Is Your Thyroid Affecting Your Credibility?

Is Your Thyroid Affecting Your Credibility?

I was an over-achiever, driven by the need to always be “perfect”. That’s how I landed a spot in a Master’s degree program at Columbia University and a plum job on Wall Street. My credibility was everything. I could be counted on to out perform. Family, friends, professors, co-workers, bosses, I mean everyone could count on me.

Yeh, that was all before hypothyroidism.

Then my house of cards came tumbling down.

When I read thyroid & life coach Stacey Robbins’ article on credibility, I knew instantly that this was an article I must share at Hypothyroid Mom.

Written by Stacey Robbins

I woke up in the middle of the night, tonight, and realized, “Oh shit. I haven’t answered my e-mails in 3 weeks and oh, I haven’t written a blog in nearly forever.

Even though I have my own good reasons (working on my new book, taking care of my oldest kiddo who’s sick again from the mold exposure in our last place while I’m still healing from the mold and have been exhausted, finishing the homeschool year, and working with my coaching clients) the truth is that I’m bummed.

One of the things that I long for in my life and work is:

consistency.

I don’t know about you but consistency is one of the things that got impacted by having my thyroid go sideways when the thyroid autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s entered my life.

I used to be this girl scout of a person who started strong, carried through, and buttoned up details like a champ. Whether it was my personal or professional life, I was known for being a faithful person who you could count on, no matter what.

Is Your Thyroid Affecting Your Credibility?

Then, ‘what’ happened.

And my health knocked me for a loop.

It would have been cute if it just stole a few brain cells and I was a little forgetful — but thyroid disease rendered me fat, ugly, spaced-out with brain fog, exhausted, depressed, and cranky.

And, in some ways: Inconsistent.

God, it hurts to even say that because I want to say, “But wait! I was still really consistent in so many ways and I’m such an overachiever that I was still doing more than the average bear, and I really, really want to make sure you still think I’m a good person.”

Yeah. All that stuff comes up for me.

Still…

Anyway, back to the story…

I tried to carry on in my old, performance-driven ways — working 80 hours a week and never missing a beat, but it reached a point where the “I think I just got hit by a truck and forgot to catch the license plate” feeling combined with the doctors telling me I was dying, just kinda made all those to-do list items pale in comparison.

Has your thyroid affected your credibility?

I stopped working except for a few scant hours a week and turned into a little bit of a hermit, but the truth was that I just couldn’t do “life as I knew it” that way anymore. It was hard. God — it affected my pride, my sense of being a good person and a hard worker. I had to deal with people not thinking well of me or even not trusting me.

It was awful.

I remember one particular moment standing on stage to sing, my first time back performing six weeks after my second son was born, and as soon as the music started, I had to scoot back stage because a blinding, vomit-inducing headache overcame me in an instant.

Is your thyroid affecting your credibility?

I had never had that before in all my years of performing. I was standing in front of thousands of people and had to leave the three other vocalists so, I could hurry off stage.

A few weeks later, the producer of the event said to me, “I used to be able to know that you would be rock solid, but now I just don’t know if I can count on you because of your health.”

Oh my god. Crushed. I was crushed…

And I felt the same way:

I didn’t know if I could count on me because of my health.

I felt crippled and like this thing called “Hashimoto’s” had not only taken my energy, my looks, my metabolism and my health — but it had taken my credibility.

Such a hard thing, right? To not feel like yourself and not be able to hide the impact from others.

That’s where my pride got hit.

“What are people going to think of me?”

It was a big question and it demanded a big answer.

Is your thyroid affecting your credibility?

So, since my life-work is with the mind/body/soul connection — one of the things that I realized was this: That’s my area to work on anyway:

What people think of me.

Am I extrinsically driven or intrinsically driven?  Am I motivated in large ways by what someone thinks of me and the rewards of pleasing others, outside of me — or am I motivated by who I know I am and who I’m committed to be, at that deep place inside of me?

That journey is still a journey for me.

How do we be who we are, and keep the promises that we’ve made (when we were feeling good) while still honoring this impact of thyroid disease that affects us in unexpected ways, at unexpected times?

Here are some things I’ve done to help me process this:

  1. To understand the nature of thyroid disease in me: It can be affected by stress, lack of sleep, or a reaction to food, chemicals or some other outside influence. Sometimes the exhaustion or brain fog shows up when I least expect it. I need to understand that when I’m making my plans —  because, while I am now optimistic about my ability to show up and keep my promises the majority of the time, I also know that sticking my head in the sand or playing the part of Pollyanna is not going to help me to accurately assess how I need to prepare to keep my promises.

Is your thyroid affecting your credibility?

