When I became a mother, I remember what a rude awakening it was for me. Aside from the traumatic birth experience, postpartum mood disorder and my son nearly dying—that’s enough to turn anyone’s dream upside down—but the experience was so far from what I imagined.
I had some very unrealistic expectations of what life would be like as a mother. So many people told me all sorts of advice, but few talked to me about the raw, painful and very challenging places that motherhood can take you.
I almost wished they had, but then again, I wonder if I was too naive to even begin to believe them.
I really feel like nothing can prepare you for what life is like as a mother.
Just like nothing can quite compare you for what to expect as you’re in the trenches of building a sustainable business.
But there’s something very empowering about becoming as educated as possible so you can have better idea of what to expect and begin to paint yourself a more realistic perspective.
And yes everyone’s perspective and journey will be different, but having a more well-rounded perspective on what it takes to really grow your business can stop you from feeling a few discouraging beliefs:
- It’s just you (you’re the only one experiencing this because there’s something wrong with you or how you’re doing things
- You’re not where you’re supposed to be (understanding that growing a business takes times, it really does)
- Your mistakes will destroy you (the more you realize that often the mistakes are what it takes to move you in the direction you need, the less afraid of them you can become)
You deserve to go in feeling prepared. So instead of focusing on the prettier, more expected components of building a business, but I’d like to share some of the more uncommonly discussed aspects of growing your business.
When it comes to building a vision, you’ve heard that it needs to be clear. And that’s true, but you need is a real and honest vision. One that reflects who you really are and the kind of work you’re really willing to do.
It’s not enough to come up with a fun phrase that’s catchy and memorable, but instead you need a vision that really speaks to the type of change you want to be a part of creating. Sometime we’re afraid to say what we really want because we may be afraid to believe in it. Sometimes we’re afraid of the disappointment that may come if you don’t accomplish your vision. And even more, sometimes we’re afraid of the change and responsibility that may come if we do accomplish our vision. Getting real and honest with what you want takes some real courage, but it’s necessary for you to grow.
I know it’s very hopeful for us to think that everyone that was with us before we began building our business, will want to be there as we grow. We want to believe that they will be supportive and encouraging and will want to help us however they can. But it’s simply not true. Sometimes relationships reveal their viability and depth and can grow toxic when people realize they were more comfortable before our growth. And often as we grow and develop, we change and that change can bring about a lot of discomfort for the relationships in our lives. Sometimes we can work through the discomfort as it’s merely a matter to adjusting to the changes, whereas sometimes it’s bigger and deeper than that. That’s where a detox comes in. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from a relationship, create room and space so you can allow yourself to think clearly about where you want to go next.
Give up on it (see if you want to come back to it)
One of the things I do with my clients is to help them create really clear growth strategies for their business. We clear out all of the clutter of the ideas and get specific on what they really want to do. Then we put it into a plan that has actionable steps.
But this doesn’t happen in one or two pretty and polished sessions. Sometimes it’s a matter of months of trying new ideas and deciding what works and what doesn’t. And a simple trick to this is to put the ideas that you’re not quite sure about aside. Simply write them down and put them out of sight for a bit.
As time progress and you get distracted by other things, you’ll simply forget or lose interest in the ideas that you probably had very little passion or commitment to, but you won’t forget about the others. Even if you take some time to find your way back to them and even more time to implement and see them through, the fact that you keep thinking about it can be a clear sign that it’s what’s right for you.
Over time, if it’s what you really want to do you will gravitate back to it.
Now the flip side to this is you may also find yourself drifting towards what familiar or comfortable. So a question you may ask yourself, “Is this pushing me out of comfort zone or keeping me safe and relatively risk free”?
Be honest and the answer will give you a lot of insight.
Ask for forgiveness (when you disappoint yourself)
When I do something that hurts one of my lil ones, like when I accidently bump into them or spill their drink, I ask for forgiveness. I ask because I want them to know that I didn’t mean to hurt them and that I am sorry that I did. But I also ask, with a question, “Do you forgive me?” I want them to know that it’s a choice and that they can choose to let forgiveness free them from the pain or allow it to hold them captive.
Sometimes we need to do the same for ourselves, especially as it relates to missing the mark on our goals. When that happens, we can find ourselves feeling discouraged, hurt and disappointed. We didn’t mean to cause the distress upon ourselves, but it happened and we can acknowledge the pain, apologize for being a part of it and then decide to forgive ourselves so we can move on.
Let it out
Have you ever tried to cook anything on the stove with the lid on it tight? Have you ever turned your head, and then looked back to find the contents of the pot forcefully pushing their way out of the lid, down the side of the pot and on to the stove? Ugh what a mess, especially if you have a gas stove…don’t get me started.
But the point is, too much pressure was building inside and the lid simply couldn’t contain it. Removing the lid allows the contents to do their thing rather than spilling over.
The same goes for us, when we let the pressure within us build up to the point where the contents of our brokenness are spilling everywhere around us, we make a mess. We lose our patience with people we love, say things we don’t really mean, go off on the most random things and so on.
Wouldn’t it be better if we let ourselves be free and have room to do our thing, meaning if we need to cry, then cry. If we need to scream, then go in your closet and scream. Let it out. It’s going to come out one way or another, might as well do it when you have more control over it, then it does over you.
Which of these strategies speaks to you the most?