Two things happened last week that lifted my spirits right up, and I have to tell you about it.
The first I already mentioned (but I’m so giddy about it, I have to share it again). I was inspired in a big way to write a new book, and have already made great strides towards finishing it. Feeling the creative fires burn after what feels like forever is amazing.
The second was a meaningful email exchange with my buddy Dave that directly led to an Aha! moment. The realization I had wasn’t a comfortable one, but it was a pretty powerful one. And it was this:
I don’t know when it happened, but I’ve let fear seep into every part of my mind and DICTATE MY ACTIONS.
At first, I didn’t want to admit that, not to myself, not to Dave, not to anyone. How uncomfortable, and how embarrassing. Except, was it really? Or was that also the fear talking?
Pretty certain it was fear talking, I bit down and pulled the trigger on a decision that I was obsessing over for days. A decision to invest in myself for a change. Because the alternative, to wait another year and try to go it alone, is something I’ve been doing with little success. I’m ready for a new approach.
It seems like such an obvious thing, investing in yourself. Lots of people do it in small ways all the time – a feel-good manicure, a good meal, a good bottle of wine, that new book that’s been on the to-read list. Some do it in big ways – going back to school, taking a long-wanted vacation, hiring a pro to tackle a website, applying for that dream job. I’ve done both, but not recently.
What I really didn’t know when I started my creative business was how easy it’d be to push my wants, my feelings, my entire self to the side for “the sake of the business.” It was so easy to do, it happened pretty early on, and was a horrible habit to start because it’s a habit that’s horribly difficult to break. I weighed any purchase, big or small, against my job. If I get this personal thing now, I won’t be able to do that business thing later, kind of thing. And any time I did something for myself, I felt a wash of guilt.
What I lost sight of is that I am the driving factor in my business. when I invest in myself, I invest in the business.
I’m a Libra through and through, so I’m constantly seeking balance. I’m not always successful at it, but balance is a life passion for me. I can’t not seek it. I don’t know how to do that.
So, being in a state of flux for the last few months, with no idea how to rebalance my life, has left me distressed in a soul deep way that I couldn’t explain to anyone in detail. Either people got it right away, or they didn’t, and I didn’t have the words to express myself either way – I was that lost.
But after a reminder that hey, I am worth investing in, and a plan of action to strengthen and learn and grow, I’m finally feeling better. Not perfect, still a little fragile, but better.
At the start of the year, I was convinced positive changes were coming. But after a shaky start, my confidence didn’t just falter, it disappeared completely. Even if this decision to invest in myself doesn’t work out how I hope it will, it’s already been worth it to feel that glimmer of self-confidence again.
Know what I mean?