The Hobart

Is Being Prepared Overrated? Or Does It Just Need a Reframe?

by Annia Baron
Is Being Prepared Overrated? Or Does It Just Need a Reframe?

Being heavily pregnant with my belly in full bloom, I’m often asked, “So, have you got everything ready?”

In truth, I’m not prepared to be a mama. I leave things to the last minute, I’m a perpetual dropper, I’m cranky when I’m sleep deprived, and I can let my ego get the better of me. I’m terrible with my tax returns, I should keep better track of my bills, and some days, when my heart and soul feel the heavy burden of what’s happening in the world, I abandon my responsibilities and spend time alone in the forest.

Have you got your birth plan organised? Are you going to have an epidural? Make sure you’ve got a baby monitor, and what about a baby rocker?”

From a tender age, it’s drilled into us – “Always be prepared.” Prepare for school, prepare for exams, prepare for a job, prepare for a mortgage, for a family, for renovations, and then, prepare for retirement.

But interestingly, if you look back on all the experiences that shaped you, that made you who you are, you’d see that being prepared had very little to do with it; being prepared wasn’t key to your success. You flourished because you did the best with what you knew at the time, adjusting to life, moment by moment, and made decisions using your wisdom and intuition. You likely sought guidance when you needed and reached out when it was necessary. The most meaningful memories aren’t so because you spent hours preparing for them. On the contrary, they probably involved times where a lot didn’t go to plan. Often, the most poignant moments are those that were made when you were caught off guard, those that took your breath away, that left you stunned, in awe, and full of emotion. They’re the most vibrant and clear in your mind not because you prepared for them, but likely, because they forced you to crack open, to show up, and to step into a place of authenticity. In essence, those unplanned, under prepared experiences were a catalyst for the culmination of the strength, courage, and determination you show today.

Although it’s important to think about the future and have things in place, the façade of constant preparation tightens like a noose. No matter how much we think we need to be prepared, we end up suffocat­ing in all the what ifs. “What if it doesn’t work out?” “What if something bad happens?” “What if I can’t cope?”

What if instead, we loosened the knots? What if we practiced focusing on all that we’ve handled instead of all we think we can’t? What if we celebrated our innate ability to adjust and adapt to life, and shared more stories with one another about our power to be present versus a need to be prepared? Because the truth is, convincing yourself you need to plan and prepare for everything is robbing you of the joy in what’s right in front of you. It’s stifling your desire to act and pulling you away from what truly matters.

The next time your mind tries to persuade you with another “What if?”, why not try replacing that thought with “Even if . . .” and close off the sentence.

For example, “Even if (it doesn’t work out), (insert closing statement here).”

  1. I know I’ll be ok
  2. I won’t be alone in figuring it out
  3. I’ll learn something important
  4. I’ll use this as an opportunity for growth
  5. A solution will eventually present itself

So, have I got everything prepared?

Not at all, my friend. But I am clear on what matters to me. My preference is for a natural, water birth with minimal inter­vention. My hope is to be fully present and in tune with my breath, my baby, and the powerful experience of bringing new life into this world. Everything I’ve been through has led me here, and what a joy it is to be given this very moment.

For whatever reason, “Even if (it doesn’t work out that way) . . . I know I’ll be ok.”

If there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, for goodness’ sake, just do it! If there’s something you’ve been want­ing to change, make it happen! Because here’s the inner wisdom you already know:

You’ve been ready since the day you came out of your mama’s womb.

Stuck with something? Feel as though your mindset could use a rebirth? Contact Annia Baron – Clinical Psychologist & Mindset Coach on 0402 448 278, on Instagram @anniabaron or visit www.remindyourself.com

Be kind to your mind. Meditation and mindfulness practices are the safest and most effective ways to naturally reduce anxiety and stress. Whether through breath or movement, gift yourself more mindful moments. And for the mamas to be, I’d highly recommend Belly Bliss Yoga in South Hobart with Julia Gibson and Hypnobirthing Australia – empow­ering resources reframing the way we think, share, and celebrate the birthing experience.

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August 2022

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