This week is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and I was really shocked to learn that the effect of the untimely death of Jade Goody is over and that cervical cancer tests have now reached an all time low.
Let’s face it ladies, getting a smear is probably the most unpleasant thing that we could have, it’s certainly not something that we talk about at the dinner table, and I apologise to any man who is reading this, as it’s probably not something that you want to read about either. But like anything, unless we talk about it, we can’t get out in the open what it is that is preventing us from having what could be a life saving test.
As a mindset coach you might think I would be the woman at the front of the queue to get her smear, but horrifyingly I put my own off for two years! Why? Well there were a whole host of reason, I had some symptoms I didn’t want to face (sadly I am no longer in my 20s) I was scared of what the outcome would be and I’d now put it off making it worse, the effect it would have on my life, so if I ignored it, it was like it wasn’t happening. I had also convinced myself the process would be difficult, I wouldn’t be able to get an appointment, I wouldn’t be able to negotiate an appropriate time, then there was the procedure, in my head I thought it would be hugely uncomfortable, extremely awkward, highly embarrassing and above all what would the nurse think, I mean I am now officially middle aged!
The fact of the matter was I’d made up a hugely scary story that would have made any movie writer proud. Whilst we may not categorise this ordinarily as a fear, that is what it is, a fear, a fear of the unknown, of ‘I don’t know what is going to happen, what the result is going to be, how will my life change’ and we mix that up with a whole sprinkling of scary stuff about what we think happened in the past and convince ourselves that this and far worse, is going to happen in the future!
I know that in the moment it seems real, all this scary thinking, but the truth is that it can’t possibly be true, because the future hasn’t happened yet. So we simply don’t know – unless of course you have the magical ability to read the future! Fortunately I did wake up to myself and do you know what happened? None of my thinking was accurate at all. From the receptionist to the results – nothing I had thought was true! The receptionist was understanding and helpful, found me an appointment at the right time, it took about 30 seconds (not the weeks of agonising phone calls that I had imagined). As for the test itself, again, it was quick, painless and passed before we’d even finished our conversation (in fact it took longer because we finished the conversation!). We forget that the nurses are so good at these tests that they aren’t phased at all and are extremely calm and reassuring. I was left wondering what all the fuss was about and why I had waiting so long!
Now if you are a guy reading this, you may wonder what you can do to encourage the women in your life to take the test and my advice is simple. To them, their fear is real, we create a future that seems so real that it is going to happen. All you can do is be understanding of this and encourage them to look for what they know is true and real; that none of us know what the future holds and the past does not necessarily dictate our future, which really is true for a lot of things in our lives.
I am passionate about women fighting their fear and getting their smear, so if you are at all worried contact me now to arrange a completely free consultation; you can contact me here.
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