How a pandemic helped me unstick my stuck!Hayley Joy Weinberg
I knew from the age of 16, that as much as I needed to make a living, I also really wanted to make a difference. I left school, enrolled in a 3 year Fashion Design and Management technology course at Wits Technikon and at 21, I started my own business, making Size Inclusive fashion.
It’s all I’ve ever known, everything I know is self taught and I’ve loved my career passionately, until two years ago! What changed? A couple of external factors (a slowing economy, mass emigration etc), that I slowly started using as an excuse, to block out my complicity in my business getting stuck. It took a pandemic for me to acknowledge how stuck I was and to actively engage with myself, to unstick my stuck.
Up until March the 26th, 2020, I’d been showing up everyday, knowing that I wasn’t happy, but with no alternative, because I’m responsible for 7 people who depend on me to make it happen and a monthly rental (a large one after being in my spaces for 15 years) that definitely has no alternative, but to be paid. I felt completely trapped, with no reprieve from the monthly grind, to make the payroll and expenses.
And then lockdown happened and I was “forced” to go home and do “nothing” for three weeks. Of course I could have signed up to every webinar, every course and multitudes of zooms. I chose not to, in fact I chose the complete opposite, I chose to go quiet. Quiet in my ever racing brain and quiet on social media. For the first week of lockdown, I did absolutely nothing, except breathe very deeply and allow myself to gently process the fear, that had been sitting in the pit of my stomach, for a long time.
At the end of the first week I ventured into my financial spaces to plan the next 3 months. At first it was daunting and I almost ran away from it and then my survival brain kicked in and I mobilised in a way that I hadn’t seen myself show up for, in a long while. I stripped back everything and cancelled whatever I could, without penalties or compromise. That in itself was liberating and it allowed me to start looking forward.
And then the hugest shift happened, I made a conscious choice to choose faith and I stepped out of my fear. Faith in my business ethic, faith in my years of relationship building with my clients and faith in myself as a business woman.
I also got honest with myself and admitted complicity in my “stuck” and then for the first time, with the gift of time, I started to acknowledge my worth. I embraced the fact that I know a thing or two about my my niche Plus size clothing business. 35 years of being a solo entrepeneur, suddenly looked very different and I felt a tingle of excitement. I was about to make a life changing choice and experience my Day one, instead of my One day!
By week three, with another two weeks of lockdown confirmed, I was ready to admit and commit to myself and my business. I went old-fashioned and took a piece of paper, divided it into two columns and wrote “what makes me unhappy” on the left, and “what makes me happy” on the right.
It’s been scary, it’s been daunting and I’ve certainly had a couple of moments of fear, but my faith in my product, my team and my INCREDIBLE tribe of women who I dress, has elevated my confidence to levels, where as clear as daylight, I can see the way forward.
I am going to be flipping my business completely. The basics are there and they are sound, but the post pandemic world is going to look very different and by unsticking my stuck (old habits, a stubborn resistance to change and fear of what I can’t control), I am excited on a level I haven’t felt in a very long time.
I’m documenting my trade-able knowledge, about my niche fashion world, which I’ve acknowledged and I’m drawing on my superpowers in my industry, which have been developed through a passion and the desire to make a difference, in the lives of women who are maligned because of their size.
I’m committed to taking my “a Shape not a Size” concept to the world.
Writing this all down and reading back over it, makes me realise how important choice really is. I had two choices at the beginning of lockdown. Choice one was to go down the rabbit hole of fear and choice two was to unstick my stuck! I chose to “unstick” and I’m ready for a whole new journey with all my foundations still in place.
I wish you, your moment, to unstick ❤️