I’ve written previously about focusing on what you can do, not what you can’t do, and I thought I’d refresh it.
The Challenges With Chronic Illness
With chronic/invisible illness, it can be quite easy to focus on the problems. The health issues, the ways they change us or impact us negatively, the limitations that are put on our lives, the things we struggle with, the things we can’t do. It’s harder to look at the positives or see the things we can do and the parts of us that do work, even if to varying degrees.
By honing in on those things you can’t do or have, or the ways in which you feel constrained, limits your perspective and decisions even more so. This approach can apply to other limitations as well as health-related ones, such as with finances.
Redirect Your Focus
Take a step back.
What are the things you can do, however small? What ways around the illness or limitations can you find so that you’re still able to go about your day and do things you need and want to do? Think outside the box. Work with what you’ve got.
Adjust your focus and expectations and make them more reasonable, logical and positive. Take note of the things you can be grateful for that often get lost in the midst of pain and illness. Instead of ‘I can’t do…’, change it to ‘but I can do…’.
By focusing on what you can’t do, you are reducing yourself to parts – parts that don’t work the way they should or the way you want them to. You’ve heard the saying by Aristotle : ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Well, so are you. You are more than the bits of your body, the bits of your brain. You are more than just the things you can’t do.
Take back some of your control. Look at what you can do, not what you can’t. You may just find that your options open up, that there are more things you are capable of that you give yourself credit for…