In this post about TTC tips (Trying To Conceive) I’m talking about learning how to stand up for yourself by saying no. How are you at this?  I’m terrible at it. Two little letters, surely easy to say? But no! So what’s going on? I hate to admit it but I’m a people pleaser. As a child I wanted approval. I didn’t want to let anyone down and I liked to feel capable and to do what was asked of me.

Fast forward years later and this theme continued. At work I took on too much and as a result I’d leave burnt out and exhausted. I helped look after friends kids when I was right in the middle of my IVF treatment, because they needed a break. I remember my IVF doctor saying that we were on the right track even though I had done 5 rounds of IVF and had no success. I didn’t say no. I didn’t say ‘that sounds crazy’. I didn’t listen to what my gut was telling me because it hadn’t even occurred to me to ask myself what I thought. I was living in a heightened state of panic and just wanted my doctor to ‘sort me out’ and ‘fix me’, I didn’t care how. My attitude in every respect was ‘doctor knows best’.

It wasn’t until a year or so later when my husband and I were seeing yet another fertility specialist who, after his own exploratory tests on me, decided that I needed an invasive operation which would rule out any chance of us conceiving naturally. When he told me his diagnosis I started to cry. As I was sobbing he didn’t say, ‘look I’ve seen this before, it’s going to be OK’. He didn’t say ‘lets do some exploratory surgery first and find out what we are dealing with’. He didn’t say anything kind or compassionate AT ALL. He didn’t even give me a tissue. After our meeting we went down stairs and I said to my husband, ‘if he thinks he’s going to cut me open and he can’t even give me a tissue, this is not the right doctor for us’. I felt so angry, so riled up, so righteous, and in that moment I stopped being the person who always looks to others for approval and started to look out for myself. 

Saying no can be hard for some of us, particularly if it’s not your natural way of being. What I learnt later was that ‘no’ doesn’t have to be confrontational or aggressive. Saying no in a gentle, kind, loving way is actually possible. It might take a bit of practice that’s all. Saying no when something is not right for you is the ultimate act of self preservation and self love. Do you do this? If this resonates, try it. You might just find you feel happier and you’ll definitely have more time on your hands to do what you actually want to do. Try this today.