We all fall down — it’s the getting back up that really counts
I went into a deep dark place… a place nobody wants to be. Everything seemed so hard, so impossible… but then a few friends helped me to turn it around.
In my last post, I had said I would try to post daily on my progress on saving my business. That was my intent, but then I allowed myself to get overwhelmed and I went into a deep dark place. That place nobody wants to be. Everything seemed so hard, so large, so impossible. I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed. I hadn’t slept more than a couple hours a night in days. I would sleep, then I would wake up and my mind would just start to race about the money running out, the fact that I felt helpless and could lose everything I’d poured my heart and soul into for the last six years. So what changed it? Why am I back here today?
I had to get vulnerable. I had to let people know what was going on. I’m usually a private person and I don’t post a lot on social media. But I decided to put a post out stating my struggles and what I was going through. I almost didn’t hit post, but decided no one would know if I didn’t reach out — if I didn’t ask for help.
The post received an overwhelming response. Many people who said they were feeling the same way, dealing with the same struggles. A few friends even had ideas that would help. One offered help through his accountant to find funding that would help keep my business afloat as I figured out things (I’m still awaiting that appointment). Another friend posted something I needed to see and read — a poem that made me put everything into perspective. It said:
If the mountain seems too big today, then climb a hill instead. If the morning brings you sadness, it’s okay to stay in bed. If the day ahead weighs heavy and your plans feel like a curse, there’s no shame in re-arranging. Don’t make yourself feel worse. If a shower stings like needles and a bath feels like you’ll drown, if you haven’t washed your hair for days, don’t throw away your crown! A day is not a lifetime, a rest is not defeat, don’t think of it as failure, just a quiet kind retreat. It’s okay to take a moment from an anxious fractured mind. The world will not stop turning while you get realigned. The mountain will still be there when you want to try again, so climb it in your own time…and love yourself ’til then.
After reading this, I realized my problem was my focus. I was focusing on conquering the entire mountain of taking my businesses online at once and that overwhelmed me. I needed to take a breather, step back and re-think matters. What would be the steps to what I needed to accomplish. Instead of trying to climb the whole mountain, why not just climb a small hill that contributed to climbing the mountain?
First thing I needed to do was look after my mental health. When I’m down and depressed, how could I come up with solutions? How could I pay attention to learn. I gave myself an afternoon to cry, to fall apart, drink some hot chocolate and read a book. After all, sometimes it takes falling apart first in order for us to put ourselves back together. I allowed myself to take a break — something I hadn’t done in a long time. I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually taken a day off from work to look after myself. I was always so worried about keeping the business running, answering the next inquiry, the next e-mail, looking after my employees, looking after the farm I live on that I forgot to look after myself.
Secondly, I remembered a presentation someone gave about when things are a mess in your office, it’s hard to be creative or come up with solutions. I looked at my office and my desk. My inbox still had a lot of things in it and my desk was a mess. I was four months behind on submitting month end receipts. So I spent a day and a bit getting the month end reports submitted and cleaning out my inbox and cleaning off my desk. Now I could do a fresh start with everything caught up. There was no longer this little voice in the back of my head telling me about the month end or other admin items that were outstanding.
Next, it was time to make a list of the steps I would need to take and the ideas I had in my head to work towards taking my businesses online. I had received a journal from Dean Graziosi that had a To-Do List template in it. The template had three columns — Today, This Week, This Month. I had two small spare white boards in my office. On one white board, I figured out all the things I needed to do and learn to try to save my businesses and move to virtual services. Then I fit those into the three categories of “Today”, “This Week” and “This month”. That helped me to categorize the things on my list into realistic time lines in order to take small steps ahead instead of focusing on one giant step. As I accomplish the items on the “today” list, I can move the items over from the “this week” list to the “today” list. It will help me to focus on the next step ahead instead of worrying about the entire overwhelming big picture.
These may seem like just really small steps, but they are all working toward something bigger.
Amanda Oling is a motivational and impaired driving prevention speaker in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. Her book “The Impact of One Decision” is available on-line through Chapters, Coles & Indigo Bookstores, Amazon and Kindle. You can find out more about Amanda, purchase her book or send her a request to speak at your event or in your community through her website at www.AmandaOling.com. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaOlingMotivationalSpeaker, Instagram @impact_of_one_decision, Twitter @impact_of_one and on Linked In by searching Amanda Oling.