had a similar experience that has changed your mindset or is it something you want to explore because you have already read about it? I would love to hear about your experience…
Here is a great article on mindset 6 ways to shift your mindset
Many thanks for reading… ButterflyInRemission