In 2010, I moved home to Chicago, eager to dive back into entrepreneurship. I re-branded from web design to small business marketing coaching, joined a women’s networking group, wrote books, secured speaking engagements and began working with some wonderful clients. I was on a roll.
Then I reconnected with my high school sweetheart (now my husband).
We were married within a year. However, without realizing it, I married into a family of dream killers (and they visited all the time!). I’m a “you can do it” type of person and only surround myself with other positive people. They were “you know you’re going to fail, so why try” types of people.
My husband is my biggest supporter now, and my light has even rubbed off on his family. But back then, not so much. Every time I talked about my business, I was met with, “When are you going to get a real job?” or “Are you making any real money yet? ” It was hard being a Polly Positive in a group full of Negative Nancies, and it got to me. Combine that with my husband’s body breaking down due to long-term kidney disease and raising two children, and I made the decision to slow my business down. I didn’t stop it completely, but I chose to put the majority of my focus on my family. I even helped my husband out with some of the odd work from home jobs he had.
Fast forward to 2015…my husband was blessed to receive a kidney transplant, the kids are older, and I was ready to ramp my business back up. Then hindsight, in the form of regret, kicked in.
* Your family would’ve been all right.
* People who started when you did are light years ahead, and you’re not.
* You should’ve focused more on your business. You made the wrong choice.
Does looking back have you thinking these same types of thoughts? If so, don’t believe them.
They were all lies for me. They’re lies for you, too.
The truth is, I don’t know what would’ve happened if I chose to balance my business/family dynamic another way. Maybe I would’ve had massive success, but maybe not. My daughters and I have an awesome relationship, but if I made a different choice, our relationship could look very different now. Maybe my husband’s health would be fine now (if we were even still married), but maybe not. He only got on the transplant list at my urging, and I made a point to go to every doctor appointment to keep him encouraged.
Just like I don’t know what would’ve happened if I made a different choice back then, you don’t know either. Stop looking back on your life sad over what you should have or could have done. You made the choices you wanted at the time, and that’s okay. You’re still here. There’s still time to press forward with your new goals. Keep going. Even slow movement will eventually get you to your destination.
Make today the day you stop looking back with regrets and start to look forward, excited for the possibilities ahead.