Firstly, let me tell you that I have been where you are, and felt how you feel. Throughout the most of 2016, I felt trapped in my business, upset with what I had created for myself, and seeing no way of being able to change anything. I spiralled down into depression and anxiety, and ended up having a nervous breakdown at the end of 2016. This involved incredible fatigue, and a drop of my immunity so that I was constantly sick.
I was thinking that I should abandon my business, and go back to work for someone else. I was only thinking negative thoughts, and hating every minutes of my working day. I was angry at everyone, but mostly at myself. I knew I had created the situation I was in, but I felt completely out of control to change anything.
I have managed to turn this around, and it was primarily mindset. So here’s my advice to you:
Firstly, take care of yourself
I went to see a naturopath and sorted out some supplements to help support my nervous system, to find some calm, and to help with my immunity.
I also had some energy work done about three times, to clear the negativity. Yes, this may be a placebo. But I feel like it has worked for me. It doesn’t cost much, so why not try everything to help?
I also downloaded a few free and paid guided mediation tracks. I now listen to these to put myself to sleep, and it has made a huge difference.
Persist and change what you can control
I persisted with my business. I got myself a business coach, and after a couple of initial tweaks to my business strategy, he has primarily helped me with my mindset and keeping my mind on task.
Primarily, the major change has been my mindset. My coach has helped a lot with this, but it has also been a conscious effort on my part to change the negative self-talk. It is amazing that once you start being aware, and changing the self-talk, you spiral upwards much faster than you spiralled downwards in the first place. Affirmations have helped, along with the guided mediation that I mentioned above, and journalling has helped a lot. It’s interesting that my journalling voice is far more positive than the voice I talk to myself with in my head, so I can reason away the negativity on the page.
Make the big leap
If you are reluctant to give up because you think it is failure, then please don’t let that hold you back.
Failure is often defined as a lack of success, but it can also be defined as the neglect or omission of some action that was expected. With mini-disasters striking left and right, is it any wonder you might begin to think bad things about yourself? No matter how many hours you work, you can’t get everything done on time. The lover who once made you smile now only seems to harp at you. Your family can be the worst at pointing out how you are less than perfect.
Everywhere you look, there is someone pointing out what is wrong with you! Your looks don’t measure up. Your career is not where you want it to be. Relationships fall apart around you. Family is a nightmare. Money is a problem. Nothing is the way it was supposed to be, and people are eager to let you know how you have disappointed them.
When you start feeling like a professional failure, it can become extraordinarily easy to fixate on the idea that your career fate is totally out of your control, decided by forces far outside your own power. This kind of thinking is seductive because it provides a narrative that indulges all your darkest thoughts: not only does your life suck, but it was predestined to suck long before you were ever in a position to do anything about it. So there is literally nothing you can do now. But you can change, and you are not a failure for doing so. Your professional life is a marathon, not a sprint, and just because someone got a few seconds head start on you, doesn’t mean you’re never going to catch up.
The important thing to remember is that your fears and worries about being behind or on the wrong path in your career don’t isolate you; you’re not the only person to feel this way. Don’t feel like a failure for deciding that you made in mistake in choosing the career that you did. There’s still plenty of time to make a change.
How can it be a failure to want to pursue something that will make you happy? I have not failed. Nor will you.