It’s so easy to define ourselves by what we do instead of who we are. Our jobs, awards, publications, and recognitions help us – and others – to consider ourselves as successful. But what if somebody took it all away? Who would we be then?
After thirteen years of being the editor-in-chief and face of a company I helped to create, I realized my time was up. Despite managing three websites, publishing a book, and being on TV every week, I felt my own voice had trouble shining through. I felt the need to evolve, to grow, to branch out. I also needed to take back control of my life and focus on how my goals had evolved since I started. It meant taking charge and discovering I had the power to change things. As soon as I realized this, self-doubt invaded me.
“What if’s” began overwhelming my thoughts. What if I couldn’t get back on television? What if I couldn’t build a new company on my own? What if I couldn’t separate myself professionally from the business I had helped build? What if others found out I had no idea what I was doing?
It was terrifying.
However, it wasn’t the scariest thing I have ever encountered. Aside from being a career woman, I was also a mom – and I had faced bigger obstacles in those shoes. Leaving my job was nothing compared to the prospect of having my body fail me repeatedly when I was trying to get pregnant. It was a piece of cake compared to the stress of trying to stay pregnant while having contractions from week 23. And it paled in comparison to the fear of losing your 17-month-old child to pneumonia and influenza.
The strength I got from parenting let me confront my fears and take the leap.
Facing these things as a mother has made me stronger. It has also made me braver – not only for myself, but for my children, too. I wanted my daughter to know that women can have a career and fight for their goals, personally and professionally. I wanted my son to value strong women. I wanted both of them to believe in themselves by seeing how their mom believed in herself.
I decided to use the same approach I had applied to parenting when dealing with my career dilemma: step by step, one day at a time. I gave it my all and made peace with trying my best. This is what has helped me keep it together while running from one place to another, juggling all my responsibilities, like millions of other women.
So I began a new company, on my terms. I built a new home, so to speak; one that reflected where I am today. And by making it a reflection of who I am instead of me being a reflection of what it is, I finally am where I want to be.