When I Listened to Myself, My Whole Business Changed. Here’s How.
A few months ago, I didn’t feel right. I was running my business and doing my thing and it didn’t feel like my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I was insanely grateful that I’d been able to build a successful, profitable business in a year but, deep down, where I was didn’t feel enough for me. That’s the real, honest truth.
From the outside looking in, you would have seen me running events, winning clients, creating content and building my personal brand. You would have seen a lot of shiny things, but you wouldn’t have seen the real me. The real Amanda.
I wasn’t happy because I felt like I was settling for things that didn’t feel true to me anymore. I felt like I deserved more too. Not gonna lie, it scared me a bit.
I mean, let’s be real here. Listening to yourself is scary. It’s scary because you might hear something and learn something about yourself that will change the course of your story. You may even be forced to finally get out of your own way.
With realisation comes change. With change comes growing pains. None of it’s easy. All of it’s worth it.
Thinking about it, I think we ALL avoid ourselves. I think we all move so fast throughout life that we forget that we’re actually here, living it. We don’t know how to be and who to be because our spaces are so rammed up with narratives telling us that who we are right now isn’t enough. Or worse, who we’re meant to be and HOW we’re meant to be.
We need to keep climbing! We need to work harder, make more money, get a bigger house and a dog, get married, have kids, get that promotion. We need to toughen up, keep moving, hustle harder, show up every-fucking-where looking and feeling our best, talk better, sit still, stand up straight, be polite, wear make up, brush our hair, wear a dress, wear a suit, wear uncomfortable heels, remove our tattoos (yeah, I’ve been asked to do that once). (Whoaaaa, ok. Let’s take a breath break for a minute. Deep breath in, long breath out.) LEAVE. US. ALONE. Leave us to BE US.
I recently heard a podcast with Cheryl Strayed where she said ‘being awake to our lives is a daily process’. I’ve learned that that isn’t a bad thing. It’s the BEST THING. It’s freeing in so many ways because it’s living.
So, what happened when I started listening to myself? I listened and learned some pretty game-changing stuff.
I became clear about who I was, what I wanted and what I needed. I saw things and felt things that were signs for me. Hidden messages in my day-to-day life that started bringing up questions for me to answer about my life: Is this enough for me? Is this way of showing up ENOUGH for me and the people I exist for? Am I focused or am I getting distracted? Am I connected to the work I’m doing or am I disconnected and losing my way? What fills me with joy every day and what doesn’t? All of these questions were coming up for me HARD AND FAST, so I slowed down a bit and set off on a mission to figure out the answers to these questions.
I’d love to know if you relate to this. Throughout my whole career as an entrepreneur, I’ve been avoiding myself with hard work and filling up all my space with it. I’ve been surrounded by a lot of intense “speed to succeed” energy, too. Energy that’s fast and busy and heavy and in a rush all the time. It’s exhausting! I know you know what I’m talking about.
I’ve been absorbed into this way of working for so long and honestly, there was a time when this energy felt alright to be around. It felt normal, like, this is just how business is. Not anymore though. HELL NO. This way of working isn’t working for me anymore. I’m not about this life anymore.
RIP to the Amanda I used to be.
Old me: Be grateful for what I have and roll with it.
New me: Be grateful for what I have AND demand what I deserve.
This is my life. This is my time and energy and I DESERVE to spend it the way I want to. I deserve to work freely and fairly with peace and purpose. I deserve to work with people who lift me, celebrate me and encourage me as much as I do for them. We all do! Yes, I’m grateful for the journey that I’ve had so far and where I am right now, BUT I demand more because I deserve more. AND YOU DO TOO.
I’m here now. (Hiiiiii! 😎) Clearer. Calmer. More Focused. I don’t think I’ve ever been this focused, you know. I now know what I want and what I need because I stopped and listened to myself. I learned that I needed more space in my days. Space to write more and share my stories because they’re not just mine, they’re YOURS too. I learned that I needed one singular focus that I could pour all my energy into. I learned that I needed to surround myself with people that see me BIGGER than I see myself (YESSS Luvvie Ajayi — you taught me this!) I learned that I needed to move away from anything and everything that distracted me from my soul work. My conscious contribution to the world. The 5 Stories.
So here’s where I’m at now. Here’s what I’ve learned and what I demand from my life. Yes, demand. I love that word so much. It feels strong, clear and powerful.
Fairness, freedom, purpose and peace. That’s what I’m building my business on. That’s what I’m demanding from here on out. Allow this to be your reminder that you deserve to demand more too.
👋 Hiiiii! I’m Amanda. Founder & creator of the 5 Stories, a methodology I’ve been using to build brands for a fair few years now. I work closely with founders and leaders to help them fulfil their vision through storytelling.
I’m here to share stories about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur AND what it takes to lead with care and empathy. In the 5 Stories publication, I share everything I’ve learned over the years about building brands people actually want in their lives. 🥁
Before you go, I just wanna say THANK YOU for making the time to read this piece. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. ✨