Last week, I went slightly MIA. I wasn’t in a good place and didn’t really feel like putting much, if any, effort into anything. Not just with my company; with life. I was basically a hollow shell of a human just… here. Doing normal things but feeling nothing behind whatever version of a smile I decided to plaster on my face to hide what was really going on.
I was shutting down.
The longer I stayed on social media, the worse it got. I’d see all of these people excelling in what they were doing. Rock stars in their fields. Then something in my brain decided it would be a great idea to “remind” me of a phrase that’s haunted me my entire life: “You’re never going to be good.”
I felt low. I was spiraling and there was really no way to stop it. The little bit of retail therapy I force myself to do didn’t help. I tried all of my regular self-care steps but just… nothing. I felt empty. And I was tired, mentally and emotionally. So what was the cause of this? What could I blame it on? I found my first target: this site.
My first instinct was to D&D: delete and disappear. How shitty would that be? The wonderful connections that I’ve made, the energy I’ve spent to become better than I was when I started. Just throw that away? Because of one little thing? One MINUTE thing? Nah. That couldn’t be the answer to this. Nope.
I’ve not been at this entrepreneur thing long, but it feels like 10 years in the span of half of one. It’s been hard. My already fragile self-esteem has been dealt some blows, but none like last week. I can’t go into specifics because it’s a gigantic pile of punches, but there were a lot of truths that I was forced to face and I didn’t want to. Not at all.
I hovered over those “Delete Account” buttons so many times. I thought, “if I have a muscle spasm and my finger just happens to click that button, that’s the universe making the decision for me.” That’s a silly gesture. I didn’t need to universe to decide for me. That’s what ME is for. I need to decide whether I want to shut this show down or if I want to keep going.
Quitting would make it worse.
Quitting would have filled me with regret and made me feel like an even bigger failure. I don’t even know if I’m a failure now. A wise man who I just happened to marry told me that the only way I wouldn’t succeed is if I gave up. And he’s right. The mile-high pile of reasons that I have to quit aren’t the same quality as the much smaller list of reasons that I have to keep going.
Numbers are rude.
I’ve decided to take a step back from looking at analytics and insights because AAAAALL of this -social media, marketing, all of it- is a numbers and algorithm game. And it’s a slightly unfair game to those of us just getting started but here we are. These numbers and these algorithms will get us what we desire if we know how to bend to their will. At least until our reputations (good ones) precede us.
If you’re reading this and you’re in this place, I’ve learned that talking about it helps. (And listening to Paramore damn near everyday, but that’s besides the point.) And I’m not someone to talk about my feelings because it’s always word vomit, but it definitely helped. Talk to people who not only believe in you, but who will help you. I’ve gotten so many more ideas that I’ve explored last week and I’m feeling a good deal better. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be as good as X because what does X have to do with me? Caring about who’s in the other lane doesn’t help you finish the race. Staying focused on the finish line does.
Keep at it. You got this. WE got this.
And we’re going to be dope af at it.