Earlier this year I went into a little unexpected hiatus. All is well now but it just made think about how as business owners, how much do we do and accept that is not our burden to bear?
Soon after I graduated I started to experience something I’ve never dealt with on a day to day basis, and that’s anxiety. I of course felt nervousness and even major anxiety in my life before now, but nothing that was so real and really pushed on me each and every day like it was in that moment. It was really all I could do to just work on the clients I had and to get through each day. And really only those who are close to me knew what was happening while it was happening.
I had a lot change all at once. It seemed like I had one future laid out perfectly in front of me and it changed really drastically from what I expected it to be. I was no longer in school and I had a new job. I had a million expectations on myself and I thought the world had those same expectations of me. It was all just too much for me to handle at that moment in time. So I took some time off. And taking time off made me even more nervous and honestly, feel super guilty. I was used to going at 110 miles per hour between school, work, photography, dreaming up and staring Waverley, and of course just trying to be an awesome wife, aunt, sister, daughter, and church goer. So when I graduated I really expected myself to still go 110 miles per hour but to be focused on Waverley. I was ready to put all of my unused energy and brain power to this new venture. I was ready and I WANTED it. I thirsted for it. I needed that success to make me feel better.
No one forced any of these titles on me, I very willingly worked my businesses while still finishing school, got married young and always take on too much. But I did expect to be able to force myself to do something that my emotions and body were just not willing or up to do. I needed a break. And I had NO idea that I did so bad. My body was screaming for rest and I was not willing to pay attention to the signs.
So my body, as it has in the past, shut down. I was anxious and scared of success. I was nervous to get to work. I was so tired every day. I was nauseous almost every single day. I wasn’t ready to except defeat or this fate so I kept trying to push and push and I finally gave in. I took time to be with myself, to read, to exercise, to cook, to be with my husband, we got a cat that I was able to snuggle so much, to learn outside of a classroom, to travel, and to really just cleanse my mind of what was going on and get some clarity on where I wanted to go. I started to recognize the signs and causes and knew that if I were to continue on being an entrepreneur, that I needed to get myself in order.
I learned a lot about myself and how to manage the fear of failure. I had a huge turning point when I realized that even IF I failed, I would be totally ok. I could find a job, no one would dislike me for closing shop, my husband would still be here, I’d still have my faith, and really, everything would be alright, even if the worst happened to my business.
And that’s when clarity happened. I feel like I’m back and better than ever. Like I know where I’m going and I have a pretty great idea of how to get there. I understand WHY I’m in business and I know that I’m capable of so much, but that it’s ok to not meet every single expectation you or others put on you. Most of the time I was totally just imagining what others expected of me. I may not be where I expected to be at this point. But you can’t really plan your life. I’m dropping expectations I put on myself and imagine others put on me as well and doing the best imaginable for myself, my business, and my family.
I hope you stay tuned to see what I have to offer and how good taking breaks is for business.