I often have clients ask me why it is so difficult to feel confident in their reproductive choices. They often aren’t used to feeling so uncertain and believe it should be easier for them to understand what they want. I ask these clients to consider how they were taught to make choices… were they taught there was often a “right” and a “wrong” choice? Were they taught to acknowledge and honor their emotions when confronted with decisions? Were they taught to second guess themselves or over prioritize how their choices would impact others? Perhaps they haven’t had to make many difficult decisions before, or perhaps they have had to make many difficult decisions and haven’t felt that they’ve ever been supported.
What happens when you consider the same? How were you taught to make decisions? Do you find it easy to make decisions about what you want? Do you find yourself feeling supported when you make difficult choices?
I also help my clients explore the present-day factors that are influencing their reproductive decisions. Was this a decision they ever anticipated making? How prepared do they feel in making this decision? Do they feel that they have the support and information they need to move forward? Do others in their lives support them unconditionally? What about resources… do they have the time, the finances, the energy, etc. to feel confident in how they want to proceed?
Making conscious choices is difficult when you haven’t had safe, accessible opportunities to do so before. These decisions are further complicated by the complex factors that influence the individual reproductive experiences of every woman. There isn’t a universal “right” answer that we all should be searching for. Instead, each person must form conscious choice by creating awareness of the emotions, perceptions, and experiences that are relevant to them in that moment. The must bring awareness to the personal, relational, societal, cultural, environmental, and political contexts that influence the choice they are making.
Want to learn more? Click to reach more about “Understanding Reproductive Anxiety and Indecision“.
The ability to make conscious choices is important for anyone navigating unanticipated reproductive experiences such as parenthood indecision, fertility concerns, assisted reproductive technologies, and fetal or pregnancy complications. The following questions provide opportunities to build clarity around factors that influence reproductive decisions so that you can create clear, conscious reproductive choices.
Do I understand all of my options, including the risks and benefits of each?
It’s important to make sure you have all of the information you need before making your decision. Ask yourself what information you’d like to have before making your decision and determine a reliable source for finding it (be careful of people or websites that provide biased or inaccurate information).
Do I understand the ways that my past experiences may be influencing the way I approach this choice?
Past experiences can have a big influence on how we approach present day choices. Family histories, historical trauma, past relationships, and even previous reproductive experiences can impact how you view your current situation. It’s important to have an understanding of how this may be influencing you so that you can address any incorrect assumptions before moving forward.
Could I look back on this choice in ten years and know I made the best decision I could at the time?
Knowing that you made the best choice possible for yourself, even if you can’t predict the future outcome of your decision, means that you can look back knowing that you did the best you could for yourself at the time.
Are there others I care about who are going to be directly impacted by this decision?
Perhaps you have a loved one, such as a partner or child, who is going to be impacted by the choice you make. While you don’t need to make your decisions based off of the opinions of others, ask yourself who may be impacted by the choice you’re going to make and consider how much you want to consider their needs or opinions in my decision.
What assumptions am I making?
Be careful of making assumptions that may impact how satisfied you are with the outcome of your decision. Are you assuming that in five years (xxxxx) will happen? Are you assuming someone will respond in a certain way? Consider whether or not you would make a different choice if those things didn’t actually happen.
Do I have a clear understanding of how I am feeling about this decision?
Being present with emotions such as anger, grief, and anxiety offer information about how you perceive and experience the decision you’re making. Even if the emotions are difficult, notice if you’re present with them. Do you understand why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling? These emotions may play an important part in your journey towards clarity and healing.
If you’re struggling with finding clarity in your reproductive choices or notice feelings of anxiety and indecision that feel overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to me today for a FREE consultation. Let’s work together to bring clarity to your future.
This blog is provided for education and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a form of medical or therapeutic advice, nor it is intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. Furthermore, the information obtained from this blog should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional. The use of this blog does not establish a client/therapeutic relationship. If you are in need of support please seek out a local medical or mental health professional.