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  • Writer's pictureKaroline Heldt, CFCP

Tenacity and NFP

If you've used any method of NFP, particularly Creighton Model, for any length of time, I don't think you'll argue with me that there is a great deal of tenacity (or grit) involved. One of my favorite definitions of tenacity is: "a persistent pattern of behavior, and a fundamental bias in effort computations by which the costs of effort are devalued, and the value of long-term rewards is emphasized." (source)

In other words: consistently and persistently making short term sacrifices for long term gains.

It turns out, there is actually a brain structure that scientists believe is largely responsible for our ability to exercise tenacity. It's called the "anterior mid-cingulate cortex" or aMCC. I first learned about the aMCC from Dr. Andrew Huberman, a well-known and YouTube popular neuroscientist. He explains it much better than I ever could here in this short clip.


This information got me thinking about how this all applies to our use of Creighton Model to meet long term goals. Daily observations, charting, and decisions about intercourse can indeed become a very integrated and natural part of our lives requiring very little brain effort. But very often that's not the case.

  • Making thorough observations in a chaotic season of life

  • Prolonged periods of abstinence from intercourse to stay aligned with your family goals

  • Returning to charting after time away

  • ...Just to name a few examples of where tenacity, grit and persistent effort against what feels "good" or "easy" in the moment is particularly needed in Creighton Model use!


My hypothesis is - if the aMCC is responsible for tenacity and this brain structure can grow, develop and become stronger over time, then your efforts with Creighton Model will not only pay off in the long term for your health, family and fertility outcomes but also generate a benefit in all other areas of your life as you develop a healthier brain that has more tenacity, grit and self-mastery. I'm not sure if there is an area in life where this would not benefit you - personally, professionally, or spiritually. It's incredible to think about how God created our biology and our brains and how the more we live in alignment with the way we were created to function, we optimize every area of our lives. And if you stuck with me down the rabbit hole of this tangent, then I think you definitely put forth effort to exercise your aMCC already today - way to go!


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