You are NOT Your Problem
3 Steps to Get Unstuck & Overcome
Full transcription available at the bottom of this post
Stop letting your situation define you
We've all got problems, big and small. But all too often we let those problems define us. We decide what we are or are not capable of, based on those problems. Our identity gets wrapped up in it and we get stuck there.
Your problem could be a situation, an illness, a trauma, a relationship, a difficulty of any kind. For many years after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder I let that disorder define me. I saw myself as broken. I BECAME my problem. I allowed that disorder to define who I was, and define what I was capable of in my life. I decided that because of this problem my options were limited and my path was narrowed. Have you ever done this before? Are you doing it right now?
Sometimes our problems can see overwhelming. It feels like the problem will ALWAYS be present like a heavy weight on our shoulders, always there, always affecting us, like we'll always be stuck in the problem.
But the truth is, staying stuck is a choice. Overcoming is another choice. In this episode I'm going to share the 3 steps I took to get unstuck and overcome the grip that my problem had over me. Friend, you ARE powerful, you ALWAYS have a choice, and I'm going to give you the tools make the change you want.
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Show Notes & Transcript:
We all have problems, big ones and small ones. But all too often we allow those problems to define who we are. We decide that what we are or are not capable of in life is based on and determined by that problem, I want you to know that you are not your problem. So if you're feeling stuck right now, and if you're struggling to overcome something, this episode is for you. Three Steps to overcoming and getting unstuck because you are not your problem. Let's go.
Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life at the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help you take back control of your mind health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health. Find food freedom. And finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger waves, it's time to get unstuck and start moving forward. So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes, let's walk and talk.
Before I get going, I want to remind you that there's three free workbooks on the website for you tarafualmann.com, head over there, grab all three of them and start putting those things into action. The first one is all about stress eating and how to overcome stress eating. The second one is all about how to set the right goals so that you take the right steps to get where you want to go. And the third one is just some simple shifts that you can make to what you're doing right now. So it'll be a lot more effective a lot faster. So if you haven't grabbed those, head over to the website, tarafaulmann.com, and grab them there right on the front page.
Okay, let's get down to it. When I was diagnosed 11 or 12 years ago now, with Hashimotos. That's an autoimmune thyroid disorder there probably as a lot of you out there who have it. When I was diagnosed with that, for many years after that, I let that disorder define me. I saw myself as broken. I mourned the old Tara, her body worked just fine. And it did what it was supposed to do. And she felt healthy. And she felt vibrant. She could eat gluten and she could eat dairy. Right? I became my problem. I allowed that disorder to define who I was, I let it become a part of my identity. I decided that because I had this problem. My life was destined to be this way or that way. Like my options were limited because of this problem I had the path that I was on was narrower because of this problem. And I really let it define what I was and was not capable of, like I would say stuff like I'm never going to be able to blah, blah, blah, again, right? Why can't I just eat like a normal person? Why can't I have it's not fair? Right? I really let it define me. And I really made it a part of who I was, and not in a healthy way. So I want to pause right there and just ask you really quickly. Is there any sort of problem in your life that you are allowing to have that much power over you like I was for way too long?
Just think about what are some problems that you might be dealing with that you are giving so much power to in your life? It wasn't until I started using the formula for success and doing a lot of work on my mindset, that I started to see that what I was doing was really allowing this diagnosis to hold me back in so many ways. And because I was allowing it to define me I never really believed that I could improve. I didn't really think that I would ever feel really good. I didn't think that I would be able to change or to overcome it. I didn't think I would be able to get past it in any way. Do you know what I mean? It felt like it was just always going to be so present and so heavy and so there all the time. And when I was writing this episode, I realized like I haven't even written a podcast episode. We're like Almost a year and a half into this thing, I haven't even written a podcast episode about Hashimotos. Because for me, it's not such a present thing anymore, which is so crazy that how far I've come. Because before it was very much ever present, every thought was what was me and this is terrible, and things will never be the same. I really, really was letting that diagnosis define me, and to dictate what I was going to be capable of for the rest of my life.
Have you ever been here before? Have you ever done this to yourself before? Maybe probably you're doing it right now, in some way? Have you ever allowed a problem or a struggle? Or a trauma, a diagnosis, an illness? Any situation? Really? Have you allowed it to define you and define what's possible for you? Like, really, really take a second? And think about is there a situation in your life that you are allowing to have this much power over you? Is there a person is there a diagnosis and illness or trauma and anything that you're allowing to define you in this way, we all have something, none of us gets out without something. We all have done this in some way. And it leaves us feeling very, very stuck and very, very overwhelmed and like things will never be okay again. And what I'm here to tell you is that they absolutely can be okay, again, like they really, truly can. And so I was thinking about how I sort of worked myself past that. And there was three real big things that I did. That helps me move from there to here, here to the point where it's not even a present thought that I'm having every day, I'm just living my life and possibilities are endless. It is something that I deal with every day, it's always there, right? It's never not going to be there, there is no cure for an autoimmune disorder. But it is not something that defines me any longer, I am so much more than just that diagnosis. And that's where I want you to get to. So I have kind of three steps that are things that I went through for myself that seemed to really help that might help you as well.
