Struggling to Find the Light at the End of the Tunnel? Try These 2 Simple Tricks
In a moment, anything can happen and chaos could occur.
It was November 10th, 2016 and I was getting ready to go to an event. I got in the shower and started washing my hair when all of a sudden, a big clump of hair appears in my hand. I start panicking.
Two weeks prior I had gone for my first chemotherapy treatment because I was diagnosed with breast cancer. They had warned me that in a couple of weeks I may lose my hair but nothing, nothing prepared me for what was happening. I quickly got out of the shower and called out to my husband.
My 11-year daughter comes into the bathroom and asks, 'What's wrong?' 'Look my hair is falling out,' I exclaim as I point toward the clump of hair in the bathtub. 'Mom, remember breathe. Breathe in for seven seconds, hold it for four and breathe out for another four or five seconds,' she replied calmly.
My husband walks in and gets a grip of what's happening, then says, 'That's okay we'll figure something out and remember hair always grows back.'
Sometimes we go into panic mode and can't think right - which is very normal. But this situation taught me to do two things when I get into a panic or get anxious:
Tap into Your Support System
Your support system is there to help you, guide you, mentor you, and motivate you, and I really needed it then. Just having my daughter telling me to breath made me stop feeling anxious and made me aware of my behavior.
In fact, the first week after my chemotherapy I had so many people calling me and asking 'How can I help?' Sometimes you feel like a burden and I know I felt like a burden, but then I realized that people who genuinely offer help, feel abundant when the receiver accepts their help. Therefore, just ask for help when you need it instead of shying away from it or dealing with it on your own.
A lot of research on resilience shows that individuals who bounce forward after a setback, have reached out to their supportive network for guidance or motivation.
Re-frame the Situation to Your Advantage
My husband and I tried to flat iron my hair, but it kept falling out so that wasn't helping either.
In 2 hours, I had to speak to a group of women in business and this event was planned back in March. I didn't want to let them down. I didn't get emotional because I was so focused in finding a solution. However, my sister in Kenya cried for me as I sent her these pictures.
I teach about reframing a negative situation and subconsciously I asked myself then, 'How can I make this situation work so it turns out positive?'
If you'd like to know more about reframing, read this Blog Post.
As soon I asked the question, the idea about tying my hair back and applying gel came to me. I never tie my hair back because it's not long enough! It worked!
Whenever you feel there's no way out or things are not going the way you want, reframe by asking this one question: 'How can I approach this situation in a way that will lead me into a positive outcome?'