I have thought of giving up more than once, probably more than 30 (million) times on my ‘entrepreneurial journey’. The last time was briefly just last month. When I feel like that here are some variations of is what might go through my head to trigger or compound the thought – one of these is usually really loud when I fall into feeling hopeless:
- ‘I’ve taken on way too much, I’ll never get it all done, this feels awful, run away!’
- ‘I obviously have deep mindset issues that are holding me back, I’ll never get rid of them, there’s no point trying’.
- ‘It’s not fair, look at them, they’re doing so well and I’m not’
- ‘Oh my gosh I’ve squandered all my talents and experience and managed to make nothing out of it’
- ‘I am overwhelmed by all the courses and coaches and training and I don’t trust that any of them will actually help me, I feel overwhelmed by all I need to learn and resistant to get started’.
Had any of those? Or similar ones? Yes me too.
I’m sick of ‘successful’ people who sell a carefully constructed two dimensional version of ‘success’ – some fantasy land where self doubt is entirely banished, every day is sparkles and rainbows and life looks like an instagrammed smoothie. I’m sick of it because in many cases it is just a calculating move to sell more things (I want what she’s having!) but worse than that, because it contributes to an expectation that this is how life ‘should’ feel (or look).
This expectation is suffocating.
I mean, seriously, it’s the human condition people. There will be laughter and tears, snot and baby poo, death, illness, dirt under the fingers. There will be wrinkles. There will be crumbs. There will be things that become tattered and frayed and some days we will feel a bit like that too. There will be ugly crying and hard things. No matter how gorgeous your bronzed bod looks twisting in its white one piece swimsuit at the beach at dawn one day (if you are lucky enough to live that long) you will get old and wrinkly. Lots more stuff than your snapchat filter can rub away.
Some days you might feel lazy, or grumpy, or catty, or incompetant, or just plain old scared. Yup. That’s going to happen. You might not like what comes out of your mouth or the thoughts you’re having. You might wonder ‘who is this angry b*tch who’s taken up residence in my head?’
Personally when I feel like giving up I need to stamp my feet and howl and write in my journal and cry real tears. I need to make big cranky art. I need to feel despair, real despair, and I need to cradle it like a precious thing. I need to complain to a friend or a coach or a mentor, someone kind who will listen while the storm rolls itself through.
I need to be petty and voice my crotchety annoyances. I need to imagine stepping away, imagine a big fat NO to all my projects.
And then gently I return to hope.
(And when I’m back to hope everything feels possible, doable, sparkly and fun.)
And despite all this, in and amongst it, I can still get things done.
If you wait until that perfect day when you are the thin, groomed, sunny, effortless, confident, multitasking, knowledgeable, wholly in your power version of you before you do anything you may never move.
Maybe we are actually birthing that version of ourselves, all of us, in every day that we cradle ourselves with kindness and allow the feelings out. Maybe the imperfect actions and acting without knowing all of what we are doing is what shapes and creates us.
If you want to work with someone who can help you get started on your dream project NOW – with all your wonderful flaws and quirks and inexperience and bad moods and self doubt, then look me up. We might just get along like a house on fire. And I promise I’ll forgive you your flaws if you forgive me mine.