Recently, I have been easing into the role of becoming a mom and trying to balance the un-balanceable. I wanted to use this first episode back to play catchup and talk to you about what I have been going through the past few months in life and business along with what I’ve learned the hard way about self-criticism and growth.
As per usual, I have been trying to manage a whole bunch of things at one time. If you know me or have listened to any previous episodes, you probably already know that it is difficult for me to ask for help from anyone. I take pride in doing things alone but I also love working with other people. There is just so much inspiration that comes from working with and speaking to other people, making connections, collaborating, and listening.
Over the past year, I realized just how common it is for people being their own worst critics. I see and hear people comparing themselves to others on a daily basis – not to say I am not guilty of this. However, I am fully aware that I am my own person, and the little things about me are what make me unique. I think that’s also what impacts my business so much. Not trying to be like anyone else, not following a blueprint of another business, simply taking all of the things that I love and putting them into one place, and using MY voice and MY personality to carry it and make connections the way I want to. You need to give people a reason to want to work with you, be around you, and support you – and there’s no better way to do that than having a clear vision of your mission.
Modeling your business or lifestyle off somebody else’s can be SO dangerous. It sets you up with unrealistic expectations, and people will likely catch on eventually, but most importantly you won’t feel good about it in the end. To other people maybe it looks great, but to you it won’t feel original and organic and before you know it, your life or business starts feeling like trying to keep up with a laundry list of chores because now you have these expectations to live up to that someone else created. You start to critique yourself based on false expectations. It is so important to become the best version of yourself, not a GOOD version or a knock-off version of someone else. You don’t want to keep chasing an end goal that someone else did all the prior work for nor do you just want to look busy and have not made any money be your result. You’ll stress yourself out beyond belief and find yourself in a downward spiral before you know it.
Our generation is SO unique. We do things differently, especially when compared to the way our parents and grandparents lived day-to-day and the way they started businesses. Services and products are constantly evolving. For example, the other day I was sorting through my mail and I found a card from someone that I had been meaning to write a thank you to. As a new mom, prioritizing things can feel impossible. I put off mailing a thank you card to this person for two weeks, but never took it off my to-do list. I just knew that I had to write it which was the easy part, then came getting stamps and bringing it to the post office or a dropbox. I went online and I found a website that handwrites and mails cards for you…I spent $3 and some change and crossed it off my list. So, with that being said, no matter what business you decide to get involved in, there is room at that table for you and you can bring your own side dish of what makes you unique in that setting and THAT is what is going to make you successful. I think a lot of people are afraid that when they shine a light on their special sauce, that it’s going to make them either 1. Be a target for the copycats, or 2 make them fizzle out. They’re afraid it’ll get old fast. If you allow yourself the room to grow within your own life and business, that just simply won’t happen.
Businesses have no cap. There is so much available space on the internet. So many tools to explore to help up continue to create, market, and sell. Products and services are specially designed to make people’s lives easier. These things are created by people who need them, or enjoy doing them or simply have a passion and focus. They likely ran through months or years of trial and error to get to where they are today, and there is absolutely no shortcut to success. Cliché, sure, but it’s true. That’s why it’s important to create and stick with a business from the beginning. To pivot and grow, just as your life does.
I am working through a rebrand right now, and I am realizing the things that I want to keep in my business are the things that have grown with me. It isn’t easy, because I genuinely feel like every week for the past few months there has been major growth in my life, especially with having recently become a mom. I have added boundaries with people, started to expect a lot less, and give to give – not to receive. Life is a lot less stressful when you just stop expecting things from people. No matter how much you give, you simply should never expect the same or even less than, in return. Do things expecting nothing. Do them because you want to and leave it be. You will attract what and who you need when you need it or them. In the end, you just want to feel good about what you bring to others in this life, whether it’s kindness, a product or service, advice, or friendship.
I was so hard on myself the past few months. I was my own worst critic and it was crippling me in business. I reached out to friends and family for help with the baby. I got out more, exercised more, and reflected more, did things to make sure I didn’t lose sight of important relationships or my business. I was giving myself false expectations based on what I saw on the internet and based on, wait for it, what I ALREADY knew wasn’t even tangible. For example, becoming a mom and trying to work the same week that I gave birth wasn’t unrealistic, but it would’ve been wrong of me to put up a post or a photo being like #notears #momboss #nostress #easypeasy. There is beauty in sharing the struggle simply because we STILL do not see enough of that today.
We all know social media is a highlight reel but for some reason, the comparison still doesn’t stop. There’s beauty in sharing your struggle because there are people who literally NEED to see it. Why would I ever even TRY and pretend that I could work and learn a new role simultaneously with ZERO stress? I know that’s actually not even feasible. I have this problem of prematurely deciding that I am not good at something specific just because it didn’t go as planned the first or second time around. That is my toxic trait right there guys. Do you know what’s worse? I get harder and harder on myself by the 5th or 6th time that it still isn’t going as well as I wanted it to. But guess what, I look back and realize that I didn’t give up the first or second time, or the 5th or 6th, and every time, whether it’s a physical challenge, a mental challenge, a new system, or business idea, I just keep on trying. I think people with social anxiety struggle with this the most. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I honestly think that quote is seriously underrated and forgotten about.
I just want to remind you that you are not alone, there are people out there who can directly relate to what you’re going through but you won’t find them or be that person for someone else unless you open up about your struggles and stop worrying what other people might think. Just think about all the ways that you could be helping someone else by sharing your story and giving genuine advice to help other people work through their struggles, move the needle in their businesses, and be proud of how far they’ve come.