Sacrifice and Anger – two keys to moving forward


Sacrifice.


How bad do you want it?


“It” has a different meaning for everyone…but we all have one.


So…how bad to you want “it”? What will you sacrifice to get it?


Comfort zones are not conducive environments to change. And when you want something different in your life, it requires change.


It means saying “good-bye” to something you currently have and opening your mind, heart, and soul to the “it” that you desire. And not usually easy nor a smooth path.

Personally, I’ve been tested. Pushed to the extreme, particularly lately. I had a plan. And a year ago, it was a strong plan. Things were progressing right on schedule and I had the optimism of someone who felt like the Universe had answered her call.


Then…March 2020.


My business was so new, I wasn’t prepared to pivot the way others were. I was shocked and heartbroken. I’ll admit I didn’t react the way I should have, but at the time, I tried to do the best I could. After the classes I was scheduled to teach, the programs I was engaged to design, and the clients who were showing interest all got cancelled, I panicked. I froze. I was completely alone in this venture, I had bet on myself in every sense of the word (including financially), and it was all shrinking away faster than I could keep it together.


It wasn’t pretty.


I also continued in vain to return to the corporate world (also a part of my original plan!), but the leads and interviews I had had no success. The straws at which I could grab were quickly disappearing.


Accepting that things needed to be shaken up, and with a life-line tossed to me by my best friend, I sold a lot of my belongings and moved across country, to a state I’d never even visited let alone thought of becoming a resident. I figured after a month or two, things would settle down a little and finding employment, while also re-establishing my business, would be easier.


A fresh start with open promise.


Oops.


Not only was my networking not producing results, but my applications and resumes for corporate administrative work consistently fell on deaf ears. Weeks turned into months of no responses, being ghosted after what I thought were positive and powerful interviews, and inconsistent unemployment benefits (60-day delays for identification confirmation and other recertifications, combined with no access to an actual human being - anyone who has called to try to get help, you know the message: “We’re sorry, but the volume of calls is higher than expected, and we cannot answer your call right now. Good-bye.” Click.) were leading me into exhaustion, frustration, and ultimately depression (I have a history of dealing with it, so I recognize it when it creeps in).


I felt myself starting to recoil into a position of defeat. Not leaving the house (so I wouldn’t spend money I didn’t have) wasn’t helping. I was feeling unwanted and unneeded. I knew I wasn’t alone and that others were also suffering, but I was such a dark funk I hardly recognized myself.


I’ve been working since I was 14 years old. I want to work. I’m highly skilled and experienced at what do. I mentor others how to do it. And I love what I do – everything that I do and can do. In the past it never took more than two months to secure a new job. We’re now coming up on a year.


I’ve also lived alone (after my son moved out) for over four years. But I’m still living with my friends, far past the point of my self-imposed expected move-out date (I seriously expected to have my own Christmas tree). And I think we’re all going a little stir-crazy.

I felt myself moving into the “what have I done to deserve this?” state of mind, and “What has happened to me?” crossed my mind several times a day.


After all this, and months of and no idea how many “we’re moving forward with other candidates” responses, my confidence fell to a depth that rivaled the period of my divorce. I can tell you, and I’m not ashamed to say, that I’ve cried myself to sleep more nights than I can count.


My resume was reviewed and updated multiple times. I have different versions for various positions. I had personalized cover letters. I researched salaries in the area and stayed within those ranges when asked to state my salary requirements.


And feeling like that, although I had already made the decision in my business to focus on writing and working 1:1 with very select clients…I was on the verge of closing my business.


And that’s when I got angry.


Not at the situation, but myself. How dare I consider giving up on my dream, my passion, and what I know to be my calling of serving others to help them rise? What kind of woman was I, anyway?


I HAD FALTERED WITH MY VISION, AND WHAT I WAS WILLING TO SACRIFICE TO SEE IT COME TO FRUITION.


I had already sacrificed so much to get started. Now I had allowed – or rather, almost allowed – outside forces, situations, and other people dictate how I would live my life. Yes, COVID has put an undue strain on many, financially and mentally. And no, I’m not pushing to have everything immediately open again. I’ve known too many people who have lost loved ones to it.


Last week – yes, these feelings were this recent – I sat down at my computer, and through episodes of sobbing, fleeting anger, and self-pity, I dared the Universe to keep pushing me down.


And that’s when things changed.


I have incurred heavy debt over the past year or two to start this business. I went into it with eyes wide open, but again, who expected the world to shut down, right? To live on my own again, even in Tennessee, I fully expected to have two jobs. Two full-time jobs. I always figured one would be my business, but it was taking too long.


This week, I started at one of those jobs. Not a glamour job in any way, shape, or form, but it’s mine. And the growth potential is through the roof (if I so desire – right now I’m not in management, which means, to quote a line from A Few Good Men… “I have no responsibilities here whatsoever”), and the benefits are amazing. Just the fact that someone wanted me made me feel good.


Then it started to snowball. I had an amazing phone interview with growth-mode company. Another extremely large employer had me do a recorded video interview. Yet another, in strong alignment with my company, wanted me to answer some additional emailed questions, and now we plan on talking live this week. For the first time in months, I truly feel positive.


I’m still working on my business. I’m still the Chapter President of two professional associations to which I belong. But this one nudge helped me remember who I am and what I wanted.


I started this post to discuss sacrifice, and these recent events reminded me what I am willing to sacrifice:

  • Entertainment

  • Sleep (I know it’s important, I’m confident I’ll make it work)

  • Personal interactions outside of work / free time

  • An apartment in the city


What I’m not willing to sacrifice:

  • Self-care

  • My health

  • My dream

  • My independence

  • My heart, mind, and soul


So let this be a lesson to you all. Hold on to hope. Let your anger drive you if needed. Keep moving forward. And know what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals.

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© 2020 by Karen K. Bannister International. All Rights Reserved