Henry David Thoreau, in his book Walden, said this very famous quote:
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
As entrepreneurs, I know that most of us have moments to ourselves, when the world is not watching, when we go through our own quiet desperation. Whether it’s caused by money – or the lack of it; by the relationships we choose to have in our lives, or perhaps the nagging thoughts from the ramifications of a poor decision.
Yes, without going into great detail and despite my cheery posts, I too go through Quiet Desperation from time to time – though much lesser now than when I started my entrepreneurial evolution 7 years ago. I would be a complete hypocrite if I say that my life is ALWAYS perfect.
In hindsight, while money was a trigger to desperation, the depth of emotion from what lack of money triggered is nothing compared to the crippling emotions brought about by wavering RELATIONSHIPS.
As human beings, we have that innate desire to LOVE, BE LOVED, TRUST, BELONG and TAKE RISKS. When we fall deeply in love, nothing else matters but that person. They give us that feeling that we are LOVED and for that one person, we actually MATTER.
Forget the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of others that think you matter and love you. In that moment, you feel like you only live for that one person – there are only
LOVE AND TRUST
Have you ever been in love so deeply that all you could think about was this man (or woman) – and every living and breathing moment, all you could think of was him (her)? When you close your eyes, you see a movie in your mind of how blissful your interactions were.
What made it even more intense was that it was not just about the physical connection, for if that was the case, there wouldn’t be much depth. It had a lot to do with the “mystery” of why you were drawn to each other in the first place. It’s the process of discovering why the attraction is so intense, mentally and spiritually in the first place?
That mysterious feeling that propels people to be in that state when, “You lose your soul…”, because for a brief moment while you’re in that relationship, you truly relinquish control of your emotions, your reasoning, your self. You venture into the unknown, no guarantees, no promises but you were willing to take a risk to find out that your feelings were founded somewhere. That you were not dreaming – that you were actually reciprocated.
In that brief moment of revelation, time stands still. The discovery of the mystery is so empowering. You well up with gratitude and awe – you didn’t think you were capable to give and receive such kind of intense love? How could someone care this deeply about me? We’re so programmed to give, that when we actually receive such attention, we feel rocket boosted to Cloud 9!
Then the MYSTERY becomes HISTORY…
Imagine that before you can relish and cherish your newly empowered self, things come crashing down so fast to a screeching halt. This person who just made you feel special, loved, adored and cherished turned around and told you that it was all a mistake and that there would be no further communication because that’s just the way things are.
There was no opportunity for you to say anything but to pretend that nothing really happened. But something DID happen. You ask yourself, was that just my imagination? Was this just a dream? How could I let something like this happen to me? I am smarter than this! You immediately get into that “victim” mode.
You start beating yourself up and you tune out that person, but how could you when you’re part of the same community? When you see their pictures all over social media. You function, you go about your day. You devote your time in more meaningful things yet thinking the entire time, “What happened?” Then you secretly cry in the closet or under your sheets…
With your badly bruised self-esteem, you just want the feeling to go away. You go through the motions, and put on the cloak of confidence to show the world you’re okay but in the depths of your being, you wondered, “How could someone say they care about you but not really care about you?” Worst, you now go through that proverbial “Tug o’ War” with your emotions, feeling emotionally dead, yet having to function in the land of the living. You cry some more..
When you want to reach out to someone, even attempt to make things right despite knowing the situation is rather bleak, you chose to retreat – feeling discouraged and defeated.
Yes, that story seems like it came from the pages of a Nora Roberts book but that story is simply an irony – an irony of how as business owners, we continuously dance with people – strangers, prospects, clients and joint venture partners.
When we’re out there sharing a big part of our authentic and transparent self, we are taking a risk with our vulnerability. We lose our soul, we give our all – our full commitment, our word of honor.
When someone decides to invest in our services we’re on Cloud 9. The dance continues. When a prospect decides that your product or service is not the best for them discouragement sets in and you start questioning yourself over and over.
When you question yourself about the lack, you get more of the same and the cycle continues. You keep on getting the results you don’t want because that’s what you focus on.
Your spouse asks you… “Do you think your business will make it? Perhaps it’s time to look for a real job… ” You work so hard, yet they don’t understand what you do. Bills keep on coming at full force and you question yourself and your abilities and you entertain the thought that “Maybe my spouse is right…” The internal “Tug o’ War”.
You go on social media, with your happy face on, but deep in your spirit, there it is…
Again… the QUIET DESPERATION.
Yes, I know the dance all too well… Since I became an entrepreneur in 2004, my heart has been for small business owners. What we do as business owners is not the easy route. A life of balance is not the norm most of the time. There are lots of lessons to be learned – personal development, mindset, spirituality, business skills, marketing, creating systems, getting along with people, how to network, customer service… the list is endless! Sure you see a lot of successful people who may seem like their path to success was overnight, while in reality it’s that
“Overnight success that took 20 years…”
Being a business owner is challenging but it’s so worth exploring. The person you become as a result of your evolution and your conscious quest is inexplicable! I love what I do – to take people from Invisible best kept secret to highly Visible Trusted Online Authority. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to transport my clients from zero to hero and generate real income by having the right business blueprint, the right online positioning and a system that is leveraged which monetizes their passion and their message. I know that by helping them realize that their “message matters” and they can monetize them, I am able to help alleviate that
QUIET DESPERATION… for most of them – well at least on the financial side of things.
Having said that, I have a very sound advice that has worked for me for years!
Allow and acknowledge that “Quiet Desperation” – don’t deny that it exists because it’s happening to you. Don’t resist because what you resist will persist. Embrace it and say to it… “Show me the lesson here… let me learn it quick and let me move forward as quickly as possible”. If it continues to persist, keep on saying, “I demand that you show me the lesson I need to learn so I can move past this… ”
Write about it if you have to but don’t wallow in it… it doesn’t serve you. One day you’ll wake up and it’s no longer there. Well, at least until the next trigger, but at least you would know how to deal with it… Remember, you are only a victim if you allow yourself to be one… You have the power to choose.
Oh and don’t forget to “GET YOUR SONG OUT OF YOU, so you don’t take that to your grave…” Your message matters… do something with it!
A question I would love to ask is, which do you think results more in Quiet Desperation for you? Money or Relationships? How do you deal with it?
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The Best Is Yet To Come!
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