07/05/2013: A Curious Case of The Hiccups

Yesterday I had a mild case of the hiccups.

Not the usual ones, the ones that make your chest feel all squeezed if you have them for too long. No, I had the I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-life hiccups. It seems like I write about this all the time –  I’ve written about creating lists, speaking to people, revisiting old hobbies and going for it (well to be honest, that’s because it’s the point at which I am at in my life) but even though I have now come to the point where I am 85% sure that I know what I want to do that 15% comes back to attack and overwhelm me creating doubt and worry all over again.

anxiety

I had planned to use the day really well. I should have been enjoying the sunshine with my friends but because of the lazy bone, homebody that I am, I decided that I would stay at home and do some work on my business project (which I hadn’t done in a week! eek!).

Well, as usual, that idea flew out the window. I actually got started quite well, I concentrated for a while about an hour *sheepish look* but I’ve found that once something breaks the focus, it’s hard to get it back. I let myself get distracted, went out to do some food shopping (my mama and I  made a lovely roast dinner…want some?) and I planned to do the work when I got home. However, when I looked at the time, I started to get frustrated – I hadn’t used my day as I’d planned. I got annoyed because I now didn’t have enough time to do what I had wanted to, I worried about how I should be much further along with the project than where I currently am, how I think I’m stalling, how I seem to be losing motivation, how I get distracted easily, how…and so it continued.

I then did what I always do when I get bored, distracted or frustrated…I started browsing stores online.

All together! “Tut, tut, tut” *Shake head*.  Online shopping can be dangerous. If you don’t see an item, you wont want it but if you constantly browse you will and when you start to see them your wallet shouts “nooooo!”.

I started to see all of these items that would just look fabulous on me and would solve everything! I began to fantasise about what I could wear, what outfit I could create, the imaginary places I could wear it to and what shoes would match. Not a bad thing when it’s necessary (wedding season!) but I didn’t need any of these items and I, sadly, don’t have anywhere to wear them to, so I was falling back into my old habit of impulse buying to feel better.  Retail therapy  honestly isn’t therapy at all – you feel good for a moment then get sad over the state of your account! – not a healthy habit.

It came to a point where I was debating whether to purchase some items. One was low in stock and if I didn’t buy it now I wouldn’t have it! Cue panic: should I buy it?, should I not?, should I buy it?, should I not?… Then I remembered this and tried to think about what I was doing. I say, tried because even whilst thinking about it I was still debating!  As I sat there staring at the screen I grew sad because I knew I was wasting my time and there were things I should have been doing. One step forward two steps back.

I was annoyed at myself for doing this once again and annoyed because despite all of my efforts to be saving my money, focusing my time and be productive I was making the wrong decision. I then started to question if I could be disciplined. If I can’t be disciplined with this, how do I expect to run a business, do I even really want to do the project? (am I serious enough?), why do I still have limited funds? should I be looking for a “proper” job etc….all these worries were seeping in and it made me sad but you know what would make me feel better?…you guessed it!

This debate went on for a while until, with my head hanging over my Mac, my mouse hovering over the purchase button and my eyes drooping due to sleepiness, I had a sudden surge of “Turn it off!!!!” “You don’t need it, you can do better than that and  you can wait. If you really want these items you can buy them tomorrow with a clearer head after making a much more informed decision and if you get there and it’s gone, it’s gone – can’t do anything about it. Tomorrow you will also consider all the things you said you want to save up for and weigh up whether these items are really that important. You can work on the project and you can work on your blog. Tomorrow is another day to start again

I kicked myself in the butt.  I woke up this morning still with the urge to purchase the items, a little sad that I had wasted my evening and feeling ridiculous for it but I thought to go to work and leave it all out of my mind. Focusing on the jobs at hand helped me relax and  by mid morning all my impluse-buy feelings and feeling of frustration had gone. It was like I had returned to normal (cue scene from a movie where the person’s alien green eyes go back to normal and they groggily look around, saying “Hey, what happened???“). I didn’t buy anything, instead I reminded myself of what I had already achieved with my business project and remembered that everything takes time. I had to remind myself of the progress I had made with my finances and also with deciding what to do in my life as well as the reasons for doing everything.worry1

Worry is a killer of time and productivity. All that time spent being worried and could have been used to achieve something even if it was small. A deep breath and maybe a written list of what needed to be done, with me tackling each one, one at a time, is all that was needed. Sometimes we let worry get a hold of us and this leads us to doubt ourselves, our achievement and let bad habits creep back in.  We should accept that it is ok for it to happen but it can’t linger. When times like these happen, this moment has taught me that you can worry as much as you want, for the whole day if you have to and you can even regress a little bit in breaking a bad habit but tomorrow is a new day, there’s no more worrying – you’re not allowed. You have to ask yourself:

– What exactly am I worried/ frustrated about?

