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Does Success Need to be Justified by Struggle?

In a month, As Above Shop will have been open for one year, and as I’ve been approaching this milestone I have been reflecting on this entire journey, from the seed of inspiration, to the opening of the doors, through its entire evolution to today. The messages that keep coming up for me as I reflect, are about acknowledging this achievement and taking the time to be proud of what I have accomplished so far. Many small businesses don’t make it to the One Year Mark, so this is something that should be celebrated. Logically, I know this to be true, so why has it been so hard for me to accept?

The past week or so, prior to writing this, I had been actively working on removing limiting beliefs that are keeping me from manifesting the next phase of the business. I’ve been using strategies to do this without even knowing exactly what these beliefs are, but knowing that they exist, as I have been feeling a resistance to embracing the successes I have had this year. I’ve realised that I’ve felt undeserving of success and this has been translating into a denial of the fact that I am even experiencing a level of success. Feeling this deep within, it was clear that there was a limiting belief behind this, but what could it be?

It hit me one morning as I was driving to the shop.

When I tell the story of how the shop space came to be, I always mention how I asked Creator for guidance and was told to open a wellness space, and I say that as soon as I began the project, everything started to fall into place. I tell the story as though it was so easy, and divinely orchestrated. It was, but there was also a lot of hard work, stress, sleepless nights, and struggle that came with it. But I never mention that part. I only talk about how the entire shop was channelled, from the name, to the décor, to manifesting the space itself. By sticking to this version of events, I’m discrediting myself and the effort and time and sweat that I poured into its creation. There were moments, such as late October 2023, when I worried that the shop would end up being one of those businesses that didn’t make it to the first anniversary. Luckily, we’re still here.

Except, it wasn’t due to luck. None of this happened because I was “lucky”, and I still need to remind myself of this. Even if it felt like everything came together quickly, that doesn’t negate the amount of work that I put in. My limiting belief was that because it only took 6 months between when I had the initial vision of opening a space to the moment the keys were in my hand that meant I didn’t deserve it. Somewhere in my mind there was a correlation between speed and unworthiness. It took me a while to realise it, but I felt like because there was this perception of ease in this process it somehow meant to others, and myself, that I didn’t earn it.

Where did this mental connection between struggle and success come from?

As I looked deeper, I recalled the many times my ex-husband told me that I was “lucky” in my career and how he was envious that promotions and positions were “simply handed” to me. While I knew that wasn’t true at the time, my subconscious heard what he was saying and internalized it. I had confidence in myself and my career and I knew that the reason I was sought out for certain roles or received praise was because of the work that I put in and the results that I attained. It was true then, and it’s true now. However, the subconscious is a sponge and likes to believe anything and everything it is told, and somewhere deep within it filed away these external opinions and let them return to the surface years later, disguised as its own beliefs. I can see them now for what they are, and I am ready to release them.

This space didn’t materialise in only 6 months, which is something I can now admit. There were years of preparation that I didn’t even realise I was going through at the time. So much of my experience from my corporate past readied me for this, such as complex project management, cost-benefit analysis, and strategic planning. Thanks to my previous career, I knew how to put together a robust business plan and design a website. Plus, throughout the past couple of years, I had been networking, building my brand, studying, and gaining experience and expertise. Despite all of that, there were moments of despair, doubt, and frustration. I have gone through a lot, grown tremendously, and worked tirelessly. It was not easy, however I was equipped with the skills, support, and tenacity I needed to bring it all together when faced with the unending challenges of starting a business from the ground up. My success is justified.

And that’s something I can celebrate.

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