Five years ago, my life was a very different story from my current reality. The turning point came when a near death experience shook my world. I’d been rushed into hospital, I thought I’d been battling pleurisy, but when the test results came back, I discovered that I was suffering from double- pneumonia, I was gravely ill and my infection levels were through the roof. At that point, in the corridor of A&E, I had no idea what was happening to me, as a team of doctors and nurses began to set up IV’s, oxygen mask and a heart monitor.
My Dad had died of pneumonia when I was in my twenties, I thought pneumonia was an older persons illness and not something that a woman in their forties, with two young children could develop. Desperately confused, very sick and scared that my life was being threatened I remember drifting in and out of consciousness.
This was my wake-up call, and I’d like to share with you my six secrets as to how I rebuilt my life:
Secret One: Build a Bridge
When times are not difficult and life ticks by, we often say about other people’s challenges, that we’ll ‘cross that bridge if we come to it’ but what does that mean? Let’s not wait until we have to cross that bridge, let’s build that bridge and know exactly where we are heading in life. Feel inspired to draw your own bridge and write down everything that is challenging on one side and everything you’d love to achieve and the solutions on the other. Ask yourself ‘what is the first step I can take to get to the other side?
Secret Two: Build a Tribe
I do not know where I would be today without my tribe. Whether it’s in real life or an online community, knowing what makes you tick and sharing that with like-minded people was my life saver. If you can’t find a tribe, build one, people need to belong, we crave it. I found much comfort by spending more time with my family & friends after the event. I searched for answers, in books, courses, conversations and most importantly, within myself. My perspective on life had changed dramatically. I didn’t need ‘stuff’ anymore I needed a true purpose. One life, equals one chance, and I’d just had a flash of that life being taken away from me, I was going to take action and do something powerful.
Secret Three: Build a Balance
A life changer for me was a life audit, a mental and physical de-clutter of everything that I had accumulated over the years, from the clothes I could no longer fit into, to the habits I’d picked up that no longer served me. The first step that helped identify getting a life balance, was using a coaching tool called ‘The Wheel of Life’, I graded eight areas of my life including relationships, friendship & family, career, personal growth, finance, hobbies & leisure, health and home environment. The end results reflected what I already knew, life needed to change, but now I knew what first step to take for getting the balance right.
Secret Four: Build in time
Before my life challenging events, I never had any time, I never wanted the time either or I would have known something wasn’t working and denial was my coping strategy of choice. In coaching the analogy to self-care is to put on your ‘oxygen mask’ first, before helping others, just like the in-flight safety demonstrations, and breathe. Somewhat ironic as I was now wearing the oxygen mask due to the double pneumonia. Do you know how petrifying it is, not being able to breathe? When the simple act of breathing is taken away from you, you understand the importance life. From that day forward I made a promise to take time to do the right things in life for ME.
Secret Five: Build a future
At that point, lying in hospital, being told by the doctors how seriously ill i’d been, I decided to get help and acknowledge I could not do this thing called ‘life’ alone. The moment I reached out; things started to change. Building a future for the NOW and not based on the past and the discovery of a new ME. The discovery of self-confidence and self-belief. The discovery of having a positive mindset, and asking myself ‘what could I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?’
Secret Six: Build a stepping stone
We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, and this was the first step, and my first stone to place across my life bridge to ‘the other side’. I acknowledged that I needed change in my life and to find inner peace and happiness. As women, especially as mothers we have an inbuilt sat nav to suffer this journey on our own, driving ourselves down a road of despair, guilt and shame, before we ask for any help.
My why was I thought it was a weakness, a limiting belief, that I needed to fight my life battle on my own. The reality was, that it’s a lonely and exhausting place. Coaching helped step out of myself to see the bigger picture and opportunities.
My hospital experience was the icing on the cake, after several challenging events had taken its toll on ME. The good news was I retrained and gained the qualifications needed to take my first steps into coaching and mentoring. I now help put the ‘ME’ back into woMEn, by coaching for increased confidence in life and in business. I motivate and inspire women to take control, get unstuck and reconnect with their inner passion by creating the time and space for change to happen. With a little help from me.