Every now and then, it seems like the world is beating me up. These are the best times for growth, but boy are they challenging. I’d been feeling rather downtrodden for the past week or two – a combination of illness and challenges with work were making me feel less than adequate. I was weak, always exhausted, and not nearly as productive as I wanted to be (and thought I could be). A looming sense of failure followed me around and made me question myself. It reminded me a lot of why I decided that being an entrepreneur might not be for me after all.
Back in early 2012, I had reached a point professionally and personally that gave me the courage to quit my job and start my own ventures. A year later, I had learned a lot and decided that the lifestyle wasn’t what I was looking for. I found that I couldn’t shut off from work and the stress of it followed me at all times of the day. I like more balance in my life, but it was hard to justify not taking care of work whenever it came up. I’d feel guilty if I didn’t handle things right away. It began to take over my life, even as I was seeking more control over it.
Today I came across an article on Inc.com that rang so true to me. It’s about the psychological price of entrepreneurship and talks about how taxing it is to manage your own business. When you pour your heart and soul into working on something, it can really drain you. If it doesn’t work out the way you had hoped, it’s easy to take that as a personal failure. That certainly does a number on your confidence. When you decide to pursue entrepreneurship, you better be ready for a crazy rollercoaster. And for me, it’s just not worth the stress. I don’t crave the recognition or attention at that scale, nor do I want to pursue that sort of money. So why would I put my health, my relationships, and my mental state at jeopardy to chase after that dream?
If I could, I’d play with cats all day. So cute!!
And going back to my recent low, the article explained that some people experience strong emotions on both ends of the spectrum. You get really excited about things, but you also get really depressed about others. I may not be as bad as some people who are extreme to the point of manic, but I do think I feel emotions more strongly than many. It’s a double-edged sword, where I find myself easily joyful, but at the same time I can fall to deep sadness quickly. It may prevent me from taking greater risks for immense rewards, but those “rewards” are something I didn’t want anyway. Instead of money or power, I want to enjoy my life with Panda. I want time to hang out with him, to go to yoga classes, to have peaceful moments with my cats, to cook together, to enjoy trips… so really something more stable is suitable for my goals.
Once I’m done with my 365great series, I’ll start up a weekly series related to that, sharing ideas and tips for how to enjoy life more and stress less. Our culture is so caught up in accomplishments that we often forget the value of the richer experiences in life that may not produce an award or a higher paycheck or other recognition.