I need this space as much as it needs me

girlintherapyI miss this space

It’s been too long since I stopped writing here.

This space is my home on the web. My various Social Media channels are like my arms; they radiate outward but also lead back here.

For thought spurts: @girlintherapy Twitter
For inspiration and quotes (and visual diary): @girlintherapy Instagram
For posts that touch my heart: Girl in Therapy Facebook Page

I cross post sometimes. But I seem to meet different people on each platform — so hopefully my posts don’t seem spammy or irritate anyone. Would love to connect with others in the recovery community, mental health warriors and kindred spirits seeking wellness in general.

Why I’m writing today

  1. I stopped writing here because I wanted to spend more time on my “day job”. But interestingly, I’m here today to talk about that.
  2. I have SO MANY posts in my head, but all still floating about, not penned to paper (or, on text on a screen)!!!
  3. I cannot think of anywhere else I can write in length, and it’s high time I warmed the seat for more posts to come…

I’ve decided to just do stream of consciousness writing. I just want to pour everything out — as much as I can anyways. I hope by bing wide open and expressing my thoughts, I will reach a certain clarity and also achieve a greater focus and sense of direction. So if anyone gets bored or confused, I apologise in advance, and please leave me a comment, I’d be glad to answer questions.

My day job

I’m in financial services. I joined this industry because my husband and I decided that I should join his team (under his leadership) when we were to be married. It was a form of financial planning for our family. I will not get into technical details here (but please feel free to ask me anything below). There was a mechanism put in place by him and his team for client acquisition. So all the rest of us had to do was to service the clients acquired. But due to certain decisions by the company, this mechanism was disallowed and we had to find new ways to acquire clients.

There are many restrictions on how marketing can be done, since the financial climate here is really stark in terms of client sophistication. Some people are very savvy (they’re the rarity) and most are really ignorant and possibly fearful of “sales” people. Yes, my job involves selling.

This brings me to the next part where I talk about how shit I am at selling.

Reasons I’m having problems:

  1. I came in thinking I’m simply a cog in a large well-oiled machine. And then this machine is made redundant or gets restructured. I am left to my own devices as to how to move forward. My husband isn’t the most organised or dedicated leader (in terms of training/orientating me). He has a lot on his plate, but he possibly thinks I’m supposed to be independent. So I feel abandoned and I feel like I’m struggling.
  2. I’m more of a marketer than I am a salesperson. My background is in graphic design and marketing communications. I would rather think of campaigns than be the one going out to sell.
  3. My low self-esteem reduces my confidence and makes me vulnerable to rejection.
  4. My lack of confidence stems from lack of knowledge and lack of experience. I always think that I need to know more so that I can answer any questions the client has or I should be the expert the client can look to (though that may not always be necessary). Lack of experience because I’ve not met enough clients to gain a better exposure and understanding of what to expect from clients or prospective clients. Lack of confidence also means I may find it hard to lead the client, and may get pushed around by the client or the conversation generally goes awry.
  5. Low self-esteem also means that I automatically think no one will be interested to talk to me. My husband and a colleague were sharing with me that I should ask my clients out for coffee, not to talk business at all but to get to know them personally first. I was aghast at the idea. I am in recovery and may not know how to handle myself in conversations with other people and now I’m supposed to hold myself back from selling (the main point of meeting them) and then getting to KNOW people first?? WHAT will I talk to them about — and why would they want to talk to me??? They said to tell the client you’re bringing them out for coffee. I kept going back to the worst case scenario where no one will CARE for that free coffee…
  6. I don’t know if my lack of knowledge is from a lack of interest. I get interested in individual products but my husband is a big picture guy, so he likes to talk about financial concepts. That’s how he has been imparting to me/his team, but I have not really caught on and can’t say I’m comfortable with that level of expertise. That said, I do not have the full array of available product knowledge at the back of my hand, only the ones I’m interested in. I cannot think of any reason other than a lack of interest.
  7. Without product knowledge, my arsenal is not complete.
  8. I have been thinking that there must be ways that I myself find suitable to my style of doing things. I’ve thought of some ideas but have not carried them out fully. I’ve made some preparations, but maybe I am suffering from analysis paralysis or the fear of failure. Maybe I’m not ready to be fully dedicated to my cause either. I’m definitely confused with this, though I have already started to commit to my idea with small capital outlay…
  9. I’m confused because I don’t know why I can’t simply give my all to something I am disinterested in. It seems like a childish thing to do. Almost like being stubborn or throwing a silent tantrum. I mean, this is work. I can’t LIKE it all the time. I can’t seem to carry out things I don’t like doing. So I am also apprehensive – what if my subconscious is telling me there is a reason why I have not moved forward? Is this a sign that I should not go full force — regarding my ideas?
  10. I’m urgent to see success. I don’t really know how to persevere and keep going at it. If someone rejects me, I feel like it’s pointless to keep knocking on their door. I have not put in place a system whereby I can track my own progress or with clients.
  11. Initially I took rejections personally. I’m glad I have detached from that.


