As a kid how many times did your mom tell you to share your toys? I couldn’t even eat a bag of chips without having to share with my brother! Anything she handed me, “Share with your brother”. I wasn’t a greedy kid, but some days I just didn’t want his “grubby hands” on my stuff.

Now that I’m grown, I love to share with my brother. More than material things, I love to share stories, successes and encouragement with him. Sharing problems…that’s not always as easy. No one wants to share the ugly stuff. Even with those we love and trust, it’s just hard to do. Maybe we don’t want them to worry. Maybe we want them to think we are doing okay, even when we aren’t.

The ugly truth is, it’s not a perfect world. My brother calls me and ask how I am doing, and I say, “doing good”. The truth is, I was not good yesterday. I was sad. I sat and cried in the bathtub last night. I was sad because losing a baby hurts. I share my pain with my amazing hubby, but as close as I am to my brother, I sometimes think I need to hide my struggles from him and others around me. I feel like it is weakness to admit I’m having a bad day.

When we struggle with things, we need to share! We need to lean on those around who can offer encouragement and support. This is not only true in our personal lives, but our professional lives as well. Running a business is hard. Bad days are inevitable. Talking to people who have shared in your struggles can be resourceful. Society has led us to think we have to all be happy and have perfect lives…or at least portray ourselves (and our businesses) as such. We post all of our happy moments and share happy stories…that’s what we want people to see.

I have to remind myself that sharing and admitting to hardships is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s often surprising how many others battle with similar situations as ours. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles with the Chamber or a trusted colleague! Lean on the resources of others who have shared your experiences. As much as the Chamber loves celebrating member successes, we love being here to help our members even more!