Guest column: Find the uniqueness in you
Recognizing that we are all unique brings extraordinary insight into understanding and discovering your own strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to be consciously aware of how you organize things, your positive features and how to break free from the limits you impose on yourself.
Imposing limits on yourself can be detrimental to how you perceive yourself. It actually puts you in a state of limbo where you cannot break out of the everyday cycle you begin to find yourself living in, which in turn hinders your ability to create healthy habits in your life and the lives of your children. It can affect you in the work place too, where you begin to get accustomed to the everyday monotony of your job, going through the motions and never really making the effort to make improvements.
Some of you may have heard the quote from Bruce Lee, "If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it'll spread over into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."
Most of us have seen Bruce Lee in action, and the way he moves with fluidity, grace, yet, when he strikes, it is powerful and amazingly swift. So swift that his moves were too fast to be captured on the regular 24 frames per second film, so they had to run the film slower so you can see his moves. In sharing how he developed his skills and the mindset he created within himself to achieve greatness, he shows us a way to make improvements in our own selves, mind, body and soul.
So you may ask: what does this all have to do with diabetes prevention? Well, in order to begin making any kind of positive changes in your life, you need to be in the right frame of mind. If you aren't in the right frame of mind, no positive change can take place to get you where you should be - on the right path, being mindful of what you eat, even how you talk to people, making sure you are getting in your exercise for the week, and just caring enough to take care of you first.
This all goes back to recognizing our own strengths and weaknesses. Once these are identified and you are honest with yourself, you can begin to use your energy to explore how you deal with stress and anger, you can begin to choose your battles. By that I mean, you have a choice of what you will allow to affect you or not. You have a choice if you will give energy to causes that you have no control of; or to give energy to develop yourself to become an "effective communicator, to be compassionate in your relationships, freedom from confinement of repetitive behavior, and, ultimately, the freedom to be a complete human being."-Helen Palmer, author of The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life.
In understanding your own uniqueness you can then begin to start practicing appreciation of your good qualities, start setting your own personal priorities, and respecting your own boundaries. You then are able to act in ways that are essential to your own well-being as well as the well-being of others.
Diabetes Prevention educator, Hopi Special Diabetes Program