A TALK WITH A PERSONAL COACH: about controlling fear, anxiety during pregnancy and living up to your full potential

I had “A Talk with Alina,” a personal coach as well as a new mom. I asked her about some of the common difficulties that women and people, in general, might face. Alina followed Robbins-Madanes Training and Strategic Intervention, the coaching courses founded by Tony Robbins, Cloe Madanes and Magali, and Mark Peisha. With a professional background in media and communication, her journey as a healer started in 2007 with self-control, Reiki. She is also an EFT – Emotional Freedom Technic – practitioner. Her coaching practice brings kindness, the knowledge and the skills required to help others to find one’s personal truth and to enhance the range of seen possibilities that lead towards wellbeing and fulfillment.

Let’s start with a common issue that many of us face at one point or another in our lives. What would you advise people that feel that they are not living up to their full potential? They think they are meant for something more, but they don’t know what it is or how to get there? Maybe they want to live somewhere else or have a different profession or lifestyle. They don’t know where to start, they feel stuck.

I totally understand it because I was in that situation a few years ago. Change is a constant in this world and according to recent studies; we have the need to vary our careers or the places we choose to live, basically to change our lives completely. If I remember correctly only 20% of people have careers in the same fields as their studies.
I am really happy when I meet someone who wants to “unlock the next level” and to take the challenge of becoming a better version of themselves.
It all starts with the decision to take massive action and then the will to make that change possible. We should ask ourselves a few questions and be honest about it, this way we will know for sure that we are not running away from situations that we do not want to face.
“What do I want?” “Why do I want it?” “What will it take to do it?” “What is the result I want?” What is my purpose?” “What actions will I take?”
The ideal situation is to be able to take some time off, get some guidance and analyze ourselves and our life so far, to discover our resources, gifts and to be aware of what is holding us back from building our dream life.
As soon as we have a vision of our new career, place to live, life, we need to understand what it takes to achieve it, in terms of finances, studies, legal issues if that’s the case, and so on.
When my husband and I decided to move to France, we took massive action and we turned the dream-decision into reality within 3 weeks. We had a clear purpose and result. We quickly researched rentals, how we could move our business into the market, legal issues etc., the list could go on. We had prepared everything to the smallest detail, including our mindset, so that we were ready for a period of transition. I had learned French in about 3 months and got a good understanding of French society after a few more months. Now, it’s been 3 years since we moved and we have our own house and a baby, and we consider it a great achievement.
Everything is achievable if it’s clear in our minds and if we have a good plan to follow. We must be aware that we need to leave our comfort zone and that can be painful at times, but this is the only way to grow, by overcoming our limits. Focus is the key.
If a person has the drive to make a change, by the rules of synchronicity, a way and all the resources will arise and we can always ask for help. The Universe is kind to those who want to evolve!

“Once you manage to understand your needs and how to fulfil them, you will be able to build your dream life!”

You also talk a lot about controlling and understanding anxiety. One of the most common times that women feel anxious is during pregnancy. Some pregnant women experience a beautiful pregnancy filled with shopping, nursery preparation, and baby showers. Still, for some women who have experienced years of infertility, miscarriages, or went through IVF, it can be 40 weeks filled with worrying that something might go wrong. It often keeps them away from enjoying this moment thoroughly. It can also put pressure on their partners, who might feel overwhelmed by all these negative emotions. What would your advice to women in this situation be? How can they manage their anxiety? What can their partners (or loved ones) do to support them and make them feel better?

Well, fear is good! It’s the instinct that’s keeping us alive and safe. But it is highly important to understand your own fear or range of fears and make it work on your behalf. Fear can also be a great saboteur or the inner enemy when we need to take action or to make a change. When we face fear, even if it’s real or it’s just happening in our mind we face the fight-or-flight response, which it’s designed to protect us by using a great deal of energy to escape the threatening situation. From this process, our body releases the stress hormones, that block a lot of functions in our body. The immune system, the reproductive functions, digestion, and so on, are blocked. The problem is that we are afraid of so many things that do not need this huge consumption of energy, like bills, our image, love, health, spiders and the list can go on, and our society helps a lot to maintain those fears.
A pregnant woman will experience fear during the nine months and it’s perfectly normal, I would worry if she doesn’t. Our instinct is to protect the new life that grows within us and safely bring it into the world. Our senses are blooming and we are more aware of so many things that surround us.
When we struggle to have a child there is a buildup in our fears because of the uncertainty and once we fall pregnant usually those fears follow and add to the new ones. Our mind makes different scenarios about situations that seem to be threatening and it becomes overwhelming.
As physical hygiene is highly important in our life, so is mental hygiene. I use three steps to overcome fears and I would recommend a daily routine for 21 days.
The first step is to acknowledge, to be aware that you feel fear of something, and to identify the place in your body where it’s manifesting. Some people feel it in their chest, others in their stomach or it can be felt like tingles on your back, since every person is unique you should discover where it’s manifesting in you. If for any reason you feel panic and you cannot calmly continue, before moving to step two, you should use a calming method. It can be a breathing exercise – like equal breathing, alternative nostril breathing; or any method that you know works. If you do not have one, you can do a quick search and find the one that works for you.
You can now move to the second step and accept the presence of the fear and thank the fear for its good intention to keep you safe. In this step, you can make a new choice regarding this fear. You can create a phrase that suits you. “Dear fear x I accept your presence and I want to thank you for protecting me and/or my loved ones but I consciously chose to feel calm and empowered.”
The third step is about choosing a mantra that perpetuates a new attitude outside that fear. In this step it’s important to change the physiognomy and make sure your body has a good posture, your shoulders are open, your back is straight and your head is up. Holding this new posture that doesn’t let fear kick in, you can start repeating your chosen mantra.
I will give you a personal example for a phrase that I used in this step. At the time I was waiting for the results for the trisomy 21 test, after the second step I used the following phrase “I am grateful for my pregnancy, for the presence and for the health of my baby. I am calm and I choose to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy.” Like every mantra, you should repeat it as long as it takes to change your state.
Mental health it’s an essential ritual in our stressful lives. You can choose meditation, contemplation, or anything that puts you away from negative emotions. The presence of our friends and family is just as important so remember to ask for help in a polite way because they can’t guess your needs, but they can help you meet your needs. Even if it’s extra love and affection that you need or just a piece of chocolate you can benefit from their presence. Cultivate a positive state of mind, respect the doctor’s recommendations, take time for yourself, and ask for help when you need it, this is a good way to experience pregnancy.

