Being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (or anything for that matter) feels so disempowering. You feel like something is happening TO YOU, and that you have very little control over the situation.
You might ask yourself questions like:
- “How did I let this happen?”
- “Why did I let things get so out of control?”
- “Why didn’t I just lose the weight?”
You might say things to yourself like:
- “I deserve this.”
- “I knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time.”
- “Now it’s too late.”
DISEMPOWERED is a feeling. A vibration in your body. It feels like helplessness. It feels like victimhood. And it is created by your thoughts.
Asking yourself disempowering questions like the ones I mentioned above seems productive – like you are searching for an answer. But when you ask yourself crappy questions, guess what kind of answers you are going to get?
Crappy ones. You’re going to answer with why you have failed. Why you can’t get it together. Why you are a lost cause.
And getting into a pattern of thinking that is much like victim-mentality leads to more helplessness and more hopelessness. Add to that a dose of self pity and you can find yourself stuck deep in a pit of misery.
I used to do this all the time with my 5 little kids. I used to get so overwhelmed and miserable in my thinking that I would indulge in self pity and negative thinking. There was no upside to it, but it was what my brain wanted to do when it was not supervised. It was much like a toddler running around with a knife.
How you think about your life and your diabetes will determine how you experience it. Allowing yourself to be the victim means you give up all your control.
How do you know if you are thinking like a victim? One of the biggest clues is that your brain wants to blame. It wants to find something outside of yourself responsible for the circumstances you are in.
Fill in this sentence and it will help you see if this is what your brain is doing:
The reason why I can’t control my blood sugars is because _________________.
If there is anything outside of yourself in that blank space, you might be thinking thoughts that are disempowering.
“So what? Why does it matter?”
It matters because when you allow something or someone outside of yourself to be in control, you lose all your power.
“What if I blame myself? Now what?”
Beating yourself up has no upside either. I wrote a whole post on this topic if you’re in this camp. The good news here is that when you accept responsibility for problem, you have 100% authority over it.
“So how do I feel empowered?”
The simple answer to this question is that you want to ask empowering questions and think empowering thoughts.
Here are some awesome questions that I want you to answer for yourself right now:
- What do you believe is the most important thing you can do for your body right now?
- What is easy for you about living with diabetes?
- If your diabetes was your greatest teacher, what would you learn from it?
- If you believed your body was your best friend, how would you treat it differently?
- What single change could you make right now that would move you closer to your goals?
Pay close attention to your feelings. If you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or hopeless about your diabetes, it’s a great opportunity to find out what thoughts are behind those feelings. Write them down if you can.
Then you will want to find thoughts that you believe that you can replace those disempowering thoughts with.
Instead of thinking, “It doesn’t matter what I do, my blood sugar is always out of control,” you might try something like, “There are times when my blood sugar is at goal.”
Every time you notice the crappy feeling and thought, you remind yourself that there is another true thought that you want to focus on instead. And you practice. Over time, this becomes the automatic thought and you can build on that. After moving through several thoughts, you might get to a place where you are thinking, “I know exactly how to control my blood sugars when I want to.”
Empowerment moves you away from being a victim and allows you to take action to improve your situation. It’s the most valuable gift I can give as a coach. It all starts in your thinking.
If you’re sick of feeling helpless and hopeless and want to take back control of your health and future, you’re my kind of person. I can give you all the tools to reverse Type 2 Diabetes and help you manage your mind so you can feel empowered and in control. Find me at www.AFutureByDesign.com.