Every now and then do find you put stuff off because you know your going to find it tough? Can going to new places, meeting new people make you feel nervous? At the same time when old friends you haven't seen for ages ask to meet up out of the blue, do you start to wonder what they really want?
At work, if your boss asks to talk to you, do you worry it might be about something really bad? Do you find that you don't push yourself as much as you should in your career because you know you won't be able to progress as much as you'd like too?
During the summer, If you want to plan a party in the garden, do you hold back on finalising the plans, like setting the date because you think it'll it most likely rain?
It's like carrying around that feeling of when you come home from your holiday and you feel like you've left something behind in the hotel room. Even though you know you've check thoroughly before you left.
You're always trying to do things but never quite make it. Like setting yourself some New Year resolutions and finding them really hard to keep.
You don't take the bus because buses always make you late, don't they?
And when you wake up on the morning of your blood test, you're filled with dread because you just know it's going to hurt.
If you've found yourself nodding along to this so far it's most likely that you've adopted second-guessing as your natural style of thinking. This means:
- You're someone that believes or assumes that they know what's going to happen next.
- You suspect that you know what something is going to feel like regardless of whether or not you've experienced it before.
- You assume you know what it will be like and you hold that thought tight and believe it to be true.
- You ''just know' what's going to be said before it's even been said.
- You take a punt, a prediction and convince not only yourself but others around you of your assumptions.
So what's this got to do with your pregnancy and the up coming birth of your baby?
Well, quite often your assumptions are inaccurate and in most cases based around your unhelpful thoughts. You see, second guessers can perceive all sorts of unhelpful scenarios about pregnancy and birth. They assume they know exactly what will happen during their baby's birth, how that will feel and what they can or can't cope with.
The real truth is none of us own a crystal ball or a time machine so predicting how your baby's birth will be for real just isn't possible. So you end up perceiving a birth experience that's unhelpful, filling you with anxiety when you should be looking forward to meeting your baby for the first time.
This assumption, this second-guessing takes that pleasure away from you.
The good news is, it's easy to change the way you think. It just requires a bit of effort and know-how on your part and I'm happy to share that with you now.
There's this technique called Image Rehearsal. Everyone does it to a certain extent but doing it with purpose will work well here for you here. It originates from a French Physician called Emile Coue. Businessmen and women, sportsmen, actors and actresses use it today in a purposeful way.
You just need to learn how to put your imagination to good use so it works for you and rather than against you. Basically, you need to stay focused on what you want to happen rather than what you fear might happen.
You see second-guessing in a positive way will have positive effects on your body during your pregnancy, in the run up to and during your baby's birth. These positive effects will take place in your mind and play out on your body, leaving you feeling calm, confident and excited at the thought of meeting your baby. In turn your baby will feel loved, safe and supported, ready to meet you.
Here's three things you can do to get you started straight away:
- Aim to use a well-written Pregnancy Preparation MP3 and pregnancy and birth affirmations (you can get yours here).
- Steer clear of words like 'don't' 'try' and 'should', the language you use is very important.
- Enjoy hearing positive birth stories from friends and family to reframe your negative thoughts about birth.
Now go and put that imagination of yours to good use and enjoy making your natural style of thinking work for you and your baby.
Sarah Brent is a mum of two, hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and creator of Positively Blooming. Positively Blooming is a childbirth preparation course that gives parents-to-be insight into their natural style of thinking and highlights a set of tools and techniques to prepare them for the birth of their baby and the life long job of parenting.