Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! If you're new to grace + hudson, I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I am talking about one of the fears that can hold you back from starting your own business or making a big career change. And that's the fear of what everyone else is going to say about you. What will they say behind your back when you quit your current job? Launch your website? Go back to school for a different degree? Unfortunately, it's common for people to gossip and judge others - it's just a reality of life. Hopefully you have a small circle of supportive family and friends you can rely on, but sometimes judgments come from people we love the most. Why can't people just smile and be supportive? Well, I think there are two forces at work here.
Do you remember that phrase from elementary school that goes, "I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks onto you?" It's applicable here. The judgments people throw your way often say more about them than they do about you. When someone judges or criticizes you, she is revealing her own beliefs and her own fears (in other words, the judgment bounces off of you and sticks back onto her). Let me give you an example. Let's say someone at work says to you, "Do you really think it's smart to leave your stable office job to do something so risky like start a small business?" Through this statement she is revealing HER belief that a stable, corporate job is the only route to financial stability and HER belief that business ownership is too risky and therefore a poor decision. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. Unfortunately, someone like this is a bit small-minded. She doesn't realize that people are built differently. We are all put on this planet with different dreams, skills, personalities, and risk-taking levels. If we were all the same, the world would be boring - and it wouldn't function very well. For example, if we were all built like your co-worker, there would be no one on earth to take the risky jobs. Everyone would be working in an office (and let me tell you, once you quit an office job, you realize just how many people do NOT have a typical office job). So that's the first thing to keep in mind when you're the target of a judgment - remember their words reveal more about them and their beliefs, than you.
The second thing to keep in mind when you receive a judgment is that people often act as mirrors for us. Subconsciously, of course. Let's look at an example. Let's say your best friend expresses a lot of fear and concern when you tell her you are going to quit your job next month. You've been working hard on your business, have turned it into a side hustle, and now you're ready to quit and go full-time. But she goes on and on with her parade of horribles: "But what will you do if this happens? What will you do if that happens? Do you have enough money? What if you run out of money?" And on and on she goes. You get mad at her for reacting so negatively and you tell her you've got to go. On the walk home, you think about all she had to say and you realize that she's actually reflecting back to you all of your deeply held fears about making this leap. It's an interesting principle, but this happens so often in life (most often in romantic relationships and close familial relationships). We get so upset at someone for reacting with negativity and fear, only to admit to ourselves a few hours later that he or she merely spoke into existence the fears that we hold deep down. So, the next time someone reacts to you with fear and concern, see if this principle applies. It doesn't always, but it is really interesting when it does. And these people can actually help us confront our fears head on. For example, you can promise yourself that if you see your bank account drop below a certain amount, you will get a part-time job. And for each fear on the list, you will make a plan: "if this happens, I will do this." Write it down. Keep it in a safe place. When you feel the fears creeping back up, read your plan. You can't plan for everything, but you can plan for a lot. And taking a big leap is never going to be risk free. If you're waiting for the risk to go away, you're going to be waiting the rest of your life! So remember these two ideas the next time you're the target of judgment, and it'll slide right off of you!
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P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I created a Weekly Journal board so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!