When Sickness Comes To Sabotage Your Success
I felt it today, while I was driving, on my way to a meeting… I felt it creeping up my shoulders to my neck and starting to press in on the glands at my throat. It was sickness. It was the beginnings of what I regularly experience. But today was different. Today I recognized that particular sick as a form of self-sabotage. My own body was looking to protect me from my current momentum and success (even if it’s small at the moment, it’s still the right direction!) and it wanted to take me back to my safe place. Back to my home, my bed to recuperate.
As soon as I realized that, I felt defeated, deflated. I’m tired of feeling sick so frequently. I’m tired of this stopping my momentum, inhibiting my creativity and keeping me away from I want to do with this life.
But in the midst of feeling this sickness coming on, I got some inspired advice, and with this advice, I decided to take control, take my body and my health back, with love and compassion.
And the sick went away.
I get sick regularly and it’s been that way for almost as long as I can remember. Though if I dug deep enough, and far enough back, I’d probably find that the beginnings of the sickness were tied to some particular life event.
For me the sickness typically shows up in the form of migraines, or overall fatigue and feeling like poop.
To step back for a minute and look at illness in another way, what happens when we’re sick aside from the symptoms?…
Here’s what happens to me when I’m sick:
I have to stay home and not go into the world. I don’t have to stand in front of the room and give that presentation. I don’t have to exercise. I get attention in the form of sympathy and special care and foods. I don’t have to do the work. I don’t have to be brave and vulnerable. I have an excuse. I have an opt out. I am protected from the harshness the world can bring – the rejection, the ridicule, the judgement… I am safe when I have my sickness around me.
How does that make you feel?
If it triggers you and makes you mad, I totally understand. When these concepts were first introduced to me – YEARS ago – I thought it was falseness being spewed by someone who never got sick and didn’t know what it felt like to suffer. They had no idea how special I was in my pain and suffering. They had no idea how much I hurt.
I really felt this way. I felt like I was special for my sickness. There was something really wrong with me that nobody else could ever possibly experience like I experienced. It sounds kinda funny now, from this perspective, but it’s actually pretty awful. What kind of prison was I insisting I live in?
Before y’all go crazy here and get mad and think I’m ridiculing and judging the sick peeps of the world, please know that’s not the intent of sharing my story.
My intent is to introduce you to an idea that might change your life. It might free you from your sickness too. It might open the door to your prison cell so you can walk out and start living life more fully.
If you’re still with me and reading this far, you’re probably here because at least a part of you is ready to hear this message. Part of you is ready to stop being a victim and is ready to start taking responsibility for your life and your health.
If you’re not sure if this applies to you… ask yourself: Do you regularly find yourself falling ill at really important times in your life? Do you find yourself coming down with something when it’s your turn to be in charge of something? How about when someone is counting on you and it feels scary? How about when you’re about to have a major breakthrough? Or when you’re starting to experience some success?
Sometimes sickness is not just about protecting you and helping you hide, but it’s showing up as a cue that you’re doing something that really doesn’t align with who you are.
Sometimes sickness comes when we’re holding onto lies with so much determination, they start to take form as illness in our bodies.
And sometimes sickness just means we got a kiss from a sick, sweet kiddo.
But, what if, you could look at those feelings of illness, when they start to show up, and you could recognize them and invite them to leave? And what if they did leave?
That would feel pretty exciting right? Empowering maybe?
For me, discovering both the possible reasons for my regular sickness (for me I believe it’s about protection from being vulnerable, and self-sabotaging my success so I’m kept safe, at a level I know and am comfortable with) and then realizing I could recognize the sick as it creeped into my body, acknowledge it, and then let it go was HUGE. I know this will take some ongoing practice and I know it’s also a signal that I need to slow down and make time for self-care and extra hydration and good foods.
How would that feel for you?
May I take you through the super simple process for what I did?
(I’m going to assume you said yes, since you’re still reading…)
As I felt that pressure start to creep up and around my neck I acknowledged the pain and the discomfort. I said:
I see you there. I acknowledge you, little one. I can feel you coming in my shoulders and up my neck and starting to press in. I see you, and I thank you for showing up and doing your job. I know you’re here to protect me and to keep me safe. But, it’s okay, I’ve got this. I’m in the right place and good things are happening. It’s new territory, yes, but that’s ok. Let’s be curious here. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see how it feels to do something different. Let’s see how it feels to be brave and to see where this road leads. Let’s see what this next place looks like, let’s see what it feels like. Let’s see what we learn. It’s okay, we’ll be okay. We can be strong and healthy. We can feel good. We can be vulnerable and we can share. We can share our weird and we can be open to more weird coming our way. We can ignore the comments (we can turn off the comments). Thank you for being here and for teaching me so many things in this life. Thank you for all the character you’ve built, and for patience and for growing a pretty good tolerance to pain. Thank you for all the quiet time you brought me. Thank you for all you’ve done. Now I release you so we can step through to the next place.
This is basically what I said. Not verbatim, since I was driving and didn’t write it down, but this overall feel of the statements. Start by recognizing it, acknowledging it, thanking it, releasing it and then laying down a forward path.
Does this feel a little crazy to think about doing this? I imagine it might, but consider that something crazy might change things for you too. If you’ve been doing the same things for a long time and still aren’t seeing the results you want, crazy can offer an excellent solution. If nothing else, it’s different and can entertain you for a few minutes and the silliness might take your mind off the pain.
So next time you do start to feel the first signs of you sick coming on give this a try. And when you say the words, say them and really mean them, feel them. Really bring your awareness to the sensations you’re feeling of your sickness. Be aware of a lifting and releasing sensation when you thank the sick, and when you allow it to release. Let yourself feel excitement as you talk about the path ahead – as you allow curiosity to come and show you what brave feels like, what success looks like (or whatever you’d like to incorporate into your life that the sick is currently infringing on) and let humor and silliness and emotion move around as you do this.
It’s worth a shot, no?
And I can’t speak from experience just yet, but I’m pretty sure that this will take some practice to get the hang of reacting to our sick in this new way.
But let’s give it a try and let’s ask others to try this with us. Let’s get curious about where our sickness comes from and why, when, how, where.
And let me know, k? I really do hope this helps you the way it helped me. Thanks for sharing this journey to healing with me.