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What I Wish I Knew

“How we think we’re going to feel in the future when we’re taking that next step is rarely how we actually feel once we get there.” – Andrea Hanson

Join me as I talk about a favorite piece of advice that was given to me at a time when I was ready to give up and walk away in the middle of a challenge.

Drawing from my experience in a 150 mile bike race, I reveal the simple yet transformative lesson I learned that helped me get up the next day and finish what would be one of my proudest achievements. And I share how it can work for others in their lives as well – you don’t have to be on an epic bike ride to take advantage!

This approach has become my guiding light, helping me conquer doubts, break barriers, and find success in even the most daunting situations.

Discussed in this episode:

  • The empowering impact of focusing on the present moment and how it can lead to triumphs.
  • How to let go of anxiety about the future and approach each step with clarity.
  • How to make clear and accurate decisions when worries get in the way.

Guest Spotlight: Andrea W. Hanson

Andrea W. Hanson is a motivational speaker and the author of two books about having a positive mindset while living with a diagnosis; “Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis” and “Stop Carrying The Weight of Your MS”.

She’s also a master certified life & mindset coach who’s lived with multiple sclerosis for over two decades. Her podcast, “Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis™” features conversations with people who are creating extraordinary lives while living with chronic illness.

Andrea teaches people how to tune out the noise of their inner critic and listen to their authentic voice so they can feel confident in their ability to make changes and create the life they want.

Her online course teaches the Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis™ blueprint to help people living with a chronic illness to create self-care, deeper confidence, and helps them get back to feeling like themselves again. Get more information and join the waitlist at

Andrea loves to hike in the mountains with her Blue Heeler — and sometimes other humans, too. She’s happiest when traveling with her husband and exploring new things — or simply sitting poolside with a good book.

Connect with Andrea W. Hanson

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Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis

“It is refreshing to have a book that fosters hope and promotes self-healing. This book is an excellent resource for those looking for ways to be proactive….and ways to find hope.”

“It is a true guide on how to listen to our bodies, connect to them, nurture ourselves and understand the power of our mindset.”

“I will be recommending Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis widely to all my patients when dealing with a diagnosis or setback!”

Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis – The Book!

Stop Carrying the Weight of Your MS

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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Andrea W. Hanson

[Andrea Hanson] Welcome to the live your life, not your diagnosis podcast. I'm Andrea Hanson, author, motivational speaker. And master certified coach. When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was told. I would never reach my goals. But I did. And I'm on a mission to prove that life with a chronic illness can still be expansive and quite remarkable.

Everyone has their own unique path. I'm talking to people, living with a chronic illness that come from different backgrounds, have different points of view and are achieving amazing life goals of all kinds. To you inspire you To achieve what you thought was impossible. These stories are raw. Uncensored and judgment free. Listener discretion is advised

 Hey everyone. This is Andrea Hanson. Thank you for joining me. I hope you had a great week.

This week, I want to share a story. If you've read my book, live your life, not your diagnosis. I tell the story in there. But I don't know about you, but I always like to hear an author retell a story that's in their book. Later on because a lot of times there's a different angles. There's different understandings, even different applications.

So I always like to hear it. Retold and I am going to be doing that for you today because I was just talking to somebody earlier today. I'm not going to tell you what she's doing, but it's a big move. It's a big move. That's got a lot of moving pieces. And in other words, it's just, it's something really amazing.

But totally overwhelming. And whenever I think about doing something that has a lot of heavy lifting. A lot of steps. I'm always reminded of the time that I was in the 50 bike race. It was an amazing experience. I'm still so proud of myself for doing it.

It's quite the accomplishment. But I learned one simple lesson from that race. That has stuck with me. I still think about it and I still apply it in my life all the time.

Now this bike race was years ago. Longer ago actually, then I care to think about, um, I don't know, probably about 10 years. And it's now it's called the bike, Ms. Which some of you might recognize it's one of the biggest fundraisers for the national Ms. Society here in the states. But back in the day, when, way back when I did it, it was called the

One-fifty because it was a two day bike ride. That was about 150 miles long. It was no joke.

