“Feel guilty? About what?…”

The other day, I was sharing with my husband how one of the things I have struggled most with during lockdown is an even more intense form of guilt. Running and adapting two businesses while trying to nurture and take care of a curious, high-energy toddler has left me constantly feeling terrible that neither is getting 100% of me or 100% of my best.

ME: “I just feel so guilty all the time…”

MY HUSBAND: [Long, confused pause…] “Guilty about what?”

And in his simple question lay a blinding insight and deep clarity about how we (or maybe just me!) hamstring ourselves as founders and as people.

His point was “If you’re doing the best you can, what’s to feel bad about?” (My perfectionist’s rejoinder was “My COVID-best doesn’t feel good enough!”) And in that interaction, I realized that maybe this is another way that many of us hold ourselves back: we make things up to beat ourselves up about, we focus on the lack and not on the progress, we internalize what has nothing to do with us. And we rarely (or not enough) take time to appreciate what we have done, what we have achieved, and what we have given our best-in-that-moment to.

And every time we do this, dear Entreprenoras, all we are doing is stalling our progress and making things harder for ourselves. But the business of life and the life of business are hard enough without saddling ourselves with guilt that doesn’t belong there and internal struggle that doesn’t have to be.

Guilt keeps us stuck and paralyzed when we are trying to expand and grow. And it is a quicksand of emotion that sucks us down and smothers our spirit when we are moving forward with ambition.

So the next time we find ourselves veering towards the G-lane, let’s get a grip on that wheel and ask whether we really need to go there or whether there’s another lane that will serve us better, and take us faster, in the direction we truly mean to go and towards the destination we truly mean to reach. 

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About Me
Rupal Patel logo
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Rupal is a born-and-bred New Yorker now living near London. Her high-octane career as a CIA officer turned serial entrepreneur has taken her from military briefing rooms in jungles and war zones to corporate boardrooms and international stages.

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