“Don’t worry. It’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place.”
That is a wonderful comforting cliché that people say so that the person in front of them does not lose their mind in the midst of their personal chaos. The truth is if a project, business, or relationship is falling apart, it’s not falling into place. You are shedding something you do not need anymore so that you may grow…and it’s painful. There will always be things we clutch to because we think we need it to survive. In some cases this is true. However if your business has been thriving and suddenly things are falling apart or you feel stagnate, it is time for it to die and for you to begin something new.
SHOT OUT OF A CANNON
Imagine being a single parent of twin toddlers. Despite the adventure and complications of being a parent of two, work is steady, and your social life is reasonably balanced considering. Life is good. Then suddenly work becomes unstable, your twins are rotating between terrible three tantrums and sickness, and the people you thought would support you start to fade away. The friends are your clients or coworkers who had your back. Work is the structure in which you held your plans for success. And your twins are the ideas of your personal and professional life that are now falling apart. At this moment you realized that you’ve been shot out of a cannon, tossed into the air, and landed head first in the dirt leaving your body in the stance of an ostrich. You are in a dark place, vulnerable, and uncertain of what to do next.
It’s not over!
A few weeks ago I talked about burning the boat. Which is a way of saying take a chance or ‘die trying’. However, when you are not the one to light the match to your boat is unnerving and will leave you screaming ‘It’s not over!’…But it is. You will toss the water of ‘never surrender’ and clench on to the hope that things will work out, but it’s over and you must try to let go.
How could you?!
We all make mistakes. When you are “in the dirt” you start to reexamine things that could have possibly avoided your downfall, then the blame turns on yourself. You hate what influence you allowed to create this catastrophe. You hate that you did/did not take chances so that also led to the shattering of your dreams. So you are left with anger towards yourself and no one else.
Scraping for a chance to survive
Any entrepreneur or mother knows there is always a way out. In this second wave of denial you’ll try to scrape together anything you can to recreate a small version of the life you use to have. Every scrap of an idea or old partnership becomes suddenly useful…to no avail.
It’s really gone
After the shock, the blame, and fantasy of pulling it all back together it is time to finally put your idea of life or business to rest. Here lies the life you knew and struggled to hang on to and now you weep. You weep for the potential this great life had. You weep for the memories of accomplishment and adoration. You weep now because your head is still in the dirt and you don’t know what to do. When your existence has become synonymous with your work it is hard to say that final farewell to who you once were.
You still have to exist
After months of battling grief and having their head in the sand, the parent started to contemplate what to with their twins. They are running circles around the buried head and the parent does not know what to do with them. Suddenly the twins grab their parent’s legs and pull as hard as they can. Eventually they pull their parent out of the dirt. The twins stare at the parent who is readjusting to the light again and trying breathe so that they can play with their children. Then the twins pulled their parent up by their hands to make them stand up. The parent stood up and looked around, then looked down at the smiling twins and began to play. The parent did not know what they were going to do with these twins (ideas) just yet. However, now they are out of the dirt, standing tall, and living with these ideas that will give them a new purpose.
When our dream life ends, it ends. There is no comforting quip that can be offered to soothe that. However when you are able to take some time and figure out what more you are capable of the business and the life will build itself. An ostrich sticks it’s head in the sand to create a nest for the eggs then they check on their eggs every so often by sticking their head in the hole. While you’re in the dirt you are protecting the best parts of you from others and even from yourself. Do not be ashamed of being in the hole while you process what to do next. Sometimes we hold on to things because we think they can’t happen again. But they can and they will. Fly high, bury yourself, and begin again.