Did you know that among the many challenges you will face as an entrepreneur in maintaining a healthy bottom line for your business, the one that is the most important is your mental health?
Yup. No joke.
Which is why we need to discuss how you need to start investing in your mental health today to see major success in your business!
Studies conducted by Morneau Shepell, (prominent Canadian HR Company that offers innovative and very broad human resource consulting) have shown that entrepreneurs are more likely to experience mental health issues than the general public.
So while being a business owner can be quite liberating in terms of being your own boss, it also takes a heavy toll on your mental health. And if not treated or prevented, can have a negative impact on your business.
From Fortune 500 companies to a simple online business run with the help of really good Wi-Fi from the comfort of wherever you are, the challenges of running a business are both harsh and rewarding.
As a new business owner, you are more likely to fail due to stressors such as uncertainty of success, competitive work environment, trying to get a strong foothold in the market, “Founders Blues” (named so because of the pressures you face trying to create and grow your business) and the big one for today: Entrepreneur’s Terror (ET).
What exactly is Entrepreneur's Terror?
ET is a combination of Fatigue, Anxiety, Stress and Fear that form one giant crippling psychological tsunami.
Sounds terrifying, I know. But… calm down.
ET has, at one point, affected every business owner regardless of the industry, however, high powered CEOs might be forced to keep that between them and their therapist (if at all). They practice the oh-so-common practice of Impression Management, a fancy way of saying, “Fake it till you make it”
I know once words like “high powered CEO” and “therapist” and “impression management” are introduced you might start seeing dollar signs, well let me put you at ease.
There are tons of ways to reduce your stress levels that will not wreak havoc on your wallet, which is what we’re here to discuss.
How investing in your mental health is investing in your businesses bottom line.
Did you know that poor performance and absenteeism due to high stress levels and poor mental health cause businesses to lose over $200 billion dollars annually? (Let that sink in for a second).
That’s why fortune 500 companies shell out the big bucks when it comes to their employee’s mental health (particularly fast paced, high risk/high rewarding careers).
I know you must be thinking, “But I’m just a small/medium or even new business owner, how can I match all that?” Well, it’s even easier to work on your mental health, for next to nothing.
Here are some simple ways to improve and maintain your sanity amidst all the pressure that comes with starting or running a business.
1. MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE.
I cannot stress enough the importance of balance; you have to keep it 50-50 in all aspects of your life. You can’t just keep pushing yourself to the max all the time; that’s the fastest way to burnout, according to the Australian Institute of Business.
Put in work, but also put in a healthy amount of socializing, catching up with friends and family and even just some time alone to relax, regroup & get your shit together (GYST), that way you will have a greater ability to focus on tasks at hand.
I know you’ve probably heard this lot(if you haven’t check out our previous post on this topic.) Exercise is not only good for you physically, (alleviating those pesky physical manifestations of stress like headaches, tummy aches etc.) but mentally too.
When you work out, you release Endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers. They give you a kind of “high” that just makes everything better – ever heard of runner’s high?
Psychologists have also found that workouts with multiple reps and sets have a calming effect on the mind due to the repetitive nature of the exercise.
3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS- plan accordingly..
More often than not, stress and anxiety have overpowering and almost debilitating effects. You can overcome this by making sure you plan your workload according to your capabilities. Do not overwork yourself.
Start with small and achievable goals, as the more you accomplish, regardless of the size of the accomplishment, the better you will feel and the more motivated you will be. Using the S.M.A.R.T method can also help you further plan your workloads the acronym stands for :
- S- smart
- M- measurable
- R- realistic
- T-time based
Did you know that exposure to sunlight helps your body release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that enhances mood and helps fight depression?
Research published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives has shown that time spent outdoors boosts your confidence and self-esteem, not to mention the many biological benefits it has. So make sure to catch some early morning rays which are also rich in vitamin D.
Hit two birds with one stone by doing Yoga outside. With the prevalence of ET; Mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises coupled with yoga or prayer is another way to calm and quieten your brain to reduce anxiety and stress.
Prayer (if you are Spiritual) is also known to have such effects so just do what works for you.
6. GET YOUR 8 HOURS IN.
You know how when your phone or laptop starts spazzing out and the first thing that comes to mind is to restart your device – that’s the same logic with your body and mind.
Getting enough quality sleep is crucial to performing well at work and completing tasks…
7. KEEP A WELLNESS DIARY.
I know this might sound strange but it’s all about slowly changing your mind-set. In your diary/journal, write down all the things/people you are grateful for or any other POSITIVE thing in your life.
