Stop being consumed by fear on your fertility journeyJan 24, 2022
It’s ok to be scared. We all are.
It’s ok to be scared to hope and dream of what it would be like to hold your baby in your arms, in case it doesn’t happen.
It’s ok to be scared that your friends will have babies before you, and you’ll be left behind, all alone.
It’s ok to be scared of doing IVF and having to inject yourself in the stomach with needles.
It’s ok to be scared of getting the test results or doing the exploratory surgery, in case they find something wrong (or don’t find something wrong).
It’s ok to be scared that this could all be for nothing.
I was scared too.
For 7 years, I was plagued with thoughts of – what if this doesn’t happen? What will my life look like without children? What if it does happen and I do get pregnant? Am I fit to be a mother?
I was scared to take a break from trying, even though I was exhausted, both physically, emotionally and financially. I was scared if we took a month off, that this could be “the one” and our baby would be given to someone who had the balls to show up.
I was scared to get my hopes up. I never truly opened my heart to the possibility, because I was scared. I lived my life based on the “worst case scenario” and saying that this probably wouldn’t work, because I was so determined to be right.
It wasn’t a great place to live. Living inside your fear can be consuming and damaging.
Of course, I never told anyone about my fears, because I figured if I pushed them down, they would go away (which they didn’t).
If only I knew back then, what I have come to know now.
And that is, there is nothing wrong with fear or being scared. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you are human – and that is a good thing.
You don’t have to fight your fears or struggle against them. You don’t need to push them down and ignore them. There is no need to kick it to the side or show it whose boss, because it doesn’t work or go away.
You can co-exist with them.
The first step (yes, I love a good process!!) is understanding your fear.
Fear is completely normal – especially on your fertility journey. It’s proof that you’ve got skin in the game. Just making that decision to have a baby is a HUGE step. It’s not like you’re deciding to move house or jobs – having a baby is a complete life changer. And succeeding or not succeeding will change the whole trajectory of your life. This matters…….a lot! Which is why, the longer you’ve been trying, the scarier it becomes.
Your fearful mind has one job, which is to keep you alive by preventing you from doing new things. If it doesn’t know what something is, it has an immediate toggle switch that says – shut it down. It says I don’t know what the outcome is and in order to keep you safe I will stop you from doing it.
This is the reason why we struggle making decisions. It’s why our mind keeps going around and around in a circle on a constant loop. We keep landing back at the beginning and having the same conversations, unable to move forward.
Because our fearful mind is saying – I have no idea what is coming next, so please stop. And as we know, on this journey, there is no certainty. Like ZERO certainty. You can’t control how many lines appear on that pregnancy test, and you can’t control whether this baby will stick and continue to grow, or not.
Do you go down the path of IVF? Should you start acupuncture? What about a fertility coach? Should you use donor eggs, or use your own? Those are decisions that create fear……because there is no certainty in any of them.
We’re all the same. We all start at the same moment – you feel the excitement when you decide you want to be a mother. You may even feel excitement when you decide to go down the path of IVF. And once you say yes, the next thing you will experience is terror and fear.
For a lot of us, it’s the same when you find out you’re finally pregnant. There is excitement at first, and then fear comes up when you realize that the path forward is still uncertain.
So, if you’ve been punishing yourself for feeling scared, you can stop.
It is not a sign of weakness. Nor does it mean there is something wrong with you. It means that this is important. That this path is uncertain. And your brain is trying to protect you from the uncertainty.
In short, there is no need to feel scared of your fear or push against it. Accept it as a part of this journey.
The next step is to try to establish a loving conversation with your fearful mind. I know that sounds weird, but thank it for trying to protect you. Because the truth is that you’re never going to remove all the voices from your head – so you may as well start getting along with them. Be kinder to yourself.
You won’t get to a point where you’re fearless, unless you’re a psychopath or fully enlightened. So, stop wasting your energy by trying to get there.
Listen to your fears. Because they want to be respectfully heard. Just like us. We get so annoyed by people trying to fix us or give us unsolicited advice. But what do we really need from other people? We need to be heard. We want people to listen to us. And when we feel truly heard, it provides us space to release the pressure. Our fearful mind is exactly the same. It just wants to be heard, without being judged.
Talk to your fearful mind constantly – explain to it what you’re doing and why.
i.e. I understand and respect where you’re coming from, however…..
And once it’s been heard, it will tend to quiet down.
This is exactly the same with a dog. Let’s say you have a puppy, and they want to get into the room where you are, but the door is shut. What do they do? They scratch the door and they start whining. And if you ignore them, do they quieten down and go away? No. They get louder! They may start barking and even jumping up on the door. So, when you finally get annoyed and hop up to let them in the door, they come in the room, sniff around and get a pat from you. Then they realize that there’s nothing much happening in the room, so they walk out and go along their merry way.
Your fears are exactly the same!
Get comfortable with them, and learn how to work with them. Because you will be faced with fears every day (unless you never do anything important or take any risks for the rest of your life).
You can even take it one step further, by writing a letter from your fear to yourself. I know it may feel a little uncomfortable, but it works. This is a technique I’ve used with my coaching clients, and it provides a huge amount of release.
Start your letter by saying –
Dear Jen (for example),
I am your fear, and this is what I want to tell you. I am afraid of……., I am afraid of…….
Don’t interrupt it, don’t correct it. Don’t judge it or resist it. Respect it and treat it with kindness, as you would a friend who was trying to protect you.
Once it’s been heard, say thank you.
Because our fears are important. They protect us from doing stupid shit – like jumping over that cliff, or standing still when we’re being chased by a bear.
They are part of you, and they deserve to be heard.
But they don’t need to stop you from doing the next right thing.
You can feel the fear…..and keep moving forward.
And that is where courage begins.
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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