Letting go of the things you can't control on your fertility journeyJul 11, 2022
Control what you can, let go of the rest.
We hear people saying this all the time. Heck, even I say it all the time. And then someone asked me recently……how do you let go of the rest? And it’s such a great question.
It’s not like it’s a banana you’re clasping in your hand, and all you have to do is simply release your physical hold on it, is it? How do you let go of an ideal? An outcome? That picture in your head?
It’s easier said than done. And I must admit, that question stumped me for a little while.
So, I’ve developed a few things you can try, to help you release it. Some may work, some may not. But it helps to have a place to start, right?
If you’re trying to let go of that picture you had in your head of how and when you were going to get pregnant.
If you’re trying to get pregnant and you’d like to accept the fact that no matter what you do, you can’t ultimately control whether two lines appear on that pregnancy test.
If you’re going through an IVF cycle and you’re trying to release the pressure of how may eggs and fertilised embryo’s you get.
Or, if you’re currently pregnant and are trying to release the thoughts of “what if”, the never ending fear, and the worst case scenarios that keep playing on repeat inside your mind.
Then this is for you.
First things first. In order to release the thing we cannot control, we need to be aware of exactly what those things are first. It makes sense that you can’t let go of something you don’t know exists.
- Grab your journal and create two lists. On the left-hand side of the page, write down the things you CAN control. On the right side, put down the things you CANNOT control, no matter how hard you try. Your list may look something like this (although this is based on my experience – yours may be a little different) –
What I can control – what I put into my body i.e. diet / how I treat my body i.e. exercise / my thoughts (to a degree) / my mental & emotional health / the boundaries I set i.e. what I say yes and no to / the people I surround myself with / the level of support I receive / how I spend my time / the decisions I make
What is out of my ultimate control – a positive or negative pregnancy test / how many embryo’s result from my IVF cycle / the timing of WHEN I am going to get pregnant / whether our pregnancy will end in a baby or a loss / the pain of a loss, or a negative pregnancy test, or a failed cycle / other people’s comments and reactions
Keep adding to that list over the next few days as additional things come up.
- Once you’ve created the awareness, read the list of things you cannot control. Acknowledge the fact that you cannot control it. Accept it (this does not mean you need to like it, want it, or admit defeat). Self-talk can really help with this. Physically tell yourself that you cannot control it. Show yourself some compassion and give yourself a little grace. A lot of us blame ourselves for the things we cannot control. We take responsibility over it, and we’re overcome with shame and self-punishment. But taking responsibility for something that isn’t within our control is like blaming a frog for the rain (I have no idea why I used this analogy 😊). It’s time to stop beating yourself up and accept that as hard as we try, we are not in control of everything. It may be a bitter pill to swallow for those control-freaks out there like me, but it is possible.
- Try incorporating some affirmations to help you release the things you cannot control. Repeating this at first may seem a little unnatural, however over time it may sink in. i.e. I cannot control whether this pregnancy test is positive, but I know I tried. I cannot control how many embryo’s are fertilized, and I’m proud of myself for all that I have done to help. Of course, you will need to modify this to suit what feels good for you – because the secret to affirmations is that you have to believe it.
- Imagine yourself letting it go. I know this may sound a little woo woo, but give it a go. Visualize the thing you are trying to control – repeat it / feel the heavy emotions – the guilt and the obligation surrounding it. Imagine putting those inside a balloon and then releasing the balloon into the sky. Watch the balloon float higher and higher, and with it, feel the heaviness release.
- A ritual. If you prefer something a little more physical, you can write the thing you cannot control on a piece of paper. Feel free to write down all the emotions attached to it. Then you can create a ritual where you burn it (using safety precautions of course). Watch the flames erase the words and the feel the emotions burn with them.
- Releasing it through breath. When you think of the thing you cannot control, where does it hurt on your body? I know this may sound a little weird, however we hold stress inside our body. And usually, the stress associated with the powerlessness of something we cannot control will have a physical feeling. You could feel it in your shoulders, your chest, your abdomen. Identify where the heaviness sits, and breathe into it. We do this by thinking of the body part, and then taking a deep inhale imagining the breath go into that part of your body, and exhaling out. Do this 5-10 times, and as you keep exhaling, feel the release.
Once you’ve tried those techniques, it also helps to change your focus to the things you CAN control. This is a great distraction, but it also allows you to use your energy for something that is helpful. Something that will actually make a difference.
Grab out the list you made earlier, and work out the physical steps you can take to help you reach your goal.
It can feel empowering, and help you take back control. Because that’s the struggle that most of us have on this journey, isn’t it? We feel like we are completely powerless. But we’re not. We’re just trying to control the wrong things.
I love the analogy of a river. So many of us are trying to control the river, when we should be focusing on steering the ship.
If you’d like to know a little more about how you can RELEASE the struggle on your fertility journey, I have an 8-week online course that will help you feel lighter and like you’re actually making a difference in your life. You can find out more HERE.
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
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