Boss Lady

How to stay on the high-performance path when pain and illness interrupt your plans


Life and mindset coach Maureen Sharphouse outlines how to prevent health obstacles from stalling your high-performance achievement.

You know what it’s like. You have ambitious dreams and goals in life and are motivated and highly driven. You have worked hard to earn your way up the career ladder and grow a thriving business. You are proud of yourself and all you have achieved to date; your soul is fueled by purpose and passion. You envision a full and rewarding life for yourself and your family; high performance, happiness, and success are firmly on your plan.

And then it happens: Your plans are interrupted. Something throws the trajectory of your life off course. And when that obstacle is not of your choosing or not in your full control, you start doubting your ability to deliver the best of yourself to your employees and colleagues. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem slowly diminish; what was once a clear goal-driven high-performance career success route appears an increasingly unknown, challenging, and uncomfortable path.

How do I know this? My name is Maureen Sharphouse, and I have been there. In 1998 the progression of a complex health condition whisked the managerial position I had worked so hard for right from underneath me. And at the time, I believed there was nothing I could do to stop pain and illness from sabotaging my life goals, dreams, and career success. The result was that for several years, I inadvertently allowed chronic pain and illness to steer the life I lived and define me. And I have learned that extinguishing the fire and driving passion within you is not a rewarding or beneficial place to be.

How to stay on the high-performance path

And so, what can you do to avoid sabotaging your success when ongoing pain or illness becomes your companion? Based on what I’ve learned and what I now share with others as a Life and Mindset Coach,  here are some proven strategies to help you stay on the high-performance path:

Give up the Fight

Fighting, denying or trying to block out what is true and real for you may seem like the best solution to you for a while, but in the long term isn’t helpful. Fighting against your pain or illness will only ever feel like fighting. Battling against something always feels like a battle. Acceptance of your truth, free of judgment, crafts a rich fertile soil for empowering personal growth, fresh new opportunities, and change.

Hang on to Your Tenacity

Keep the light that motivates and drives the passion behind what you do fueled and ignited. Develop non-negotiable practices that maintain developing and nurturing a high-performance success mindset and keep your hunger to achieve your dreams alive.

Develop Deeper Self-Awareness

Up your game. Be super aware of your thoughts and actions. Do not let a physical health condition dim your light, dictate what you do, sabotage the high level of success you both want and deserve, or shape and define you. Remind yourself that whether you restrict your world or expand your world does not come down to any illness, injury, disability, or physical health condition you may have — it comes down to who you choose to be within your circumstances and how fully you choose to show up to life.

Up Your Soul-Care and Self-Care

Make your mental well-being, spirit, and soul-care practices a priority — and go hand-in-hand with your self-care. Accept the truth of how things are for you right here, right now. Shed the associated expectations or prognoses of any health condition labels you have been given. When the voice of guilt, blame, shame, disappointment, or self-doubt creeps in, consciously redirect your thoughts in a direction that will serve you better. Surround yourself with positive quotes and uplifting images, and spend quality time with people who bring out the best in you. Free your mind to focus clearly on the day ahead by journaling first thing in the morning to brain dump any thoughts that don’t serve you well onto the page — and out of you!

Use Empowering Affirmations Daily

Get into the habit of starting each day with empowering affirmations and feel the feeling behind your words. Say your affirmations out loud, breathe them in, feel the depth of the emotions that the positive statements in the present tense bring you — and use them to empower and uplift you throughout your day.

Give Yourself Grace

Show yourself compassion and give yourself grace. Choose to be your own best friend, champion, and cheerleader. Remind yourself that you do not drown by falling in water, only by staying there. When the going gets tough, put your unconditional loving arms around you, give yourself the kindness, understanding, rest, fuel, and nourishment your body, mind, spirit and soul needs.

Maintain Your Success Growth Mindset

Maintain your success growth mindset by consistently and consciously doing the successful strategies and nourishing practices that support that. Access your bank of high-performance strategies you know work for you and be open to exploring and developing new ones. Commit to your personal growth by staying connected to your big “why” behind all you do and do all you can to keep your innate drive, hunger, and passion for success fiercely burning within. Make a firm decision not to let pain and illness sabotage the ripe fruit and rewards that your hard work has brought you — and is yet to bring.

Know Your Worth

Do not undervalue yourself. Know your worth. Remind yourself you have a unique legacy to gift the world, and only you can live it. And while it may be that you will have more hurdles to jump than your colleagues, partners, or employees — more scenic routes to navigate, and more unforeseen detours on the way — do not let it hold you back from being all you can be. It is often out of the darkest nights and deepest challenges that your personal magic, the secret sauce of mental resilience, increased hunger and passion for life, heightened awareness of opportunities for self-growth, renewed drive and ambition, and your unique sprinkling of charisma, magic, and pixie dust are gifted the opportunity to be unleashed and rebirthed.

Stay Focused and in Flow

Give yourself permission to want what you want! Keep your dreams alive, dream big, and dream bigger. Stay in flow and focused. Recognise that you have an abundance of knowledge, experience, skills, and talents to gift the world. Consciously remind yourself each day how beautiful it is that you exist, that you are doing a great job, that you are enough, and that you are worthy of the happiness and success you both deserve and want.

Own Your Legacy

Reflect on what you have achieved to date, and remind yourself as with success in anything, career or business success doesn’t come down to having the perfect external circumstances. Chronic pain or an ongoing health condition may become part of your life’s journey — but they need never be the journey or define you. You are not your pain and illness. You are an aspirational woman with a role to play and a unique legacy to live.

You are who you are within. You are who you choose to be.

Work in Partnership With a Mentor or Coach

Find a mentor or coach who has successfully walked a similar journey and feels the best fit to help you navigate the path as you move forwards. Meet with your coach or mentor regularly so they can hold you accountable and help uplift, empower, motivate, encourage, and inspire you to continue to show up fully to life and be all you can be. No matter how challenging your circumstances may feel for you now or become in the future, you can choose to say, “Whatever happens, I’ve got this! A life dictated by pain and illness is not how my story is going to end.”

About Maureen Sharphouse

I have a wide range of skills, have a proven track record, and am in my second decade of serving clients in the soul wellness, personal development, NLP, and coaching fields. I am highly qualified and have learned from world leaders in the mind and motivational fields.

I do not believe, however, it is solely due to my high level of training and experience that accounts for my effectiveness as a coach. I believe it is because I am an authentic and real coach who fully and enthusiastically embraces and lives life despite living with debilitating health challenges and intractable pain.

Access more of Maureen Sharphouse’s success and mindset strategies, tips for living well with pain and illness, words of wisdom, personal development, downloadable meditation audios, and resources here.


About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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