...In with the New.
It's the end of the year, and I don't know about you, but 2021 has been a fucking busy year.
It's also brought a lot of realizations, finally discovering the things I've been carrying with me that aren't serving any purpose. Based on my recent experiences, there are some things nobody really needs to take into the new year.
It's nothing more than dead weight.
Out with the Old
1. Beliefs around Work
Like many entrepreneurs, I've had to get used to a much different schedule.
Hell, I've had to get used to making my own, and realizing I don't have to work a million hours a month to make a wage. I work a little bit more odd hours, because this work doesn't necessarily feel like work.
I worked 6 days a week for 3 weeks and came out of it laughing!
Because my hours were a lot less (this much brain work means it needs a break. Kind of like a masseuse, who can only work a certain amount of hours a week) it was easier to work more days.
I had time to DO things. I visited family a state away and just...took my laptop with me. Went to a few fairs and harvest festivals (you know you wish you were there!), hiked a couple different trails, and generally, had fun.
But many entrepreneurs, myself included, begin by being wracked with guilt because we've been indoctrinated with the idea that you have to work HARD, otherwise, you're not really contributing.
That belief can go to hell, preferably delivered in a handbasket.
It doesn't serve anyone, not really. It keeps people trapped in a go, Go, GO mindset, spinning on a hamster wheel without really living.
2. Beliefs around Money
This one practically goes hand-in-hand with the work thing.
Has anybody else here walked around for years thinking that you have to work really hard in order to make money?
Yeah, me too. And it sucks.
When I was 20, I had the back of a 40 year old, and the poor chiropractor was so confused as to how I got it.
It's a lot better now, but to give you an idea, when I was 20, I couldn't carry an empty backpack. I'm going to let that sink in.
I COULDN'T CARRY AN EMPTY BACKPACK.
Now? After years of massages, chiropractic work, stretching, and exercising, I can carry a 40+ pound backpack for days and miles.
But I have a habit of choosing jobs that are very close to back breaking (especially for someone with a back like mine), because otherwise, I didn't think I'd earned my wages. Didn't matter that for the most part, it was pretty grunt work. Anyone could learn to do it, most peopel just don't want to because...well, it's HARD.
And occasionally, the most fun you're ever going to have. (Looking at you, Mackinac!)
Seriously, leave behind the idea that you have to kill yourself to earn a dollar. If you're fit and healthy, and grew up that way, then it's hella fun and very rewarding. If you're like me, then it's an early grave and/or years of watching your physical ability to function slowly disappearing.
3. Ignoring the Lessons
A variety of lessons have attempted to make their way through my skull over the years. Most of them had a lot to do with work and money, but I wouldn't see or listen.
It was only when I jumped onto the wild emotional ride that is entrepreneurship that I had to confront all these parts of myself that I'd been ignoring.
I had to acknowledge that a lot of the difficult times I've run across has been because I was ignoring the lessons coming my way. I kept following things like 'should' and 'have to' which doesn't really work. If you're doing something because you think you 'should', chances are, you're not going to be doing it very well, and eventually, you'll be rolling in resentment and burnout.
For me, these lessons were almost all about work and money.
In with the New
I had to learn seriously learn 3 things along this journey, too. Hopefully, these will help you as you move onto the next stages of your journey.
You've probably heard this one a lot, but I found I couldn't really adopt it until I knew why.
The reason is a mind over matter kind of deal. You see what you look for. When you only look around seeing the Sad, Bad, and the Ugly, you could have some damn fine opportunities all around you, but you can't see it.
The reason they say to spend time daily is to build it into a new habit. That's really it. You don't necessarily need to do a full journal entry daily forever, unless you want to.
Just spend some time every day to notice how fucking awesome your life is. Or, if your life isn't completely awesome, look for the little things that are brilliant.
The flower growing in the sidewalk...
The chubby squirrel sitting in a tree, hilariously judging the world...
The shapes the clouds make...
The $10 you have in your bank account...
It's not rocket science, and it doesn't have to be running around trying to mountains out of molehills, just appreciate things in your life.
This one will be a lifelong thing for me. Many of us have issues with self-esteem and self-worth.
It's not a crime, and it also comes down to noticing and appreciating, only this time, it's about yourself.
The practice I enjoy the most is just...standing in front of a mirror and looking myself in the eyes.
(If there are any pricks here who think that looking at yourself in a mirror is vain, etc, go jump off a cliff. If you can't find one, I'll be happy to send you directions and pictures.)
The reality is that for a long time, I avoided REALLY looking at myself. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror. Too many years of thinking I was only worth something if I DID for others.
Doing things for others is fine, as long as it's not detrimental to yourself. Because you have worth just by being born.
I have worth, dammit.
Remind yourself of it daily, several times a day, whatever you need.
Do it to damn the man, if that's what it takes to get you started.
3. Accept Your Feelings
Like most people over a certain age, I have a hard time dealing with my emotions. They've been shut off or down for so long that I only know how to handle 2 or 3 of them, and not very well.
I see a lot of women who have managed to learn and feel fully, but for me, it's still something that's coming. Truth is, a lot of the exercises I've learned over the last few months involve feeling the feelings and letting them go.
For me, they linger like a bad smell, mostly because they're only half-felt. I don't know how to let go. The fact that I even use a word like 'how' is a pretty good indication, because people, nobody can TELL you how to do something like feel. It's something you get to on your own.
So, when you're standing there, frustrated because you don't know how to do something...It's because there's still healing and work to be done.
I've found the best way is to start by telling myself something. Like self-worth work. I stand there and say a few things to myself, like how I am worthy, without every having to do something about it.
So if you find yourself frustrated because you don't know how to feel or do something, step back and ask yourself questions about it. like why are you feeling so frustrated over this? Why is it bothering you so much? Where did it come from?
Even if you don't have answers right away, it helps break the frustration and get you back to being able to accept that it's just...there.
I know this post didn't have a damn thing to do with writing, which might be a relief for you guys. I gotta admit, hitting a different topic for a moment was fun.
Did anything in here speak to you?
If so, which one and why?
Drop a comment or send me an email, it's all good, mate.