It was also something that I've never done before. I wasn't a huge cyclist. This is road biking. I didn't have a bike when I signed up. And if you know me at all, you know, that. This is totally up my alley. Like, let's take this. Big huge thing that I've never done before and just do it. I'm kind of a quick start like that.

Sometimes it's great. Sometimes it bites me in the ass. This time. It was actually great. Um, But I just jumped in. I only had like a few months to train, which meant going from basically. Zero miles on a road bike, especially to 150 miles. Over one weekend. And so it was a really tough learning curve. There was a lot.

Of things to learn. I had to get my strategy. Right. I mean, I started from the very beginning, like I got my road bike and I took a couple of classes just at the local bike shop . We had a really good bike shop where they taught you how to road bike, because there's a whole. It's a whole thing.

Who knew. But I learned all of the tips and tricks and the rules and everything like that. And by the race I was, I was ready. I was ready. Ish. I had got on a few shorter, bike races around the city and got used to it. I did my own long bike. runs on the weekends. It was also a very well-supported race. And again, this race is still going on and it's fantastic. I felt really comfortable launching in it. There are people of all abilities that do this bike race, and again, it's very, very well supported. It's a really well put on, event.

So I felt good. so I launched in, I finished the first day, which was about 75 miles. And at the end of that day, I was spent. I was done. Super proud of myself made it, but I started thinking. I have to do this whole thing again tomorrow.

And I just froze. And I remember being at the little, the tent, you know, the team tent. And I turned to my teammate and a friend of mine, and I said, I can't do this. I can't do this again tomorrow. I was really scared. I looked at how I was, I didn't have the energy. How could I possibly have the strength again? Because that day.

I was fantastic. But it was tough. And I was not being hyperbolic. Day one. Kicked my ass. And I was convinced that, that next day I was looking at tomorrow, I was like, tomorrow cannot happen. It can't happen. I mean, I'm not going to be able to do it. And she just looked at me and she said, Don't think about tomorrow.

Which is so simple. I was so tired to be honest, telling me not to think about something. I was like, okay. I'm not going to think about it. And so I didn't, I had dinner. I, I took ibuprofen. And I went to sleep. And I didn't think about the next day.

When I woke up in the morning. I was tired. Yeah, I was hurting. I was actually less sore than I thought I would be probably because I took the ibuprofen before I went to bed. But I was ready. I was ready to bike for a second day. And I did it. I did the whole next day I finished the whole course. I was super, super tired. I was really slow.

But I am so proud of myself that I did that.

And the magic. Of that advice that she gave me was not take one step at a time. That wasn't it. We all know we take one step at a time. Right? We all have thought about this. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. The magic of this

was to take one thought at a time. One emotion at a time.

Because. We can take one step at a time, which is really important, but we can still think about that next step. We can still worry about that next step before we take it. We can still set ourselves up for failure in the future. For that next step. Before we're taking it. But if you have a plan. And a lot of times in these big grand plans that we have when there are a lot of steps, we generally have a good idea of what we're going to do. Even if it's just like the first couple of steps. And so when you have a plan and you have clear steps to take.

But then only take each step one thought at a time.

That is when you can set yourself up for success, because you're not projecting anything onto that next step.

And there's a couple of reasons that this works

first. How you think you're going to feel. In the future is rarely how you actually feel when the time comes. All right. That's why like when we're laying awake at 2:00 AM and we're worrying about something. Maybe we have to do something in the morning. And we're rolling it around in our head and we're worried that we're not going to be able to do it.

And we're projecting how hard we think it's going to be. When you wake up that next morning and you actually do that. Very rarely. Is it the same? Right. Very rarely. Is it as hard? And crazy and confusing as we think it was going to be. When we were worrying about it before.

