When I’m not taking care of a child with Type 1 diabetes, I’m a corporate speaker for the Energy Project. The project’s purpose is to partner with organizations to create workplaces that are healthier, happier, more focused and more purposeful. I strive to help people become more accountable for their own happiness and the success of their organizations.
To teach this personal accountability, I often draw upon my experience in interacting with the Type 1 diabetes community. What is both a blessing and a curse about Type 1 is that there is such an advantage in being personally responsible for one’s own health on a day-to-day basis. While this can create untold stress, it also can instill qualities in people with Type 1 that would be an asset to any organization.
Here are some 5 simple, powerful behaviors that those with Type 1 diabetes, including my son, have taught me:
Accountability: If you think you’re responsible for the good things that happen in your life, then you also need to take responsibility for the negative aspects. Low and high blood sugars happen, but it’s up to the individual with Type 1 to determine what to do about them.
No Excuses: Many of those with Type 1 have a powerful mindset about their condition. Kelli Kuehne, former LPGA golfer with Type 1, sums it up: “Diabetes is a condition, it’s not an excuse.” There’s only so long a successful person with Type 1 can blame shortcomings on a non-functioning pancreas.
Self-management: Good self-management means you have determined what behaviors need to show up most consistently so that you’ve made them automatic. Diabetes is exhausting, so successful people with Type 1 have boiled down their daily routine to what works.
Reflective Lens: Successful people with Type 1 diabetes understand that there are limits to what they can control in their health and move forward. When things get tough and they feel external triggers bearing down on them, they step outside themselves and ask, “What is the most realistically optimistic story I can tell myself about any given set of circumstances?”
A Setback or a Step Forward? Diabetes can be a catalyst for growth, a fuel for resilience and an accelerant of human performance. Successful people with Type 1 make the most of it.
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