Before you download your worksheet, read about my cancer experience, the affect on my performance, and my successful transition back to work.
It all started when...
In 2013, I received my diagnosis of breast cancer. After a few weeks to recover from surgery (and the shock), I returned to work and continued to work during radiation treatments. The logistical part of returning to work was the easy part for me. I was able to schedule client meetings around my treatments. I adjusted my workload to conserve energy and to heal. As the business owner (and my own employer), I developed a return-to-work accommodation plan that focussed on productive and healthy integration of work and Self-care. My plan helped to address physical fatigue.
The emotional part of returning to work was a different story............
This was the most challenging time in my professional life. Mental and emotional fatigue held me back. When I looked deep in the mirror, I would say "I don't know that person. I don't know who I am anymore". I felt like I had lost my verve, my zest, my edge!
I immersed myself in coping strategies, group support, and intensive healing programs provided by the cancer centre. Those wonderful programs helped me significantly and continue to support my healing and personal growth.
But, there was a gap!
My own struggles and conversations with other business women with cancer taught me that we experience the typical challenges related to financial wellbeing, personal and professional relationships, and impact of work on our health at different levels and intensity than the general population. We also experience debilitating challenges and fears related to confidentiality, status, career momentum, motivation, desire, enthusiasm, confidence, and self-doubt (to name a few).
I do not see my life and work as being defined by cancer. I do, however, acknowledge that the overall return-to-work experience provided the impetus for reinventing my work and thereby redefining my life. I reignited my passion for my work, rejuvenated my peak performance, and emerged as a very different leader. I discovered a new sense of wellbeing with a renewed commitment to and love for my work. My verve, zest, and edge are back!
I developed the THRIVE Plan program to share my valuable personal and professional insights and refined strategies integrating emotional intelligence and positive psychology in the workplace to help business women return to work with solutions to their challenges and fears and to improve the quality of their personal and professional lives. Much of our language around cancer focusses on surviving. I want us all to THRIVE!