How we think we're going to feel in the future when we're actually taking that next step is rarely how we actually feel once we get there.

Second, like I said, when you're doing something really big, when you're doing something that has a lot of moving pieces, a lot of steps. Generally, you have an idea of where you're going. You have an idea of what the next couple steps are at least. Like when I was on that, in that bike race, I knew the next step was going to be getting up in the morning and doing it all again. The second day.

Because those steps were already laid out. So when you have your plan, You don't have to think about that next step until you get there.

You can trust. That on, at least at the very least on a basic level, you know what you're going to do next?

And third. If you. Do get to that next step. Let's say you're on step one. You're not thinking about it. You're just focusing on step one. You're not even projecting.

How you're going to feel. And then you get to that next step. And at that point, you truly just don't want to do it. You know that that is a valid choice. Based on how you feel in that moment. Not based on how you think you're going to feel,

but maybe you will, or maybe you won't. You know? That it's a clear message. That, Hey, maybe this isn't the right step. Or maybe you need to pivot or tweak it or make it something a little bit different or just skip it. All together. Anyway, you look at it. Whatever you have, whatever ideas you have about that next step.

Are very clear and concise. When it's in the moment.

It's truths. It's not an assumption. Based on something. Two three days beforehand.

And I love that. I love that, you know, you're getting a very clear message. About that next step. That is not at all. Muddied. Bye projections and hyperbole and worries. I think that's gold.

And I would say even forth now that I'm thinking about it is. When you're not loading yourself up with. You know, worries about the next step. Thoughts about the next step. Feelings, all sorts of emotions about the next step when you're not. I would say like, pre-loading them. Before you get there.

You're gonna naturally have more energy when you get to that next step, because you don't have that load that you're putting on yourself.

And I think that gives you so much more energy to both do the step that you're on, that you're focusing on. And doing that next step. Once you get there.

So I love this guideline. Don't think about the next step. Until you're there.

I use it for big things. Like when I was doing 150 miles. In a weekend. Which is a lot of fun. I use it for little things. You can use it for physical things. You can use it for if you're on a path of healing. And you're really working on a plan to heal your body. If you're working on a plan to make a big move.

A big change. All of these things. It can really be applied to every single one and a lot of times when we're in plan creation mode, That's a whole different mode. And even if we only have a few steps figured out, maybe we don't even know what the end goal is going to be. Maybe we only have the first two or three steps. You can still just focus on the one step. Because when you've done that last step, you'll have a very clear view.

Of what's next.

This is a great way to take stress out of your day. This is a great way to infuse more energy and focus into what you're doing. It's just a great, I don't know. I just love it. It's just a great way to look at things because quite often we have a multiple steps or multiple things that we're doing.

As always. I want to hear from you. I'm curious how you can apply this guideline to your life. What big plan are you working on? How can you take it? Not just one step at a time, not just the action. Of one step at a time. But one thought at a time. One emotion. At a time, how can you completely focus in with your. Thoughts with your emotions with your actions? How can you totally focus in. On the step that you're working on right now. And not even have the next step. In your mind yet? You can always reach out to me.

I love hearing from listeners. I love hearing from people. You can get to me at my website, Andrea Hanson, There's also, if you go to the description of this podcast episode, there is a link right there where you can also shoot me an email. I love hearing from you. Let me know what you're working on. Let me know questions that you have.

And that is it for now. I hope these tips really help you make your big and even small plans, a little less stressful. And we easier to keep moving forward.

I'll talk to you next week. And until then, Take care.

About Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis

Live Your Life, Not Your Diagnosis podcast

Hear inspiring discussions with people living with chronic illness. These people went after their passions and big goals -even when everyone told them they couldn’t. Listen to stories of resilience and gratitude in the face of uncertainty.

I’m your host, Andrea W. Hanson, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Autoimmune Rebel living with multiple sclerosis. You’ll not only fall in love with these guests, but you’ll soak up positive mindset tips and ideas to find your own unique path to success.

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