Are you an entrepreneur going to the ends of the earth to achieve entrepreneurial success?
While your revenue may or may not project the same, did you know that the entrepreneurial life can take a toll on you?
Running a business or managing your mental health almost seem like two sides of the same coin. One element in the equation requires you to evaluate business decisions for business success. The other needs you to keep your thoughts and feelings in check to stay sane.
So, here’s a question we have for you:
Have you lately been overbearing towards yourself?
Here’s an exercise to help you understand why mental health is important:
We all have our moments; both good and bad. While you are having a good day, simply be thankful and enjoy it. But, if you are having a tough day, this exercise is for you.
A bad day is often accompanied by you feeling bad for yourself. This is an ideal time for your mind to conjure up a million negative thoughts to further lower your morale. This is when you capitalize on the situation.
Take a notepad and jot down all the feelings that come by. Be honest with yourself and write down what is truly bothering you. Once done, take a good look at the list. Then keep your notepad aside and close your eyes.
Now imagine you are in a place which you find safe in your mind. Now visualize you sitting in a room with a much younger version of yourself. Try repeating and convincing that younger version of you with everything you just jotted down.
Does it make you uneasy convincing a child that he deserves the hate? Do you almost feel you’re being too harsh on that child? Would you reconsider what you’d say to that child? If yes, you should also review what you tell the adult version of yourself.
While the world forces you to be an adult, your soul is still like a child. It needs kindness and love to be the best version of itself. Hence, it is vital we understand failure isn’t final. But our outlook towards it makes all the difference in the world.
“This feeling will pass. The fear is real, but the danger is not.”
― Cammie McGovern, Say What You Will
We are always told to practice kindness and empathy towards others; but what about ourselves? We often seem harsh; sometimes, unkind even when it comes to self-love. Extended durations of unkindness towards self can lead to low self-esteem, low self-worth, and in some cases, even depression.
This article will help you understand why mental health and self-love play a crucial role in the overall well-being of an individual. Additionally, we look into some of the best ways to develop healthy coping mechanisms to ensure mental well-being.
Your emotional and mental well-being can get affected by a variety of factors. While some of these factors may seem easier to address others can leave everlasting impressions if not tended to. Hence, it is essential that you critically evaluate and identify triggers that pose a threat and work towards nullifying its effect on your mental health.
5 healthy coping mechanisms to conquer mental health issues:
Put a full stop to stress
― Steve Maraboli
“The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over.”
Millennials are infamously referred to as the generation that gets things done. This requires them to let go off their sleep and eating patterns, get prone to addiction, and more. You tend to ignore ourselves and loved ones and put the company ahead of us.
Further, you develop unhealthy coping mechanisms which could prove detrimental to either your emotional or physical well-being. This should be considered as a warning sign for all as this is also the point where we begin to digress from our mental well-being.
Make peace with uncertainty
“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.”
― David Levithan
You will always be faced with uncertainty whether you like it or not. But we know staying uncertain can be a daunting task.
Will your business get the funding it requires?
Will you project the growth that you desire?
These are some common questions that plague entrepreneurs with uncertainty. But do you know the best and worst part of this conundrum?
Nothing you do can change it.
So, while faced with situations that you have absolutely no control over, it is best for you just to let go and be. No amount of worrying and stressing about it will make it better for you. So, as troubling as it may seem, try not worrying?
The best way to confront a problem is by critically evaluating it. Weigh out your pros and cons. Based on your deductions, chalk out the best and worst possible outcomes. Lastly, patiently await the best possible outcome while still staying prepared for the worst.
You are your support system
“But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it, you will find all your paths.”― Rainer Maria Rilke
As an entrepreneur, it’s a given that you are going against the social norms. No safe 9-5 job, no social security, and most likely no support from your family and loved ones. While most self-help blogs will ask you to find solace in a friend or family member, we have something else to say.
In a world that is filled with the talkers, the listeners are valued. But what if you don’t have listeners who simply listen with no judgments to make?
While this may seem an impossible feat to achieve, here’s the loophole.
Try to build a support system that is more intrinsic in nature. The truth remains that irrespective of whether you have a dozen people willing to give their support it means nothing if you don’t feel whole from the inside.
