I killed it as an entrepreneur. This was me. I was in control of my life. I was focused, driven, I had purpose every day. For over a decade, it seemed like everything I touched turned to gold. My golden touch became legendary within the company I worked for and the businesses I owned and operated. I experienced exponential growth in my agency and despite all the challenges I faced as a result of lack resources and funding I would always find a way out.
Then one day, it all changed.
During a particularly challenging couple of months, where demand was bigger than supply, lack of infrastructure, guidance and an inability to scale my business, I made the tough decision to sell. I felt defeated for the first time in my life. I felt like a failure. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.
Nonetheless, I put my hair in a bun and thought now it’s time to focus on really being a mom.
I convinced myself that if I put as much energy into being a great mom, as I did running my business, I could run this household like a well-oiled machine. I am going to take a break from work and just have a woosah moment. After all, my family deserved it.
Well that break turned into 2 years. While being a stay at home mom, I worked on a few projects here and there, I worked on property development campaigns, I worked as a social media marketing manager, I designed websites for businesses, but this was me working for people. It wasn’t my own thing. I was desperate to have my own thing, my own business.
I felt edgy all the time.
I was always thinking of what I should be doing, what I can do, what business to start, what’s the next big idea? what’s the next problem I can solve? Why wasn’t I just completely present in the moment as a stay-at-home mom?
It was like I was completely lost without my own business. The wheels were relentlessly turning in my head all day every day… While I cracked on daily, doing the mom thing. I felt like I needed more out of life.
No-one will really understand the challenges you face being a stay at home mom. I mean, I experienced immense loneliness during this time. Everything I was doing was remotely, via email- skype and phone. I missed the team dynamic that came with working in an office. In a way I felt lost.
The domestic distractions were a biggie. I used to wish that I could just pick up my bag- go to an office, focus on what I need to achieve for that day, come home and that’s done. You know, like normal.
Instead, I was being everything to everyone in my family and if I’m honest, I missed the performance reviews, the acknowledgement of a job well done, the bonus at the end of the year. That pat on the back that feels so good sometimes, the thank you’s or special mentions.
Everything I needed and wanted became secondary.
It was like, okay, after I clean the house then I can get back to work. But wait… I didn’t get the laundry this weekend, because NO ONE has clean underwear, so let me quickly stuff some dirty clothes in the washing machine and finish off my design while that’s going. Shaik’s! I can’t believe the time!! I have to pick up the kids already!!! Shit, they need supplies for a project so let me stop off at the shop and get that, (eye roll emoji- because all I actually need to do is get back to my desk) and I’ll also get supper. Forgot my daughter needs to be dropped off at a hockey match… let me do that, and I can quickly go home and cook the supper so by the time I have to pick her up and husband comes home, they will have something to eat. My days always felt rushed.
For two years I felt that all I was doing was giving and going nowhere slowly.
I felt no- one appreciated anything. I felt like a cook, cleaner and a glorified uber driver, (Respect to all the uber drivers). I lived in my gym clothes, hair in a bun, and pretty much started to neglect myself day by day. As a stay at home mom- your job never ends. I started declining social invitations because that would mean I actually needed to get dressed and that would entail a full groom from basic hair wash to painting the nails. It would also mean that I needed to go buy myself something decent to wear because all I own are “house clothes” and corporate clothes which is usually inappropriate for where I am in my life. So much effort!! My self-confidence and self-image was tied to my identity as a stay at home mom and I was no longer a successful entrepreneur. I was nothing.
I was either having a mental breakdown or going through a spell of deep depression.
There were days I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. But I talked myself out of it and I get up and carry on. Oh the routine of it all! I hate routine, yet, I found myself doing the same things daily.. because it had to be done! No one else was going to do it for me. I lost interest in doing things I use to enjoy, I made excuses when family and friends invited me out. I felt tired all the time.
If I had my way I could sleep for days on end. I am not depressed I’d say. I’m just tired and I need to just snap out of it. I felt lonely and sad on most days, aka depressed lol. And the funny thing is you don’t actually realise it until one day you look at yourself in the mirror and think – who the fuck are you? I felt that I had lost my sense of self. My confidence was nowhere to be seen and I loathed the question… “So, what do you do for a living?” (in my mind I would always think; “what the fuck don’t I do for a living!”)
