You know those moments when something hits you unexpectedly and throws your mindset into a bit of a tailspin? I had one of those today during my Dream Manager meeting that led me to closing the door on what has been a very significant part of my life.
I love setting goals, love achieving goals, and I love calling the shots on my life. “Don’t you dare tell me I can’t do something once I’ve set my mind to achieve it!”
Goals have motivated me to learn how to market online. Goals have motivated me to get control of our spending, pay down debt, and create an emergency savings account. And goals are what motivated me to take the position I have now, even though I’m working for someone else, because I could play a bigger game with a much larger company and put my skills to the test. After learning that the company rewarded it’s employees based on performance each quarter, I was hooked on the job like a dog on the scent of bacon.
I have always thought of the goal setting and goal achievement as the primary motivator in my life–today I realize otherwise.
I’m motivated more by guilt than goals.
Lightbulbs went off in my mind when I became aware that focusing on goals makes me feel like I’m doing something about the things I feel guilty about, which lightens or masks the amount of guilt I’m feeling. Whoa.
My actions to build my home based business and take the job I have now were a result of feeling guilty about how much my husband worked while I stayed home with our kids. It was awful thinking about the negative environment he went to every day, while I was surrounded with positive, possibility thinking entrepreneurs.
Guilt is what drove me to apply for this job because it would take some of the pressure off of him and our family budget and allow us “luxuries” like dentist visits, glasses, and family vacations that don’t involve staying with relatives.
I’m motivated to rock my goals in my job in order to make it “worthy” of the sadness I feel not being home with my kids all day. I feel guilty because even though we’ll now be able to save for things like college, car repairs, and retirement, my son is in daycare and I’m not there to meet the bus when the kids get home from school. I felt guilty not being at work every time my son was home with ear infections this past winter, and guilty every time he went to my mom’s house sick, because I wasn’t the one there with him.
I’ve also got the typical guilt around being the super mom who always remembers the preschool treats and sends birthday cards on time. I feel guilt to clean the house & do the laundry until the wee hours of the night because that’s just what a good mom would do. (Okay, LOL…Maybe my guilt doesn’t go that far! But I did feel a twinge of guilt when my 13 year old hand-washed and hair-dried a pair of underwear for her 4 year old brother the other day because I was behind on laundry and was running too late to do it myself.)
Some Guilt is Good:
Pain is a bigger motivator than pleasure, and guilt has gotten me into action to improve the areas of my life that needed it.
Even thought I feel guilty sometimes dropping my son off at daycare on mornings when there wasn’t time to cuddle, I also feel like a better mom because I appreciate my time with them more than I did before. We’re also in a much better place financially than a year ago and I’m positive that the stress we felt over money, bills, and debt trickled down to our kids. My husband and I are partners supporting our family. Our relationship has improved because I can understand the pressures he feels with his job more now that I’m working too. Plus, there are a lot of positives to working that I never imagined such as how energizing it is to be around people all day. My kids have matured and gained some independence and confidence in themselves and as a family we’re more of a team than we’ve ever been.
The Decision to Dump the Guilt:
One door closes…
So after today’s epiphany I’m dumping one of the largest sources of guilt I’ve felt for a while. I’ve decided to close a chapter in my life by closing the doors to my business blog. I really struggled to come to that decision, but it feels like a relief. I’ve been hanging onto it feeling guilty just letting it go because of all the nights I spent on the computer building it instead of being with the kids or my husband. Adding in the money I spent on marketing training courses, memberships and marketing materials doesn’t help either. I also feelt guilty leaving my reader’s hanging.
But really, my business blog was a means to getting the job I have now. It allowed me to develop and hone my skills. I wouldn’t feel guilty letting it go if it were a project for a class I needed to complete. It was a stepping stone that taught me what I needed to know so I could move onto the next chapter in my life.
I’m done feeling guilt around thoughts like, “I should go write apost or send an email.” If I’m going to engage in something after working all day, it’s going to be something I totally look forward to doing not something I should go do!
Another door opens…
This decision has opened the door for me to explore what the next chapter holds. I’m not sure what that looks like just yet, but I have a few ideas and I’m excited. I feel freer than I have in months, and I’m ready for the new adventure that awaits.
But in the meantime, the weight of the laundry guilt monster is lurking on my shoulders. I better go throw in a load so no one has to hair dry underwear tomorrow!