Everything I Learnt & What Happened When I Took A Step Back From Business
I promise that I will stop going on about taking time off soon, but hey this is a lifestyle blog after all and as that's what I've been doing it's been on my mind a lot. I knew that when I took a step back from work I would more than likely come back and write a post like this and not so surprisingly here I am. In the blogging world, we hear about people taking time off all the time but I don't think anybody ever really delves into the nitty-gritty of it, because when you're your own boss it's really pretty scary. Taking time off not only did my mental health wonders but it also taught me some really important lessons about business and I'm going to share some of the things that I learned with you today.
i am so much more than what i do to provide an income
For as long as I've worked which is since the age of 16, something that I've done is defined who I am by what I'm doing to provide an income for myself. And for some people, they might really enjoy that and be happy doing that, but for me, it's something that made me seriously unhappy. I based all my self-worth on my job and my income and it was such an unhealthy mindset to be in, everybody is so much more than what they do for a job. It's so easy to understand why we get into this way of thinking though because as soon as we meet somebody new one of the first things that comes up into conversation without fail is what we do for a living. Which is an interesting topic, there is no denying that as people have such fascinating careers but it's when we come away from those conversations either judging others or then judging ourselves because maybe we don't feel like we're doing as well as others so it's a constant battle. Not having the constant pull of work it made me realise that I have so much more to give to people than what I do to make a living.
MY BUSINESS DIDN'T DIE
Running your own business, in general, can be super scary, even if you have the tightest business plan in the world. There can still be unforeseen circumstances that arise and put roadblocks and obstacles in our way. Taking a step back from everything that I've worked so hard to built was terrifying, I was convinced that my business would die and I would never make a penny again and all my readers would disappear. Having an anxious brain that can turn the most simple scenario into an elaborate fairytale, of course, had no problem convincing me everything was going to come to an end. And not so surprisingly, my business didn't die and most importantly I developed a much healthier relationship with work and I felt like a functioning human rather than constantly teetering on the edge. And getting to that point was so important and there is no financial value I can put on that. When you work in a "traditional" job role, whatever that may be, when your income isn't solely based on you then it makes taking time off much easier. When I've worked in these roles in the past, when I was off work not once did I think about it but that's a different tale when you're self-employed which is why so many of us end up seriously burning out. So many people feel like they're either not allowed to take time off and if they do finally feel brave enough to do so then everything they've built will come crashing down which is very rarely the case.
THE ONLY PERSON WHO REALLY CARED I WAS TAKING TIME OFF...WAS ME
This is more than likely just a feeling you get when you have a somewhat public job but the fear of saying I wanted to take a break was completely overwhelming. For some reason, I couldn't convince myself it was ok so I needed other people to tell me it was and it's sad really thinking that we constantly need the approval of someone else even though deep down we know it's the right choice, it just seems easier when someone else is giving us their approval. But the reality of me taking time off only concerned one person which was me. Being online so much can give us this really warped view of how much people have to do with our lives and even though it's often not in a negative way [although it often is too] we start to believe that we need to prove a point to everybody. Not one person told me I was lazy or undeserving, completely the opposite, in fact, I received so much kind support that it made taking a step back way easier and pretty much guilt free.
It really is as good as people say
Whenever somebody I know in real life or in this wonderful internet land takes time off, they always more than likely come back and say how fantastic it is. And guess what? It really is that good, of course, we all still have obligations and can't just spend our time doing absolutely everything we want. But in general, having that freedom to have a long bath if we want or take our dog out once more if the weather is really lovely feels incredible. Waking up and not having any serious commitments is not something that I've had in such a long time, there is always something that needs doing of course but in general, nothing was that desperate that I had to rush around like crazy. Even when you're fortunate enough to work a job that you love that doesn't mean you can't want time away from it. We're not robots, we're not built to constantly work so breaks are necessary and it's always nice when you get the time to enjoy all the other wonderful things that are available to use.
it made me love what I do even more
I'm really fortunate that I make a living from something that I adore, it's a huge privilege and there is no denying that. But I truly believe even when you have a job that you love that doesn't mean you're not allowed to feel frustrated by it and run down. "Dream jobs" aren't always that dreamy in reality and there are often so many things that go on behind the scenes that can make things pretty stressful and you're allowed to need and want a break. Even after a few days, I could instantly feel the fire in my belly reignite for blogging and creating, a fire that has certainly dwindled over the years but it's back roaring. In any creative job I think you're spark may dwindle slightly too which is ok, it's something that we fear so much but it's not possible to love everything all the time and it's something that needs to be spoken about so much more.
it's made me more confident than I've felt in months
Confidence is something I find myself constantly battling with whether it's confidence in the way I look or in my work it's something I've always struggled with. And even though I'm a big believer in faking it until you make it with confidence it can still be difficult and hard on our mental state. When I was really busy, even though it felt great to be busy I really let go taking care of myself properly. The really simple things like taking time over my makeup and doing my nails are things that really help me feel more confident. And I definitely forgot just how much fun makeup could be, which is what it should be. So often we scoff at the power of beauty products but they can really do incredible things for us. And the confidence in my work gradually came from not having to constantly overstretch myself, I'm only one person after all and even though I can do all the things I desire it doesn't mean I always have time to do them in a single day. Being able to fully focus on one task at a time has made me feel way better about the things that I've been doing, I don't know if anybody else feels like this when they're busy but it never bodes well for my mind.