It is very hard for me to blog sometimes. Perhaps you've noted my absence? Maybe you don't even care. :) I like to think MAYBE some people do, but all in all, I write this blog for me. So if you happen to catch this and do enjoy my blogs, well, I'm very glad. :) Most especially, I've come to realize that it is even MORE difficult for me to write when I am not all Miss Glass Half Full, Miss Positivity, Miss Happy Go Lucky. After all, that is how most people know me. That is the image I am able to project to the world most of the time. My insecurities usually stay tucked right up inside me and are only divulged to the very few people close to me with whom I feel safe to share them.
I've been accomplishing a variety of tasks lately - more as a use of a distraction. A distraction from a confession that I'm deciding to discuss today. My confession? Most people view me as a very strong person. I think I AM a strong person. However, I actually do have a variety of human emotions. I have high-highs and low-lows. I feel struggle, sadness, self-doubt, stress and fear just as we all do. Lately, I've been feeling the latter a lot more. It's in these times, that I - yes, my strong self - need help the most. I need encouragement, uplifting, a reminder that this is just part of the process and to not ever, ever give up (my 93 year old grandpa tells me that) , a boost to keep my chin up, up, up!
I have struggles; professional struggles, relationship struggles, financial struggles, emotional struggles, yes - I have struggles, a little bit of them all. This has been a difficult season of life for me. The weather in Minnesota has been less than desirable. It's rained all but about 10 days this spring. Weather is very unpredictable right now. Unfortunately, I own a business that is weather-dependent. Business has been slow to non-existent. I have begun to doubt myself in so many ways. Have I already failed before I've begun? Did I make a mistake in taking more of a risk with my business? Is business going to get better? Will the weather get better? Will I be able to survive financially? This whirls and whirls and whirls around my head all day. I have to try and push these negative thoughts and feelings aside. Sometimes I can do this on my own, sometimes I need help. Some days it can take a chat with my closest supporters to remind me that I AM strong, that I need to keep moving forward, staying positive and that truly, one can only say that they failed if they never tried. I learned something many years ago from a therapist I visited.
Strong people are the people that ask for help when they need it.
Perhaps some of the difficulty in expressing this comes about because on occasion when I've been discussing certain circumstances with people, circumstances which I had to confront and make a very difficult decision that they are also facing, I told them my point of view. They have responded to me, "Yes, but you are a very strong person." It kind of makes one feel that because they are a "strong person", that they must not experience all of the feelings that the "non-strong" (I think we all have the capability to be "strong") feels or that at the very least, they shouldn't. Of course we do, but it's the strong that choose to march forward and attempts (sometimes with help from our friends) to not let this drag them down.
Recently, I also started attending entrepreneurial groups. I love the group, networking opportunities and encouragement. On the other hand, I sometimes find myself talking with successful business people comparing my success to their success. Wondering - When it will be MY turn to talk about my success?! How come I don't have the level of interest they are having?! These are flash second thoughts, but I remember - this isn't a competition! This isn't about who is more successful or less successful. This is about ME and my business. I am my only competitor. My mind is my only opponent. The only person to beat is myself. I'm also reminded of these people who many failures of their own.
This week, I also ran across the post of another local blogger I've had some contact with who was experiencing similar struggles. Facing fears, taking leaps and beating her only opponent - herself! Check out her post. Such a wonderful post and for me, it reminded me that I've come a long way. That I've continued to march through my fears, even though they are still there - everyday. It reminds me to stay strong and keep marching on! And that's what I'm going to do! But what I do need sometimes too, are some words of encouragement. Send some my way sometime! :)
What helps you get through times of struggle?
What's your coping mechanism that keeps you marching forward?