Health & Wellness, Perspectives

Radiate possibility and erase self doubt

By Dr. Shelby Terstriep

December 23, 2013

radiate possibility ornamentIt has been a crazy couple of months. October is always very busy with numerous breast cancer events, and then I blinked, and November was gone!  My time to reflect (and, therefore, to blog) has been virtually non-existent, but now I finally have a moment to breathe and set the “refresh” button.

A few weeks ago in the mail, I received a thank-you note and ornament from one of my favorite people. The ornament says:

Radiate Possibility
Dear you,
May you give yourself permission to trust your voice, step into your power, and know that what you’re doing matters.

embrace lifeI have read it about a hundred times. In those moments that I’m sad, frustrated or feel too busy, it helps me to take a deep breath and be confident in what I’m doing. It will hang in my office (and not on the Christmas tree) because it is something that needs to be a daily reminder.

The ornament and thank-you note came after a breast cancer retreat that I had been dreaming about putting on for the last several years and, in October, our team was finally able to do it! It was held in a barn in the middle of nowhere on a cool crisp October day. The fire was crackling in a campfire and the smell drifted throughout the property as the women arrived. In the barn, the words “embrace life” hung, which was a perfect backdrop for our journey that day.

The day included breakout sessions and short “Ted Talk”-like presentations from my colleagues. More importantly, each of the presentations was introduced by a breast cancer warrior who provided “inspiring insight” from their journey.

embrace lifeLet me tell you … inspiring is an understatement! Life-changing is far more appropriate. Each woman’s story was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. By the end of the day, there were even some “whoops” being hollered!

I knew how I wanted the day to feel. I could envision the type of emotions and the camaraderie that I had hoped the women attending would feel. The day was so much more than I could have ever imagined.

Self doubt is something I would bet that most people struggle with. Being a doctor and a mother are two jobs where I don’t think I will ever feel good enough. There is ALWAYS something more I can be doing to be better at both.  Self doubt can be paralyzing and stop you in your tracks of doing things that matter.

But this day, on this farm in the middle of nowhere, there was no self doubt. I knew I was doing what I was meant to do: teaching, laughing, facilitating connections, sharing stories and learning from this sisterhood of survivors about living a full life with gratitude and strength.