Facing Your worst fears

Two years ago my husband and I decided to chase one of our dreams while also take some risk in the process. This business required so much hard work and sacrifice. I logged how I felt about everything a few months after we launched our restaurant.

Here is what I wrote:

This past week, I have had a constant memory of myself playing in my mind. Just over a year ago, I remember when I was laying down on my master bedroom floor, staring at the ceiling while resting on some pillows. I remember this particular day because I usually am not the type of person who likes to stop and do nothing. I don’t watch much tv, I don’t give myself a break to rest, and I usually just go. But that day I was having so much fear about what we were doing that I didn’t even want to move.

Earlier that year I remember we had decided to start a new business venture. We were right into the middle of it and we were getting closer and closer to finalizing things out and building what was going to be our very own first food franchise.

Owning our own restaurant was something that had been on my mind since I was younger. My parents loved to cook. They loved food. They often tossed around the idea of opening their own restaurant. Especially once we moved from Italy to the Canary Islands, the idea for our family of possibly owning a little place where they could cook up our own favorite Italian pizzas and recipes was something that was tossed around by them on many occasions. While life turned out to be different for them, I kept that love for food within me.

I remember during my first years of marriage talking with my husband about opening our own little franchise or food place. On many occasions we had tried, but it wasn’t until 2018 that we had actually found something that could work out. I had been scouting different food concepts for quite a while, but this time around we had found out that a new cookie shop had opened and when I asked to get a hold of the owners we were able to set something up.

Things were proceeding well. We were able to get the right territory, and we signed a franchise agreement. Other the next few months we were working on signing lease papers and building out the space. And yet, there wasn’t a single day that I wasn’t terrified of what I was doing.

I was experiencing so much commotion inside, and that one day I had to literally stop and think about my life for a second. Ponder about all this fear that was inside of me.

Truth is, I had no guarantees with what I was doing. Aside from doing market research and research on the company over and over again, ultimately the only way through my fears was to keep going and face them. I cannot deny that my husband was my biggest support system through this. Helping me to envision the success, wanting to keep going and to feel that things would have worked out for the best and gone great.

Back then I had a lot to loose doing all this. I had sacrificed getting our dream home in order to do the business. I was doing this out of passion, but also to create more than one stream of revenue for our family. I always knew that as a family we wanted a nice home, and wanted to live a good life, but I am not the type of person who likes to spend her money unless I know that I have savings, a somewhat secured future, and debts are cleared.

Being that we also live in a world with so many changes and disruptors, I was excited to start more than one thing for our family to try and secure ourselves a bit more.

I will admit that I also at times failed to see the good in everything that was happening and trust the process. Many things lined up perfectly and I know it wasn’t just by coincidence. I know that there was a divine hand helping us along the way. But at times I was so afraid that perhaps I was wanting just too much, and that this wasn’t right, that I felt that I didn’t know if God was interested in what I was doing. So I allowed fear to be there and I didn’t use those moments where I saw God’s tender mercies as fuel for when I didn’t have my own light, but rather I just doubted all together and struggled in return with anxieties and pains.

Looking back I don’t blame myself for any of this. This was a first for me and perfectly good people not always receive a good ending right away.

Ultimately I got out of that floor and all I could do was go about my day and keep going. My fears were real and intense. They were painful and I felt them on my own skin. And all I could do was to live right with them and pretty much jump and trust the process.

My husband did his best through all of this, and in the end, even when things were hard, even though we had to work at certain things more than we thought, things worked out. Things became better than we expected. Some fears at times may have even become reality, but if anything, I saw that I was able to face them and overcome them. Find solutions to the things that I feared the most.

As a result, I was able to grow, I didn’t see it in the moment, but I felt that a little tiny person started to become a little giant.
I was able over time to thank myself for facing those fears and for pressing forward.

So I can say that I learned the following lesson which has been taught by other over and over again, but I could only learn by doing so myself.

THERE IS GROWTH WHEN YOU FACE YOUR FEARS. FEAR WILL ALWAYS BE THERE, BUT WHEN YOU FACE IT AND GROW RIGHT THROUGH IT AND STARE AT IT IN THE FACE, YOU WILL GROW AND YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT YOU CAN TRULY OVERCOME ANYTHING ON THIS EARTH.

Love, M. Serena Essuman

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