Dr Natalie Crawford

What does it mean to be in the space of the unknown? How do you deal with this moment? How do you become your best when you don’t know what the future looks like?

THE SPACE BETWEEN

What I really think we are talking about is the space between. It’s the space between the moments that make up our life. When we are waiting for time to pass and we just don’t know what our future looks like. This is a really hard spot. I have been there. I have been there a few times where I did not know what would happen. One obvious time is what we call in the fertility world, the two week wait. This is the time between ovulation and a positive pregnancy test. Simply waiting. Anybody who is trying to get pregnant, especially my fertility warriors, will tell you that period of waiting sucks a lot. Your life is about to make a significant change. You are getting closer and closer to this dream of starting a family, or more time is passing and it’s not happening. Either way, when trying to start a family, waiting is hard because it is a goal, and you don’t know what’s next. Similarly, I have experienced waiting moments in between job transitions. The notorious one was when I quit my job without the next job lined up. I got to the point where I could not take it anymore, and I had to quit. I didn’t know if I’d find a job in my city, if we’d have to move, or if I’d have to stop practicing for a while. Maybe I would be a full time content creator. I just didn’t know.

SO MANY OF US HAVE THIS FEAR…

I learned this while leading a masterclass a while back. Women were sharing their stories and their fears. So many of them feared the unknown. They feared the waiting. I also noticed similar underlying themes in my own life. I don’t like failing. I’m sure many of you can also relate. I am also afraid of the unknown. I have let that be an excuse to not try new things. The truth is that some of the best things are waiting in the unknown. We have to put ourselves out there. Let’s think of some examples. You can’t get married without putting your heart out there knowing there’s a risk it will be broken. You can’t find an amazing career without giving yourself the opportunity to get rejected. You can’t have children without risking you may have infertility, miscarriage, or have to look at alternative options. The point is that the best things in life come from taking a chance.

YOUR DREAMS SHOULD SCARE YOU.

If what you are doing doesn’t scare you, you aren’t doing enough. Your should get a little nervous when you think about your dreams. If we have learned anything, it is that life is short and the whole world can change in one moment. One diagnosis. One tragic accident. One bad decision. I say this to inspire you, not to scare you. Think about how many lives you can touch and what a difference you can make. When I decide I want to do something important, I know there is a chance I may fail. Then I won’t know what’s next, and I am in the unknown. I get into this mindset where I feel like an imposter. I say things like “I am not worthy of having these bigs dreams.” We are all worthy of having big dreams. Why not me? Why not you?

WHAT WE DO IN THE WAITING ZONE.

Here’s the thing. I am not my best in my waiting moments. I like to control things. But life is not about control. It is about experiences and moments where the good things come. I hate waiting so much that I self destruct in those moments. I become my own worst enemy. This where we have the opportunity for the most growth. I have fully accepted that I am going to fail. I am okay with that and am pushing myself in the scary zone. However, the waiting zone is when I struggle the most. When I say I self destruct, I mean I stop taking care of myself. I start living off coffee and wine. I eat too little or too much. I stop exercising. I become less productive and cannot focus on important tasks. My mind becomes flooded with thoughts of not being good enough. I’t a mindset shift that needs to happen. I go into living in contingency. Living contingently is giving yourself excuses for why you are not accomplishing certain things. Instead of doing anything, I am going to do nothing and take some steps backwards. We become so focused on the thought of failure that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

WAITING IN MY LIFE

Certain things in life you cannot control. Sometimes you put yourself out there and it’s not enough. I go back to trying to get pregnant. I had three miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, and then my two rainbow babies. During the season of loss, I was not my best self and couldn’t get excited about the pregnancies. When we were in the two week wait period, I became my worse self. I would dread it. I put so many things on hold waiting to see if I would be pregnant instead of continuing to live my life in the waiting moments. When I was in the job transition, I decided to start making decisions that aligned with what I wanted. I started saying no to a lot and focused on what I wanted my career to look like. However, I let some personal things go. I was not the best mom. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I felt like a failure. Then I went to a lot of therapy and got support from friends. I started believing that if I take care of myself, I can better take care of others. If I didn’t have that time of waiting, I would have probably settled for a job I didn’t want. I wouldn’t have started my podcast. A lot of amazing things wouldn’t have happened had I chose not to wait. This period changed my whole life.

LEAN INTO THE UNKNOWN

If you can lean into the waiting, perhaps you can grow and change into the best version of yourself. It’s going to happen in all stages of life. It’s okay to put something out there and not know what will happen. Sometimes failure is leading you to the next opportunity. You have step into the unknown and be okay with whatever happens. I want you to think about what is holding you back. What excuses are you telling yourself? When was the last time you had to wait? Did you let the waiting be an excuse? If we can realize that life is going to happen no matter what, we can embrace the waiting. Whatever your big crazy dream is, why aren’t you doing what it takes to get there?

If you knew you would not fail? What would you do? What is one thing you can do to get you closer to that goal?

You are worthy of your biggest dreams and desires.