The first one is to create some separation between you and the problem, you have to separate you from the problem. The way I did that was to name it. The name for me, it was obvious it was the Hashimotos, right. But it's really important for you to name the thing like make it its own entity so that your brain begins to perceive that it is separate from you. I am me. And these are all the things that are me. Hashimotos is this other thing, that is sort of a part of me, but it is not me. So for you, maybe that name is the name of the illness, right? That's what it was, for me. Maybe it's diabetes, maybe it's stress eating, you're going to name it stress eating this problem, you're going to name your problem, overweight, you're going to name your problem over eating, you're going to name it abuse in my last relationship, like you might actually want to give it an actual name, then you're going to name the problem. So that you can create in your brain some separation between you and this thing that exists in your life. This is not ignoring the problem. Okay, I want to be super clear, this is absolutely acknowledging the problem and understanding the gravity of the problem. And all the ways that it's affecting you. All of that is very important, we must acknowledge we cannot ignore, and this is absolutely not ignoring, this is not sweeping the problem under the rug in any way. What we're really doing is acknowledging that it exists this situation this problem, but also creating some separation so that we can begin to understand that it does not define us, we are not identifying with the problem anymore.
If I'm imagining in my brain, I'm literally seeing this problem like a little thought bubble, right? And it's got its name inside of it. And it's a separate entity for me, it exists in my life. But it is not me. Does that make sense? You have to use your imagination on this little bit, you have to do some mental exercises here. But naming it is going to be the first step. And then you're going to want to create some space between you and that problem and naming it is allowing you to do that. And it's allowing you to see that problem more objectively, right? If I'm not wrapped up in the emotion of what this problem is causing for me, if I can separate that and put it in its own little thought bubble out there, then I can see it a little bit more objectively, I can get some perspective. And when I can see it more objectively, I can then start to name some of the emotions that are part of that problem. Okay, emotions that maybe aren't ones that I want to feel all the time but emotions that are related to that problem. Okay, so here's an example. So for me, in my little thought bubble was Hashimotos, right? And I'm imagining it outside of my body just floating out there in space. And inside that thought bubble are the emotions that were coinciding with that. So I was feeling things like anger and sadness and grief and and resentment, and I can take those emotions and I can put them into that little thought bubble with Hashimotos, I am separating those things from me, I am seeing them for what they are, I'm recognizing that they exist, I'm acknowledging them, I'm understanding them. But I'm also creating some separation between me and it, the way that I was doing that, for the most part was finding gratitude for all the parts of me and all the parts of my life that were not that problem.
So once I had those things in their own little thought bubble separate for me, I could then focus on me without that, and if I could find some gratitude for me, apart from all those things, that I was feeling those emotions and, and what was going on with Hashimotos, if I could find some gratitude for myself, and for my life that was separate from that, that's how I even further that separation. So I would focus on what can I do? And who is in my life? And what kind of person I am? And what kind of relationship with God, can I cultivate how someone else has no power over any of those things, right. And so I was starting to again, just create more and more separation by naming and separating what was going on with that problem, and then having a lot of gratitude for all the other really good things that were going on in my life. And, yes, you always have a lot of really good things going on in your life that you can be grateful for. That is a practice, gratitude is a practice, it's a practice that actually has its very own lesson in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program, because it's that important to be able to focus on the gratitude piece. So that's the first step.
The second step, then that I did was really start to manage my own thoughts. And we talked about this a lot in this podcast and in the membership and the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program, not allowing the problem to drive your thoughts is what we're going to focus on. So when we're focused on the problem, we are problem oriented, right? We can only see what's not working, we can only see what's wrong, we can only see the things that we don't like. So I'm going to encourage you and open up the option for you to be more solution oriented, focusing on what is right, what is working, what is good. What can you build on, that is a conscious choice that you have to make you consciously at any moment can choose to be problem oriented or solution oriented. And so I'm going to encourage you to make the choice to be more solution oriented. So for me, solution oriented, in my situation looked like research, I found the right books, the right articles, the right doctors, I asked the right questions, I found more helpful paths. I did the hard work of changing my diet and changing my mindset, I put in the work, because I decided to be solution oriented, I decided that this thing does not get to define me anymore, this thing does not get to dictate my life anymore, I take back control. I'm in charge here. And I want to find solutions. And so that's what I did.
