Shedding the Baggage of the Past

The past two days have found me very bitter and angry. The pain and baggage of my past career came rearing it’s soul-sucking head. Like a personal relationship gone bad or even a death in the family, unresolved issues can weigh on you and kill personal and professional growth. Rather than sit and stew over something that there’s no changing, it’s important to use the pent-up energy and use it in a more positive way. Even though no good deed goes unpunished, you can make lemonade out of lemons.

I sacrificed my health and so much of my life for my former career and employer. In the end I decided that after over 12 years, a master’s degree in that discipline and countless other professional accomplishments, I was finished. The thing is, while there is a lot of things you can’t take with you, what you and should take with you are the skills and know-how into your next stage of life. Just because that job and part of your life is over, it doesn’t mean that life is over.

There will be plenty of days when you wonder if you made the right decision. In your gut and in your heart you probably know that you did. However, when faced with what you feel is a sense of immediacy, life may not see it the same way. Your current pain can be just a momentary bump in the road. Sure, it can be very hard. Your mind goes back to the security you felt you left behind and the instability of today. It’s much like impulse buying, you can, in a moment, think that you made the best decision and then suffer from buyer’s remorse shortly afterward. Cooler heads will prevail in time. I promise. This too may be yet another phase in the twists and turns of life.

In those moments where you long for the past, don’t allow yourself to forget the reasons why it’s in your past. Say it aloud if you need to. Talk yourself off the ledge and funnel that energy into your work. Stop being so dramatic. Having a home-based business and being self-employed is rough, anyone telling you otherwise is sugar-coating the truth. In the beginning it can suck. Good days may only be sporadic for a while, but you’re building this with your own hands, you own sweat equity. Sure, some days you may not make any money, there are even days when you feel as though you’ve lost your way. But in those moments feel empowered, know that your life is still very much in your hands and that you’re in charge. Don’t ask yourself if you’re going to make it, ask yourself how to make your business work for you and you alone. Don’t fall victim to comparing your success against someone else’s. As the song lyrics say, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

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