Values & The Cancer Experience

Often times the values that we grew up with affect how we deal with cancer. Or we can have an awakening and create new values, values that we always longed for at our core and we can start living our own truth.

Some of the underlying values that you grew up with might be:

  • The feeling that you have to be strong all the time;
  • Seeking support of others or isolating yourself due to beliefs around perfection;
  • Asking or not asking professionals or counselors for assistance; or
  • Turning to faith for coping. 

These are just some examples and none is good or bad or right or wrong; the bottom line is what is good for you as opposed to others? Many people find that cancer changes their values. I know it changed mine and by that I do not mean that I threw out the values that were given to me as a child, but that I fine-tuned them and turned the dial with them to set more focus on how I wanted to live my life during treatment and post cancer.

Own your values, modify things such as:

  • Daily duties and what is truly important and what isn’t;
  • Spending more time with loved ones;
  •  Exercising self-care within you first before others;
  • What do you enjoy? Helping others, spending time out doors, taking time out for yourself?
  • Learn something new; do something you have always wanted to but never did.

Take this time to reassess your values, pull them apart and put them back together.

Do what feels right for you!  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I really want and why do I want it?
  • Are my current values serving me or others?
  • What would it feel like if I rewrote my values and lived the life I have always wanted to?
  • What would living that life look like?

The cancer experience can be a difficult one, but it doesn’t always have to be and look difficult. Think of it as a challenge to change. You can use it as a time to look within and create an entirely new perspective on cancer and life. Cancer doesn’t define you. Your past doesn’t define you. Life is all about letting go of old and adding new.

How can you modify your values to live a fuller, more meaningful life? When you put the pieces together the picture can be quite beautiful! Life is to be lived on your terms, not the terms of others.


Gina Costa, CPC, ELI-MP is the founder of New Beginnings Coaching Services, LLC, which helps women diagnosed with breast cancer cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience, so they gain confidence and feel in control of their life again. To learn more about Gina and her coaching practice, visit http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com/

Source: http://www.newbeginningswithgina.com/

It Takes Guts! To Find The Courage To Change

It’s the start of a new year and we are already through a good portion of the month. The new year is an awesome time of year for most. Ushering in a new year offers you a fresh start, a new beginning, and depending on your mindset, an opportunity to start with a clean slate. In my opinion, the new year is liberating. On the other hand, it can also be quite overwhelming, if you don’t know where to start. How many times have you seen or heard the slogan, “A New Year, A New You”? Hey, I’ve even used that slogan when setting my own personal goals. I vowed that this is the year! This year, I’m going to get in the best shape of my life, this is the year that I’m going to do that triathlon, run that full marathon. The one thing that I hadn’t considered is besides those visits to the beach, jumping waves with my niece and the dips in the baby pool with my daughter, I haven’t swam in years. Something like 25 years. I’m not even sure that I remember how to do it. Fear set in. And with that reminder, I realized that this one is going to take a bit more than resolve. This goal of mine is going to force me to use the C word. No, not cancel. Courage. A lot of courage.

So how is that New Years Resolution going for you? I’d be willing guess that, like me, it’s the same resolution from last year, and the year before, and maybe even the year before. Most of us go into the new year with grandiose resolutions to do this, and overcome that, and finally complete the third, with no real idea of how to actually get it done. We start off on the right foot, but by the 18th or so we feel like we blew it. So it’s scrapped until next year. Here’s one to consider: every day, hour, second is an opportunity to do it different. Different than the day before. That said, courage is the main ingredient or key virtue needed to persevere. Courage is the characteristic that makes all the other virtues possible.

Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables you to face difficulty, danger, pain, embarrassment, failure, change without fear. A new you for the new year is a great feat that cannot be achieved by responding to situations with old thoughts and behaviors. It’s time to shake those old patterns, behaviors, and stop being led by fear. Living without fear is about finding the courage to take risks, to change, and to keep going even when you fall off or fumble.

Whether you are struggling to adopt a healthy lifestyle, contemplating a career change, or worrying about ending a bad relationship, a new you will require you to embrace a new way of being. It’s not about winning, losing, or failing. It’s about having the courage to try something new. The real goal is to master your fear with courage which enables you to move toward your true self. Usually what keeps up stuck is fear of the outcome, however, a healthy mindset helps us become less attached to outcome and up for the challenge.  In 2014, build your courage muscles by using fear as your ally and expand your comfort zone, so you can make the life changes that really matter.

Whatever path you choose or goal that you are pursuing, experiencing a fulfilling life does not depend on what you do but on how you approach what you do.