Amanda O'Reilly

From Addict to Entrepreneur

If you could sit down and talk to a younger version of me over coffee right now, you would find a girl that didn’t allow herself to fail. To mess up. To say the wrong thing.  To do the wrong thing. To wear the wrong thing. To look the wrong way. To admit her failures. To take chances. To post a picture that was unflattering. To admit to having flaws. To being HUMAN. My younger self didn’t have the courage to face my fear of not measuring up. Of standing out in a crowd or being the exception instead of the rule.

I was an addict … to perfection. To people pleasing. And the cure seemed as impossible as breathing without air. I had so carefully and intentionally crafted myself to be who everyone wanted me to be, that I forgot who I was, who I was created to be. Dress sizes and job titles and boyfriends and name brands were the measuring sticks I valued my worth against. They were my identity. That is until they weren’t. Jobs come and go. Weight fluctuates. Boyfriends don’t always become husbands and brands go out of style. Life moves on, at least, the days do anyways. But the living can’t take place when you’ve lost your identity. Not really. So, I had to do what any addict seeking freedom has to do. I had to admit I needed a change and I had to be the one that initiated it. I had to find out who I was meant to become.

I left the comfort of a paying job and I leaped into entrepreneurship and built Balance InStyle. The idea originally came to me when I noticed there was a need in the marketplace for the kind of services that we offer while a friend was losing her battle to cancer. There wasn’t a one-stop shop where you could with one call, have all your needs met and your stressed sucked away. I quickly realize I could channel all my passion for helping others and make a living being of service to others.

As a corporate single mom, I realized that I was surely not the only one burning the candle at both ends. The never-ending rushing around from here to there, the to-do lists, cooking, working, failing, learning, crying, succeeding. Trying to be enough. Trying to get it all done. Trying to beat the clock. Trying to be the best mom. Trying to juice all the veggies, and hit the gym every once and awhile to justify my membership. Go, go, go. Do do do. I surely couldn’t be the only one trying to cram 36 hours into 24 could I?

The worst part, that list … it never really gets done does it? It just keeps growing and as quickly as you check one thing off it, you add 5 more.

What I realize after listening to my mentor is, nothing in life ever changes on its own. We need to do something to inspire change. We need to take massive action in order to see results. You don’t like something change it. Unless we wave the white flag and ask for help put ourselves in recovery or a time out we are doomed to continue with the same pattern.

Just like the saying goes: Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it. Sigh, my biggest weakness. Asking for help.

Recovery doesn’t happen in an instant for all your perfectionists out there just like me. There isn’t a one-time fix-all solution. Even Cinderella had to face midnight after her fairytale experience. Here’s the good news. You don’t need a fairy godmother or a pair of glass slippers to reach your destiny.

You just need to know that you are worthy of asking for what you need. You don’t needto do it all by yourself.

I don’t know where you’re at in life right now or if you’re personally facing any challenges but don’t we all have that thing, that nagging (fill in the blank) that constantly tries to overtake us? The one thing that brings us to our knees and cripples us.

Being a woman is hard at times and we have a ton of pressure on us to be everything to everyone, don’t we? We’re supposed to be the beauty, and the brains, the “girl boss”, the trophy wife, the taxi driver, the gourmet chef, the maid, the available best friend, the amazingly thoughtful daughter and the list just goes on and on.

Recovery won’t be easy and recovery doesn’t ever end. You’ll have good days, you’ll have bad days. You’ll take a step forward and then find yourself taking three steps back. The art of delegation or asking for help is just that an art, and it takes practice and patience to perfect.

Take a break. Take a breath. Take a minute. Take a nap, take a bath, take some time to take care of yourself. Otherwise, you might find yourself blowing up on people for no apparent reason. Not that I’d ever do that or anything. But it happens because we’re HUMAN after all.

The wake-up, clean, work, cook, clean, work, sleep, and REPEAT is a vicious cycle that seems to go on and on leaving some unrecognizable as to who they even are anymore. WHO they WANT to BE has gotten lost in translation somewhere between the errands, deadlines, stresses, and life.

Starting Balance InStyle is how I fed my need ( ahem addiction ) for people pleasing and being of service. I channel it for the greater good of others through my work. It is my WHY. Growing up I wanted to open a homeless shelter and take care of everyone that couldn’t take care of themselves. Ironic isn’t it?

Anyone can go through the motions of living a mundane, on repeat life, but I know if you are reading this you don’t want to be just average or just anyone. You want to leave this world better than you found it, just like I do.

I wanted to explore, create, imagine, and most of all, I wanted to love and serve others with all that I have. So I did. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but my want was strong enough that I found a way.

In order to accomplish this, it will mean letting go of some things in your life that might be weighing you down to make room for the best things that await you. Maybe this looks like setting aside an hour morning to read before the kids get up instead of checking Facebook. Maybe it looks like turning off your phone at dinner so I can actually connect with your loved ones. And maybe, actually, most definitely, it might look like demoting yourself from the CEO(Chief Everything Officer ) and learning the art of outsourcing or delegation.

If you need help getting on your way – I’m here for you! Call. Text. Email. Reach out – let’s grab a glass of bubbly and make a plan!