What happens when a 23 going on 24 year old gets (almost) half a million dollars to run a company? (Wow, that looks so strange written out!) What does this person look like 2 years later? Yes, that would be me. And after an amazing conversation with an amazing friend from high school, I get to see where I am, and how far I still have to go (it’s so funny how high school friends have the ability to put a mirror up to you and say hey, look at you now). I think the first step is just saying, wow, proud of myself for…surviving….but there is still a long long LONG way to go to be where you want to be. To be honest, it’s only now (2 years later) that, since I have an amazing team, (and I can go on vacation without worrying the company will die) I have the luxury of really taking a deep dive and looking at myself critically.
What does that actually mean, practically? It means that I acknowledge that there are lots of things that are holding me back from being the leader, executive, startup person, I want to be. And being ok with that. And knowing that I need to slow down and explore all those things, so that..I can overcome these mental roadblocks. Because that’s what they are, mental roadblocks.
And I’m also admitting that maybe I can’t do this on my own. I’m going to talk about a topic that most people don’t like talking about but I’m going to say it. I think everyone (who can afford it) could use a therapist. Especially when you have a high stress job. I count running a startup a high stress job. I feel like people think therapists are only for absolutely dire situations and for people who are either schizophrenic, bipolar, or suicidal maybe. You get the point. But I think it’s one of the most misunderstood (and underused) fields that exist. And it has so much negative stigma associated with it, it’s sort of ridiculous. I am hoping to do my part to change that, by talking about it. I want to use a therapist for preventative measures. Nothing is going horribly wrong now (in fact, people may look at my life and say wow you have everything!) but I think if I don’t do something differently, I am impeding my own personal growth, and the growth of our company. It’s more about realizing that I need help to cross my own mental plateau- sort of like a…mental personal trainer. I think most of us use our friends as substitute therapists, but really, that’s not their job. They definitely help and keep you afloat (and I’m sure we all agree that we don’t know where we would be without them), but at the end of the day, if you are dominating conversations with your own problems, most of the time, I don’t think that’s healthy at all, and I think that’s the time the therapist comes in. I’m not sure if I will actually have enough money to get one (gonna cross my fingers and hope I find someone I like at a reasonable price) but I don’t know anyone who can’t use a non judgmental, impartial/third party observer, who listens to you moan and cry and whine about your problems and asks you questions like, “how does that make you feel” and you go on and on about how that makes you feel ( for an hour a week). Sounds pretty rad to me.
I have no idea how it will work out, and maybe I’ll find this is the worst idea ever, but right now, I at least feel like I’m doing SOMETHING to move in a positive direction. Getting myself a mental-personal trainer.
But you know what else is therapeutic? Writing about it. And hoping that other people who feel the same way will feel less alone, and say hey, yeah, that sounds like me too.