Continuing on with our theme of delving into the lessons learnt from the past year, I offer you this week's lesson to end the month. This was a big lesson for me. One that required honesty and humility, and the kind of positive mindset that says "I can change, I can choose differently going forward". Please join me for this week's lesson:
Lesson 4 - The mountain is you. You are the reason you are exactly where you are today.
We are brave; braver than we could ever imagine. We have tried hard things, done hard things, often times without even thinking about it. Most of the time not even acknowledging the feat of our actions.
But now and again, life can hit too hard and erode our resilience. After one punch too many, we may lose sight of facts and start to believe the opposite. That we are not up to the task, that the obstacles are many, varied and formidable. And so to support that narrative we come up with excuses. Excuses for why we can't start, can't change, can't win, won't win, are not yet ready.
So when we look back at the year, at why we seem incapable of addressing that issue we have been struggling with, or achieving that business or personal goal we set out, or making the same mistake all over again, perhaps we should start with ourselves. Perhaps we should reflect on where we are, check in with ourselves. I promise you, you just may realise that you're in need of a little replenishing. A heart gone weary at the hands of life's hardships is hardly going to want to put itself at risk unless it absolutely has to.
"It is all within your power. To change it, or to live with indecision and consequently indirectly accept it. Not choosing is choosing; not deciding is deciding. The mountain is you."
After a particularly trying year at work, I recently found myself in a negative headspace. Nothing was working out, not this business venture, not personally, nothing. Scarily, I had very rational, well-thought out reasons for why everything sucked just now. None of it had anything to do with me.
The business wasn't taking off not because I lacked consistency and clarify of vision about what to do. Of course not! Those certainly weren't the reasons. I had convinced myself that it was the manufacturing delays, the challenges with funding a start-up and the fact that I have to rely on social media to gain brand awareness, and everyone knows I'm a mess with putting myself out there like that! The truth, when I was ready to face it, was that it was all me. I was the one blocking my own progress. By not showing up consistently, by sporadically throwing myself with full might into what needed to be done every once in a while at the risk of burn-out, and by ignoring every marketing wisdom out there that says social media is not the golden goose of growing a business - there are other means. I was the mountain.
It took a whole lot of replenishing, talking to friends who understood and listened without judgment, seeking professional help both for my mental health and for the business, amongst other things. It took a whole lot of recovery to soothe my weary heart before I could find my feet again, feel resilient and secure enough to stand up and say "enough! no more excuses."
The mountain is you my friend. It is you and I. And there is no shame and judgment in that; life can hit quite hard. And we all need to retreat and recover at times. But I beg of you, do not rest too long in the phase of coming up with reasons why things are intrinsically unfavourable for you. This is a slippery slope.
When all is quiet and your heart murmurs its unhappiness and dissatisfaction at the life you are leading, do not be too quick to push those feelings away. Sit with them, be uncomfortable long enough to ask yourself, "what do I need"? And in that answer you just may find your way to get past the mountain.
So tell me, how have you been? In what way have you been a mountain in your own life? Let's share in the comments below and learn from each other.
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With all my love,