You may have heard of Rachel Hollis. She’s a motivational speaker, podcaster, blogger, business owner, and author — and one of those I look to for inspiration and energy. I follow leaders like Rachel to keep me on track, despite some of the unique challenges that I face with endometriosis.
However, sometimes I feel that these leaders don’t relate to people like me. I find it frustrating when I want to join something, but feel alienated by the language used. Or I want to follow a suggestion, but I struggle to tailor it to the difficulties I face. Almost everything needs to be adapted, which is part of living with chronic illness. And that’s OK. I don’t expect every self-help guru I follow to know what life with endo is like.
My problem is that I have anxiety and a “teacher’s pet” complex. If I’m taking part in something, I want to know precisely what I should be doing, and if I’m not following it exactly as recommended, I feel as if I’m cheating. This can trip me up big time because my anxious brain will tell me I’m not doing it right unless I’m doing it perfectly. Overcoming my tendency to be a stickler for details is a work in progress.
Despite my perfectionist nature, I’ve decided to take part in the Last 90 Days challenge.
Hollis and her husband, Dave, lead the 90-day community commitment, which includes the “5 to Thrive” program. This program is composed of the following five actions to build a foundation of health and well-being:
- Work out for 30 minutes.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water.
- Write down five things you’re grateful for.
- Get up an hour earlier and use the time for yourself.
- Give up one food or drink category that’s not benefiting you.
So, why am I doing it?
I tend to be a goal-oriented person. But I often set big targets and burn out on the way to achieving them. When I became interested in this challenge, I wanted more. I already exercise most days, drink too much water (I’m working with my physiotherapist to reduce my water intake), practice gratitude daily, and adhere to a diet adapted to my needs with endo.
But despite my best intentions, I still burn out. I prioritize work over health. I know that I can feel better than I do, even when dealing with endometriosis, painful bladder syndrome, and mental health issues. Deep down, I know that I’m worthy of a full cup. But I often sacrifice my physical and mental health to achieve my big, shiny goals. The irony is that I often miss my goals because I’m unwell, or if I do reach my target, I’m too exhausted to fully appreciate the joy of the journey or its outcome.
Simply put, I need to learn the importance of investing in foundational goals before reaching for higher ones. I think Rachel and Dave Hollis demonstrate this concept in a powerful way.
In 2018, I managed to get on top of this issue, but this year, while facing some extreme life stresses, I’ve clung to my safety net of hard work and achievements. My old patterns have reemerged and affected my health once more.
I needed something to bring out the Hermione Granger in me and force me to follow the rules to build a better foundation. I can work all day on an audacious goal, but neglect to take a “small” action like turning off my email notifications by 7 p.m. to allow me to get a good night’s sleep. I realized that ignoring those seemingly small things was causing my foundations to crack.
When I discovered a challenge made up of foundational goals — with rules and strict leaders — I decided it was perfect for me.
The most appealing aspect of this challenge is the rules — but they are also triggering to me. I can’t follow the challenge exactly as prescribed, and that’s hard for me to accept. But it’s also teaching me initiative and showing me that my actions are worthwhile even when affected by my endo limitations.
So, endo warriors, here’s my challenge to you: Will you join me?
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.