You’ve made the decision to try a Fertility Awareness Method (FAM), and you’re excited to start this new chapter in taking charge of your health. At the same time, it can feel intimidating to start something so new. Not only do you have to decide which fertility awareness method you’d like to use, but you also have to learn a whole new way of viewing and recording your fertility, which can include detailed charts and acquiring a new vocabulary (“cervical mucus” anyone?). Embracing an “abundance mindset” with FAMs can help you overcome these challenges, and have a powerful, positive effect on your overall fertility awareness experience—whether you’ve used them forever or are just starting out.
Maybe you’re new to charting, or perhaps you are a FAM veteran who’s encountering challenges during different states in life. If you are trying to achieve pregnancy but are struggling with infertility, charting can start to feel discouraging instead of empowering. If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, correctly interpreting your chart can come with a lot of pressure.
Though these experiences may seem different on the surface, they all emphasize how much our mindset can influence our experience with fertility awareness. Learning the proper way to make, record, and interpret your observations is a huge influence, but your mindset is very influential as well. Your mindset can either empower you to make the best decisions for yourself and your family, or it can discourage you and leave you questioning why you thought charting was going to be helpful in the first place. As a psychotherapist I can tell you: mindset really does matter.
An abundance mindset with FAM vs. a scarcity mindset
It’s important to remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to use a fertility awareness method in the first place. To have the best experience using a FAM, consider embracing an abundance mindset over a scarcity mindset.
An abundance mindset is viewing your situation from the perspective of well, abundance—there isn’t a limit to what you can learn or how you can grow in any given situation. And there is room to grow for everyone, whether your fertility journey is unique or similar to others.
A scarcity mindset, on the other hand, operates from the perspective that there is only so much to learn from an experience. After that, things grind to a halt and become stagnant. A scarcity mindset tells you that everyone else’s fertility (or infertility) stories matter more than yours or that other people have already found all the answers on these topics, and there aren’t any answers left for you. This type of mindset can be incredibly discouraging.
How can the abundance and scarcity mindsets affect our experience with using a fertility awareness method? Let’s take a look at a few examples to show the difference an abundance mindset can have on your experience with a FAM (or anything in life, for that matter).
Making the initial switch to fertility awareness
When you make the decision to start a FAM, it requires letting go of the familiarity and certainty that hormonal birth control can provide. Even though hormonal birth control has many negative side effects, it’s important to acknowledge the reality that it provides a degree of dependability for many women—even if it’s at a cost. A scarcity mindset might look like letting the fear of doing something new (charting) hold you back from trying it despite its benefits and the supportive tools at your service. An abundance mindset, on the other hand, would help you focus on the benefits and supportive tools, and use them as fuel to push past any initial fears you might have about starting something so new and different.
An abundance mindset and the motivation to chart
Remembering to make and record all of your observations on a daily basis can start to feel tedious over time, especially if you are struggling with infertility. A scarcity mindset could contribute to you thinking things like, “What’s the point of doing this anyway? I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. Nothing’s going to get better.” On the other hand, embracing an abundance mindset with fertility awareness can help you focus on hope for the future and commit to recording the information so that your healthcare provider can use it to help you get closer to the answers you need.
How an abundance mindset with FAM wards off resentment
If you are struggling to feel motivated to chart, or grappling with how to “figure out” your fertility, it’s easy to feel resentful toward those women who talk about how easy using a FAM is for effective pregnancy prevention, or, if trying to conceive, how quickly they achieved pregnancy with that method. However, thinking along these lines can get you stuck in a type of scarcity mindset that tells you there are only a finite number of success stories to be had, and that you’ve missed out on all of them.
Instead of giving into the initial resentment, try to embrace an abundance mindset that believes there are an unlimited number of success stories, and that you can be one of them. Your success story might look different from others’ and may have a different timeline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own success story.
An abundance mindset is valuable in many areas, but especially when it comes to learning something that can seem new and challenging at the outset. Embracing an abundance mindset with fertility awareness can change the difficulties of learning and using a FAM into opportunities for growth.
When this article refers to fertility awareness methods (FAM), or natural family planning (NFP), we are referring to Fertility Awareness-Based Methods, evidence-based methods of cycle charting which can be used as effective forms of natural birth control when learned by a certified instructor.
Just dipping your toes into fertility awareness? Find out which FAM might be your best fit by taking our quiz, below!
Last updated October 26, 2020.