Lately I've been working myself to a strict set of to-do lists to try and fit in all the work I want to accomplish before starting my maternity leave.
I've been pretty chuffed with how well I've been hitting those targets; completing photoshoots, listing new products, re-working my wholesale catalogue, building a brand new e-commerce site and sorting out lots of niggly little behind the scenes things that essentially I want fixed and sorted before my leave.
Nothing gives me more satisfaction than marking a little 'x' next to those completed tasks. I feel like a total champion of the to-do list world.
But there's been a problem.
It just doesn't feel like I've done them good enough, or even that anybody particularly cares about them. Launching my brand new shop didn't get the excited response I was hoping for; Re-photographing my entire product range hasn't had any effect on my sales or customer engagement; releasing new products hasn't yielded any sales or interest.
The past week, as I finish my work and switch off my mac at the end of the day, I sit back, and wonder, 'what am I missing?'. I get this exasperated, defeatist sensation roll over me where I just want the universe to tell me why I'm not good enough.
I beg to someone, somewhere, to just give me the answer so I can stop living in this purgatory where I'm running on this treadmill of work ethic to try and get something back, something tangible, other than the occasional double tap or spammy account telling me how to get more followers.
It sounds so whingey to sit here typing this. Trust me when I tell you that I'm trying really hard not to delete this whole section. But, honestly, there are times in self-employment when you're surrounded by the constant drip feed of others accolades, that you wonder why you just didn't go and find any old job.
Why put yourself through this constant misery of self-loathing and heartache, with no financial gain, or financial security?
I poured my heart, soul and energy into all of these projects. I researched design trends, popular products and raked through surveys that I've had my own customers complete. I'm doing everything all the freelance blogs tell you to do; I've read all the books on marketing; I've even started to target my posts to be shared at times of the day when people are actually online. Which is more boring than admirable I'm sure.
But there seems to me to be no bite.
Maybe my work just isn't engaging anymore.
Maybe I'm just not good enough to do this anymore.
Maybe I'm mining for my gold in all the wrong places.
Maybe I'm being a whiny little grunt about the whole thing.
And maybe these are things that will take a bit more time to gain traction in the online sales world, and that I need to put my patient hat on and accept the lot I am given.
I know how many sparkly emoji's I put out there on my social media, promoting positivity and upbeat posts about my work. But I'm writing this today to show you that I'm working hard on the facade I've created because I don't want any of you to know that I'm a fraud - it's not all sparkly emoji's behind the scenes. There's actually a lot of self-doubt, rumination, worry, panic and fear.
I'm struggling to make ends meet.
I'm battling feelings of being a failure and a let down because the clock is almost at 0 and what I had hoped to achieve, I haven't, and I feel like that's letting my daughter down.
And there really isn't a good enough emoji to express all these feelings.
Except maybe crying tear emoji, but that just feels too banal.
If this is just TMI for you and you're wondering why this mad woman is baring her soul, and financial status, for the world to read, then I'm sorry you've had to sit and read through this. There is no follow up post (currently planned) to share my Rocky-esque rise to glory, against the odds. The odds are currently here, and I don't have a crystal ball to know when or how it will all get better.
But I've read enough Rocky-esque rise-to-glory styled books to know that this is all just my journey. I'm hoping that the winds of change will soon blow in my direction, that my scepticism will be proven wrong and that there may be a few days when the feeling of not being good enough will fade enough to give me the courage to keep on the journey I've chosen.
And if you're still hanging around after this post, to join me on it too and feel the courage to share your truth as well.
Let's keep going guys xo