Something has weighed me down for a long time.
The funny thing about issues that weigh us down is that we can tell ourselves carrying that burden isn’t that bad. We eventually get used to feeling weighed down and even feel like something’s missing if it’s gone.
I told myself for a long time that the discomfort of this burden was a good thing because it was necessary for growth. I’m a mindset coach – I eat a big bowl of personal growth for breakfast every morning.
But even though I learned and grew a ton, this burden has taken a toll on me professionally, physically, and spiritually.
It’s time to get rid of it.
We often know the right choice for us right away- but we often brush it aside.
Maybe the decision pops in our head too quickly and we’re taught it’s wise to think about it a little more. Or it’s a gut feeling we’re not used to having or taking seriously.
That’s not to say we should listen unconditionally to what our split decision is in any circumstance.
But we do need to hold onto that idea, sleep on it, and incubate it so that it can grow into a fully formed decision that’s in integrity with who we are.
I had an instant decision when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I decided that MS would not define me. MS would never be who I am – only something I have. My life would never revolve around my diagnosis.
And for 10 years, it didn’t.
I definitely was never in denial. I’ve always had a great team of doctors, am pretty aggressive with my treatment, and make a ton of changes to my lifestyle in order to heal my body.
But even when I only had vision in half of one eye during a relapse, I never made my life all about MS. I made my life about healing, growing, and living.
We’re all human.
Sometimes when we make the right decision, we inexplicably decide to do something completely different.
Sometimes we act in direct conflict with that right decision.
We can decide to eat better and be doing really well with food changes – and then out of nowhere go on a cookie bender that feels like we erase all the good we’ve done.
Or we can have a great relationship or a job – and then torpedo it because we’re looking for “something more.”
Sometimes it’s not a conscious decision at first. It can pretend to be a great new direction or something that will be even better than what we have.
In the end, we always realize we should have listened to ourselves all along.
Recently I realized that I had made a ten-year diversion away from the very first – and right- decision I had made so long ago.
I followed the advice of people I respected and convinced myself that I should make my business all about MS.
At first, this diversion was about paying it forward and helping others with MS cope with their diagnosis. Then it was about writing two life-changing books about how to manage your mind and live well with a diagnosis.
After that, it was a fulfilling business centered on helping others live their lives, not their diagnosis.
I loved every minute of this diversion- teaching, writing, and coaching clients about making peace with their diagnosis.
I often hear from readers about how much my books have helped them. I literally received an email while writing this from someone saying she felt the book was written just for her. These messages fill my heart with all the best emotions.
I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.
That never-ending feeling.
I could no longer ignore this weight on my shoulders.
The feeling snowballed and impacted my energy, my body, and my happiness.
After what felt like an eternity of going around in circles with my coach, trying to figure out what was wrong, I saw so clearly what was happening.
20 years ago I decided that I wouldn’t make my life about MS. And I never have.
In a sneaky switch, I made my business about MS. Which was essentially the same thing.
This weight has been here since I started my business. Concealed because of all the amazing, light-me-up things I’ve been doing with my business.
That’s the thing about diversions from that first, right decision. They can seem worthy, necessary – even valiant and selfless.
But during the worthy, necessary diversion, the weight sat squarely on my shoulders. And it’s time to get back into integrity with myself and with that decision I made so long ago.
A simple shift.
I’m going to stop making my business all about a diagnosis.
It’s important to know this probably won’t look any different to you. If you’re a current client, our sessions will be filled with the same impactful mindset shifts and ah-ha moments. If you’re an Autoimmune Rebel, that community will keep being amazing and supportive.
If you’ve ever worked with me or read what I write, you know the deep work we do is never about the diagnosis – it’s always about what you believe and managing your mindset.
I’m still here – helping you get back to who you are and who you’ve always wanted to be.
I’m still talking about how to take excellent care of yourself, handling stress, managing your thought spirals, and finding your voice again after being knocked down.
What I’m no longer doing is making my business all about MS, diagnosis, and illness.
And I know that’s the right decision because I feel like I’ve lost 100 pounds.
So don’t worry – I’m still here. In fact, I’m more “here” than I ever have been.
And I can help you feel the same.
If you like what you read, check out these other articles by Andrea Hanson:
2. Ego Love