What’s Next?

jayellewisday1sep172016_pinkoutift_fave-0101Everyone is looking for more meaning in their lives- it’s what holds true meaning that they can’t always seem to find.

Since moving back to the states (it’ll be four years in May) I’ve given my all to “what’s next” — for me it originated from a place of not being enough and ultimately having to move on from my marriage, divorce, and loss of what felt like the only life I had ever known. At that point, what’s next for me was learning how to be completely independent (mainly financially) and not allowing myself to look back in the rearview mirror. I put everything I had into my marriage to ultimately walk away knowing that it was the best possible decision and that over time I would learn some of the reasons as to why things didn’t work out.

I have.

In the coming years I did what most people told me I could not. I hustled; I independently built my fitness brand, made quite a name for myself in the industry, graced several magazine pages (even a cover), and made business connections some would kill for. All of which have been monumental for me, yet still leaving me with the question of “what’s next?”

Throughout the past year I’ve been more financially stable than ever before, have partnered with, been sponsored by, or affiliated with over eight major brands and have gotten more recognition than I’m typically comfortable with.

People in the industry often view my roles as “having it made.” While I don’t necessarily disagree, I’ve paid a very high price of not valuing my emotional well being, sacrificing relationships (both with myself and others), and losing some of my deep seeded passion along the way.

From a business perspective, I truly couldn’t ask for more. Yet, at the end of the day all of the endorsements, awards, accolades, financial security and running a business that I love, I still find myself wondering what’s next, and is it enough? In a sense, it’s a blessing and a curse– yes I should always be thinking of what’s ahead but I’m slowly learning that planning everything out (especially being the perfectionist that I am) gives me no time to appreciate what’s right in front of me.

I’ve become obsessed with making the impossible possible, and as a result I fail to give myself credit for what I’ve built (and will continue to build), because I’m so overworked and overwhelmed that I fail to see things clearly. I thought that what’s next was always something I had to ask myself, and have a concrete thought-out answer as my response, and in turn that would make me happy. Wrong.

I’ve put pressure on myself, I’ve set unattainable standards for myself and what I expect from others–and it’s failing. I’m failing myself– making a living has turned into forgetting to live and I only have myself to blame for that. At times I’m so focused on the bigger picture that I fail to see that the bigger picture is in fact made up of tiny snapshots along the way.

What’s next, you ask– working on my own personal relationship with myself. I’m learning that the most important relationship has to start from within, even if that includes guilt for feeling selfish. I’ve neglected my emotional wellbeing for years and the candle can only continue to burn on both ends for so long.

So, the next time you ask yourself, or someone else asks you “what’s next?” Remember that by always living in forward motion and not your current state of being you’re putting yourself at risk for a potential downward spiral. What’s next for me is continuing to build a name for myself and my brand, but focusing in on the things that truly matter in life, taking a step back when necessary and reminding myself that no matter what- I’m enough.

 

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