“I’m going to resign” -were the words I heard from my boss, whom I had faithfully served as an executive assistant for 2 years.
During that time, I had learned to trust him immensely, and I still do. He hadn’t done anything wrong; he and other leaders just could not agree on a way forward in our organization.
However, to hear those words made me physically ill, and then watching everything unfold over the next 3 months and seeing the pain in my leader’s eyes caused me to not be able to eat much and to cry more than I had… in a long, long time. He was my friend and the focus of my job, since I was his assistant.
After that, I decided I needed a change. I had wanted to get out of an office anyway (since I am a mom of 3).
I served the next executive for 3 months as we turned over documents and processes, and I showed him where to find everything. Sure, I could have stayed, but I had been heartbroken, exhausted, and had turned cynical. I needed to leave.
That was, for me, one of the most painful times in my life. BUT, from it, I learned 3 very important things that I could NOT be more thankful for. And NOW, I’m in a place in my life I could not have imagined at that time.
1) Your worst moments can be a blessing in disguise
I’ve heard this multiple times from Pat Flynn. He was fired from his job, and while it stung at the time, without that, he would not be the AWESOME podcast host and business leader that he is today (I encourage you to listen to his Smart Passive Income podcast, by the way).
Many times while listening to Pat, I thought, How can your worst moment actually be your best?!
Well, it was for me. Without my leader’s resignation, I would not have discovered the world of online business or learned many of the valuable skills I’ve learned since that time (how to get an LLC, how to build a website, how to publish a book on Amazon, how to create an email list, how to create graphics, how to create lead magnets and online courses…)
I am truly a different person today than I was in March of 2019 when the resignation process began. I am MUCH more valuable in the marketplace, and my confidence has soared.
When you go through something traumatic, yes it hurts at the time, and yes you would prefer not to go through it, but after you do, that traumatic event could turn out to the be thing that changes your life for the better!
2) Embrace bigger possibilities for your life
When I was an executive assistant in an office, earning not much more than minimum wage, I truly thought that was the best I could do (though I had a master’s degree). I could not see greater things for myself, since I had been a stay-at-home mom for 8 years before rejoining the workforce, and I thought I wasn’t capable of starting my own business.
When you are pushed into an ocean, your choices are to sink or swim. I had to be “pushed out of the nest” to be forced to fly.
Once you get a taste of that and start discovering what you can do, your eyes get bigger, and you imagine, dream, and start to see what is possible. I had such a narrow focus before, and I thought my income would always be what it was. I was just ignorant. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Even if you aren’t pushed out, always keep learning and discovering. You might be limiting yourself without even knowing it.
3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Don’t get me wrong; learning new skills is hard. Starting a business is hard. Getting out of your comfort zone is hard. But, once I had experienced something REALLY hard (watching my leader go through the resignation process), the hard stuff after that was not very hard by comparison.
My son recently had a large chunk of an ingrown toenail removed. To do that, the podiatrist had to insert a REALLY big needle into his toe… twice! My 10-year old son took it like a champ, and now, when he is scared about something like getting his teeth cleaned at the dentist, I say, “If you can make it through that toe ordeal, going to the dentist is nothing.”
In the same way, when I take on a new project that I’m not sure how to do, or my mentor asks me to do something scary, I think, If I can make it through that horrific, 3-month resignation process, this is nothing.
Uncomfortable things are still uncomfortable, but after you’ve done enough of them, it gets easier, and discomfort is what causes growth.
As you grow in your business, when something horrible comes up, remember that it could end up being the best thing that ever happened to you. It could be leading you to something bigger than you can’t even imagine at the moment. The journey ahead will be hard and uncomfortable, but over time, embracing difficulty will turn you into a strong, confident person you might barely recognize in comparison to who you were before.
Let me know if you have ever had something terrible become one of the best things that ever happened to you. You wouldn’t choose to go through it again, but you are thankful for what it produced.