I remember it like it was yesterday: sitting in my living room, snuggled under my favorite blanket, tears rolling down my face as I tried to understand how I went from living my best life to barely holding on to life. What had started out as a year filled with consecutive wins quickly turned into the year from hell. I had lost so much that I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to build it back up again. So what did I do? I hid in the face of adversity.
I was so afraid of being judged or considered a fraud that I thought it would be best to just lay low until I was able to figure things out. This approach clearly failed. MISERABLY!
Angry, frustrated, resentful, and confused, months later I decided it was time to really come up with a more strategic game plan. The problem with that was that I didn’t have one. With no clue where to start, I decided to start looking for the lessons in this trial. The decision to shift my mindset changed my outlook and life forever. Here’s what I learned:
1. Perfection isn’t a requirement.
Because we live in a social media era, I found myself falling into the comparison trap. I constantly looked at what other people were doing. I was afraid that sharing my imperfections would make my audience view me as less credible and I COULD NOT HAVE THAT. I wanted to measure up to my “competitors.” I wanted to be respected. I wanted to make an impact, and I couldn’t do that by sharing my imperfections, right? Wrong!
Being open about my experience allowed me to impact lives in ways I would have never imagined. It helped me demystify several myths surrounding mental health and normalize having those difficult conversations. I attracted women from all walks of life who wanted to work with me because they too had encountered similar experiences and applauded me for being transparent about my struggles.
2. Ask for help when needed.
Prior to experiencing depression, I prided myself on being “the strong friend.” I proudly accepted my role of being the shoulder that everyone leaned on in times of adversity. But the downside to that was, because of my role, I often felt like I could never ask for help. To me, seeking out help was a sign of weakness. I thought it looked better to say that I was able to figure things out on my own. The downside to that concept is that it becomes time-consuming and super draining.
I realized that I could go a lot further faster if I simply sought out assistance. Having a third eye to look at my business concepts was a game changer for me. Instead of spending days, weeks, or even months attempting to learn a particular skill, I was able to leverage someone else’s experience who had already done what I was attempting to do. I gained valuable insight that I may not have otherwise been able to find had I kept trying to go forth alone.
3. ‘No’ is a complete sentence.
Growing up, I was always labeled as “the mean one” in my family, so imagine how shocked I was to find out that I actually sought out validation through serving others. I’ve always been a big giver for as long as I can remember. Acts of service are how I display my love. I’d find myself giving, giving, and giving until my cup was just about empty. God forbid if I ever said no, it would appear as though I’d never said yes. This one hurt. Because I never wanted to disappoint, often I’d feel the need to explain why I couldn’t do certain things as opposed to just setting my boundaries and standing my ground.
After lots of therapy and tons of reflecting, I quickly came to realize that no is a complete sentence. It doesn’t warrant an explanation. I had to learn that being a giver didn’t mean that I had to be someone’s doormat. There’s a BIG difference between the two. Setting boundaries in my personal life made it a lot easier to do the same in my business. This lesson taught me to stop giving away my services for free and start charging based on my worth. Doing so created a sense of fulfillment and increased my bottom dollar.
4. Live in the moment.
Depression is brought on by constantly revisiting things from the past. This was something that I knew all too well. After losing my house, car, baby, loved ones, and my business, I was constantly haunted by what- fs. What if I had just done this? What if I had paid attention to that? What if I build everything back up and then xyz happens? The thoughts were limitless. Being tangled up in my thoughts kept me from being present and embracing the good things that were happening around me. It caused me to be paralyzed by fears of things that may not ever happen.
I had to decide to focus on what’s happening right now. What can I do at this moment to reach my goals and dreams? What can I do to grow my business today? What’s most important at this very moment? These were the questions I started asking myself each day. I focused solely on winning the day, because I knew that if I did that, tomorrow would take care of itself. This simple shift changed the way I viewed my goals and helped me execute them more efficiently.