Choose to Conquer Cancer Fatigue


Human beings often say one thing but do another.  We've all done it in our own lives, I am no exception.  In the cancer clinic I see it daily - people feel terrible, I give them a medical plan to fix it, they go home and do not implement the plan, they call back complaining of the same symptom.  This shows a desire for a different state of health but deep ambivalence about implementing a plan to achieve it.  Ambivalance is the enemy of positive health change.

ambivalence noun  am·biv·a·lence  \ am-ˈbi-və-lən(t)s \

: simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (such as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action

: continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)

: uncertainty as to which approach to follow

Merriam Webster is so right - if one feels two ways about something, one becomes paralyzed by hesitancy.  You constantly contradict yourself so you just stay put.  To move toward health and vitality you must consciously choose a fork in the road and head one direction up the path, whether it's the absolute right way or not.

So how do you make the leap, not knowing what's in store, whether your choice is right, whether you'll make a mistake, whether you might fail?  And how do you know whether you are ready to make a choice at all?

I can quote the medical literature until I'm blue in the face, give you all the facts I know to be true, give you a list of things to do that will result in positive health effects.  But if I do that without you consciously choosing to change, you won't use the information to your advantage.  Instead you'll feel terrible, I'll give you the plan, you'll go home and not implement it, and you'll call with the same symptom.

Sound familiar?

To make health change, you must embark on a process to give yourself permission to believe change is possible.  This is the only way to set and act on your health goals.  You must become conscious of ambivalence, assess the contradictory thoughts you're having, and hear the negative thoughts you're telling yourself about your ability to change.  Only then can you choose one path and transform negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  It's not easy or simple to understand the obstacles we place in our own paths.  Many cancer survivors require professional help for guidance through this process, either in counseling or health coaching.  It is a worthy investment because it can change the direction of your life.

Maybe your thoughts aren't negative, maybe they're positive, ready and willing - that's great!  There's nothing that can stop you.  If you are having negative thoughts about your abilities and desires you must address this head on.  Once you do, you can move toward your goals with resolve.

 re·solve  \ ri-ˈzälv , -ˈzȯlv also -ˈzäv or -ˈzȯv \

: to reach a firm decision about

: to make (something, such as one or more voice parts or the total musical harmony) progress from dissonance to consonance

Now thats more like it!