The saying “Mind over matter” can be a motivator for many, especially those going through challenging times. Cancer is a challenge to many aspects of one’s life. There are the obvious physical obstacles, but there are also the unseen mental and emotional challenges. While you may be limited in how you can address the physical aspects of your cancer, you are in control of how you think about it.
Mindset has been defined as “a mental frame or lens that selectively organizes and encodes information, thereby orienting an individual toward a unique way of understanding an experience and guiding one toward corresponding actions and responses.” One’s mindset during cancer can have a profound impact on self-esteem and positive thinking, both of which can play an important role in the workplace.
The Muse has written an article on the ways in which changing how you think can ultimately change your life. Some key recommendations include:
- Put your thoughts in perspective. Remind yourself that you are not your thoughts; you are the one observing your thoughts. Similarly, it’s important to remember that a thought is not an accurate representation of reality; rather, it’s just a thought — and it should be treated accordingly.
- Change your feelings. Now, this one may sound silly, but the idea behind this is, “fake it ‘til you make it.” Striking a powerful posture and a smile can make you feel less stressed and more in charge in just minutes.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Those with whom we surround ourselves can have an enormous influence on how and what we feel. You can absorb the good (and bad) qualities of those around you; so if there is someone you believe carries themselves in a positive way, aim to spend more time with him or her. The same goes for not spending time with those who may be more negative and pessimistic.
It’s not to say that these steps are a guarantee for developing an instant rosy outlook, but practicing them and putting more effort into how you are thinking about your life and yourself can have a significant positive impact on how you feel and function in your day-to-day life — both at work and at home.
For more on cultivating a positive frame of mind, check out our article on “Your Mindset.” Also be sure to take a look at our recommendations for relieving stress, as reducing stress can help you to feel more upbeat and hopeful.
Our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar Series has a session on Body Confidence, Self-Confidence in the Workplace, which focuses on how to think and feel positively about yourself and in turn boost your self-esteem. If you don't see a "Body Confidence" webinar listed as part of this year's schedule, be sure to check out our Video Archive for a past presentation on the topic!