I want to talk about my dirty laundry. Literally and figuratively. Why on earth would I want to do such a thing you ask? Because today as I found myself washing my undies in the kitchen sink like it was commonplace, it made me pause and reflect on where I am in my life, how I got here, why I’m here, and if this is where I am supposed to be. As I washed my unmentionables in the sink, I had to chuckle at the irony, mainly so I wouldn’t cry.
Over the past two years, I’ve made some big decisions and some pretty bold moves when it comes to my professional and personal lives. When I was putting together my plans and making these life-changing moves, I was confident that I was doing the right thing for myself and my family. I felt convicted and convinced that not only did I want to do these things, I HAD to. There was no doubt in my mind that I was meant for and called to do bigger things. I droned on and on about not being complacent or settling for mediocrity. I talked endlessly about exploring the world and not wanting to miss any adventures. For whatever reason, I wasn’t afraid to take chances. I wasn’t afraid to try anything new or go somewhere I’d never been. I was throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to live my dream life, my best life.
To me, this meant starting my own business and moving to a tropical island. I really did oversimplify it that much. How hard could it be? Even as people questioned my decisions and my sanity, I remained steadfast that my thought process and plan made complete sense. When asked “What if it doesn’t work out?”, my answer was simple, “then I’ll do something else.” I didn’t think things wouldn’t work out so I wasn’t that worried about what I would do if they didn’t. I’m not sure if this was confidence or ignorance. The jury is still out.
My job wasn’t fulfilling or rewarding anymore and not only was it not fulfilling it was crushing my soul and literally killing me. I was wrought with stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. I was grinding all the time. Bombarded with emails and phone calls constantly at any time day or night. I liked what I was doing, and I loved (most) of my clients, but the other shit was piling up and setting the stage for a burnout of epic proportions. It reached a level so bad that my health and mental health were sacrificed beyond recognition. I decided that the answer to this was to start my own business. I wanted to continue to work with the clients I cared so much about and to grow my business in different directions, but it became increasingly clear that I was not going to be able to do that in the current situation and work environment I was in.
I had already started working towards starting my own company and I believed that the combination of my knowledge, experience, and diverse skill set was a (quick and simple) recipe for a successful and lucrative business. Combining my love of fitness and my financial knowledge and creating a brand that focuses on physical strength, mental health & wellness, and financial freedom seemed like a no-brainer. I thought my “Financial Fitness” and “Women, Power, Money” ideas would take off like wildfire. I expected to be on podcasts and talk shows speaking about how I can help people achieve financial freedom, educate women about the importance of their financial health, and help people recover financially after divorce.
I pictured, envisioned if you will, myself on the couch just chatting away with my new besties, Hoda and Jenna, about women’s empowerment and the like. I saw this vision so clearly that it gave me even more confidence that my book, website, podcast, transformation coaching, and all my business endeavors would be gold. I thought I had the “secret sauce.” A few people even told me I had the “secret sauce” and confirmed(in my mind)that I’d indeed get to the Today show couch someday.
If my professional goals seem big, my life goals were even more grandiose. Simple but grandiose at the same time. I was going to live on an island in the Caribbean, paddle boarding and doing yoga to my heart’s content. I was going to be able to do this because of my thriving website and amazing book sales. I could teach some fitness classes on the beach to keep myself busy if I wanted to, but for the most part, I would just enjoy island life. Hiking, biking, swimming, reading a book on the beach, or an afternoon hammock nap perhaps. Doesn’t get much simpler or much better than that. I also envisioned this very clearly and experienced what I interpreted as divine signs that I was being called or led to the island of Bonaire.
This is what I thought, and how I felt two years ago: Unstoppable, undeterred, unafraid, and determined. But lately, I’ve been questioning myself and my decisions. While these things have come to fruition, they haven’t and aren’t going exactly the way that I envisioned. I did write a book, and started a website, podcast, and coaching program. I did pack everything up and move to the Caribbean, but the speedbumps and roadblocks along the way have done a good job of dashing all of that confidence I had and replacing it with self-doubt. My book, podcast, and other ventures did not lead me to the superstardom I thought I was destined for. The Today Show has not called and Hoda & Jenna have not sent me any friend requests. I’ve sold some books and gotten good feedback, but I’m not on the NY Times Best Seller list and I’m not catching any of the sought-after social media attention I was hoping my book would bring either. I thought my merchandise rocked and my resume as a Financial Advisor and Coach is pretty damn good. So why aren’t these things making me rich and famous yet?? What the hell? I have the “secret sauce.” Living on the island is amazing, but it has its challenges. It’s certainly not all pina coladas, sunsets, and yoga on the beach.
With all of the challenges we’ve faced, I’ve asked myself more than once if I made the right decision(s). My life wasn’t bad. The hubs and I both had good jobs with above-average incomes. We lived in a beautiful home and had several rentals. Our schedules were pretty flexible allowing us to travel the world and have so many amazing adventures. We had an amazing family and network of friends. To say we had a good life is a total understatement. We had a freaking amazing life, but I decided that was not enough. I wanted more. I pictured something different for us. I felt compelled to make all these changes and now that things are going according to plan I feel fear and anxiety creeping in. I hear that voice in the back of my head telling me I fucked up. That voice trying to convince me that my business isn’t doing well because I’m not doing enough or I’m not good enough. That same voice is making me question why I would leave the life we had and loved for the unknown. I talk so much about pushing through your fears and learning from your mistakes. I believe our struggles make us stronger and that we can harness our pain and turn it into power. The challenge has been to remain confident and steadfast and not let the self-doubt turn into defeat. To not allow myself to believe I am a failure and ultimately not to question all of my decisions.
This period of overwhelm and uncertainty could have destroyed us, but instead of letting the fear and anxiety win, we have turned our eyes to God to guide us through this storm. Instead of giving up, we’ve chosen to Trust in Him. We have relied on prayer and faith instead of ourselves. Instead of getting upset when things aren’t going our way, we are reflecting on how blessed we have been. We are giving thanks even on days that we struggle. We are giving our stress, anxiety, worry, and fears to Him. This season in my life has given me a chance to reflect on how God has brought me through other periods of uncertainty and hardships. There have been other times in my life that I experienced similar feelings of failure, uncertainty, and self-doubt, but having the ability to look back now I can see why those things happened.
Today I found myself washing our laundry in the kitchen sink and I joked that I used to have a 6 figure salary, a beautiful home, and a comfortable life and now I wash my gutchies in the sink. But you know what, all of those things didn’t bring me joy or contentment. The beautiful home and big salary didn’t give me internal happiness or peace. They brought me stress, anxiety, and health problems. Sometimes I may doubt myself and the decisions I’ve made, but then I step back and remember that I have to Trust Him to restore my confidence and rely on Him to help me make the right decisions. I might be washing my laundry in the sink, but that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make for joy, peace, and contentment.
So why am I airing my dirty laundry and telling you that I washed my undies in the sink? Because I want you to know that taking big risks can be scary, but you should do it anyway. I want you to know that making yourself vulnerable is uncomfortable, but you should do it anyway. I want you to know stepping out of your comfort zone is hard, but you should do it anyway. I want you to know that people may call you crazy for chasing your dreams or reaching for the stars, but you should do it anyway. I want you to know that some days you will have all the confidence in the world and some days you will feel like a failure, but chase your dreams anyway. If you have a passion, chase it. If you don’t know your purpose find it. If you don’t trust yourself, Trust Him.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.