Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Power of Positive Thinking

I’ve been doubting myself lately. Why?
Because my son’s birthday is approaching and I have set myself the task of making his birthday cake. Some of you may say, well, what’s the big deal with that?  But I have long defined myself as someone who doesn’t, or can’t, bake.  It’s a long-standing case of (minor) negative self-talk, but one that means that I very rarely bake anything.

My son wants a pirate birthday cake. So, at first, I found someone who could make it for me, and I also found online a few that I could simply buy from a shop. But then I thought about it. Loads of other mums make their children’s birthday cakes, why can’t I?  So, I decided to do it. Being a total novice, I am taking an easy route, and I ordered I pirate cake making kit, with all the ingredients and full instructions enclosed. It arrived a few days ago and when I looked through everything, the doubt set in again, especially after reading about how to do the icing, something I have never done before.

You see, my mother never made our birthday cakes - they were always lovely and yummy, and always from a supermarket or bakery. I did learn how to become a rather good cook (if I do say so myself) of all things savoury, which, I believe, is mainly down to being in the kitchen a lot with my mother. But baking was not a regular thing. And for as long as I can remember, I have always said, I am not a baker, so I couldn’t possibly bake and decorate a cake.  And these were just the words that tumbled from my mouth as I anticipated making my son’s birthday cake.  My mother never did it, so I don’t have the direct experience to know if I can do it myself.

As my husband listened to my quandary over the cake, he pointed out to me that I am not practicing what I preach to parents in my hypnobirthing classes. He meant the power of positive thinking!

‘Positive thinking is an attitude that anticipates happiness, health and successful results.’

Believing in oneself is most of the battle in achieving what one wants to achieve. He pointed out that I am positive in my approach to most things, especially creative things. So why is baking a birthday cake any different?  How right he is about this very important law of the mind, which is central to hypnobirthing and also to life in general:

The Law of Attraction:  the belief by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results.

Others, especially our mothers, can have a lasting influence on us, from believing we can bake a cake, to believing in our abilities to birth our babies naturally.  Obviously, giving birth is not baking a cake. Birth is potentially the most empowering, life-changing and beautiful experience of one’s life. And the first step to achieving that is simple:  believing you can do it.

The birth stories we hear throughout our lives deeply inform and influence what we believe for ourselves when it comes to childbirth. If we do not hear about or see positive birth stories, it is harder to envisage a positive birth experience for oneself. It’s the power of positive thinking that can increase of chance of the positive outcome we desire.

For some who choose hypnobirthing, there is important unlearning of negative thoughts and expectations that needs to be done. And this is actually achieved in quite simple ways on the course.  During the course, couples also have a chance to view some beautifully calm and powerful births, which help inspire couples to visualise their own positive birth experience.  

Right… I’m off to bake that cake, armed with my kit and positive thoughts...

In the meantime, have a look at some positive birth stories for inspiration: