So I met with a friend a few weeks ago. We chatted about ALLLL the things.
But for the sake of time and for the purpose of this blog post, I am going to elaborate on one concept that came up, many times...
Something that terrifies the heck out of people. That changes the direction of lives and holds many people back from following their dreams. Something that hangs over heads and causes individuals to lose sleep at night.
and that is...
F E A R. O F. F A I L U R E.
Failure. What does it mean anyway? And who decides if you fail or succeed?
Well, I say, that is up to you.
Very long story short:
I started a business in 2016. If you have ever started a business you can attest to the fact that I spent hours on hours on hours preparing to open. Once the business opened, my business partner and I spent countless hours in the studio running every class, every workshop, every weekend birthday party and event because we were terrified by the thought of having to pay someone. At this point we had come to terms with the fact that we were working for free for at least the first year and we were working non stop. Hours in a week that I will never get back. BUT, after a few months we brought on an instructor, and then another instructor, and another. We were able to add more classes. We were able to take a small step back from teaching. We were filling classes, and in our eyes successful. We still weren't able to pay ourselves as all money generated went straight to rent, utility bills, and supplies, but we were serving our community. We were enriching lives of children and families locally, and that was top priority. Fast forward a year-ish. Our business was still standing. Still feeling accomplished as we had made it through the first couple years without folding. However, I was still working a full time job on top of running a business that was still not in a position to pay me. Failure?
Some may see it that way. As for me? Not at all. Sure, I wasn't being paid monetarily and I was exhausted. So exhausted! But I was feeling the exchange for my time and commitments every time I heard a child giggle, or received a big warm hug at the end of class, all the times I was told how much of a difference I was making in a child's life, when I received a thank you for my services, and so on. And these feelings, this exchange can't be bought.
And so we moved locations. We actually ended up collaborating with another individual to open a large healing center that would house our small business. The goal at that time was to keep growing. And then life took an unexpected turn. 2020, the year we learned of Covid. Just as things were looking good, real good. Business was at a steady, profitable pace. We were adding more classes, more events, more instructors, considering retail, maybe a
second location, and finally the ability to be paid as owners, along comes a pandemic. An abrupt halt in business. Now we had to shut down indoor classes, birthday parties, events, and workshops. All the things that generated money for our small little business. After months of attempting to transition our business to an online platform (which could never replace face to face classes) combined with the "what-if's" and all of the unknown that came with Covid, we made an extremely tough decision to dissolve our business. Failure?
Some may see it that way. As for me? Not at all. Of course it was emotional. For a small amount of time it felt like I worked extremely hard with nothing to show for it. But when I say short amount of time, I mean VERY short amount of time. I quickly realized I had everything to show for it. I had new friends, I was part of a community. I had met and interacted with children who may remember me one day as the their first Yoga instructor. I had so many funny, silly, happy memories. So many hugs I can't count, and experiences, many experiences.
I didn't fail. I didn't fail because my story isn't over.
Nothing died here. I choose to see this not as an ending to anything. This is a chapter in a story book. A stepping stone on a grand adventure. I hold no sadness or regret because the process of opening, running, and closing a business has given me experiences, knowledge, perspective, fulfillment, strength, and courage. It has both humbled me, challenged me, and prepared me for today and my future self.
In this present moment I am a mother, a wife, an instructor, motivator, employee, and small business owner, but most importantly I am happy. I am happy because I choose to see what others may see as failures as lessons and opportunities. And I hope that if you do not already make it a priority to evaluate your thoughts, mindset, and perspective, that you may now that you have heard a little bit about my journey.
Never let fear of failing hold you back. Failure is only an option if you allow it to be. I refuse failure, but I gladly accept challenges, road blocks, practicing patience, and trusting the fact that there is a reason (even if I do not understand it at the time) for every little thing that does or does not happen. Trust that the universe is working for you. Send your desires and dreams out, be patient, be open, be observant, and know that all is exactly how it is suppose to be. Slow and steady. Simple, small steps towards achieving your dreams. It is time to break through the barriers you are imposing on yourself. NO FEAR.
Love & Light friends!
Berkleigh Diaz, Happiness & Health Motivator