Several recent emails have either asked for my ‘advice’ on a topic or angered with the ‘advice’ I’d given. Funny thing is — I don’t see myself in the business of giving advice, either as a blogger/writer or in my coaching practice.
So what’s this about? I asked myself, what does it mean ‘to give advice’?
- My definition: telling a person what to do.
- An online definition: advice, n., recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct.
I could see how what I think are ‘suggestions’ could be perceived by others as advice. I think there’s a distinction here worth making. My intention with these posts is to encourage you to think about a challenging situation differently. And, in doing so, to be better able to improve it.
Think about this: Have you experienced loss? Do you fear more of the same? You can do something about this but advice, recommendations, won’t turn it around. Let’s face it, when living with chronic illness, there are no ‘right/wrong’ moves. Too many variables and unknowns. Life is too complicated for simple solutions.
Do you consider the suggestions I offer, play with them, roll them around in your mind? If not, why not? If you’re stuck doing this yourself, find someone — a friend, a coach — to help you work it through.
For instance, when I explore disclosure, I suggest describing how symptoms impact you, rather than talk about how they feel. That’s just one option. Play with it, twist it around and see how it goes for you.
Another example is working or not working. This can be a biggie for most of us. I recognize that it’s not always desirable nor even possible to work when you live with illness. I’ve written in my book and in these posts that research and my personal/professional experiences support the idea that work improves a person’s health.
But there are many exceptions to this statement. Only you can figure out where you fit within this spectrum.
My intention and hope is to write something that motivates you to take a closer look at your situation through a different lens. The stories I create are culled mostly from my clients, and I use them as examples. These short posts aren’t prescriptive. They can’t possibly address everyone’s situation. I create stories, culled mostly from my clients, and I use them as examples.
Go ahead! Adapt them to work for you. Seek help from others when you’re stuck.
If you don’t agree with an idea, share it here. Tell me and others what you think, what works for you. Share how you live – and work – with the challenges of chronic illness.
QUERY: HR Directors -We’ve got a grant to study the effects of a coaching intervention on people working who live with chronic illness. Employees who participate would receive coaching services at no fee. We ask nothing from a partner organization other than to communicate our message about this study to their employees. Are you an HR Director or work within organization that you think would be interested in ‘partnering’ with us? For more information: Alyssa.McGonagle@Wayne.edu