In order to do this, you're going to use what we call here the formula for success. The idea is that the circumstances in your life are things that you can't change, but you can be in control of the thoughts, which cause the emotions which cause the actions which cause the results. And so this problem that you're dealing with goes up in that circumstance line, right, this problem is not the result. This is the situation you can't change it for. So for me, right, I will have this for the rest of my life, I can't change that. It goes in the circumstance line. The problem is just something that happened to you. But what you can do is change your thoughts and your emotions and your actions about it. You are in charge of the thoughts that you have about your problem and about yourself. Once you learn how to manage those thoughts, you will begin to feel very differently about the problem and about yourself. And those emotions will then spur actions that will be more helpful to you and moving you forward instead of the actions that are keeping you stuck right now. So your ability then to manage your thoughts. It really just takes practice it takes understanding how to do it takes using the formula knowing what that means. And then being able to manage your thoughts in such a way that you create you generate different emotions.
Let me give you an example. I'll just take you through how I was feeling and how I work now. Hashimotos goes in my circumstance line. It is a thing that is in my life and I cannot change it. My thoughts about that used to be that it's unfair. Why me? Woe is me. I'll never be the same, I'll always be unhealthy. I'll always be dealing with this. I hate this because I'm resentful of my body. right those are all my thoughts. And then those created feelings of anger of apathy. of overwhelm of stress of resentment of sadness, those emotions were creating actions then of not doing anything, what was me, you know, I'm just sitting around wallowing in my problem, right. And I was the result that I was creating is that I was completely stuck. And I was not moving forward. And my problem was defining me. And then what I learned over time was how to change that. So my circumstances still the same, I still have Hashimotos, it's not going anywhere. There's nothing I can do there. However, my thoughts I was able to change to thoughts of, it's okay. Lots of people overcome this. Lots of people live with this and are super healthy. Lots of people have battled this and come out the other eye, other side. Even better, I could do that. I'm strong, I'm brave, I can fight. I'm not afraid of this. Right. Those are the thoughts that I still had that I started having. And those thoughts created emotions of hope and determination. And those emotions of hope and determination spurred me into much different actions, those actions were I was being proactive, right, I was being solution oriented, I was finding doctors, I was reading books, I was taking care of myself, I was making the changes that I had to make, I was being active. And those actions got me a very different result, right? It turned me into a health coach, it turned me into having this business, it turned me into being healthy, it turned me into being an advocate. So I just want you to see that no matter what the situation is the problem, the whatever, you're still in charge, you are always in charge of how this looks for you, and how this plays out in your life.
And the third thing that I did that I think really made a difference was to kind of build on the first two is creating a new identity for myself. So once you begin to change your thoughts, you begin to take your power back over the problem, you have been allowing the circumstance in your life to dictate your feelings, your actions, your results. But once you stop doing that, once you see yourself in a different way, you get to take back control, you get to be the boss of yourself again, you
get to create a new identity for yourself. So again, for me, I consciously decided to take on the identity of an overcomer instead of a helpless victim, I did not want to be a whiny woe is me helpless victim anymore. That felt stuck. And it felt gross and I hated it. I decided that my new identity was overcomer. And I was going to do the actions and think the thoughts and have feelings that were required, in order for me to be that seeing myself in that way, spurred me on to keep taking the actions and led me closer and closer to the health that I desired. Instead of staying stuck in the identity of someone who is sick, and it's an autoimmune, there's no cure, I'll never be healthy again, I'll never feel good again, I changed my thoughts so that I saw myself as a warrior, as a trailblazer as a scientist as a researcher. And most importantly, I saw myself as my own advocate, I stood up for myself to doctors who told me that there wasn't anything that they could do, and they couldn't help me, I fought for myself and I fought for my health. And I fought for my future. I identified myself as a fighter. That identity that I created for myself has actually brought so much more into my life than just the health that I was after at the time. But it's brought so much more opportunity to me because I was able to change the way that I saw myself and who I saw myself as.
So what sort of identity what sort of thoughts, what sort of way? Would you need to see yourself so that you begin fighting for you? What needs to change? How can you change your thoughts? How can you change your emotions? How can you change your actions? How can you change the identity, the way you see yourself so that you start fighting for you. So that you are your own cheerleader, so that you are your own advocate, so that you stand up for yourself instead of allowing yourself to be trampled on by this problem, you are not this problem. You are so much more than this situation in your life. And you have the power right now, to make that change. You have the power right now, to start putting some of these things in place to giving your problem a name to making some separation between you and your problem to start managing your thoughts to start using the formula for success to start creating a new identity for yourself. You always have had that power. Now you know how to tap into it. Now you know how to harness it a little bit. Please I encourage you to see this as an option for you. This is something that's available to you If you're feeling stuck, where you're at right now, please see that you don't have to stay there. Staying there is a choice. Getting out of there is a different choice that's available to you. It's up to you what you're going to do. Because you, my friend are powerful, you always have been, and you always will be. It's time to tap into that and become the next best version of you.
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Friends thanks so much for being here. If you found value in today's episode, will you do me a favor and head over to iTunes? Find the no nonsense wellness podcast and subscribe and leave me a review. It would mean the world to me and help other people find the show. And I'd love to connect with you more. So find me on Instagram I'm @tarafaulmann. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it in your stories and tag me. I'll see you over there.