A couple weekends ago, I was one of the 6000 Arbonne Consultants that went to Niagara Falls for our Canadian National Training Conference, or CNTC. This was an amazing weekend, full of inspiration, learning, connecting, and fun!
I had participated in the CNTC 2 years prior in Montreal, and while I learned a lot, I have to say it was a bit of a different experience. After coming home, I reflected on both conferences, and there were a lot of little things that were different after this one, then main thing is definitely my mindset.
Two years ago, I hadn’t quite admitted to myself that I had a problem. I figured the way that I was feeling was my fault. I had low self esteem and was always worrying. I worried about what people thought of me, and worried about failing. These are also things that really held me back in my Arbonne business. And while yes, that has nothing to do with Arbonne, or network marketing in general, it wasn’t entirely my fault either. But I still had control over the situation, I just didn’t know it.
With everyone I met 2 years ago at CNTC, I was always worried that they were judging me. “Already almost 2 years into the business and she’s still just a consultant?” “She doesn’t have anyone on her team still? She must be really bad at this, why is she even here?” I put these words into other consultants mouths, and that wasn’t right, for me or them.
Then, listening to the speakers, hearing about their success, I felt worse. This is supposed to be easy, so what’s wrong with me? The tips they gave were great, and helpful, but I told myself they wouldn’t work for me, or I wouldn’t be able to do them. (I don’t want to take anything away from the speakers at that conference, they were inspiring, and I still watch the youtube videos to this day. I just wasn’t receptive to them at the time)
Since then, I’ve admitted to myself that there was a problem. I spoke to my doctor, and was put on antidepressants, and also took part in a CBT program for anxiety. I’ve read a lot about CBT for depression as well. I started taking yoga classes, and eating better. I realized that just like a diabetic needs to do certain things and take medication to stay healthy, so do people with mental illness. It doesn’t seem fair, but no illness if fair.
Fast forward to this CNTC. I am now almost 4 years into the business, and still no team member, and I am still a Consultant. You’d think I would feel even worse right? Especially since the 2 weeks leading up to the conference, I had actually been going through a bad depressive episode. It was the first severe one in a long time, and that scared me a lot. Were my meds not working for me anymore? I haven’t been on them long and I’m still playing around with dosages. Is the conference going to be a waste of time because I’m in a bad headspace? UGH!
I was able to force myself to do a few of the things I know help me feel better a few days before I was going to Niagara. The things your brain tells you are a waste of time when you’re having one of these episodes. The things you have no energy for because the depression has sucked it all out of you. I have developed the skills to help pull myself out. (but that’s not to say I always can)
When I got to Niagara, I arrived before the rest of the girls I would be staying with. My upline Stephanie and her team. I hung out in the hotel lobby for a bit and then went over to register for the conference. I spoke to a few of the other consultants, and later when the Arbonne Boutique opened up, I stood in line waiting to buy the Arbonne luggage I had been waiting for.
When the other girls arrived, I was so excited, not nervous. I met some wonderful people, and not once did I feel like they were judging me. I instantly felt a click, like I belonged and I think I made some amazing lifelong friendships. That is the wonderful thing about these businesses, the friendships you make are incredible!
Something I’m doing, to try to get rid of the stigma, is be more open about the fact that I am on antidepressants, and the issues I have with anxiety and depression. Guess what I found out doing that this weekend? A lot of people have similar struggles. Who knew?! Ok yes, I knew that, but I didn’t realize there were a lot of people in Arbonne. I’ve been told that network marketing isn’t a good idea if you have a mental illness, by people that don’t fully understand network marketing, but I still believed them on some level. This weekend shattered that!
The talks were amazing. We heard from so many amazing men and women that have achieved great things in their business, despite many setbacks. I heard from someone at the top of our company that had a negative bank account balance when she started out. There was someone who was stuck at one level for years (I sure know what that feels like) One woman had one of the people she sponsored promote faster than her, which has been one of my worst nightmares when it comes to this business, and partly why I don’t think I’ve gotten anyone to join me yet. I want to be more consistently successful before I bring someone on in case they blast by me! But I realized, there’s nothing wrong with that if you are doing your best and working your business.
So basically, what I am trying to say here is that this kind of business can absolutely be fine for a person with a mental illness, in fact, I think this was really good for me, this business is really good for me! A lot of things that stigma says isn’t a good fit for a mentally ill person, are just fine. As long as the person is doing their part to keep themselves healthy, and know what they can and can’t personally handle. No matter where you are in your journey with mental illness, I want you to know, you can do this, you can do anything! You are stronger than you realize, and if you need medication or therapy to see it, that is just fine!
I can’t wait to see all my Arbonne sisters next year in Edmonton!