 

Other reasons outside myself:

My husband’s team has not been doing so well ever since the client acquisition mechanism got done away with. And because his income is directly linked to the results from his team (myself included), his income has dropped to a quarter of what it used to be. We (or rather, he) are struggling to pay the mortgage, amongst other household expenses. We have made some adjustments — he has sold his car, we rarely eat out anymore, he has stopped smoking, etc…

  • He ran, managed and financially supported the client acquisition exercise. But the fruit of the labour has not bore fruit. Or at least not as much as he projected, so most of what he sunk into it is gone. So now we have no savings. I honestly don’t know if he was blindly hopeful or did not do his math right. Both options are scary to me. And being Codependent, it did not occur to me this could be a failing on his part.
  • He has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t think well of his team members, since they aren’t good/consistent performers.
  • He thinks his company has a personal vendetta against him since he is outspoken and through giving constructive and opposing feedback over the years, has offended the yes-men and so his position is indefinitely vulnerable.
  • The company is conservative and takes a very restrictive stance toward most things. They aren’t the most forward thinking bunch nor are they open to new and current trends or ideas. My husband makes the comparison with other competitor companies.

Based on his disappointment in his team (despite multiple attempts to improve the situation), and frustration toward his company, and a huge drop in income, which has made our living rather unsustainable, he has contemplated finding a new job. though this hasn’t happened yet, he has entertained the idea for many months.

The above has also caused him to develop what is called “high functioning depression”. Or maybe even Depression itself, since he has blurted that he’s ok being dead so he does not have to pay for the house anymore. I mean, even I have not thought of ending my life! And to me, the worst thing is that he does not want to seek any professional help. Because he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with himself.

So then ALL OF THE ABOVE has affected me. I mean, do I move forward? Do I roll out my campaign that I crafted (though not fully formed)? If we are not sticking to what we (or, he) are doing now, and he is gonna move to somewhere else, do I stay? Do I follow him? I feel a sense of commitment to clients. I mean, I can’t simply take them up and then dump them soon after…

I don’t know if I’m being too urgent, too black-and-white about things. Even if he moves, it may not be immediate (though our current situation is pretty dire) and so I may have wiggle room. I could be just doing my own thing, and then see what life/the Universe brings at that point. Though, a 5-year plan would be good.

Things my husband said that caused a shift internally:

  • I always thought he wanted me to follow his methods of marketing, because he wanted submission from his wife/team member. To also establish his seniority and historical success, which have roots in really old/outdated ways. But now he seems ok with me trying out my ideas — which reflect current times — things like online marketing.
  • I always thought he wants all team members to focus on the business and not other sources of income. But very recently he said to me (possibly jokingly) that if I have any other money-making methods I should just go for it. Maybe because we are in desperate times, so any source of income is a good thing.
  • He is concerned with the current state of affairs because we are financially stuck. We are struggling from month to month. Things like having children can’t be on the cards, because we won’t be able to support another mouth. I have been having these thoughts as well — how do we get out of this rut?? And so to hear him echo my thoughts (though mine were for my own mental health affecting my livelihood) was refreshing and somehow affirming. It tells me we’re somehow on the same page.

