With my fertility background, I’ve worked with a lot of people and their medical challenges on the way to fertility. And throughout that process, I’ve seen a lot of people respond to coaching from their doctor or their therapist in different ways.
Even outside of the fertility world - let’s say a patient comes to see their doctor, and this patient is a smoker, their diet is pretty exclusively red meat, and they sit at a desk all day. Their doctor may tell them they are at risk for heart failure and give them some recommendations: stop smoking, eat better, get some exercise. That patient may or may not choose to apply that coaching.
Now compare that to the patient that just had a heart attack, survived it, and gets the same recommendations from their doctor. That patient, I would say, is far more likely to suddenly experience a 180 degree transformation of their habits and behaviors. And the only difference is really in their level of determination to make those changes.
I’ve seen the same thing in the fertility world. In my work with Pulling Down the Moon, I've seen 3 different types of people: 1) Someone who is thinking about getting pregnant and wants to be proactive about starting her journey as healthy as possible; 2) Someone who has experienced some setbacks, who’s been given an infertility diagnosis, and is looking to supplement her treatment plan with her doctor; and 3) Someone who is running out of options. Her biological clock is ticking, her insurance will only cover one more cycle, and this may be a last ditch effort for her.
The first type of patient is fun to work with, but those are not necessarily the people who are going to make full on, radical lifestyle transformations. The second type is far more likely to get on the bandwagon for making changes. But the third type will do so much more to solve their problem. That’s the client I see the most often - not because there’s more of them, but because they are the ones most committed to a treatment plan with our center. Those are the clients that actually do the things we coach them to do.
You know, it’s so strange that sometimes, we require struggle in order to do the things we know we need to do.
When I look at what they’re charging at the fertility center, it’s $140 per fertility massage, it’s $95 per acupuncture session, and most likely, the third type of client is buying those in 20 packs. They’ll drop $300 a month in supplements, they’ll change their eating habits, they’ll change their entire lifestyle. And most of the time, this is on top of an IVF treatment, which usually costs about $20,000 per round, and may or may not be covered by insurance.
Some of these clients will experience loss, and they’ll start all over again. I’ve had clients go through multiple failed rounds of IVF, I’ve seen some have multiple miscarriages before having a healthy baby. Compared to the first type of client, who might come in once or twice a month for an interesting treatment, the third type of client will do whatever it takes. Their determination gives them the strength to push through every obstacle - the time obstacles, the money obstacles, the hope obstacles, the disappointment obstacles. They have a strong vision, and their determination gives them the strength to pull through. The ones that experience struggle and loss are rarely the ones that give up - they’re the ones that push harder.
There’s a sign that hangs at Pulling Down the Moon, and it says: “You never know how strong you are until strength is the only choice you have.” Your strength and your toughness is already there, but sometimes it requires a struggle to bring out the determination inside of you. And determination isn’t forged on your couch. Determination is forged in your pursuit of something just out of reach. You become great when you refuse to give up, and not just do what it takes, but do whatever it takes.
So let me ask you: what is your determination level to actually go after your goals and dreams? When you’re at the point where there is some struggle, some loss, some disappointment, what are you going to do? Are you going to roll over and get back on your couch? Or are you going to allow the struggle to help you develop the mental toughness to push through? I urge you to develop the strength to dig deeper, and to stop evaluating the price you have to pay. Know that what you’re going after is worth it, and focus on that. Find a visual representation of your dream and keep it in front of you. Visualize it as you take action.
Develop enough determination, and success is inevitable.