Have you ever known you have all the things you want and need, but you don't feel the way you thought you would?
What it should feel like just doesn't.
Emptiness. Hollowness. Shadows of a life.
That's what happened to me. The first half of 2021 my business had been doing great- far better than I had expected and I was working with multiple brands and companies that were wonderful experiences. So at the start of the summer, I decided not to take on any new clients and devote more time to just be with my girls. It was one of the most memorable and beautiful summers of my life. As they went back to school and I jumped back into more work,
I had a successful first half of the year so I set new goals for myself. Some were new financial milestones, some were personal incentives to motivate me, others were new types of clients I wanted to add. So I put my head down and dove in to get to this next level I was working towards.
And everything felt off. I felt out of alignment but I couldn't figure out why. My successes didn't make me feel joy. I was working so much and when I had down time it was hard for me to enjoy it.
Then, last week I went to my accountant, who is also my neighbor, to ask her some questions about my finances.
And aside from the financial advice she gave me, she showed me exactly why I was feeling off.
She was sharing with me how she was a nurse for 30 years then quit and decided to become an accountant for the last 20 years and was finally about to retire. She was so light and full of a joyful peace. She told me the most important thing she's found over her years of working is this-
Find something you love doing.
Do a good job at it.
Make some money.
And what I realized about me that those 4 things for me were completely out of order. My current priority was- Making money, being good at what I do, loving what I was doing, having fun.
My values were off and needed some major reassessing.
I reflected back on the last few months and realized that there were 3 signs that I should have seen that showed me my values were off.
1. You feel like you're watching your life, not living it.
I was realized that while I had so many wonderful things happening in my life and I was there for them, I mentally wasn't there for them. I just couldn't fully engage and relax and I felt like I was watching these beautiful things but not able to fully participate on a soul-deep level.
2. All of your roles feel like they're depleting you and the things you're working for don't bring you joy.
Many of us carry multiple roles and when my values weren't aligned, I didn't feel the joy that I knew that my roles typically bring me. As an entrepreneur, a mom, friend, wife, sister- I have many wonderful roles and things that fulfill me. But, when my priorities weren't in alignment, I didn't feel the same type of deep joy that I knew I should be.
3. Things feel heavy.
Normal, daily things weighed me down. The idea of working out, cooking, taking a walk- just very normal things that I would normally try to fit into a day felt like weight. the focus on money and work seems to never end when it's the 1st priority.
It was the beautiful summer with my girls that realigned and affirmed my values. It reminded me that what my priority is, and always will be, is family. It is about being present and available, not just affording them a life of opportunity. So when I had that time to affirm those, going into the 2nd half of the year where I was focused on providing and creating opportunities felt hollow to me because I didn't have as much time to just enjoy them.
Then I thought of my dad who just retired. My dad was incredibly generous to his patients. While he was successful enough to give us a life of comfort and adventure, he could have charged way more and never did. He didn't work with anyone- literally not secretary or hygienist. Just simply him in his office. Every day.
And my dad was home by 6 every night. And when he got home, he was excited to see all six of us. He was present and engaged. He somehow never seemed stressed. He helped us with homework, watched shows with us and read to us every night before bed. Sometimes in my immature ignorance as I began my journey as an entrepreneur, I've thought about how my dad could have been so much more successful.
But, his personal success would have come at the sacrifice of not being so present with us. And because my dad's values were always aligned, he would have never made that choice.
Firstly, it's important that we understand our personal values. Secondly, continually reassessing our values is something we will need to do often if we want to live a fulfilling, not just successful, life.
If you're like me and you're feeling 'off' take some time and think about where your true values are. Do they take you one step towards your overall vision for the beautiful life you're trying to create?
Or are they out of alignment and preventing you from living the beautiful life you already have?