by Tom Hulsey
Life presents us with a lot of challenges, and how we choose to deal with them is what defines us. After my prostate cancer diagnosis, I almost didn’t fight it and was ready to give up. However, following some encouragement from a friend, I completely transformed my mindset.
Overcoming any challenge starts with mindset. The dictionary defines it as “a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.” There are five pillars of the winning mindset I developed, including:
- Living intentionally
- Overcoming fear
- Being prepared
- Knowing your options
Persevering is a tool of the mind to help you keep going no matter the circumstances or what seems reasonably possible to overcome. It is a trait that many people want to possess but often have a hard time successfully making it a part of their own mindset.
Having short, intermediate, and long-term goals helped me persevere. This also gives you structure for living intentionally – the way you want to live – and makes you accountable to take intentional actions.
Change the way you view the fear of failure – instead embrace it. Use failure as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. If you are going to succeed at anything, there will be challenges and sometimes failure along the way. No matter how hard we try to avoid the things that frighten us, there is no way around them – only through them. Going through and overcoming fear allows you to be proactive and embrace change.
Being prepared is another key pillar of my winning mindset. You can handle almost anything in life as long as you are prepared.
Lastly, knowing your options is key when it comes to a cancer diagnosis. Identify the problem and put your power and energy toward the solutions available to you.
But developing a winning mindset isn’t easy… It takes courage and diligence, and your mindset will drive the choices you make and the habits you create.
Tom is an author and survivor of three life-threatening illnesses, including prostate cancer. He is a research advocate and Patient & Family Advisory Council member at the UT Southwestern Harold E. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in Dallas, TX.
He also serves on the boards at Mary Crowley Cancer Research and the North Texas Prostate Cancer Coalition. Previously, Tom served on the ZERO Prostate Cancer board for six years and is a seven-time consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
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