The Incredible Power of a Label
And no, I’m not talking about food labels … or even GMO labeling!
I’m talking about the labels we put on ourselves …
What if I told you that your beliefs about your life story and the way you perceive your life experiences can make all the difference to your current (and future) health?
Do you believe that? Are you open to that possibility?
Either way … you’ll definitely want to read this story I’m about to share with you ...
You see, of all my clients, M is the most amazing example of a transformed life!
M came to my office one cool, crisp Fall day.
As I caught a glimpse of her walking past my office window, I could See she was in trouble. My ICU nurse radar was triggered.
A 20-something who otherwise looked like she was in her 40’s.
I answered the door and welcomed her in. I could sense her energy was nearly rock bottom. But she was pleasant and smiled softly.
In the office, as she told me her “health story,” it became clear that she was sick her entire life.
She was a preemie, born 4 weeks too early along with her twin brother. Her early years were plagued by the usual early childhood viral illnesses. But instead of bouncing back quickly, like most kids, they knocked her flat … each time.
From Middle School to High School, her health took a nose-dive. Hair loss from alopecia, asthma, female issues and mood disorders impacted her ability to concentrate at school. The bullying didn’t help either. Her only joy was playing soccer … when she was well enough.
Colds, flus, sinus infections and bronchitis were frequent year-round. Carb cravings were relentless. Sleep was an issue too. It was either too much or too little. Bouts of anxiety plagued her.
For two years, M pretty much stayed in bed - sick, tired, depressed and unable to work – after an experimental gynecological surgery. She just couldn’t recover. Her social life suffered terribly. College and a career was out of the question.
It became clear that M lived at the doctor’s office. Not just one doctor, but three. A family doctor and two specialists. Despite all this doctoring, she was worse than ever before.
She looked scared … and rightly so. Even her doctors were scared for her. That’s why they suggested she try “something else.”
M figured she was at the family doctor at least once a month for one health crisis or another. She often walked out the door with antibiotics, steroids or mood-altering medications. But nothing helped.
At this point in her story, she referred to herself as “Sick Girl.” My heart sank.
I softly suggested that she ditch that label.
I encouraged her, over the months that followed, to be open to new possibilities … the chance to change her health story to something better. To not let a label define her.
I knew if she didn’t change the way she viewed herself, she wouldn’t find health. My many years of being an ICU nurse taught me that. Whenever I had a patient that spoke in negative terms about their health, low and behold, the very thing they spoke about would happen.
That’s the power of labels ...
By the end of her first visit, I knew I had my job cut out for me. So much in fact, I thought for a fleeting moment she might be too much to handle.
But I also knew that if I didn’t help her, she would end up in the hospital … and soon … with no one that understood her.
The root of her health issues was very clear to me and I knew I could help.
She actually reminded me of Me more than a decade ago! I changed my health story all those years ago … and so could she, if she wanted to.
Luckily, she wanted a chance to have a better life, and said “Yes” to us working together. It’s been an amazing journey to see M lose the ‘Sick Girl’ label and ditch the ‘doctor visit lifestyle’ … even with the many twists and turns … and detours.
But fast forward a year and a half (18 months!) … M went from a self-proclaimed 'Sick Girl' to a healthy Mom-To-Be!
Yes, you read that right … Mom-To-Be. A young woman who could barely sustain herself when she came to my office is now healthy enough to not only create, but sustain a new life.
And while there’s a lot more to M’s story, her transformation all began with saying “Yes” to the possibility of a new belief in who she is … a new label - Mom - and a new way of looking at her story.
What label or belief are you carrying around? Leave me comment below … with your label or reaction!
P.S. Stay tuned for next week’s blog ... K.C.’s transformation and what she learned firsthand about her body’s amazing capacity to restore and renew itself.