Words are powerful. Notice the words you say to yourself about light bladder leakage. Are you saying things that keep you active and happy? Those type of thoughts support you. Other thoughts can blame, shame, or scare you so bad you pee your pants. Just because you think it, doesn't make it true. Challenge the thoughts that leave you feeling bad. When I coach women, I help them make subtle changes in the way they talk to themselves so they're better able to deal with life's challenges.
When it comes to LBL, here are three thoughts that women may say to themselves:
• "I can't go on a road trip because I'm afraid I won't find a bathroom when I need it."
• "I can't tell my doctor about LBL because I'm afraid of what she'd think."
• "I can't go to the gym because I'm afraid of leaking through my sweatpants."
Notice how you feel when you say "I can't" and "I'm afraid." You may feel a loss of control when using the words "I can't." It helps to ask, "Is it true that I can't?" To empower yourself further, change "I can't" to "I choose not to." It’s a small change, with a powerful result. It puts control back in your hands, and eliminates helpless feelings. When you say, "I choose not to go on the road trip… tell my doctor…exercise at the gym…" it also opens up the possibility of choosing to do it.
Another phrase that trips women up is "I'm afraid." Anything that follows the words "I am" or "I'm" is like a command to your subconscious. Let's face it, fear is scary! When you say "I am afraid," you reinforce the fear. What you're afraid of probably isn't happening right now. It either happened in the past, or you're imagining it happening in the future. To regain your power over fear, use words that more accurately identify it. When you catch yourself saying, "I'm afraid I won't find a bathroom when I need it,” shift to: "I'm scaring myself by imagining I won't find a bathroom when I need it." This puts your brain in a more resourceful state. You might then think, "What can I do to stop scaring myself? Maybe I can get an app for my phone that tells me where the restrooms are along the way, or maybe I can get my friends to agree that we'll stop every 30 minutes to stretch, walk, and use the restroom." When you say, "I'm scaring myself by imagining I'll leak through my sweatpants." It creates a space for new thoughts to pop up, "I might not leak, and even if I do, I can always wear a pad or bring an extra pair of exercise pants." "I can't because I'm scared," leaves you stuck. It's been my experience that small shifts in the way you talk to yourself lead to big opportunities to set yourself free from limits.
What about you? What do you say to yourself about LBL that helps you stay active and involved in all that life has to offer?