Living with cystic fibrosis is not easy. It is not something that any of us ever asked for, therefore it’s very possible to exist in that “why me” space (especially considering the variety of negative statistical factors or comparing your own struggles with that of an unfair perception of others’ lives).
Ultimately, a big part of the process in getting through the continuous uncertainties in life, with the cards that we have been dealt, is by applying the balance of giving ourselves permission, as well as giving ourselves credit. That is, permission for being human; for having flaws and for making mistakes AND credit for making an effort, while celebrating the fact that we overcame and achieved success (even in the smallest accomplishments).
How do we then turn that understanding of permission and credit into motivation to pursue our goals? Motivation, the perspective that we adopt (i.e. can or can’t thinking) and the fear or trust you succumb to, are all choices.
We can start to put into practice small attainable steps in our day, which may initially feel like the “fake it ‘til ya make it” concept, however I can quite confidently emphasize that the more you practice these steps, the more you will begin to feel that genuine or authentic outcome that you actually desired in the first place. First, empower your own sense of motivation by really acknowledging the effort that you are making. Recognize where you may be over-focusing your energy in certain places above others, or maybe challenge your hesitation through accountability.
Maybe you need to do your breathing treatments or CPT more, or need to participate in a better nutrition/caloric intake routine? How about participating in more physical activity or exercise or perhaps you can simply talk to your family or friends (certainly those who are actually living under the same roof) and make requests for help or support?
Again, finding the motivation to succeed, in many cases despite the struggle, can be a daunting task. Making an effort is often very hard work. It is certainly harder than just sitting back and waiting, putting things off and procrastinating, or avoiding and giving up all together.
We have a choice in motivation. Knowing that we may need to pursue assistance from others to be motivated and actually do so; essentially hearing their encouraging words (which is called external motivation), is common and necessary in life.
The thing that we need to really take into consideration is the fact that we actually have many opportunities to create our own personal version of “internal motivation;” those messages which we give to ourselves that say, “I can. I will and I am doing a good job!” These actually become much more important than any external version of motivation that we will ever receive.
So to get you jump started on identifying your own messages, I’d like to say to you, “You CAN do this! You CAN take better charge of your health and ultimately YOUR life.”
Summer Katz, M.A. NNC, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Cystic Fibrosis Pharmacy Patient Advocate
*Disclaimer: This blog is provided for informational purposes only (including brief topic exploration or reflection) and should not be used as a substitute for professional mental health or medical treatment.