If I think about the relationships, connections, people and even conversations I’m having now in comparison to 3 years ago when I first started trying to conceive, the difference is astounding.
I’m so much bolder, more confident and self-assured about talking about myself, my body and my struggles than ever before and that has a lot to do with my tribe; the great people I surround myself with who each bring something different out of me, different energy and support.
Sometimes I even feel physically lifted up high when I’ve got my tribe around me and that is so incredibly important for anyone going through what we’re going through – get those right people around you and you’ll never feel alone.
In my tribe, I have family, friends I’ve known for decades, friends I knew before but didn’t really become close with until I started down the fertility route and new friends who I’ve only known a few months but now can’t imagine living without! I would even count my acupuncturist and life coach as part of my tribe. The world constantly changes around you and you never know when a new friend might pop into your life and shake it up, so it’s important to keep your heart open and never think you’re too old to make new friends!
I think one of the key traits of my tribe crew, as opposed to any other type of friend, is the types of conversations I feel comfortable having with them. We can get straight into the stuff that matters and I know that I’m in a safe environment when opening my heart out to them. They’re the people who nurture and encourage your dreams and make you feel loved and cared for.
To build a really honest tribe around you, the first thing you need to do is be honest to yourself.
I remember when I used to avoid talking about what I was going through – constantly keeping a brave face on and pretending I wasn’t struggling, when inside I was desperate for someone to know how hard these monthly disappointments were and how scared I was about the prospect of assisted fertility treatment.
I remember the moment when I started to open up about our fertility issues. The first thing I did was text two very good friends of mine, to let them know we might be going through IVF in the coming months. Once I’d opened that door of communication, I slowly started to venture out of it, talking to more and more people and becoming bolder and bolder with the feelings I was willing to share. As soon as I let go of the embarrassment of talking about my body, my struggles and my emotions, I felt so free and so surrounded by love as people then were able to offer support. If you keep all of that hidden inside you then no one’s any the wiser…
Knowing who to include in your tribe
- Does the person make you feel open and happy when you’re around them?
- Do they bring out another side to you that you like?
- Do they listen and feel like they’re 100% in the room with you when you’re talking?
- Do they encourage your hopes and dreams and don’t dismiss them?
- Do they help you make better decisions, see things clearer?
- Do you have a warm buzz when you’re around them?
- Can you be really honest and open with them and get warm encouragement back?
BEWARE of the bad eggs!
While creating a solid tribe around you is so important, beware of the destructive, energy/ confidence sucking people that might already be in your life – basically anyone who brings you the opposite of the points above. There are bad people for you in this world and you don’t need them – brush them off and surround yourself with goodies instead!
However, sometimes this might be impossible i.e. They’re part of your family. In that case just recognise that they are part of your life but don’t get sucked into their negativity. Perhaps plan to check in with your tribe the day after you have to meet up with a bad egg to counteract the effects!
Who do you want in your tribe? Can you quickly write down the list of people that give you energy, confidence and support? Tell them how important they are to you!
Wherever you are in your fertility journey, I’d love to hear from you.