An Average Day That Led to a Midlife Unraveling – Lessons From My 4th Business Birthday (Episode 121)
I woke up one day in March 2015 and decided I had to make a change. It was quite the average day but it turned extraordinary. I had known for a LONG time that something wasn’t right. I felt off. But I was scared. What if I made that big decision? Could I do it? Would I fail? What would it be like? And little did I know it would lead to my midlife unraveling.
But I knew if I didn’t do it – I would regret it.
So on an average day in March I decided to leave my job of 9 years (the only job I had as an adult post college) and start my own business. Nothing felt more right.
March 31, 2015 turned out to be a spring day that us Minnesotans live for. The sun was shining bright, not a cloud in the sky, and as I walked out of the club for the final time, I felt as though I had lost 20 pounds of stress and knew I was headed in the right direction.
I walked the dogs when I got home and as I was walking, I felt so deep in my bones that I had made the best decision for my life.
HOLY. MOLY. IT HAS BEEN FOUR YEARS.
How did that happen? No, seriously, how did that happen???
Some days I feel like I’m having an out of body experience and someone else is living this life. Other days I am proud of myself for persevering. But many days feel like average days.
Average days where I spend having extreme highs and lows. When I am working with clients, I can feel that deep in my bones “I’m meant for this” feeling. And then left with my own thoughts for the rest of the day I often think “What the hell am I doing? This will never work. Why haven’t you done ALL the things yet? What are you waiting for?”
As I think back over my last year in business, I realize I have truly spent a lot of time beating myself up and becoming paralyzed by my thoughts which often times cause me to be paralyzed in taking action.
(Can you relate? I know I’m not alone in these self-defeating thoughts that chase us around).
Other average days I know I am crushing it – I am doing so many good things – networking, meeting new people, writing blogs, working with clients, creating new ideas and taking strides forward.
Here I am – four years later – still moving forward one step at a time.
Although it can be so easy to spend all my time thinking about the self defeating thoughts or the ways I’m not doing things, I make a conscious effort to stay focused on taking one step forward almost all the time.
There is also nothing that will teach you more about yourself than owning your own business. I also firmly believe that we all have our path and that business ownership is my path to truly learning about myself and cracking me open in ways I didn’t know needed to happen.
If we are being truthful, this past year has felt a little like what Brene Brown talks about in her “Midlife Unraveling” blog. You can read the full blog HERE.
“The truth is that the midlife unraveling is a series of painful nudges strung together by low-grade anxiety and depression, quiet desperation, and an insidious loss of control. By low-grade, quiet, and insidious, I mean it’s enough to make you crazy, but seldom enough for people on the outside to validate the struggle or offer you help and respite. It’s the dangerous kind of suffering – the kind that allows you to pretend that everything is OK.”
(I am ok- I promise! Nothing about writing this is a cry for help, I am writing about this because I believe her words are so full of truth. All of us at some point will go through an unraveling and it will continue until we pay attention. Maybe you’re 80 and just now paying attention to all these nudges!!!?? And owning a business has been the catalyst for me to wake up, notice where I’m unraveling, and start to put the pieces back together.)
Most days I can make myself crazy because the deep rooted truth is that I believe the universe pushes and gives you so many signs, until you decide to listen.
“And, just in case you think you can blow off the universe the way you did when you were in your twenties and she whispered, “Pay attention,” or when you were in your early thirties and she whispered, “Slow down,” I assure you that she’s much more dogged in midlife. When I tried to ignore her, she made herself very clear: “There are consequences for squandering your gifts. There are penalties for leaving big pieces of your life unlived. You’re halfway to dead. Get a move on.”
And this my friend, sums up where I am at currently as I move into my 5th year. I feel the same deep rooted feeling that I felt 4 years ago on that average March day but this time I know it’s because I’m leaving so many of my gifts untapped – speaking, writing a book, workshops, teaching and more. And it’s time to make them happen.
I have kindly ignored these things because they feel BIG and scary. Kind of. I don’t really feel afraid of failure (I’ve done that many times) and I don’t really think I’m scared of success. But I do know there’s something that has held me back from truly tapping into my gifts and I’m not sure what it is.
But it doesn’t matter what has held me back this long. What matters is that I move forward. One step at a time. Because if not – and I decide to leave my gifts untouched – the damn universe will keep following me and breaking me down until I do. Don’t believe me?? Read more of Brene’s article HERE and then get back to me.
You can only outrun the universe for so long.
“There are consequences for squandering your gifts. There are penalties for leaving big pieces of your life unlived. You’re halfway to dead. Get a move on.”
There are consequences for squandering your gifts. Get a move on. This applies to me and to you. We all have so many incredible gifts and if you’re feeling the unease, uncertainty, the feelings of unraveling, I can guarantee you that it’s because you are leaving your gifts unused. That’s not fair to the world, but mostly it’s unfair to YOU!
It feels good to tell you that I’ve left so many of my gifts untapped and I’m ready to break them free. But here’s what I have also learned big time in the last 4 years of business but also my entire life as a human.
- You don’t get what you don’t ask for
- You can and should ask for help
In the spirit of asking for what I want and also asking for help -here’s where you come in.
The part of me dying to get out and break free? It’s the part of me that loves talking (no surprise there). I am looking for all connections for speaking opportunities – businesses, colleges and universities, church groups, sports teams and more.
Below are 3 talks I am passionate and excited to share. Do you know people or organizations who would benefit from hearing me speak???
“Why Your Goals Fail and How to Get Honest About What You Really Want”
“Chasing of the Athlete – A Story From Obsession to Imperfection”
“Running Around in Circles and Climbing Over Things – How 24 hour Endurance Obstacle Course Racing Taught Me About Life and Business”
Can you help make connections for me?? EMAIL ME and let’s chat.
I can’t wait to talk a lot in my next year 🙂
As I close out my 4th year I want to say a deep heart felt thank you. I wouldn’t be here without you and you’ve made it so worth it.
I’ve had a couple cool experiences lately where I have run into former clients (like 8-9 years ago clients) at random events around town and it’s been so rewarding to talk with them because I remember them and they remember the time we spent together.
There is absolutely nothing better than knowing you made an impact in someone’s life.
And I can’t wait to do that on an even bigger scale going forward.
Thank you for being here and don’t worry – I’m still having a ball with client sessions, weekend work outs and life coaching – it’s all staying. So if you’re ready to get started with some personal training or life coaching – CLICK HERE and let’s do it.
LISTEN TO EPISODE 121 HERE
Don’t forget to check out our sponsor – Heat and Go Bars. Perfect to take with you on the go.
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