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What 3 years of entrepreneurship has taught me about self-trust

This week we celebrated Volair's 3rd birthday!

The last 3 years have been a wild ride. And it's a bit of a bittersweet celebration because it also marks a year since I announced I was closing the physical space to focus on online only programming.

I admit, it felt almost like celebrating a failure.

With every bit of my being, I am confident that I made the right choice to close the studio. With the impact of the pandemic, I know that my modest day-job salary would not have kept things afloat for the year with the restrictions and closures without making major changes, and I don't think my mind would have been able to tap into any creativity to make major changes with all of the stress of keeping open. So, I have pretty much always been at peace with this decision.

What I started to strongly question, was if I ever should have opened Volair to begin with, which made me doubt my faith in myself.

You see, the creation of Volair was a little impulsive.

A studio that I had worked at was closing down. I’d agreed to go back to teach a night of classes for the last month and while I was helping to take inventory of assets sometime in mid-July, it suddenly popped into my mind:

“What if I owned this studio?”

My brain took over and rationalized all the reasons I should NOT own a studio: - No business experience

- Not a big enough network - Too much risk - Don’t know enough - I can’t do it - Blah, blah, blah

My brain had a lot of logical reasons to say NO.

But every time I decided to say NO, my gut SCREAMED back at me: “You need to do this!!”

It became so loud that I couldn’t ignore it.

So within a few weeks, I went from “I’ll never own a studio” to “I’m opening Volair!”

It took a lot of faith to trust in myself. To trust my gut that I was following the right path.

It wasn’t easy. There was a lot to learn and a lot of work (of course). Just as I felt like I was finding my groove, the pandemic came along. And later that summer, I closed.

All that faith to trust myself to follow my intuition and it ended only 2 years later. Just like that. Just before I found my groove.

And so, I started to doubt myself. A LOT.

Instead of trusting my intuition, I let my brain take over and questioned everything. I allowed it to nearly paralyze me for a while.

When I thought about where to go next, how to do online programming, the little voice in my head would whisper: “You can’t do it. You’re not good at business. You’ll fail again.” And my body would freeze. I couldn’t action anything the way I wanted to.

Volair is all about mind-body connection. Our signature Devotion program is all about using movement to re-connect with your body’s innate wisdom. To move from the mistrust and punishment that we have learned since we were teens or younger, to a nourishing relationship where we trust the signals we get from our bodies for our own health, development, and unique path through life.

I’m lucky that I had this tool to work through my own self doubts. It’s been extremely helpful, though I admit, it takes time and is still a work in progress. My fearful brain speaks loudly. Always questioning every step outside of my comfort zone. Constantly reminding me of failures that should shame me. That should stop me in my tracks.

Through my movement and meditation, I’ve asked myself: “Is closing a business after 2 years really a failure?” In other words, “Do I even have need to doubt myself?”

What if my intuition was right all along?

Perhaps the best thing for my journey was to open Volair in that summer of 2018. I honestly believe that if I had not impulsively chosen Volair, I never would have. The fear of reaching this far outside of my comfort zone would have kept me frozen and I would carry on with my day job. Perhaps never taking the initiative to create my own vision and happiness in life. Perhaps I would have found another way. Who can know?

And perhaps the best thing for my journey was to close in the summer of 2020. Once I released some of the shame and guilt of closing, I began to have so many ideas for how to authentically bring my vision to life. The Dare and Devotion programs were created and have helped people rise to challenges and (re)discover self-trust and happiness (and have a great time doing it!)

We tend to see endings as either celebrations or failures. But perhaps they can be neither. Perhaps they can just be the start of the next thing.

When we look at kids developing, we expect them to outgrow their toys, to explore activities to see which ones they like for themselves, and to move on when it no longer suits them.

As adults, we seem to believe that everything should be permanent. We look for a life-long career, a life-long partner, a life-long exercise regime, and seem to forget that everything is not forever.

Yet, leaving a job or closing a business, ending a marriage, or stopping an exercise program that is no longer working or feels feels fulfilling…all feel like failures.

But what if we just outgrew them?

What if we can be free to explore, to test, to see what works, and to move on without shame when we recognize that it’s just not working or no longer aligned with us?

Honestly, this business venture has brought me the most rapid growth that I have perhaps ever experienced in my life.

So, perhaps there was no failure.

Perhaps my intuition was 100% correct in the summer of 2018. And perhaps it was 100% correct in the summer of 2020 and with every step of the way since then when I relentlessly questioned every little decision.

Perhaps it’s all been just stepping stones in my continued development and my ongoing journey.

Rebuilding trust has been a challenge, but one that is totally worth it! The more that I trust myself, the better my relationship has become with my body. The more joy and happiness fill my days. The more fulfilling and peaceful my life has become.

I wouldn’t change this life for anything.

I trust that I am exactly where I need to be.

Happy 3rd Anniversary Volair! Cheers to another year of growth and happiness ahead.

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