Jul 20, 2022
This week we are talking about feeling in control. It’s easy to feel out of control during your fertility treatments, but when your fertility treatments end and you are left without a baby that’s a whole nother set up uncontrollables you feel like you have been dealt. The reason we feel out of control isn’t actually because we have less control than we did before we started on our fertility treatment journey. It’s because we spend a lot of energy focused on what we can’t control that we block ourselves from seeing what we can. I’ve learned that we don’t have to control everything to feel in control of our lives. We just have to know the difference between what’s controllable and what isn’t and adjust accordingly.
When we spend less energy focused on what we can’t control the more energy we have to focus on what we can.
I have gotten a few more listener reviews and I wanted to read a couple because you know I am on my mission to get 10,000 downloads of the So No What Podcast. I chose this goal because the more downloads we get of the podcast, the more the algorithm gods will get the podcast showing up in the feeds of infertile women like us that are searching for ways to love their life even though they couldn’t become a mom
Okay, let’s dive into what I really want to talk about today which is controlling the controllables. I know what it’s like to feel out of control of your life. I know what it’s like to go through life thinking things are going the way they’re supposed to go, or the way you dreamed they would go and then all of a sudden you get diagnosed with infertility, go through years of treatments don’t end up having a baby and feel completely out of control, start to question everything, especially our luck and our future.
It seems like we’re more out of control than we’ve ever been and that we have less control than we ever have. And maybe that is the way that we’re experiencing it.
But the reason that we’re experiencing that way isn’t what we think it is. It’s not that we actually have less control than we have had in various other points in our lives. It’s usually because we’re starting to spend more energy focused on what we can’t control which then leaves us less energy to focus on what we can. And we start getting very confused about what we can control and what we can’t. But what’s important to remember is that we can sort these things out.
You can figure out the difference between what you can control and what you can’t - it’s often not what we think it is.
In this week’s episode I’m going to give you some examples of where you might be confusing what you can control from what you can’t in your own life. To be quite honest, we really don’t have to control everything, we just have to know the difference between what we can control and what we can’t and then adjust. And then by adjusting, by spending less energy on what we can’t control, we have more energy to spend on what we can. And that’s where I have seen the magic happen in my life
Here’s what’s not controllable.
Whatever’s happening in your brain and your body due to grief is not controllable. Our body responds in many different ways to grief. Our brain has changed as a result of our greif. What’s happening in our brain is not something we can control. If you are having infertility fog and things feel cloudy to you, you can’t control that. You didn’t cause it. There’s nothing wrong with you because it’s happening. It’s not something you can control.
When you don’t have a baby and know you never can, your brain is tries to trick you. Sometimes that means walking through Target or Buy Buy Baby and dreaming of creating a registry for your baby shower or shopping in the maternity section. Our brain just has to have some time to adjust.
So, there’s a lot of things happening in our brain that don’t make sense to us logically, that don’t mean you are doing anything wrong, and are completely out of our control. Our brain’s going to need to do what our brain’s going to need to do to adjust and adapt to this loss. It is not something that we can control when we notice ourselves yearning for motherhood, when we notice ourselves having illogical thoughts, going back through the past and thinking, well, if only I had done this or if only I had done that, it would have prevented it, counterfactual thinking.
I should probably do a whole episode on that. These are things that just happen as a part of grief. Now, we can notice that they’re happening and we can change our brain in terms of what we ask it to do for us in the future once we notice. But what we can actually control is what happens without our conscious choosing in our brain or in our body. There’s so many things happening hormonally, even though we aren’t doing medicated cycles anymore.
But whatever’s going on in your body, in your brain due to grief is not controllable.
What is also not controllable is how other people have responded to in your life and how they are treating you. That is not controllable.
Episode 8 & 44
We can’t control other people’s responses. We can’t control other people’s thoughts about what’s happened, we can’t control other people, the things that they say or do - none of that is within our ability to control. We will also notice that we want to control how other people respond to decisions that we’re making now that we are moving forward with a life without children, but we can’t control that either. We can’t control how other people respond to the choices that we make.
We’re going to make decisions, they’re going to respond in the ways that they do because of their unique perspectives on life, their thoughts, their feelings, none of that is within our ability to control.
As much as we like to tell ourselves we could have tried to get pregnant sooner or we shouldn’t have been 12 minutes late for our trigger shot, we can’t control that we are infertile, anything that’s happened in the past is not controllable, but notice how often we are still trying to go back there and control it. So, we can’t control any of those things.
