There’s a phrase I’ve come across that says, ‘what you think, you become”.
Have you ever noticed how much of what you think about happens? Or decide you want something then suddenly see it everywhere (um hello, is the whole world is pregnant right now?!?).
I really believe in the mind-body connection – even more so since I started trying to conceive (TTC).
When we realised we were having trouble TTC I suddenly found myself being given all these labels – Infertile, Advanced Maternal Age, Poor IVF Drug Responder. So many words teaching me to think negatively about myself and our prospects of having a baby.
With these labels it’s so easy to add on your own negative language – broken body, useless, failure … my list here has been quite long!
Thing is, if you accept these labels then they become identity statements. They become who we believe we are!
If you are like me then you will subconsciously look for ways to prove these negative self-beliefs are true! Struggling with something as intensely personal and important as TTC is just low hanging fruit for that ‘little voice’ to confirm you’ve been right all along – you are not enough!!
I was in a dark place with my fertility challenges. Then it dawned on me. This is not the language of success.
It was the language of someone who was defeated before they started. The language of someone who was convinced they need to be prepared for bad news. It was the language of someone who was already questioning their ability to cope when bad news arrives.
It was not the language for someone who is confident, secure and happy. It was not the language of someone who is able to face fertility challenges head on and handle whatever outcome.
Most importantly it was not the language of someone who believes they will be successful!
Our fertility challenges can become focused on how we think we have failed – but have we? Really? Or have we just not reached our desired outcome yet?
I decided to experiment with changing my language. I chose to stop speaking the language of infertility and learn to speak the language of fertility!
The results of this experiment have been profound. I feel so much more relaxed (yes, I said the ‘r’ word!!). I feel confident, calm and strong in myself. More balance, less guilt.
Yes there are still times when I feel overwhelmed by trying to conceive and there are still time when I feel sad, frustrated or disappointed, but I genuinely spend less time there.
Positive language isn’t going to clear blocked tubes, fix endometriosis or replenish low ovarian reserves, but hopefully it will improve your chances and at the very least it make you feel better while you’re getting there!
The 3 steps to becoming fluent in positive fertility language
1. Start with focusing in on purposefully changing your negative identity statements
‘I’m infertile’ became ‘we are experiencing some fertility challenges’
‘I’ve lost two babies’ became ‘we have successfully achieved pregnancy twice’
‘Poor ovarian reserve’ became ‘quality over quantity – it only takes one!’
‘Broken body’ became ‘my body is strong, capable and amazing’
‘I am not enough’ became ‘I am enough for what lies ahead’
2. Keep reinforcing the change!
Stick it out – you’ve been thinking one way for a long time, beating yourself up. It’s easier for us to believe the bad things about ourselves than the good things. Keep repeating or reinforcing this language change until it sticks. Correct yourself, get your hubby, family, friends to correct you! Eventually it will stick and you’ll find you feel much better for it!
3. Visualise the outcomes you want, rather than focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
It can be so easy to get caught in the details of all you have to do, and how hard it all is – do you ever stop and in your mind’s eye see a time when you are there, holding your baby? I really step into that image, feel it with all my senses! It does wonders!
Image credit: ra2studio/123RF Stock Photo