No More Corporate Restrictions, No More Love?

 
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One of the reasons for jumping off the corporate career was to free myself from the corporate restrictions, from the structures, the processes and the corporate culture that I perceived as limiting. While I had the privilege to have had good employers that offered me great opportunities I was ready to spread my wings and try to fly on my own. [Pssst, between you and me, sometimes I wish I hadn’t such a strong desire for independence, but don’t tell anyone, ok?!]

A few weeks into my new adventure, I began to notice a hurdle I was not prepared for. The love had gone! Not the one for my new business and the ideas I had, but the daily appreciation for a job well done. The love I received from the people I worked with in my corporate career. The thrill that I’ve gotten from a shared laughter during a coffee break, the warm feeling when someone had sought my advice, the inspirational meetings I had with my boss, the impact I had with the things I had built and implemented. All of that - gone.

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You only know what you had after you’ve lost it
Whilst I don’t miss a lot of the things that come with the corporate world, I have to admit, I miss the daily love. No one tells me in this early phase of my new business that I am doing a good job. No one appreciates my work (yet), no one cheers (yet) because there is nothing to cheer on (yet). This is the bloody hell early phase of a new business and all I am doing at the moment is building it up.

Suck it up princess
That’s right, I have to give myself that love that I used to draw from my corporate job. This is a bit of shocking news to me because I never understood that I drew so much of feeling loved from my job. Dah, wrong. The time has come to give myself that love that I got from working for someone else’s dream. But don’t worry, this will not become one of the “how to love thyself” lessons.

Finding love again
For me this has become a lesson of figuring out, what other things and situations give me the feeling of being loved and appreciated. First, I discovered…nothing. Emptiness. Then I got a hint from a friend to start with appreciation. Every night before going to bed I write down three things I appreciate in my life and three things I did well that day. Let me be very honest with you here: it was hard. Very hard. I didn’t see it and I had to force myself to come up with even one point. Over time, I noticed that I became more aware during the day. I encountered situations in which I thought, “Oh, I’m going to write that down tonight.” I had increased my awareness and found love again through that.

Three things I appreciate, three things I did well...

Three things I appreciate, three things I did well...

Happy end?
No happy end. Because awareness is an unpredictable beast. I let it slip. I thought I had it all figured out and had it automated in my daily behaviour and didn’t need to write it down every night anymore. Wrong. I have to restart it again and again and there are phases when it comes naturally and then there are phases when I have to set a reminder in my phone for the daily journaling. There you go, that is my truth. No fancy I’ve got it all figured out.

So I do my best and jump and smile — again and again. I invite you to jump with me and share your “giving myself the love I need” strategies in the comments below.

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Viola Heller