Balancing motherhood and career or “me time” is the never-ending discussion. How can women not lose themselves while taking care of a newborn?

It’s true that motherhood can be challenging, but it’s wonderful. For some women, it comes more easily, but for others, it doesn’t. What I find interesting to bring up is that becoming a mom is actually the rise of a new woman. For many couples, it’s even a greater challenge to find themselves after the baby arrives, because the wife, or the fiancé changes. There are new instincts, new priorities, and hormonal mixes that lead the new mother and woman into behaving and approaching life differently.
It’s a great deal to balance and integrate the life before the baby with the new responsibilities, but luckily we are equipped by nature to multitask.
The woman integrates the mother after a while and hopefully, the mother doesn’t eliminate the woman that was before, with all her roles as worker, wife, sister, daughter if that’s the case. The reason why so many couples have problems, is that the new mom forgets to be a woman again. It is important that we take our time to experience motherhood, but at one point, we must start to choose a time during the day to focus on us. Maybe after the baby is sleeping or before he/she wakes up, we should take 1 hour or half an hour, the amount of time possible to do something pleasurable, recharge, to think about how we will plan our time to meet all our needs. The baby comes to complete our lives and not to be the center of it.
By joining groups to understand this process better, reading about it, asking for help when it’s needed and practicing self-care at all levels, we can integrate motherhood in a healthy way.

Some women start working very early after birth. Some take 3-4 years off to raise a child and then start working after a long break. Depending on the maternity leave conditions in their country or their career situation. Each of these scenarios has different challenges. When you start working early, many moms could feel guilty for being away from their child, or they might be blamed by others. In the opposite scenario, it’s more challenging to get back and catch up with your career. Many employers are not very keen on taking women back after such a long time since they practically start from zero again. How can you overcome these challenges?

As I mentioned before, the woman must integrate motherhood and we all are unique and we meet our needs in various ways. No woman is to blame or should feel guilty if she wants to go back to work after 6 weeks or 6 years. If their maternity leave is finished and they have the opportunity to do so, it’s perfectly fine to stay at home longer with the baby. We should go back to work as soon as we will feel ready.
For those women who can’t extend their maternity leave, I recommend a very organized schedule for the rest of the activities so that they can maximize the time spent with the baby or with their family.
Whether we plan to have a baby or if it’s a surprise, we have to think in advance a little bit or learn to adapt on the way. As soon as we discover a new need we can start to look for solutions, for ways to meet it. By knowing the steps to follow and by planning we are keeping the anxiety away. For example, if you want to stay at home for a longer period of time with your baby and the maternity leave is just a few weeks, you should start research on what are the possible ways to do so. Get in touch with other women in your situation to find out what they’ve done and involve your loved ones in finding the best solution for you. If you want to go back to work as soon as possible, think about what you need in order to do that, maybe find a nanny, a nursery or a family member that can take care of the baby.
Take time to think about what it is that you really want for yourself because it can be a great experience and you deserve to make it the way you want. Listen to your instinct, it’s an incredible gift that kicks in with maternity and then find solutions to meet what you want to experience.
Be flexible and adapt on the way, when you know what you want solutions will start to emerge!

The world is in the middle of the pandemic of COVID-19. People are anxious about the unknown. They are scared about their families, about losing businesses, or are confined to their homes, alone. How can we control this fear?

I think that this pandemic is indeed a big challenge for all of us and that the world will certainly be different after it passes. At the beginning of the lockdown, I felt like humanity entered its first medical leave. We are starting over, and hopefully, we do it in a healthier way.
In life, there are things that we can control and others that we can’t control. It these situations, crisis situations, we must focus on the things that we can control and be aware of those that we can’t.
As I mentioned in another paragraph fear is good, because it’s keeping us safe, but to live in fear and feel panic is terrible for our health. To overcome any challenge, we need to put ourselves in a good, clear, calm, and solution-orientated state of mind. The method I have described in the above paragraphs to control fear, is perfect in this situation as well.
When we face a crisis situation we should put ourselves at safety, understand the new rules that apply and respect it, cultivate a calm and helpful state of mind.
The lockdown was difficult for some people and a blessing for others. We still have a few weeks ahead of us if not more and there is still time to take advantage to do something that will benefit us later. The verb “to adapt” is the ruler of these days. Humanity is adapting and so is every living cell of it.
It’s a good time to evaluate our lives, our goals, to understand the world better and the role that we choose to play, to learn new things, and to shape ourselves. We are forced to find new resources within, new business strategies, better medical approaches, and solutions to start again. I like to use a metaphor, that people are like gems all you have to do is to understand them, see their potential, and use the right tools to make them shine.
I trust humanity to overcome this challenge, to become much wiser and more united!

If you want to schedule a personal consultation with Alina, you can visit her webpage: http://www.alinaanghel.eu
Or join one of her online group sessions over FB page: A talk with Alina