Contemplating Achievement

It’s time for a more positive post, because it’s not always just bad.

About a month ago I told my mom that I feel like I haven’t achieved anything in my life. That I’ve just wasted my life, and have nothing to show for myself. I was feeling a little despondent about my web and graphic design business. She told me that the fact that I continue to come up with ideas and work hard, despite the obstacles, she sees that as a great achievement. She said that she would have given up trying long ago, but I didn’t. And at some point, all that hard work just has to pay off.

My design business is about 6 months old, and I think I’ve done pretty well so far. Even though the business isn’t where I’d like it to be, I realize that it will take time. I haven’t had many clients, but at least I’ve gotten some. It’s much more successful than my photography business ever was, and is. And for that, I’m grateful.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been wanting to redesign the website of one of the restaurants my friend (previous wedding business partner) and I often meet at. Their website was ancient, had security issues, and didn’t work correctly. I spoke to one of the managers, gave her my business card, and asked her to please give it to the owner. And then I waited.

About 2 weeks ago I decided I was sick of waiting. So I found out the name of the owner of the restaurant and sent him an email. It took me an hour to write! Not because it was a long email (it wasn’t, it was short and to the point), but because I kept rewriting it in an attempt to get it just right. Damn perfectionist tendencies. It took me another 10 minutes to get the courage to hit “send”. But I did. And I was rewarded two days later with a phone call from the owner, telling me he’d been wanting to change his website for 3 years, but hadn’t gotten around to it! He wanted to meet. The last meeting we had, on Monday, I had shown him what I’ve done so far, and he was super happy with it. That was such a relief. I had been so nervous that he wouldn’t like the design and layout, and I’d have to start over. I find that I get very attached to my design work, and really want the client to like it too. I’m almost done with the website now, and should have it up on Monday. It would have been ready earlier, but of course, I still have my half-day job. I’m glad I’ve got that job though. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

I went into panic mode just before starting this project because I would have to do something completely different to how I would usually do it. I thought I couldn’t, and I’d have to tell my client that I couldn’t help him. But I did the work to figure out just how to do things this way. It set me back two days, but I learned, and with it came a boost of confidence. Adaptability in business is crucial. I learned this from an online sales and entrepreneurship course I’m taking at the moment.

One thing I’ve learned through this experience with the restaurant is that it’s not enough to just hand out business cards and hope for the best. I’m going to have to follow-up, and reach out to the correct person. And my meetings with my friend in business really motivate and inspire me. We motivate and inspire one another, and even though it’s draining spending too much time with her, I always get something out of it. I’ve learned to tell her when she’s overwhelming me, and ask her to talk softer and slow down, or give me 5 minutes to just ground myself. She respects my boundaries, so our meetings have become so much more pleasant, and I leave feeling good (most of the time anyway).

Achievement isn’t limited to career or studies. The other day Jasmine told me that I’m becoming really good with boundaries. That was nice to hear. To me, that’s an achievement. So when I think I haven’t achieved anything in life, I can recognize that thought for the lie it is. Maybe I can refer back to this post during those moments of self-doubt.

Unfortunately the depression and desire to just give up on life hasn’t left. It’s there when I wake up in the morning. It’s there every time I take a break from work. Heck, even while I’m working, but at least once I get into a flow state, I get a break from those feelings and thoughts.

12 responses to “Contemplating Achievement”

  1. It sounds really good and it does take up to a year or two to get your business where you really would like it., so it is still good that you do have a job to go to while you are still doing this. You are doing really well, like your mum said and yes, being self-employed is a learning experience. Also with the job you are doing as a business, you will find you will learn all the time and will need to keep learning, to stay-up-to-date. Enjoy the experience. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Came across this post because the great title. As a person who struggles in very similar ways as you.. I hear you. I just have to warn you. I have 5 years of experience in business and the feeling of achievement is fleeting and becomes harder and harder to get it back, whether it’s awards or gaining a new client. Not to be a downer or cheesy but chasing achievements as some kind of validation of your being will get harder to reach… Or that just could be me. Try an define what an achievement is to yourself! The guts to put it into a blog post is an achievement in my eyes.
    My advice to you to help you find fulfillment is realize the progress your making: be more forgiving of yourself and understand all you do is an achievement whether it’s writing an email, re-writing an email or even just getting out of bed when you feel depressed.
    Sorry if I rambled on a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. Everything in life, every feeling, is fleeting. Which is why I try to hold onto the good ones for as long as I can. πŸ™‚


  3. Very much in admiration of the hard work you are doing! I too struggle with seeing my accomplishments and growth as TRUE achievements when there are so many areas of life where I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. This was so inspiring for me to read right now πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rayne just remember what your depression tells you is all lies. Its so powerful the paralysis aspect of it, it literally doesnt want us to reach out or even try but you ARE and that is just so wonderful. In this life I am learning that its best to take action… and say to fear, yes thanks for that but I am going to try anyway. Hugs and lots of love <#

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautiful recognition of your own growth and progress. You’ve achieved persistence for sure, always pushing forward no matter what pushes you back. I hope you continue to identify your little and big achievements, because it will pay off for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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