“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future by merely changing their attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

The unseen power of Identity

We hear a lot about “identity”, but how many of us really understand the depth of this word?

Identity shapes how we see ourselves, our beliefs, our actions, and ultimately, our happiness and zest for life. For women navigating the rollercoaster of hormonal changes—PMS, perimenopause, and menopause—Identity can become both a battleground and a sanctuary. This is a story of how we can get lost in our limiting beliefs and how they affect our emotions, relationships, and overall well-being.

 

The early years & setting the stage

Growing up, many women are subtly, or not so subtly, taught to see themselves in specific ways. From an early age, society’s expectations and stereotypes begin to shape our Identity.

As young girls, we might be praised for being quiet and accommodating or told that our worth lies in our appearance. These early experiences lay the groundwork for how we perceive ourselves later in life. Whether it’s being the “good girl” who doesn’t cause trouble or the “pretty one” whose value is tied to looks, these labels can stick with us, influencing our actions and self-image.

 

The onset of PMS & the first challenge

When the symptoms of PMS begin, many young women are unprepared. The mood swings, cramps, and fatigue can feel like an enemy within.

Often, we adopt an identity of being “moody” or “unpredictable,” which can affect our self-esteem and relationships. These beliefs can make us feel out of control, leading to frustration and tension with loved ones.

The narrative we adopt—seeing ourselves as victims of our bodies—can prevent us from seeking effective ways to manage our symptoms and maintain our well-being.

 

Navigating relationships & the impact of self-perception

As we move through life, our relationships mirror our internal struggles. When we believe we’re at the mercy of our hormones, we might withdraw from friends and family, afraid of being seen as too emotional, difficult or demanding. This isolation can deepen our sense of helplessness, creating a cycle that’s hard to break.

Misunderstandings and miscommunications become common as loved ones may not fully grasp the extent of our internal battles. The strain on relationships can lead to feelings of loneliness and exacerbate the emotional turmoil we experience.

Perimenopause – a time of transition

The journey into perimenopause brings new challenges. Irregular periods, hot flashes, and mood swings can make us feel like strangers in our own bodies. These changes can be deeply unsettling if our Identity is rooted in a sense of stability and control.

We might start seeing ourselves as “ageing” or “losing our edge,” which can affect our confidence and interactions at work and home. The fear of becoming irrelevant or less capable can creep in, influencing how we approach new opportunities and relationships.

This period of transition can be a time of great anxiety if we hold onto rigid identities that no longer serve us.

The menopause milestone & redefining self

Menopause, the cessation of periods for a year, marks a significant transition. Society often views this as a time of decline, and if we internalise this message, it can become part of our Identity.

The physical changes can feel like a loss of femininity or vitality, impacting our self-worth and relationships. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Embracing menopause as a natural phase of life allows us to redefine what it means to be a woman at this stage.

Instead of viewing it as an end, we can see it as a new beginning, an opportunity to focus on self-growth and redefine our roles both personally and professionally.

The turning point – challenging limiting beliefs

The turning point comes when we recognise these limiting beliefs for what they are—false narratives that steal our happiness and vitality. Realising that we can reshape our Identity is empowering. We begin to see PMS, perimenopause, and menopause not as enemies but as natural phases that we can manage and even embrace.

This shift in perspective allows us to take control of our health and well-being, seeking information, support, and strategies that help us navigate these changes with grace and confidence.

 

Steps to a healthier identity & reclaiming control

 

Understanding that our Identity is not fixed

The first step is reflecting on how we see ourselves and how this affects our behaviour. Recognising limiting beliefs is crucial. For example, a woman might believe, “I am always moody during PMS”, which leads her to expect and thus exacerbate negative emotions each month. By becoming aware of this pattern, she can start to question its validity and seek healthier ways to manage her feelings.

 

Education: learning about our bodies and the changes we undergo

Knowledge is power. Learning about hormonal changes can demystify the process and reduce fear. Understanding what happens in our bodies during PMS, perimenopause, and menopause allows us to prepare and respond proactively rather than reactively. For instance, knowing that hot flashes are common can prompt a woman to dress in layers and stay hydrated, reducing discomfort and anxiety.

Using positive affirmations to reinforce a positive self-image

Affirmations can shift our mindset by reinforcing a positive identity. Saying “I am resilient” or “I embrace my body’s changes” can help counter negative self-talk. For example, during a challenging day with PMS, reminding oneself, “I am strong and capable of handling this”, can provide a much-needed boost in confidence and calmness.

Leaning on Friends, Family, or Support Groups

Support from understanding and uplifting friends, family, or groups can make a significant difference. Sharing experiences with other women undergoing similar changes can provide comfort and practical advice. It can also combat feelings of isolation and reinforce a positive sense of Identity. For instance, joining a support group can offer insights and camaraderie that make the journey easier.

Self-Care

Self-care is vital in maintaining a healthy identity. Regular exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness, and engaging in hobbies that bring joy can help balance hormones and improve mood. For instance, a woman who enjoys yoga may find that it helps with physical symptoms like cramps and provides mental clarity and relaxation.

The new chapter is about embracing change

We open up new possibilities by shifting our Identity to empowerment and resilience. We start seeing ourselves as capable and strong, reflected in our actions and relationships. We become more open, understanding, and supportive, not just to others but to ourselves. This positive change can rekindle our zest for life and deepen our connections with those we love. For example, embracing the changes of menopause as a time for new adventures can lead to exploring new hobbies, travelling, or engaging in meaningful volunteer work.

 

Final note – embrace your evolving Identity

The story of our Identity is one of continuous evolution. Understanding and redefining how we see ourselves, especially through hormonal changes and societal expectations, can reclaim our happiness and vitality. 

Embrace your Identity as a strong, resilient woman capable of navigating life’s changes with grace and strength. Your Identity is a powerful tool to enhance your well-being and enrich your life. By doing so, you transform your own life and set a positive example for others, showing that it’s possible to thrive through every stage of life.

If you’re ready to take control of your Identity and health, I invite you to join my intensive workshop on mastering stress and achieving hormonal balance. This workshop will provide you with the tools, knowledge, and support to navigate hormonal changes confidently and gracefully. To learn more, click here. Embrace the opportunity to transform your life and reclaim your vitality!

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