Everyone has a why. It took me a long time to find mine.
I can remember the terrified feeling clearly. I was cowering by the front door, frightened by something in the house. What was it? My memory is fuzzy now. It may have been a mouse. Or a strange noise I couldn’t identify. Whatever it was, I wanted to get out. But I couldn’t. My mother had gone to the market and locked me in the house on my own.
A couple of years later, when I was six, I was knocked over by a car. Neither of my parents came to visit me in hospital. Looking back, I can rationalize and try to understand why, but even as an adult I am filled with sadness when I think about this, so as a child I must have felt completely abandoned.
And that feeling of helplessness and abandonment continued throughout my adult life. “There’s never anyone there for me. I have to struggle on my own.” is a narrative I kept telling myself.
Despite having grown up in a large family of 11 children (that’s not a typo!) I felt very much alone. Both my parents worked hard to keep us all fed and clothed. My elder siblings were all working too to help put food on the table. Most of the time I was left on my own.
I learned to look after myself because there was nobody there to look after me. I remember my mum commenting that I was a good girl because I never bothered anyone. So this became my story too. I grew up to be fiercely independent. Not bothering anyone. Doing everything myself. Figuring out everything myself. Never asking for help. Refusing help when offered. Carrying the whole world on my shoulders and feeling like it would collapse if I didn’t prop it up.
Eventually all that weight led to a two-year bout of depression, which was to become the darkest period of my life. I remember curling up into a ball in bed one morning and not wanting to get up to face the world. But they say when you hit rock bottom, things can only get better. I can’t pin-point exactly when I came out the other end, nor the point at which I realized I could choose to frame my stories differently. It became glaringly obvious to me that the stories I had chosen to tell myself had shaped my reality.
I realized that I get to choose. If I don’t want to struggle on my own, I don’t have to. If I want more ease and flow in my life, I can. It’s okay to allow myself to receive support. It was nothing less than a revelation!
Now, I run my business Tech Potions where I help business owners who are struggling with website and tech overwhelm. I see so many new business owners trying to figure out and do everything on their own. Sometimes it’s a financial decision but most of the time, they just haven’t seen getting help as an option. This idea that you have to power through everything yourself can easily lead to burnout and a sense of isolation.
And I can totally relate because I’ve been there. Now I make it my mission to help my clients see that they can let me take care of their tech headaches, focus on doing more of what they love and let the fun back into running their businesses. It’s magical to see a client relax and let me take over. I can almost hear that sense of relief!
When I look back at my childhood, yes there is still a sense of sadness. But, there is also a sense of joy and fulfillment for how far I’ve come. My life stories have shaped who I am. They are behind the purpose and the why in my business. And for that I am thankful.
We all have a why, our purpose that inspire us to do what we do. Even if you haven’t discovered it yet, it is there inside you. It is in your being. It’s the driving force behind how you make daily decisions and how you impact the people around you.
Your past struggles and your life stories all contribute to your why. Without them you wouldn’t be who you are today. I encourage you to spend some time to find your why. When you do, you will gain clarity and focus. You will find meaning. Your why is where your natural talent meets your personal mission. And it’s a great place to be.