– What can I do about it?

And when tomorrow comes you revisit your goals, reaffirm your decisions, take a deep breath and get on with it. Realise that it was just a mild case of the hiccups. They come and go. Yesterday happened and there’s nothing I can do about it, but today? Oh that’s a whole other ball game – I’m self-medicating: I get to decide what happens and I choose better!

Have you ever experienced something like this?

Good thing of the day: Popping those worry warts!

22/03/2012: First Things First

I have previously mentioned several times that I want to run my own business. I am currently at the start of implementing one idea and I think that a record of this journey is also in order. It hasn’t been easy even getting to this point, especially as I am someone who likes to know what they are doing before they do it, and unfortunately, in the world of entrepreneurship uncertainty and risk are two major components. It’s a world of trial and error whose outcome is only discovered when step out and test it.

I have had an idea I since my first year of university but I didn’t know how to go about it. I looked for books, attended courses and seminars but nothing can teach you really about what to do, than actually doing it. The problem is that when, after using all these things, you’re still confused about how to go about it, you can get frustrated. It happened to me but I took methods to rectify it and I think I’ve finally got my head and  plans in order.

First Things First

The first step is to write down your ideas. Everything, big small, weird, wacky. You never know when you will use them. I carry a small notebook around with me to jot down ideas and to help me brain storm them on the go then I take time out at the end of the day or on the weekend to fully flesh the idea which then gets stored on my mac. I write everything- how I think I can start it, what I want it to do, what it is inspired by or what gap it is filling, if it could expand and how – I let my brain run wild!

It is good to do this so that you don’t forget the things that could potentially be great businesses. You could start with one and if that failed at least you know you have a wealth of ideas to try out. There will be some that you’re serious about and others that are just “Imagine if…” and this is ok. Take the ones that you are serious about and put them in a separate category. Those should be your main focus. I have three ideas that I’m serious about developing at the moment and one main one. I am working to develop the main one as I truly believe in it and think the time is right.

You may have ideas however and not want to work on them now- that is fine, actually its great because you can use the time to really prepare. If you don’t feel that you’re ready to start the business yet or it’s still a few years away just do little things to build up your skills, connections and knowledge to prepare you for when you do start. So start reading trade magazines, attending, seminars, talking to people you’ll have a lot more confidence by the time you start and may even have been able to refine your idea. Skills like communication, leadership, management etc are also good to develop in as it won’t be foreign by the time you branch out on your own.

Speak to the Right People

I had a strange fear. I didn’t really want to tell anyone about my idea because I thought they would steal it. They had more money, knew more people, had better skills so would be able to make it first…silly right? The funny thing is my idea will require a lot of people. I came to realise that people are too busy working on their ideas to want to take on the burden of fulfilling mine! Also I was losing out on valuable insight, help and time because I didn’t share. It’s not that I should share it with everyone but that I should share it with the right people.  Fact: No matter what business you do you are going to need other people.  No doubt there are idea stealers out there but if it happens it doesn’t mean you quit with yours. You just go ahead and make yours the best anyone has ever seen to the point that you’re leaving your competitor in the dust.

Move In Spite of the Fear.

Use the fear to push you. One of the main reasons it has taken me so long to really focus on the business idea is the fear I have. Fear of it being successful, fear of it not being succesful, fear of not knowing enough (the idea isn’t anything to do with my field of study), fear of what other will think… all of these things just hold us back. How many people have missed out on something that could have impacted their life significantly because somebody else gave into fear and failed to make their dream a reality. Other people are counting on you to at least try. You never know who will need it. The fear doesn’t go away, in fact it seems to rear its ugly head at every point but you need to use it. When you feel it is the perfect opportunity to prove it wrong.

I felt fear today. I was speaking to a friend, an entrepreneur, about moving the idea forward and doing marketing. He gave me an idea of standing on the streets and handing out fliers and although I know it needs to be done I felt fearful. Everything within me said “No, no, no, is there another way so I wont have to do that?” (I hate street canvassing) but I had to take a deep breath, calm myself down and say “It needs to be done because, I need those people to know about it. If I want to have any success in this, it’s not going to happen sitting at home.” You need to move in spite of the fear

I always find encouraging things and one came to my inbox this morning (right on time!)

