I just used my menstrual cycle to tackle a scary task I knew I had to do, but had been putting off. I thought my experience might also help you during times when you’ve got to do a task that requires a bit more courage to accomplish.
My scary challenge was writing a letter to a family member who I’ve had a falling out with. I know, I know–I’m so sweet and wonderful, how can I have a falling out with anyone? 😉 Well, I’m sure you know how family can be. Even Mary Poppins could end up having a row every now and then with a relative. They just know how to push your buttons in ways no one else in the world can.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to write a letter to this person for months to clear the air. But, this person is pretty touchy and easily angered (surprising we had a falling out, right?), making confrontation even more difficult. So, I’ve been putting it off and putting it off.
Then, yesterday I was experiencing a surge in courage, confidence, motivation and energy thanks to rising estrogen in Week 1 of my cycle (which is your period week)–and I knew that if I was ever going to send this letter, it was right then and there.
So, I sat down at my desk and quickly typed out all my thoughts. And because it was a rising estrogen day–which makes you low on sentimentality and high on efficiency–I didn’t wander off topic, didn’t drag up every hurt and misstep that ever happened between us since the dawn of time and didn’t get mired down in feelings like I might during a descending estrogen day in the second half of my cycle (the two weeks prior to your period). Instead, I got straight to the point, stated my case, offered a solution (that this person won’t like, but hey, I tried) and wrapped things up.
Then, I sealed up the letter, drove it to the post office and dropped it right in the mailbox. No waffling. No regrets. But, there was a huge sense of relief that it was finally done!
As I walked back to the car, I thought to myself, “I gotta remember to use this rising estrogen surge in courage again!”
As I often do, I’m sharing my personal cycle-related experience with you so that you can use it for your own life. The next time you’ve got to do something that you find a bit scary–like sending your resume for a dream job, pitching a new client, filming your first video or writing a letter to someone–consider doing it during the first half of your cycle (which lasts from the first day of your period through ovulation) once you feel rising estrogen kick in and send your courage, confidence, motivation and energy into high-gear. For me, that’s about Day 6 (the first day of your period is Day 1 and you count from there). For you, these rising estrogen effects may kick in earlier or later depending on your sensitivity to this hormone (and just how many espressos, macchiatos or lattes you’ve had prior to doing the task since caffeine enhances these rising estrogen effects).
Not only will rising estrogen make it easier to get the task over with, you’re less likely to have regrets or worry about it once it’s done than if you did the same task in the second half of your cycle. That’s because research shows you’re more prone to anxiety and rumination on these pre-period days due to dropping estrogen and rising progesterone.
Plus, rising estrogen during first half of your cycle can help you do a better job at accomplishing your scary task because it offers other benefits, for instance, it improves memory, verbal eloquence and the ability to think faster on your feet.
I’m not sure what the outcome of my letter will be, but I’m glad I sent it. If you try this cycle-syncing trick with something scary you’ve been meaning to do, let me know how it worked out for you!
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[Photo: Jeff Hitchcock]
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