Breakups, Business, and Pickle Jars

(Conquering Cravings, Being Alone, and Technology)

You might be wondering what breakups, business, and pickle jars have in common. The simplest answer I can give you is that all three of these things have pushed me to my limits and way more than once.  All three of these things have also taught me that when my limits are being tested, I always find a way to break through them.

We all know that things become a lot more clear once we’re able to look back on them.  In my twenties, I think my life lessons were focused on independence.  They weren’t lessons that I chose, but lessons that my breakups and relationships forced me to face.  Being alone didn’t come easy to me.  I loved other people’s company and I still do, but at the time I felt lost without it.  I hadn’t found my hobbies yet, my social life depended a lot on who I was dating at the moment, and I hadn’t found my faith in knowing that it was safe to let go.  I held on to relationships for way too long, including friendships and romantic relationships, because I was always scared that more wouldn’t come along.  The thought of finding myself alone was unbearable.

“The thought of finding myself alone was unbearable”.

In my later twenties, I found myself in a relationship with an awesome guy that I’m still great friends with to this day.  When we met each other, we both brought our own insecurities and expectations to the relationship and ultimately our relationship ended up failing.  I was ready for a partner that I could go exploring with and find new adventures.  He was working two jobs while trying to complete a Master’s degree and didn’t have any time for me, let alone himself.  Even though I was in a serious relationship, I was still finding that I was alone.  During that time, I discovered a love for foreign films, I joined a soccer team and made new friends, I started learning about holistic healing, which is now a huge passion of mine, and I slowly started to find my groove.

The more I started to become comfortable with who I was, the less comfortable that relationship became.  I started realizing that we wanted different things and we both agreed that we would be better off as friends.  Ending that relationship was a really hard decision because I knew I would be letting go of a wonderful person, but it turned into such a gift. It was hard in the beginning as we were both working on healing our feelings, but with time, friendship became possible. If you’re currently struggling from a breakup, then checkout “How To Win Your Breakup” or “How To Get Over A Breakup and Forget Your Ex”. Breakups can definitely be challenging to get through, but there is so much that can be gained from them too.

Once the relationship pressure came off of both of us, we were able to appreciate each other in a way that we couldn’t when we were together.  We were able to enjoy each other’s company, support each other, and laugh about all of the things that used to drive each other crazy.  I think that it can be really challenging to relax into a new relationship when you’re both scared and sensitive from being previously hurt. It’s even harder when you both know that you have feelings at stake.  Once we took those off the line, we were both able to just be who we were and it felt not only good, but easy. I no longer needed him to fill a certain role and I didn’t need to fill one for him. That was the beginning of my independence and the idea of being alone was starting to become a lot less uncomfortable.

“The idea of being alone was
starting to become a lot less uncomfortable”.

If you had told me that I would get comfortable with being single and actually come to appreciate it, I think that I would have laughed at you.  When people told me that I needed to learn to be comfortable on my own, I defended myself by saying that humans are social creatures and it’s normal to need other people.  I can now see the difference between being social and codependent.  I started to push myself to go to Meetups on my own, go to dinner alone, and travel alone.  I was sick of missing out on events because other people weren’t available to do the things that I wanted to do. In the beginning, I was extremely uncomfortable, but each time I pushed myself to do something alone, it became a little bit easier until it no longer bothered me at all.

Oddly enough, once I let go of my fear of doing things alone, I started making a lot more friends and a lot more wonderful people entered into my life.  It wasn’t always easy, but breaking up and being single was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  It made me find my confidence, helped me discover my passions, gave me a chance to connect with incredible people, find my strength, and it made me realize that my happiness wasn’t up to anyone, but me.

“It made me realize that my happiness
wasn’t up to anyone, but me”.

Once I decided to take my coaching business full time and focus on marketing it online, I was faced with a whole set of new challenges.  I didn’t know the first thing about online marketing, managing a web-site, writing a blog, or anything else that comes along with running an online business.  I knew that if I wanted to get to the coaching part that I was passionate about, I would have to find a way to navigate those hurdles.  One of the major lessons that I have learned is that learning is a never ending journey.  The marketing and technology field is constantly changing and once you think you know something, it’s already time to learn something else.

I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to quit, throw my computer, cry, and give up completely.  I have doubted myself, given myself pep talks, doubted myself some more, and then given myself more pep talks.  I wouldn’t say that technology is my strength.  It’s challenging enough that computers freeze, reset in the middle of doing something important, and tend to have a mind of their own.  It becomes even more challenging when you’re trying to do everything for the first time and have no idea how.

Every single time I have wanted to quit, I googled how to do something, contacted a friend for help, or watched an instructional video on youtube instead.  Sometimes I was able to find an answer immediately and sometimes it would take me days, weeks, or a hundred tries to figure something out, but I never ever quit.  The harder it was to figure something out, the more proud I was of myself when I did.  Then the next challenge would come along with my next pep talk and I would remind myself that I would eventually figure it out and you know what!?  I would eventually figure that one out too.  Owning a business isn’t easy, but it has shown me that I am capable of doing things that I never thought I would know how or be able to do.  It is the simple act of being determined and focusing on a goal that excites me that keeps me from giving up.

So what does any of that have to do with a pickle jar?

I am usually up pretty late writing because that is the time I am the most focused.  It’s also around the same time that I start craving little snacks.  For whatever reason, I usually end up reaching for the pickles, but lately the jars have been impossible to open.  I start going through all of my options…it’s too late to knock on the neighbor’s door, I can wait until the next time a friend comes over and have them help me, I can eat something else, or I can keep trying until I get the jar open.  In those moments, I think to myself, this is one of the downfalls of being single and living alone. It would be super helpful to have a boyfriend to open my pickle jars.  Then I tell myself how ridiculous it is to want a boyfriend for the sake of opening a pickle jar and I keep trying until my hand hurts and I hear that jar pop.  Then there are those times that no matter how much effort you put in, you just have to know when to stop and ask for help.

I know that it seems completely ridiculous to get bent out of shape about not being able to open a jar, but it happens way more often than you would think and always at the worst times. It’s also usually not ever about the jar.  It usually comes after I’ve been trying to figure out something on the computer and my patience is already running low.

Whether I’m at war with a jar, a bottle, myself, or technology, the question that always keeps popping up is, how bad do I want it?

How badly do I want to go on vacation? Is it worth going alone?

How badly do I want to meet new people? Am I willing to go to a meetup alone?

How badly do I want to fix my taco craving from my favorite restaurant? Am I willing to go to dinner alone?

How badly do I want to find the right relationship?  Am I willing to end the wrong one?

How badly do I want to help people change their lives? Am I willing to conquer technology?

How badly do I want to learn? Am I willing to have the patience to keep researching until I figure it out?

How badly do I want to be successful? Am I willing to put in the work?

How badly do I want a pickle? Am I going to let the jar win or am I going to refuse to give up?

The question isn’t whether you can or can’t do something. How many times have you already proven to yourself that you can do hard things?  It’s important to make sure that you celebrate all of those small victories and “rig your success meter to always be successful”. When you’re forced outside of your comfort zone and pushed to your limits, the question will always be, how bad do you want it?

PS-After three days of trying to open the same pickle jar and not getting anywhere, I finally asked my doorman for help and he showed me a trick.  All you have to do is take a can opener to relieve the pressure and the top will pop right open.  One major life challenge resolved…many more to come!

So…How Bad Do You Want It?

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