When you're IN the moment, it's tough to see past it
I’m sharing some of my story because when you see people who are qualified and ‘doing stuff’ that you want to get to, it’s really easy to feel that they didn’t struggle the way you did, that you’ll never get there, because your situation, intelligence, abilities or ‘whatever’ is just too challenging. Surely if you feel THIS hopeless, there’s no way this will come right!?
It’s really tough to see past the current challenge. I want you to realise that you CAN get past this, that you do NOT know where you’ll go in life, and what you’re actually capable of.
It’s always a little tough to share our struggles, because we all like to pretend that we’re all good and fine and it’s all been ok.
But, it’s very valuable to know that you’re not alone when you’re struggling. And struggling NOW, does NOT mean you will always struggle 😉
Here's a picture story of some of my journey... going backwards
Our current 'office'
July 2020 - We live in Montenegro. I work for myself, doing a 'bunch' of interesting stuff I love, working on building a business, working online, from home (or beach bars!) and LOVING what I do. YES, this is THE DREAM. And it's a reality! It's AWESOME
I'm happy... but...
This is me over the weekend, at the beach. BUT... what this doesn't show is that I've worked EVERY weekend for the last FIVE months. I work late most nights. Building your own business, finding work, facing your fears around trying to find work to pay bills when you don't have a salary... IS NOT EASY. It has challenged me, probably more than CTA did. (I'm NOT kidding!)
December 2019 felt hopeless
Building a business takes TIME. Generally at least 24 months to get something 'viable'. That's a LOT of months to wonder whether you'll be ok. Whether you're making the right decision. How you'll pay bills. Whether you should get a job. I nearly gave up. The photo certainly doesn't show that. But I was terrified that I'd done the wrong thing, and that it was hopeless.
The day we moved...
We moved to Montenegro in May 2019. Partly because we wanted a lifestyle change and follow our dream of living somewhere 'interesting'. We don't speak the language, there are no jobs here, and we're not 'loaded'. We moved knowing that we'd need to find work, build a business online, and make this work. It was SCARY. But exciting. BUT SCARY!
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in March 2018. This pic was taken 3 weeks after my double mastectomy. It was the day I found out I didn't need to do chemotherapy. I was VERY happy. This was a scary experience. And one of the reasons we wanted to change our lifestyle. There were a LOT of surgeries and hospital time in 2018, not great for business!
Building Tabaldi Online Education
This was in 2015. We'd moved to Cape Town, and were spending time building the BCompt modules online for UNISA. It meant more time behind the camera, and starting to figure out how to market stuff. It was NOT easy. We had no idea if it would become a 'real' business! (Spoiler: It still is! We don't own it, but still lecture for them! Yay!)
The beginning of Edge Business School
January 2014 - The start of Edge Business School. Very scary. Very cool. The anxiety around not getting students, and making sure that those you do get... pass! It's NOT easy! (I got married and moved to Cape Town in September 2014)
Celebrating my first 'entrepreneurial' project
This was in 2013. This was my first year of not having a job. It was insanely scary. I got a great contract to create sim exams and feedback videos for the Auditor General. I was terrified because I HATED being in front of the camera. I had to do it, but I was so self-conscious. And so scared my stuff wouldn't be 'good enough'. (And yes, I'm not wearing shoes in this pic!)
Forbes Lever Baker - Lecturing CTA
2011. This was my 5th year of lecturing, but the first year I lectured CTA. NOTHING prepares you for that. Studying CTA is hard. Standing in front of 200 people, knowing that it's your responsibility to help them pass... is a seriously scary thing. (And an awesome team of lecturers! You'll recognise Sara and Candice, they're now CA Campus! Michelle is in Oz!)
Passing Board 2
November 2009 - The moment I heard that I passed Board 2, first attempt. It took me TEN YEARS to get to this point. I can still feel the shock, relief, surrealism, and pure emotional, gut-wrenching feeling when I look at that photo. I worked so hard to get there, but I honestly never felt that I'd really ever make it. (Pay attention to that feeling of mine... many of you share it. One day, you'll take a photo like this as well.)
December 2006 - You can see from the pic that I was completely overwhelmed. I wasn't even relieved. It was such an incredibly gut-wrenching moment. I was terrified they'd made a mistake with my marks. Stunned that I'd passed. It was a crazy moment. I really struggled with CTA. Working and studying was very tough, I'd failed a whole bunch of tests. I nearly de-registered halfway through the year. I was convinced that I'd fail.
At each point along my journey, I have been scared. Anxious (oh yeah, I struggle with anxiety. A LOT!), and worried that I won’t be able to make it to the next step, whatever that is.
When you’re IN the challenge, it’s very hard to see that you might come out the other side ok.
Whether you do or don’t, will depend on whether you keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Other’s have done stuff they never thought they could. So can you.