I felt that days lacked meaning and purpose and I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that this was me now. At the same, I experienced this constant nudging feeling… what is it that I am meant to be doing with my life?
I couldn’t understand what use to come so easy to me, now, was more like me walking through a dark maze — one that was never-ending, and every time I turned a corner thinking I’d see the exit, it was just another dead end. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I needed and wanted to do something, be something… but what? What is that thing? I had extreme creative block.
While my husband was watching Netflix, I would be online researching various topics, ideas, concepts in order to learn, and gain an understanding on things that weren’t clear to me. How to change my mindset, What is self-esteem? What does mindfulness really mean? What exactly am I feeling and experiencing? It is a confidence thing? Do I only identify as a mom and wife now? I loved being and mom and wife- don’t get me wrong, but also wanted and needed to be more for myself.
This is not how my story ends. Fuck No.
I started deliberately identifying the the main areas that was most concerning to me. “It’s so easy to get lost in your head trying to “figure it out.” Meanwhile, your heart often knows the ONE thing you need to do to get you closer to your goal.”
I went on a journey of self-discovery. This is what I’ve learned.
There is such a thing as healthy discontent – that unsettling knowledge that things are not as they should be! hallelujah – break through! ( I’m not that messed up)
“Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Society tells us that we should count our blessings. We should have gratitude journals and focus on all that we have. And that’s all good. We should feel grateful for what we’ve been given. But as the quote above indicates, there is nothing wrong with “healthy discontent.”
Healthy discontent is what motivates us to improve ourselves and our circumstances.
Without that nagging feeling that life could be (and should be) better, it is easy to stagnate. That nagging feeling is what what pushes us to improve our health, our relationships and our careers. That discomfort is what drives us out of our comfort zones to make positive change in our lives.
You have to be unhappy with the status quo before you will take action.
Maybe you’re frustrated at work, fed up with feeling unfit or just generally feel you want more out of life. This ‘healthy discontent’ is central to all development . The key here is not to wallow in it but to recognise it and CHOOSE to do something about it, and then do it. Healthy discontent is what motivates us and what fuels us.
Being content is good. Being discontent is necessary.
Over time, I’ve discovered the most effective leaders actually possess an underlying perspective of healthy discontent. There is an edginess to them. They might be pleased with what’s going on at the moment, but they are never satisfied
Confidence is having absolute assurance in yourself.
It’s trusting that your character will carry you through situations, and it’s the belief that you have the personal power necessary to change your life and the world.
Breaking Out of It
To break out of the state of feeling insecure you need to begin embodying a confident person, and often this means doing the opposite of what you feel like doing: putting yourself in the spotlight, taking the initiative, talking about things that are personal. The body follows the mind and the mind follows the body. If you begin acting like a confident person, you’ll start feeling like one too.
Pay attention to how you are feeling
Frustration, unhappiness, boredom have their cause in us for a reason, so we’d better listen up. Don’t allow your dissatisfaction to go to waste. This restless dissatisfaction is an absolute power handed to you on a platter.
Discontentment is one voice of our intuition
Discontent is the universe’s way of telling you that a change is necessary within yourself to resolve the situation. It is there to warn you of situations and guide you when things need to change. When we start to realise that discontentment is a nudge from our inner selves to move forward and not a stab in the back, we can start to utilise it to not only inch forward but propel forward into versions of our best selves.
This feeling of discontentment is actually your superpower
Listen to its whispers and use that as fuel to light the flame under your ass! I see you; I know what it’s like to feel like you’re trapped in life stuck on the pause button. It’s not only time to hit the play button but time to throw out the remote.
Discontent starts with a feeling and can end one of two ways
If acted upon, our discontent can lead us toward a life with greater meaning, purpose, and impact. If not, it can be the beginning of looking back on our lives with regret. The presence of discontent tells us we are not aligned with our “north”. The degree of our discontent is a measure of pressure that helps initiate change. You must have a level of discontent to feel the urge to want to grow.