In 2015, I had one of my most profitable business ideas. If done right, I would be pulling in $138,756.00 of revenue each calendar month (~ $1.6m p.a.). At the time, I thought that I had everything I needed to execute the idea. I even made a minimum viable product.
After announcing the MVP to the world and seeking early adopters, the project fizzled suddenly.
Say hello to my oldest life companions: self-sabotage and self-doubt.
Over the past few months, I’ve been taking time to take care of my mental and spiritual self. Forgiveness, gratitude and mindfulness have given me peace. I am aware of when I feel frustrated, ashamed, and want to lash out. And I have been able to process each instance and talk it through in my head (as well as with my spouse).
All of this (I believe) has lead me to a pivotal moment a few days ago. Out of nowhere, the realisation to resume my past project hit me. I was worthy of ‘making bank’.
And that has made all the difference today as I start gearing up once again.
One fundamental mindset holds the power to the secret of the universe: self-acceptance.
The wife and I were on our way to a friend’s house for dinner one evening. As we drove past my old church, I began telling her (again) how much I despised religion.
10-minutes later, I was raging in the car.
I was livid. Absolutely livid.
Jihyo called me out on my reaction.
I did not take it well and the fact that I was not reacting well to it bothered me deeply.
I realised that the resentment I had reserved for past events and people was taking up valuable space in my mind and that in order to embrace vulnerability, I had to let it go.
Ignoring it (whatever it may be) was not the solution.
I acknowledged the breakdown. I took responsibility. And I forgave myself.
For as long as I can remember, my sister and I would hide our sniffing noses, sore throats, and fevers from our parents. We did this because once our parents found out, we would be shamed for falling sick.
Up until recently, I chastised myself every time I fell ill. Up until recently, I would not allow my body to be sick.
I still got sick. I got sick a lot.
Over the past 40-days, I’ve had a fever, a chest infection, had copious amounts of yellow gunk come out from my mouth and nasal passage, I’ve been coughing until I could not sleep. And over these past 40-days, I have let go of a lot of things; things that have caused me much stress.
Most importantly, I’ve accepted that I am sick and that it is ok to be sick.
As much as I dislike being physically ill, I now give permission to myself for falling ill. I give permission for my body to heal properly. I do so because the alternative is to deny reality and to feed my past shame trigger.
Beside the obvious physiological benefits of doing cardio exercise, I have come to recognise that even a 10-minute jog or walk in the morning gives me something that nothing else can.
Take your pick from the list below:
In those moments where I am out on a walk or run, those are moments that I take for myself. It is my gift to myself. It is my way of telling myself that I accept who I am and that I love myself.
Try it for a week and write back with your findings.
Find anyone who has known me for some time and ask them to compare the person I am now and the person they used to know and I’ll guarantee that they will say something in common.
“Daniel used to be so angry.”
“He seems less angry now.”
I used to be a very angry young adult. I was angry. I acted angry. My online rants were fuelled with anger.
2015 was a breakthrough year for me. Not only did I meet the woman who would become my soulmate but I made a very important discovery.
I was ashamed of who I was.
I was afraid that people would see me as how I saw my reflection in the mirror. I was terrified that my insecurity would be made public. I was comparing my business with my colleagues. I felt as though I was not enough.
As I slowly accepted who I was, what I had done (both the good and the bad), and came to terms with how my guilt, shame, and fear had lead me to the present moment, the external projections of anger subsided.
Transformation is a slow and often painful process. I had to own my story in order to change its course. But with the right support and the right amount of time, the caterpillar metamorphoses into the butterfly.
Somebody very wise said –
I’d rather be in love than be right.”
They couldn’t be more right.
I used to be that guy who would labour away at writing essays on Internet forums and in Facebook comments. I was that guy in that meme.
I loved being right.
I thrived on the adrenaline of correcting people in public.
As a result, I made enemies. I pissed friends off. I lost friendships. I made my spouse very worried about all the conflicts I was starting on the basis of principle.
It has taken me a very long time to appreciate the true cost of being right. These days, I choose to love over being right. It is a conscious daily effort and it has spilled over to both my personal and professional lives.
I believe that choosing to act and think out of love will always fall within the domain of doing the right thing. Therefore, love, to love, and to be in love is my daily choice.
Change your narrative today.
Does a logo make a company? Can the colour accent of your website communicate your value proposition? Will the typeface of your headings convert sales?
Branding is not why your customers come to you. Customers come to you, pay you money and continue to recommend their friends to you because of one thing.
Money cannot buy integrity. Integrity comes from you, your brand’s culture, and what your actions say about your values.