Start by evaluating your shortcomings and strengths. While you always focus on making your strengths show through, the process still remains incomplete. You still may not feel all that valued. This is because you seem to ignore the other half of the process. Make peace with your shortcomings and most importantly accept them. Once you have worked on identifying and accepting these shortcomings, you will also let go of the unnecessary burden of making up for your weaknesses. Gain strength is seeing how far you have come and how far you plan on going.
Maintain a healthy out-of-office schedule
“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”
― John Lennon
If anything, entrepreneurs are guilty of, is that they never have the time to spend with family and loved ones. Uncertain work schedules, working in isolation for long hours, and limitless expectations that bog you down are some of the common hurdles you face.
As entrepreneurs, you often spend time networking and building connections that influence your business. While your business may seem to benefit, your social life won’t. Healthy relationships are formed by forging genuine and honest relationships based on mutual respect and trust.
Often times, entrepreneurs find no difference between their work life and personal life. This blurs all boundaries making it hard for others to connect with you. The next time you avoid a call from a loved one, stop.
Think about how they took out time from their busy schedules to check on you. Pick up that call. Revisit long forgotten hobbies and continuously remind yourself there’s more to life than work.
It’s okay not to be okay
“How different would people act if they couldn’t show off on social media? Would they still do it?”
― Donna Lynn Hope
The way people meet and socialize has changed over the years. Be it for personal or professional reasons, people tend to prefer digital connections over simple traditional ones. As an entrepreneur who’s already caught up in living a double life, constantly hustling, and always building bridges to help your business scale, you are required to always come across as someone who is always okay.
But are you?
Mental health and mental illnesses have long been seen as a taboo that one does not openly speak of. Furthermore, social media forces us always to show that we are okay.
How many times have you seen people ask if you are down with the flu? Chances are if you say you’re unwell people will have an immediate response saying “take care,” “take a break,” and similar hogwash.
But have you ever wondered why people do not ask you about your mental health? Or in rare cases where they do, and you honestly reply, they just withdraw and act as though you hadn’t said anything at all?
As an entrepreneur who’s a supposed trailblazer, change can start at home. Make sure you and your employees take mental health seriously. Have open discussions about mental health at your workplace and break the wheel.
Accept failure just as you accept success
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
Entrepreneurs almost always get too absorbed in their business. They tend to ignore that they are different entities from their business. In such cases, the health of the business tends to impact the health of the business owner as well. And this isn’t good news.
The fate of your business, says nothing about you – whether good or bad.
As an entrepreneur, you will have to face failures. But what’s crucial for you to understand is that it isn’t the end of your journey. What does decide your fate is how you perceive your success or failure.
Make it a conscious effort to be known for the person you are, and not the company you own. Work towards building healthy relationships and coping mechanisms to grow as a person. As a by-product, so will your business.
A paradigm shift
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn
When was the last time you stopped by a newly blossomed flower to appreciate its beauty? When was the last time you didn’t refresh your mailbox or have a quick glance at your watch? If you’re not happy with your answers to those questions, stop and reevaluate your priorities.
In this fast-paced world where it is the survival of the fittest, what we often forget to realize is that it is indeed the small things that matter. The next time you meet a fellow entrepreneur or colleague who seems to appear lost, stop by. Ask them how they feel and genuinely contribute to making them feel better.
Everybody is fighting a battle which you may or may not know of. The only thing you can do is stay empathetic and hopeful.
“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down
What is essential for everyone to understand, irrespective of whether they are conquering the business world or not is that there is always hope.
In our busy schedules and completely blocked out calendars, we often forget that we are just human. Humans, like all other life forms continuously need to be nourished and nurtured. So, the next time you feel locked up with a sense of deep sinking despair, just know that this too shall pass.
Like all things, perspective is what defines our roadmap. Fill in positivity and kindness in every step of the way. Because you never know who’s suffering behind closed doors. Mental health is just like any other flu you can catch. It happens to everyone at varying stages of their lives. But our perspective towards it can help foster a community of healthy individuals – both mentally and physically.