Parents are amazing and I am so grateful to have them. They teach us how to be responsible humans, how to laugh, how to grow and how to be good people. But with all things in life, they also give us the bad. They teach us fears, insecurities, and doubts.
I grew up with two parents who were business owners, entrepreneurs, and extremely hard workers. The kind that never really got home from work, but simply lived life in between. But having the flexibility to create their own schedules meant they were present for all of my big moments.
Experiencing a childhood where my parents worked for themselves, completely ruined my ability to see myself in a corporate role.
So what did I do? Took a corporate and soul-crushing job right out of college. Yikes.
But what about working for yourself?? While I grew up knowing that being self-employed was possible, I also knew it was so so hard.
My parents had no paid vacation time, no human resources department to complain to and no guaranteed paycheck at 40 hours a week. Everything they had was from their blood, sweat, and tears.
That is scary as hell for a 22-year-old new college graduate.
So instead of dealing with my doubts and fears, I chose to go the easy route. Take a job, show up every day and get paid. Minimal creativity, very little thought and no stake in my future.
Almost two years later, I look back and wonder if I would do anything differently. My brain wants to scream YES! But my heart knows that giving myself the experiences of working to make someone else money, has taught me more and changed my whole mindset about hard work and reward.
While it’s true that our parents teach us insecurities and doubts, they also teach us how to be adults, how to grow up and face the world and ask for what we want. We can learn how to be, and how not to be, simply from observing the lives they have created with us in tow.
So I want you to take a minute and really think about what you have learned from your parents? Take out a notebook, open up a word document and answer these questions:
- What were your parents like when they got home from work? Describe the impact their attitude had on you as a little kid, teenager, and young adult.
- When you think about the phrases your parents used to describe their jobs, what do you remember? Do you find yourself using these sayings in your own work life?
- What were your family vacations like? Write down how you used to feel like a family when your parents had a break from work.
- What did you want to be when you grew up? When did your dreams change and how did your parents support your career path?
- What doubts or fears do you have about your career/current job? Are any of these fears a reflection things your parents used to worry about? Why do you think they stuck with you?
- Do your parents support what you are currently doing? If yes, how do they support you? If no, how does this impact you?
- What do you want your kids to say about you someday?
This is a lot to think about, so take your time! I have found that many of my insecurities about money, relationships, and career all stemmed from lessons and emotions that I was taught as a child.
Addressing these feelings is so empowering! Take control of your emotions, learn from your past, and move forward to create a life that is yours and nobody else’s. We can love our parents for all the good they gave us, and move past the negativity or doubt, it simply takes hard work towards our own self-awareness.