  1. To be as responsible as I can be with my choices: No one puts a gun to our head and tells us to “Eat that pan of gluten-filled brownies or else.”  That’s a choice. Just like it’s my choice and my responsibility to eat my healing foods, go to bed on time, participate in non-toxic, non-crazy-making relationships, avoid over-stuffing my schedule, and move my body in healing ways. If my choices can capsize my health, then my choices can optimize my health. If that’s true (and it is) then, I am responsible to take actions that support my health so that I don’t sabotage my promises and me.
  2. To keep things simple: My husband, Rock, used to say to me, “You know that calendar you have with all the boxes in it? You don’t have to fill in all the boxes. You can leave some of them blank.” I had to admit: I complicated my life by filling in the boxes and keeping me way too busy, especially with dealing with a health condition. If I live a life with no margins because I’ve overfilled my day with too many activities or my life with too many promises then, when I do ‘fall’ from thyroid disease, I’m going to end up breaking my word. It’s important that I keep my days and my promises with enough space and flexibility to keep my word, even if it’s not my best day with my health. Like Tony Robbins says, “‘Busy is a choice.”  And I want to add to that: So is simplicity.
  3. To get honest and use my voice: I realized almost 20 years ago that I didn’t feel brave or valid in saying, “No” or “Yes” or “I like that” or “I don’t like that” to others. It likely came from those past abuses I had gone through and having my voice squashed and invalidated when I said, “No, don’t do that to me.” How that transferred into my adult years is that I felt bad for having preferences or limits but I definitely found it easier to use my diagnosis as an excuse. Like if someone invited me to a party that I really didn’t want to go to, I would say, “Oh no, I’m sorry, I can’t go to that party — it’s too late and I have Hashimoto’s and can’t stay out late.” instead of simply saying, “No thank you, but I appreciate you inviting me!” Because the truth is that I would have gone to another party that was late at night if I really wanted to. I had to get honest with myself and others and I needed to check in on my integrity to make sure that I was giving true answers and not excuses: No fair hiding behind a diagnosis when what you really need to do is use your voice.
  4. To ask for help: You don’t have to be the Lone Ranger (I don’t know why we always say that: the Lone Ranger had Tanto) anyway…you get the idea: We don’t have to do life alone. This is probably one of the hardest things for me. I really love taking something that’s broken in my life, going off in the corner by myself,  and then jumping out in front of everyone and saying “Ta-da! I fixed it!” But I have found that, even if it’s humbling and new, that it’s important to ask for help. People may not always be able to give it but it builds a muscle inside of us to ask and to receive the support AND it confronts the story we have that we’re not worthy of love. That is such an important lie to overcome.
  5. To let go of the ‘perfect’: Martha Stewart — I love her but she’s a pain in the ass. Partly, because she says about 100 times a show when she’s making the perfect Christmas wreath out of leftover alpaca wool from the Andes (or some other ridiculously hard-to-find item) “Oh that’s perfect!” “My, isn’t this perfect?” “Now, you just tie the thread in this quadruple knot, backwards, while blind-folded, and see? Perfect.” Here’s the truth, Martha: The ‘perfect’ shipped sailed a l-o-n-g time ago. My house isn’t perfect, my bank account isn’t perfect, my kids aren’t perfect, and my thighs are definitely not perfect. The dishes are sitting in the sink and I’m pretty sure that some of them have been that way for three days because I’ve learned that I can get everything done, but just not on the same day.  Some days it’s the cleaning, other days, it’s the book writing while still other days, it’s eating vegetables. Like the cute little meme says, “Some days I amaze myself. Other days I search for my lost phone while talking on it.”  This is pretty much my life and wishing that it were all nipped up and perfect is a perfect for Martha but is a recipe for failure for me. thyroid brain fog
  6. Embrace the ‘good’: The other day, I had a coaching client list out all of her failures, in long form, as a way to prove to me that she was an awful person. I wasn’t buying it and shook my head, “Nope. Sorry. If you’re going to make a list of the things you didn’t do well, you have to make a list of all the things you have done well. Fair’s fair, right?” She looked confused at first but then, started making a list. I watched her go from abject hopelessness to sitting up taller and having a bigger picture of herself. Like one of my best friends, Ken Tamplin, said to me once, “Stacey, honey…even though you make mistakes, you’re not the sum total of your weaknesses.” That last line is super important, friends. Because even though you might have had your life affected by your health, that is not the sum total of who you are. My consistency may be impacted by my health sometimes, AND (I try not to say ‘but’) I am also an incredibly loving, brilliant person who makes a huge difference in the world, who loves her kids and hubby, and is definitely a better, stronger, wiser, funnier person today after 48 sashays around the sun. That’s you too. You are not the sum total of your weaknesses.

If you have been inconsistent — either because of your health or your choices or both — then, own it, make good on the promises that you can (even if the timing is a little off) and then: stabilize and simplify your life as much as you can so that you can be the trustworthy person you know you are on the inside. And while you’re working on restoring your credibility with yourself and others, make a list of the great qualities you possess. You don’t have to hate yourself while you’re on the way to making changes.I realized that with diets, that I can’t hate myself ‘thin’ because if I hate myself all the way until I’m thin then I’ve punished myself for being fat and I’m loving myself for a number on a scale. That’s ridiculous. And I believe that about life: You can’t hate yourself ‘good’ or hate yourself ‘consistent.’ Like I’ve written before and it bears repeating: “Love is a wonderful inspiration but it’s a terrible reward.” So, while you’re taking on responsibility for your life, remember:

Love starts

Now.

About Stacey Robbins

Stacey Robbins, CHC, RYT200 is a Coach, Speaker, and Author of You’re Not Crazy And You’re Not Alone: Losing the Victim, Finding Your Sense of Humor, and Learning to Love Yourself Through Hashimoto’s as well as Bloom Beautiful book and app for the iPhone. Her new book “An Unconventional Life: Where Messes and Magic Collide” is being released July 2017. Stacey lives in coastal Southern California and loves traveling with her husband, Rock, and their two amazing, curly-haired young men, Caleb and Seth.

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About Dana Trentini

Who knew that little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of my neck could affect my life so completely? I founded Hypothyroid Mom in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Winner of two 2014 WEGO Health Activist Awards: Health Activist Hero & Best In Show Twitter. Hypothyroid Mom is for information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes Affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Connect with me on Google+