Psoriasis - Step Out Live Life

David Lim’s 5 Motivational Tips

Just days after David Lim led the pioneer team of Singapore climbers to the summit of Everest in 1998, he was diagnosed with the Guillain-Barre Syndrome – a rare and debilitating disease that attacks the nervous system.

At the peak of his disease David was paralyzed from the eyes. His body never fully recovered – he still lacks some movement below in both legs. But within 15 months of battling the condition, David had bounced back and was again conquering some of the world’s most challenging peaks.

With this incredible story, David inspired the participants of the “Step Out Live Life” workshop held on 28 July at the National Skin Centre, exclusive to psoriasis patients only. Through group interaction, those who have been living with psoriasis for many years as well as those who have been recently diagnosed benefited from the therapeutic process of talking about their personal experience of living with psoriasis. More importantly, some walked away with new found friendships and support from people who understand their struggles because they have gone through the process themselves.

Here are David’s five motivational tips:

  • Stretch goals
    Find ways to stretch yourself! For David, mountain climbing and scaling virgin peaks are ways of stretching himself. Similarly, psoriasis patients can take steps towards overcoming their condition by first setting such goals. From losing weight, getting clearer skin or even living life to the fullest, these are some possible goals to challenge psoriasis patients. When you achieve these goals, try pushing it further to stretch your boundaries. Such positive pressure is helpful in the long run.
  • Good rehearsals
    Goals are not achieved within a few days, they are accomplished through practice and more practice. In order to reach your goals, rehearsing and training are crucial. To scale Everest, David had to prepare himself through weekly training sessions of climbing Bukit Timah Hill and HDB staircases. If your goal is to overcome psoriasis, you have to be compliant with your medication/ treatment and maintain a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. If your goal is to lose weight, you have to be disciplined in exercising regularly and watching your diet.
  • Belief drives results
    Your beliefs will guide your life. For psoriasis patients, if you believe that you are able to keep your psoriasis under control and achieve clearer skin, you can do it! David wanted to climb again, and after an arduous 15 months, he eventually did. Although the process of recovery may be longer than others, your commitment to your belief will help you reach your goal.
    A certain degree of self-leadership is needed to anchor your belief. David shared that while climbing Everest, you need to know what you are supposed to do and what is going on. This form of self-leadership is also necessary for you to achieve your goal. If you desire clearer skin, you cannot depend on doctors or your family members to care for you - you have to be responsible for yourself, stick to your treatment regime diligently, ask questions and empower yourself with knowledge.
  • Take massive action
    When you know what needs to be done to achieve your goal, David challenges you to take massive action as half-hearted changes do not last long. If you aim to keep your psoriasis under control, you have to be proactive in finding out more about the illness, seeking the best treatment and consulting your doctors.
    Another lesson David learnt from his Everest climb is that sharing of resources is vital to success. Despite being unable to reach the peak of Mount Everest due to injuries, David graciously loaned his team mate his lighter equipment to finish the conquest. In the case of psoriasis patients, you can help each other by sharing your knowledge and empowering one another. You can also share encouraging stories that help motivate those who are struggling with their psoriasis.
  • 1 per cent rule
    David encourages you to look to the future and focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot do. Start by improving on something 1 per cent each day. If you improve by 1 per cent daily, you will be 100 per cent better after 72 days, as each day’s improvements builds on the next. Or if you improve by 1 per cent weekly, you will be 100 per cent better after 72 weeks!
    However, this is not possible if you stick to what you have been used to doing. Make a change starting from today! Have a goal, believe in what you are doing, and start taking steps in changing your lifestyle. This will help you achieve your goal and improve yourself.

Participants left the workshop feeling uplifted not only because of David’s inspirational sharing, but also because they know that they are not suffering alone. As one patient shared, “The disabilities we have don’t stop us from moving on if we have (the right) mindset.”

So, don’t let psoriasis hold you back from your dream - step out and live life!