What I fear most.
When asked what you fear most, what comes to mind?
Not finding true love?
We all have different fears, and various reasons for having them. Often our fears are locked tightly away somewhere in the back of our minds, and only come out to play when their safe hiding place might be threatened. Many of us have had to face our biggest fears, but some of us live with them hidden just beneath the shadows.
What do I fear most?
For most of my life I have been somewhat of a perfectionist. I always wanted the best grades, I wanted to be the best at whatever activity I attempted, and I never wanted to lose. Not because I was a sore loser, but because I never wanted to give up. I would not give up until I achieved my goal or completed my intended task. Over the years, I have let go of the perfectionist title and settled for a more real approach to many of life's obstacles. The one thing I cannot let go of is doing something over and over, and working hard toward a goal until I reach it or get it right. Sounds ambitious right? Truthfully, sometimes it is downright frustrating. Sometimes you have to know when to quit. Quitting is not always a bad thing, but what does make this situation a little trickier is knowing when to quit, and when to keep going.
Take J. Isabel Designs, for example. This business is my baby. It has grown, it has changed, and it has been one of the toughest things I have done in my life thus far. Getting three degrees including my Masters in Information Technology compared to owning your own business? A piece of cake. Now, I can say this because I do not have children yet or a marriage to maintain, so I know many of you are thinking that this might seem like small potatoes compared to your daily life , but for me, this business is my biggest challenge. Shout out to all the moms and dads making small business work with growing families! You go guys and gals! 😉
Now where were we? Oh, right. Small business. Failure. Real life.
There have been more than a few times on this journey that I have felt impending failure would soon find me, or that I might give up at any moment. There has never been a scarier moment than sinking into the couch and thinking that no matter how hard you have worked for your dreams, that you might not make it. There have been lots of tears, yelling and screaming, and countless hopeless hours spent convincing everyone that you'll never amount to anything. I'm talking REAL real life here people. Instagram often makes it seem like people have everything all together. It can make it seem like life is one big blissful party, but truthfully it is often a mask for what is really going on behind the scenes. The one thing about social media that makes it so addicting is that you can go online and hide from your problems and pretend to be someone else for a while. Unfortunately, that does not bode well for self-esteem and happiness once you log off and join the real world again. Don't get me wrong, I love a good highlight reel just as much as the next person, but if I'm not honest with myself every once in a while, on a downward spiral I go.
Admittedly, I am a deeply emotional person. Not necessarily in a negative way, but I do feel things differently than others. I love hard and I am extremely passionate about the people and the things that I love, but I can also find myself extremely upset over the very same things. When my favorite people are hurting, I hurt also, and when my business is not progressing, I begin to feel stuck and overwhelmed by negative emotions. Often these feelings make me feel weak, because I fail to remember that others can feel the exact same way on any given day.
I have always looked at failure as giving up, as not being good enough, and as not being the best. Over the last year and a half, I have begun to look at failure differently. Failure doesn't happen overnight. Failure happens slowly over time. Failure happens when we give up on ourselves. Failure creeps in when we don't trust our instincts and actually embrace the support system that our family and friends give us. Failure happens when we don't believe in our natural born talents, or that chasing them is worth all of the effort and heartache. Oh there will be heartache. There will be bad days, you will get doors slammed in your face, and every single NO answer will swirl around in your head like a tornado. Does no mean you have failed? Does "I think we are going to take a different direction" mean you have failed? Does absolutely no response at all mean you have failed? No! It means you are being guided in a different direction, or it means absolutely nothing at all it. It really can be that simple. 🤷🏻♀️
So in reality, I have control over my biggest fear right? If I continue to learn to let go of the idea of perfection, if I trust my instincts, embrace my talents, and never stop chasing my dreams, than really how can I ever fail?
And I won't.
Sometimes our dreams do not pan out exactly how we plan them too, and that's ok. If I don't make gift boxes forever, that doesn't mean that I have failed, that means that I have closed a chapter, and I am ready for a new one. Life is full of different chapters my friends. Look back on the pages that you have turned, and remember that often the next line in the story is more exciting than the previous. It's like reading your favorite book. A good book is a real page turner, and even when things do not go as you expected, you still want to know what will happen next. You embrace the next chapter, wait in line for the next book in the series, and you chase all of the ups and downs and twists and turns. Treat your life like your favorite book, always be excited for what's to come and never get stuck reading the same page over and over again. Don't be afraid to flip the page and find out what other adventures await you!
From one believer to another, we can do this. ✨