Have you ever reached a point where you’ve felt so miserable, but so stuck at the same time? As if your life is totally outside of your own control?
I was there, less than two weeks ago.
I’m nearing the end of my maternity leave and due back at work in a couple short months. I have no desire to go back, and I’ve known that for a while now. I want a change so incredibly badly, but have no idea what I want to do, or how I’m going to make money even when I do figure it out. To top it off, even the things I was doing in my spare time were causing undue stress and anxiety; I was moderating a corset group on Facebook where the admins were diminishing everything my team and I did, trying to control how we acted and spoke. Yes, you can read that again; I was trapped and unhappy in a hobby. My fear of conflict and standing up for myself runs so deep, that I felt obligated to follow through on a volunteer position that I was supposed to enjoy and instead was making me miserable. Unbelievable, right?
Well, something had to give and there was finally a falling out. I got called out for something I said (read: our given right of freedom of speech), and I had had enough. I walked away from the Facebook group and while my heart pounded with anxiety and disbelief, I finally felt free. I felt relieved, like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. I felt in control again. And to top it off, most of the other moderators, who had become some of my closest friends, had followed me.
In my discontentment with the way the old group had been going, I had started a new one that I intended to gradually build on the side with some very good friends. I swear I sounded crazy when I was describing my hopes and dreams for what this new group could become, but when you have great people by your side, they take your ideas and run with them too, each person enhancing the quality of the vision with their valuable opinions and insight. We hadn’t really put any work into it before, but we started brainstorming and collaborating almost immediately after leaving the old group behind.
The magic that happens when everyone is on the same wavelength is so powerful and unstoppable. For the first time in months, I didn’t have to question anyone’s motives or refrain from sharing my opinion out of fear of being talked down to. Every opinion was valued and considered and not only were we working in a safe, open space, but we saw more success than I could have ever hoped. People wanted to join us and be a part of our community.
All of this might seem petty and insignificant because its just a Facebook group, but to me, it is so much more. It taught me some real, applicable lessons that I intend to carry forward with me and have already applied to other areas of my life. It got me into a healthy, uplifting, positive group that brings me absolute joy. It brought me closer to my friends and gave me a deeper understanding of each one of them. It surrounded me with support and encouragement, and gave me confidence in the decisions I make moving forward. It inspired me to get out of my own head and write a blog post instead of procrastinating, and finally, it showed me that if I want something badly enough, and I take that step towards my dreams, I can and will succeed. That is the biggest, most significant takeaway and I never expected it to come from a Facebook group of all things.
These past two weeks have really been a breakthrough in disguise. I have since put into action some of the ideas I’ve been hearing from successful entrepreneurs about taking the first step, not being tied to outcomes, and stepping outside of my comfort zone. I am seeing now how all the little, seemingly separate pieces of life can come together and make a difference in ways you would never expect.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my ramblings.