We can’t control the weather, we can’t control what’s happening on the news. We can’t control anything that’s in the past. There’s so much that we can’t control. We can’t even control the thoughts that pop up in our minds, we can’t control that. Thoughts just pop up. We don’t really have any ability to choose what our subconscious mind is doing and what thoughts pop up. But what is controllable is how we respond to all of those things. What is controllable is how we choose to respond to what’s happening to our brain because of grief.
How we choose to respond to our own infertility fog
How we speak to ourselves about all of this?
How do we choose to respond to other people who don’t like our decisions or who have things to say about our grief? That is controllable.
But I want you to imagine if you’re giving your time and energy to thinking about and wishing that you could control or change something that’s in the past. Or something that has to do with someone else, or something that’s happening in your brain or your body that really isn’t within your ability to control.
When you spend all this energy toward something that offers you no different outcome, it never will give you a baby, a diagnosis or FERTILE or the life you thought you were destined to have, how much less energy you have to focus on areas of life where you actually can move the needle. And that’s what I want you to start thinking about. So, I’ll just give you an example.
So, I was coaching someone that is doing the Belief Reinvention with me and she was beating herself up about not working out last week as many times as she’d planned, which is a prime example of focusing on something we can’t control.
How many people can relate to that? You not working out last week is over. Continuing to spend your time focused on decisions you already made and then talking down to yourself makes you less able to make good decisions now and in the future. You become less enticed to set goals for yourself because you know you will make yourself feel like ass if you don’t meet them. You don’t have to listen to your inner critic who tells that you that fertility meds ruined your body and you’ll never have a body you like again
So, here’s the problem. Most often we just forget this. We don’t even realize that we’re focusing on what we can’t control. And so, we have to be able to bring ourselves that kind of awareness.
Ask yourself, what can I do that could move the needle in places that I care about? So that’s what we’re doing here. I’m not saying stop caring about the things you care about, not at all. I’m saying, what can you do to influence the things and areas of life that you care about?
That’s where we want to focus our time because otherwise our brain will likely want to worry about, dwell on, rage against, otherwise spend energy on things that simply aren’t within our control. And it will feel productive in the moment. But if you step back long enough you will see it’s not actually helping you spend energy in ways that move the needle and help you make traction on things that you care about.
Your assignment this week:
When you do your paper thinking, ask what can I control today?
What can I do today to move the needle in the direction I want to see it move?
Where is my brain likely going to get stuck in a loop worrying about, dwelling on, fretting about things that I simply can’t do anything about? Is it
going to get me caught in a loop about how it’s not fair I can’t be a mom and that your body didn’t do when it was supposed to? How you should have done things different in the past? That you let your partner down?
What patterns are brain is going to hyperfocus on what it doesn’t like and the aspects of what it doesn’t like that I can’t control?
Where do you want to be ready to question my brain?
What do you want to remind your brain that it can’t control?
Because it definitely can’t control that you aren’t a mom. It definitely can’t control anything from the past.
But it can choose what it wants to think.
You can choose your beliefs about you and the thoughts you have about not being a mom.
You can choose to response to your inner critic. You can choose how you want to feel and beliefs you have about the amazing you that you see in the mirror.
You can choose how you want to act and how to spend your time. YOu decide how to spend your money. I decide the kind of wife you want to be.
You can even decide how kind youre going to be to yourseld.
You have so much more power than you’re thinking, period.
You don’t need more power, you just need to get better about knowing the difference between what you can control and what you can’t and pivoting accordingly.
And when you do that and you spend more energy on things you can control you will have more energy to spend on things you can control because you won’t be wasting so much of it on things that don’t move the needle for you. Alright, that’s what I have for you this week. I hope that helps you. You’re so much more powerful than you think.
Yes, I am talking to you. This is not like there are certain special snowflakes listening to this podcast who are more powerful than they think.
All of you listening to this podcast are so much more powerful than you think. You have everything you need inside of you to create the life that you want. You just have to believe it. You have to see it. And there might be some junk in the way. And if there’s some junk in the way and you want my help, that’s what I do. And I would love to help you with that. But promise you, you do not need to control what has happened in your past.
You do not need to control other people. You do not need to control things that aren’t yours to control to still genuinely enjoy your time on the planet even though you aren’t a mom