While speaking with some women and couples working hard to move their fertility journey forward in a way that is deliberate and purposeful, I was struck by how many negative or unhelpful things they told themselves every single day. A certain level of self-doubt, self-limiting thoughts and negative self-talk is normal, given how challenging IVF treatment can be. However, having nothing at all good to say about process can make life a totally joyless experience.
According to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California, we have 70,000 thoughts on average every single day. That works out to be 48.6 thoughts per minute. That is a lot going on in our heads at any given moment. Now imagine a large percentage of that is us telling ourselves we will fail if we try something that comes so naturally to most couples, we will lose our pride if we fail, we will be laughed at, we will look like fools if things don’t go well. Is it any wonder that the journey can breaks up couples and sometimes break people mentally?
We spend so much time championing and pushing others forward and towards their dreams. When things don’t go so well we support and tell them, “don’t worry, you will do it next time, just keep trying, I have faith in you!” So why can’t we do the same for ourselves?
Assisted conception through Vitro fertilisation (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine insemination (IUI), Clomid etc. can be a tough road to travel, once we make our minds up to go the baby quest. The highs feel amazingly scary yet exciting sometimes while the lows can slam us to the ground so hard that we fall apart. So, it is completely understandable that we whisper unhelpful things to ourselves sometimes.
That voice that whispers in our ears, is a natural part of who we are. Some call it our inner critic, whatever name it has for you, it keeps us small, it holds us back from living our true potential on our fertility journey. There are countless scientific studies out there that tell us that going through the fertility journey with a positive mind-set helps to reduces stress and increases our chances of pregnancy. So, reducing stress and increasing our mind-body health is bound to help. Even if there was no proof, would we not give it a go if there was a small chance it could help?
With the right support, over time we can learn to turn down the voice that tells us, we cannot do this. A more sustainable way is to consciously re-programme it – give it a new job, to champion us forward as we champion our loved ones. You control it, it’s doesn’t control you…. Easier said than done, I know but it is possible.
Have an amazing day. In the meantime, be careful what you say to yourself, because you are listening – 70,000 times a day!