One of the things that has helped me through a lot of the ups and downs in 2020 has been discovering stoicism.
If someone asks me to define stoicism or explain what it is, honestly I will still struggle because I don’t really know how to define it concisely.
However I do understand the concept of it and the benefits of it.
And I am so grateful I have because if I hadn’t found, understood and began to practice stoicism you’d either find me in an asylum or dead in a ditch somewhere.
Mentally this year has wrecked me a lot – or at least it would have been able to.
I Am Still Struggling
Make no mistake.
I’m still struggling mentally.
I’m nowhere near where I want to be in my work life or personal life and as I turned 35 a couple of weeks I feel like time isn’t on my side.
And I am also filled with a sense of regret, thinking about where I am versus where I would have liked to be by this point in my life.
The fact that 2020 was lining up to be the year it clicks, before the pandemic hit, just makes things even harder to stomach for me.
But if I allow myself to dwell on past regrets or what could have been, I won’t have the mental resilience or belief to move forward.
And my mindset is pretty weak as it is.
Plus there is a long journey ahead, and there will be a ton of obstacles on the way.
Which led me to this stoic concept.
Amor Fati translates from Latin as the “love of fate”.
It means seeing suffering or loss in your life as an opportunity or a necessity to help move you forward.
The way I’ve started to interpret it and apply it is a little bit different or maybe I just went ito a bit more detail than the dictionary definition.
We are presented with challenges, difficulties and obstacles – and often we have no direct control over these.
We need to embrace these as part of our journey and appreciate the opportunity to learn something new from these hurdles.
If we don’t succeed then we learn some more and go back to it.
If we don’t succeed and it puts a much deeper road block on our journey (like a business failing for example or losing your job) then we need to learn to be smart, we need to learn to adapt and get used to thinking on our feet.
We All Face Challenges
One of the biggest things with stoicism is focusing on what is in your control and using that to dictate your response to the things that are out of your control.
We all face challenges. We all face things out of our control.
This pandemic has literally turned my life upside down and I couldn’t control that.
But I CAN control my response to it.
In my last business update I wrote about my limiting beliefs, my fears, my failures and my thoughts on my future (briefly).
The things I can control are:
- How many jobs I apply to
- The actual jobs I apply to
- How much time and effort and care I put into each application and any follow up stages or interviews
- How much content I put out for my business(es)
- How much time and effort I put into content
- How many different ads I try and test
- How much time I put into studying my marketing and brushing up
- How much money I put towards
- How organised I am with my day to make sure I am efficient and productive and get done what I need to get done
And that’s where my focus and energy need to be. That’s where my challenges and opportunities lie.
I can’t control who will reply to my applications or whether they’ll hire me or how long they’ll take to reply.
I can’t control who will click on my ads or like my content.
I can’t control any social media algorithms.
So I can’t let myself stress about those.
Amor Fati And Business
I have my doubts about whether I’m a natural full time entrepreneur.
But I do know I have an entrepreneurial side that won’t go away and will want to see some success.
There is a long journey ahead for my professional and personal life and there will be plenty of challenges.
So I best learn to enjoy the journey and be grateful for challenges.