Before I started my first business, I kept myself stuck for years.
Even though I didn’t realise it at the time,
I was caught up in the trap of Gratitude Guilt.
A trap in which I embroiled myself because
I felt guilty for wanting something more from my life when I was already very lucky.
Does that sound familiar?
Here’s the thing:
I had a home, a family, a job.
How could I possibly be so ungrateful to feel that that wasn’t enough?
Harsh or fair? I certainly thought the latter and regularly berated myself for my selfishness (as I perceived it at the time).
I pushed down feelings of wanting my own business,
A business that would allow me to do work I enjoyed, that had real meaning to me.
A business that would give me the autonomy, flexibility and freedom to be around for my family – my boys, my husband and my mum.
One that I could adapt as my life changed and evolved
And one that would help me live my life in the way I wanted to live it.
That’s the something more I wanted,
But I hardly dared think about it,
Because I’d grown up with the mindset that I should work hard at school, go to Uni, get a ‘proper’ job and work in it until retirement whilst getting married, having children and doing all the other regular life things along the way.
Pretty standard, right? How many of us grew up thinking the same way?
By my mid-thirties I’d ticked every box. I could have stayed in my job till my dotage.
And I was so grateful, I promise, because I knew that not everyone had that security.
But where it became limiting was that I felt so grateful, I told myself that if I’d used up all my life’s luck already, that was OK,
Because I had everything anyone should wish for.
But that’s just not how I felt.
I’d manoeuvred myself into a part-time job that left me feeling like I wasn’t doing anything well.
I wanted to be at home all the time with my twin boys so that I could be Mum to them full time
And I wanted to do challenging, thought-provoking, meaningful and enjoyable work so that I could feel fulfilled and show my boys not to settle for anything less than they have the potential to achieve.
But for a considerable period of time, I knew I was spreading myself too thin to give my all to either.
It wasn’t until I made a significant mindset shift
That I realised I had everything back to front.
I wasn’t being ungrateful for wanting more from life, because
When we achieve our potential and feel better about our life, we can give so much more to our family, our work, our relationships and the wider world. Trying to achieve our personal vision of success and be happy is the best way we can demonstrate gratitude for the life we’ve been given.
Whatever business goal you have within you,
Whatever success you want to achieve,
Please don’t let gratitude guilt delay you, because it’s a fallacy.
Not only do you deserve to achieve the potential you know you have within you,
To achieve what you want from your business so that you can get what you want for your life,
It’s NECESSARY that you do so.
For all our sakes.