 

Final questions:

How do I build my confidence to improve my interaction with clients? How do I psyche myself to not EXPECT rejection whenever I call clients? (Most of them are handed down to me whenever colleagues leave, so they’re strangers to me.)

If the 5 As (Attention, Affection, Approval, Acceptance, Appreciation) are essential to emotional well-being and I don’t receive them on a daily basis, how do I then foster emotional well-being? How do I feed my emotionally-famished self?

Do I not believe in my cause firmly enough? Am I not serious enough about my clients’ needs? (In this industry, we have to keep pushing education, awareness, etc… clients rarely take the first step.)

I’ve learnt from a CoDA friend that my traits of starting strong but finishing weak or not at all, and having trouble starting, are classic Codependency traits. How do I work around them? Or, make things work for me since this is the case??

Conclusion

I guess I have reached certain clarity on how to move forward.

The most idea situation would be better, more honest and constructive communication between my husband and I.

Quoting a comment from my Instagram post — “Hopefully you can set up both short-term and long-term goals that you and your husband can agree on and celebrate over…” Damn, this would be GREAT!!!

But unforch, my husband keeps things to himself and finds it hard to express them. Though I’ve told him time and again that it is unfair to me whenever he outbursts. He doesn’t take well to feedback I give him. Sometimes I wished I was aware how emotionally handicapped/inept/un-evolved/unwilling he was before.

 

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Due to my mental health struggles, I have problems earning a stable income. In order to help myself financially, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small fee at no extra cost to you, based on your activity on this page. (See my disclaimer page for more information.) If you wish to show your support, you may take a look at my Etsy shop and see if anything tickles your fancy 🙂 Sending you warmth & gratitude in advance! Once again, thank you for reading my blog.

2 comments

  1. Marta says:

    Hey Darling,

    If I can give you some advice from my experience, maybe it’s time to let go and disengage from this goal… maybe this goal isn’t worth the struggle. I know it’s hard because you’ve already invested so much time and money that quitting seems like a failure. But it’s not. You can do much better in some other company. Of course, do as you think it’s better, and definitely don’t quit before you find another one!

    I also don’t agree that you don’t have to like your work… We spend at least one-third of our adult lives at work to make the money necessary to buy more and more stuff. If it doesn’t give you any pleasure or satisfaction, but only destroys your relationship, then it’s a terrible waste of life.

    Thanks to my failures I’ve learned that if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re not likely to succeed. I know guys who will see fridges to Inuits if they need money. But some people are not born sellers. Unless you’re selling some cause you truly believe in, which is a completely different story.

    Uh, and also, working with my partner was the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life and it brought my relationship to an end (which I don’t regret, to be honest). So maybe the atmosphere at home would be better if you didn’t work for him. Just suggesting.

    I hope I didn’t make things even more complicated than they are… You can always delete my message 😉

    Hugs,
    Marta

    • Girl says:

      I can always count on you to share with me your thoughts and provide support in your own way, Marta. And for this, I am grateful.

      No, I don’t think quitting = failure. I’ve “quit” many times before! Previously, I mean… But I know what you mean by attaching shame to changing one’s course.

      I think some good things that have come out of my outward ramblings, and also in the last few days, was that I am clearer that I still want to give this a go, and also my husband and I set our expectations of what I will be doing and trying to achieve. As long as we both are on the same page, my struggle is hugely lessened.

      I do find that I want to live up to his expectations (though sometimes I resent that — it’s my own mindf*ck, but that’s another story for another day), but also live up to my own. But most importantly, be a functional human being who can contribute to our household. I know I can, and the starting point for that is to be kind to myself. (You can see the comments from others on this post, and mine to them https://www.instagram.com/p/BMG0CSeFJHt/ I realised I find it challenging to have compassion toward myself. Self love does not come naturally for me.) ♡ ~ Girl

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