The Not Knowing Path of Being an Entrepreneur by Leo Babauta

Do you have a dream? What are you doing about it?

Good thing of the day: Plan to implement business idea is happening

21/03/2012: So Far So Good: Discovering Me

I spent today working on thrashing out yet another business idea (I seem to have quite a few but need to actually make them a reality, I will start writing more about this particular journey soon) and discovering blogs. I did a clean up of my own blogs sites – I seem to have created quite a few which have been left undeveloped as they were just started them on a whim and I hadn’t really planned what I was going to write about (apologies if I’m hogging a name you may have wanted, I’ll try to let it go).

As mentioned in the “About” section I am a girl on a journey, discovering life and figuring out what I want to do with mine. I am actually two years on from when I should have started writing, (you’re probably quite fortunate, all the tales of frustration and despair might have been sombre reading!) and I’m in a much better place now than I was last year and the year before.

love yourself

theloveyourselfchallenge.tumblr.com

Two years ago I wanted to create a blog, after the encouragement of a friend (who actually wanted me to do it  for the sole purpose of  keeping tabs on my love life!) and started but didn’t progress with it.  The blog that was supposed to document my journey to discovering me – what I wanted out of life, what career I wanted and who I was – as I was searching for answers to that at the time  and to be honest I still am) and I wrote a few posts which I re-read today. We all go through a period of self-discovery – some are done quietly and quickly and some take time. It was good for me to re-read what I had written (you may even find it useful now) and it started like this:

September 2012

So I wanted to start a blog. I’ve come to a point where I feel like I need to explode, spin around, scream at the top of my lungs and unleash on the world. I’ve grown up with a solid safe background and have lived my life in what some would term “a good way”.

Good. Hmmm…There’s nothing wrong with being ‘good’ but I don’t want to be just “good”..I want to be great! I want to have purpose, I want to know what I’m doing and where I’m going!

The first step to being great?…Be yourself!

It’s only recently that I have really explored and understood what it is to be me – to really make my own decisions, do my own thing, follow my own path and know what I want.

I’ve always wanted to do something…something big, something fun, something creative. I wanna sing, write, dance, jump, travel, explore, conquer the world! (Need a bit more money for that part but I’ll get there…anyone wanna bless me?)

Growing up, my friends seemed to all have their passions and things in life they were doing and although it really inspired me (and still does), I thought that I was somewhat inadequate/un-interesting as I didn’t have a single strong passion or focus and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’ve come to realise that my problem is not, not having that ‘one thing’ I want to do but actually wanting to do a lot of things and not knowing where to start! So I’m going to share with you my journey….”

Continues here (Pt1)… and here (Pt2)

After reading the posts I realised how much I have learnt since, how my views and perspective has developed and although I haven’t fully “arrived” or found all I wanted to, even in a short space of time I have discovered a lot.

For a while I didn’t think I was passionate about anything.  I liked a lot of things but I hadn’t found the one thing that was my all-consuming passion like some of my friends had. They had always had that thing they had always wanted to do and were doing it or on their way to doing it and I thought that was how it was supposed to be but I’ve discovered it’s not.

I like and am interested in a lot of things from media and publishing, music, hair and beauty, business management. I am looking to start my own business and have so many ideas. I want to travel, sing, paint… The important thing is to pick something and get moving.  I have come to learn that your passion may not be for a career! Instead it may be for doing things creatively, helping people or talking to people and there are many roles within which you can do that!

The thing’s I’ve learnt since that time? :

1) You don’t have to stay in one job for 20 years! You can have many careers if you wish. You determine how that pans out.

2) You don’t have to know all the answers at the start. Just start.

3) On the way to doing what you love you may have to do what you don’t love for a while but keep the goal in mind so you don’t get stuck.

4) You may not have a passion for one thing but a love for multiple things. If you are stuck deciding which path to follow, just choose one and run with it – your passion will grow. If it doesn’t work, fix the problem or go onto the next thing, at least you’ve tried, you can now rule that one out. Also, I have come to learn that your passion may not be for a career! Instead it may be for doing things creatively, helping people or talking to people and there are many roles within which you can do that!

5) Doing something with your life and choosing a career are actually two separate things. I can choose to make a positive difference with my life just by the way I speak to people and treat them every day. My career is the way I make a living and this can change as many times as I want.

A great article I read about this topic can be found here and here

What are your view on this topic? I’d love to hear from you 

Good thing of the day: I realise how much I have grown, even in the last six months