Recently I read a quote, paraphrasing, she said most people quit when it gets hard or when challenges appear. Sometimes people are afraid of the success and glory right on the other side of those struggles. But often they just don’t have it in them to face setbacks. On hearing that quote I felt that uncomfortable nudge of doubt. “This is you! You gave up your dream business right when it got busier and more successful! You didn’t push and persevere to see the benefits and potential big profit! You are a failure!”
This wasn’t the first time I had doubt lurking and crawling in my thoughts. I allowed it and I believed it. That’s why it took me so long to quit my salon business. “I am not a failure, I am strong, I never give up! I will figure it out!” I shouted my counterattack in my mind. But I suffered from guilt and anxiety knowing that I just couldn’t do it all.
I had been confronted many times with this dilemma as my business grew. I just didn’t want to face the reality because it would mean that I had to give up on my dream, or so I thought. I convinced myself that my three kids were now independent, and I was amazing at multitasking. It worked for a while. It was new and exciting! Finally, I was more than a mom and a housekeeper! Finally, I could work in my industry with a beautiful professional set up! Finally, I could be wanted, needed, appreciated outside of my home! The compliments of my clients and having pride in my work was long overdue.
Then it got busier. I tried every trick up my sleeve to keep up with household chores. I did homework with the kids while I made dinner. I ran and rushed through the days. In the evening I wanted to be a ‘vegetable’. I wasn’t emotionally available to my husband and kids. I was failing as a wife and mother. Desperately I tried to put a bandaid on a gunshot wound. Something was horribly wrong, and I knew it!
My daughter is a preteen, and my son was bullied at school. I tried to deal with their problems and take care of my clients. At some point, I started making mistakes in my work because my mind and heart were with my little boy sitting in the school office after another incident. My anxiety climbed. My business grew. But my family life deteriorated. Precious relationships were melting away like butter in the sun. The trust and pleasure of being together were slowly disappearing.
I came to see my business as a newborn baby sucking energy from me and keeping me awake all night. It was plain exhausting. I had to face it that my business did not fit well into my life. I kept asking myself, “Should I struggle and push knowing that whatever is on another side still won’t satisfy me?”
I wasn’t happy with what I had become. My passion for that business shone bright like a star drawing me in but was now a bleak sparkle hardly visible even from up close. I had to commit in my mind (because I knew it in my heart) that I wouldn’t lose by quitting. On the contrary. I would gain time to invest in the most important things: myself, my husband, my children, my home. I can laugh again. I can dream again. I have time to write again, to learn, to grow, to live, to love. I will continue to hear that voice of doubt in my mind, but I am feeling stronger to kick it to the curb by saying, “Shut up! I am happy, I am healthy, I am free!”