Just How Far Self Support Goes

"You screwed this up. This is so obvious to everyone else, but of course you didn't see it." 
 

My pre-sale had just launched March 15th of this year, and various messages like these soaked into my brain. I was so hard on myself over anything and everything during the first 2 weeks of this sale.

If there is one thing I learned from pre-launching my business, it was just how mean I could be to myself. 

Putting myself in the most vulnerable state I might have ever been in, unleashed something I didn't recognize was in there. I realized that I could beat myself up more than any boss ever had, and I was more 'under authority' now than ever - to one who wouldn't hold back any cutting words. 

Those two weeks were so hard, and I realized I must change how I think about and talk to myself if this business would have any chance to survive. I recognized that plenty of outside forces will question my value and I was destroying myself by joining them. So I appointed myself a defender of my value, rather than a questioner.

Mentally, I began treating myself like my best friend would: having grace and understanding, speaking encouraging words over me, knowing my flaws and still being my friend, being excited about what I bring to the table and never doubting my value.  

If there is anything I've learned from this little experiment, it is that encouraging yourself yields powerful results. 

Now when something goes wrong (like losing a nice chunk of money, or in hindsight seeing a huge missed opportunity), I will not say anything negative to myself about it. I immediately think, I'm a smart and capable person. This is called a mistake, and many smart people make them. It's too bad this happened! Let's decide what to do next. I take what I learned to grow. Then I move forward. 

This is easier said than done. It's really hard work. I felt and feel a lot of resistance to change my thinking, and I am constantly course correcting and having a talking to with my brain. It is, however, absolutely worth every effort.

Last week, I walked right into a fabric show with fabric for brands like Patagonia and Arc'teryx, shook the hands of suppliers and proudly gave them my business card. Then I dry heaved a little bit. But, I told myself that I deserved to be there like anybody else, and then I chose to believe it. And the suppliers? They believed me too. 

Because it's the words, "you should be here" soaking in my brain that gave me the strength to explain with confidence what I do, to important people who had no idea who I was. 

By supporting myself, having grace for myself, and speaking kindly to myself, I actually lose nothing. I instead become more realistic and resilient. I gain more clarity. Humility becomes more accessible. Joy is in closer reach. 

Next week I am going to share more about developing Opaline Hue, specifically designing these garments. I felt like this was one of the more foundational stories regarding the development of my business, so I wanted to start here. 

I hope you'll remind yourself this week just how worth it you are. 

 

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