Badassery Magazine February 2018 Issue 21 - Page 73

B eing an entrepreneur/in- dependent business own- er is thrilling and scary and nerve-wracking and amazingly satiating at the deepest levels of my soul. It validates and authenti- cates so many parts of my journey – even some of the nonsensical ones or the really, really hard ones. I can use skills and apply lessons learned in new and nontraditional ways. Outside the box, like I talk- ed about in a previous article of my musings. Merging and conflat- ing things that normally wouldn’t go together…making them fit and work for me, the way I want them to. It brings order into my world of chaos, and the longer I am at this gig, the bigger and stronger the ‘order’ portion gets over the ‘chaos’ portion. It…well, I’m getting ahead of my point. The metaphorical emotional roll- er-coaster of this independent biz owner gig sends me on highs and lows most days, and often in quick succession, and many times from one extreme to the next. One mo- ment I could be riding high, having gotten a good vibe from a con- sult, or a new client signing on, or having my words published. The next could see me low: what the fuck am I doing? Why am I putting myself through this? I suck! What made me think I was good at this, or that I could make this success- ful? The doubts. The denigrations. The tearing down of my own self-con- fidence – which then deeply im- pacts my own self-efficacy. What have I learned? How do I handle this? Read on, Paduan. First, I know these times will come. I know this. It is an immutable fact of this wonderful, excruciatingly hard-yet-fulfilling life. And so I’ve stopped trying to prevent them (I used to which led to feelings of failure and futility and despair when they would come anyways despite my most ardent efforts). I do not any longer expect that I will reach a point where I am perfect enough to not doubt myself at all. I have accepted – more, embraced this. And so when they come, I call them out: hello (sigh), yes I see you there again; walk with me a little while, so we can figure this out again. And I dialogue with her. In doing so, I calm her down because I authenticate her too. She is part of me, and I cannot deny her, else I deny what I’ve become around and in spite of and directly be- cause of her. Second, I breathe. And breathe again. As many times as it takes, I breathe. Even if it feels as if my throat is closing off, actively pre- venting this coping mechanism. Even through the tears that some- times come – whether frustration that I am here (again, dammit!) or just allowing the feelings to over- whelm for a moment. A moment. Or a few – that is all. 72