How To Persevere and Grow For Social EntrepreneursMay 18, 2022
“Discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
There are (or will be) seasons when you learn to see your circumstances with new eyes instead of changing your circumstances.
Life as a social entrepreneur is not easy. If it were, everyone would do it. I mean, seriously, how great does it sound to make money for the sole purpose of making other people’s lives better?!
The reality is that it is not easy to keep going in social entrepreneurship some days. A (higher) paying gig, a new high(er) profile cause, the idea of just sitting in peace with no obligation to the lives of others?? These thoughts cross our minds, and opportunities come in our paths.
I’ve found that the combination of
- imposter syndrome, and
is a Molotov cocktail for quitting.
You may even feel like a hypocrite, someone who talks one way but lives another. The truth is that you are simply human, my friend. It happens to all of us at one point or another. It may last a few seconds or a few days. But, it will pass. Best of all, you will become better because of it.
It’s not the absence of doubts and fears and wanting to quit; it’s how we navigate them, how we “see” them, that matters.
Yes, even I have contemplated quitting before. Thankfully, I realized something before I did.
You see, I realized that if I quit, the source of my pain would still exist. Me. I am the common denominator of my problems. So, what is it about “me” that needs to evolve?
This is what I have learned:
Icky feelings = what we don’t like = contrast to how we want to feel.
Contrast→ Learning→ Growing→ Rising (to a new level)
Imagine a hot air balloon.
- When there is no heat, the balloon (no matter how colorful) lays flat on the ground next to its basket.
- It requires the heat from the fire going into the ballon for it to expand.
- As the heat fills the balloon, it grows and takes on its unique balloon shape, and you can see the magnificent designs and colors.
- Once the balloon is fully formed, only then does it have enough power to lift the basket off the ground and rise into the air…to a new level…to a new view.
This revelation came to me as I wrote in my journal in my quiet time. It gave me a lot of peace, feeling that all hope was not lost. This was simply a season of extreme contrast to how I wanted to feel in my life. If it weren’t for the contrast (like the heat in the ballon), I would not have learned to live in a new way. Learning to live in a new way has caused me to grow. Growing has elevated me to a new level. Now, I see with new eyes.
Remember this. When times get tough, know that this is the contrast for something better in your life. Like heat for a hot air balloon, it can be a blessing. It points to your next area of growth and expansion, possibly your next miracle. Be steadfast in faith and hope with the expectation of “having new eyes.”
If you’re looking for more guidance in this (or any) area of your social enterprise, journaling gives the incredible gift of insight. Download your free 5-Day Promoted Journal here! If you have an acute area of concern and are seeking answers, download your free Quick Cards here. This is an excellent resource for receiving mid-crisis clarity.
I talk about ways to overcome overwhelm for social entrepreneurs in Episode 4 of the Avant-garde Entrepreneur Podcast. Douglas Smith shares his challenges in social entrepreneurship in Episode 10. Want to know more? Start with Episode 1!
If you'd like to talk further about working with stakeholders, connect with me on LinkedIn.