Last week was tough—mentally, emotionally and physically.
My mental health cracked. I was already overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness and lack of worth, stressed about trade show tactics and manufacturing processes, and then I went to the ER due to ruptured ovarian cysts.
Fun. *Insert confetti*
Let's start with mental health. I've been feeling myself slipping for a few weeks. I've been filled with feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, fear, nervousness and—drum roll please!— imposter syndrome.
Who am I to say that I'm CEO? What have I done to deserve this title? Are we ready for our first trade show? Are we going to be good enough? Are people going to like our stuff? What if we embarrass ourselves?
I know, I know... we'll come back to this later...
Then, last Monday, I started to feel sharp pain all along my right side with majority of the pain in my lower abdomen. By Wednesday, I felt like I was repeatedly being stabbed in the uterus. I could barely breathe or walk. My stomach was swollen and bloated.
Filled with the fear of the unknown, I went to the ER. (Those who know me are currently saying, "Oh $#!* that means it must've been BAAADDD"). After four hours at the hospital, they told me I have cysts in my uterus and one of them burst.
I wish I could describe the pain—and not for sympathy purposes; I just want to paint the full picture—but there are no words. The doctor equated it to getting shot and honestly, I believe it.
Between my emotional and physical ailments, I was stressed and exhausted; and severe migraines joined the party to top it all off. I was forced to slow down. I rescheduled all of my meetings. I slept a lot. I watched Gilmore Girls and stayed off social media (for the most part). I can't remember the last time I stayed in bed for four days straight, or stayed home for a whole week.
The beauty of moments (or a whole week) like that, though, is that I proved to myself how strong I am. I knew the feelings of unworthiness were not an accurate depiction of how I actually view myself nor how others perceive me. I knew the pain was temporary.
Deep down, I knew it was all temporary—and I was right.
After a stormy couple days turned to calm grey skies, I woke up on Saturday to a bright sunny day (metaphorically speaking). I showered (impressive, I know). I did laundry. I read Girl on Fire (15/10 recommend) by the pool. Kelly and I started to prep for the trade show... and I felt myself coming back to life.
Why am I so nervous for the trade show? More than 50% of my corporate background is based in event planning/marketing. This is what I'm good at. In the top five scenarios where I shine, trade shows/events would definitely make the list.
But for the first time, I'm working for myself. I'm introducing my baby to the world, not someone else's. If something doesn't go to plan, I don't have a big corporation to back me up. I don't have a legacy name or brand that distracts people from misprinted inventory, missing product, and lack of... Now can you see how I ended up down the rabbit hole of fear and doubt? Very unhealthy.
A dear friend said it best: "Your first trade show is like a first date. Think of the butterflies you get before a first date... excitement, wonder, day dreaming of the possibilities! Do that for your trade show. Instead of focusing on the things that could go wrong, wonder and day dream about all of the amazing opportunities that await you." It's so true! There are so many opportunities that await us—and we have no idea what they are! I am overwhelmed with butterflies (this saying plays nicely with our brand...). EEEKKK!!!
And when all else fails, I have Kelly. She is the optimism to my realism. If MCREY is a teeter totter, I can always count on her to balance out the other side for me. I can always count on her to boost me into pure bliss.
So a week that started so terribly turned out to be the reset and refresh that I needed. The reminder I needed to trust myself. I am strong. I am capable. I am more than enough.
I'm CEO because I say I am (don't worry, Kelly agreed too). I've worked hard and sacrificed a lot to chase my dreams and follow my passions. No one is more deserving than me. And even if things aren't perfect or someone judges us, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about our business because WE believe in what we're doing.