The key is to reduce your focus on the negative which can spark anxiety.
It might be difficult to start journaling every single day but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start. In the beginning, hold yourself accountable to writing in your diary at least twice a week.
8. PERSEVERANCE AND PATIENCE.
At the end of the day, to make it as an entrepreneur you need a whole lot of patience to achieve goals, and even more perseverance for the failures you may encounter.
Starting a business is like a roller coaster, exciting but scary too, and as an entrepreneur you need to be ready for the highs and lows. You will have sleepless nights and failed ventures but you will learn from them all, because you are driven, you are passionate and you are goal oriented.
Never let the fear of failure or of difficulty deter you from your goals. Just imagine if Oprah let all the challenges she faced as a child growing up in poverty and then later the initial rejection she faced in the media industry, get to her. Where would Oprah be today?
Invest in yourself today and reap the rewards tomorrow, until next time, happy conquering! #GirlBoss.
“If I put my work out there, everyone is going to find out that I am a fraud and that I don’t really know what the hell I am doing.”
Has this parasite of a thought ever crossed your mind? Yeah – it crosses the minds of even the most successful people, believe it or not! And just in case you still think that you are the only one who has this fear and that it can stop you from actually taking the plunge and building a successful empire, then I am here to tell your inner Girlboss that YOU ARE NOT A FRAUD! – You just have Impostor Syndrome, like the rest of us and I am going to show you why you should overcome it!
What is Impostor Syndrome?
Do you need to be diagnosed? No girlfriend, you do not need a diagnosis.
Impostor Syndrome is basically feeling like an impostor when you’re not, and worrying that the whole world is going to find out that you are a fraud. I guess this is a valid fear to have if you’ve stolen someone’s identity or you’re selling knock-off Chanel bags but it is a completely useless fear if you’re trying to build a business and save the world etc.
You see, fear, like all emotions, is mostly useful and necessary for our survival. In fact, our brains are wired in a way that we experience fear so that we can survive a dangerous or risky situation. Unfortunately, somewhere along the journey from our ancestors, our brains forgot to evolve this fight-or-flight pathway because the reality is that the risk of failing as an entrepreneur is not the same risk of being eaten by a lion – catch my drift?
Impostor syndrome is born from this same fear-survival complex pathway, which poses one of the biggest challenges for new entrepreneurs, especially for women entrepreneurs. Whenever we step out of our comfort zone to try something new, like starting a business, we experience impostor syndrome as a way to mitigate the risk of failing.
To make matters worse, impostor syndrome can actually make it difficult for you to succeed even if you have already started your business. One way that this pesky little bug can prevent your success is by influencing you to down play your abilities and strengths due to the fear of being called a “fraud” – even though you clearly have all the amazing abilities to slay your biz and life!
The impostor syndrome is particularly worse for women because part of the syndrome stems from a sense of humility. Unlike men, women are naturally hesitant to embrace their capabilities or the value they can add to the world. This fear will deter even the most brilliant woman to pursue a position of power, start a business, and become a girl-boss.
Because even if a skill comes naturally, the fear that we might not be as good at it as we think, leads us to discount our value. This is how quickly the idea of chasing a dream career or considering a brilliant business opportunity is put in the back-burner.
Time for some news flash, every, and I mean, every successful entrepreneur has thought of themselves as an impostor, not once, or twice but at several points during their journey. Every time they are faced with a new challenge, they probably make bold decisions and take crazy risks that end up reaping great results. But guess what, while they made that decision, they were probably asking themselves, “What have I just done? Oh my God, this is it! Now they’re definitely going to find out that I am a fraud.”
There is a silver lining though...
Contrary to most beliefs, impostor syndrome is not a mental disorder but a paralyzing fear, particularly with highly motivated achievers. Yup, you read that right… it’s a fear among HIGHLY MOTIVATED ACHIEVERS because the only people who question their skills or intelligence are people who have high self-awareness and big big goals! One way to overcome impostor syndrome, then, is to not listen to the voice in your head telling you that you are not good enough, smart or intelligent enough to pursue your dreams.
The key here is to realize is that this fear is only as powerful as you allow it to be. Remember that this is just another sneaky brain trick to keep you from taking risks and all you have to do is to look this fear in the eye and tell it to take a seat to the left! (Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” on repeat)
The best or worst (depends on how you look at it) part of the impostor syndrome is that it ails even the most successful people in the world. Sheryl Sandberg, Tina Fey, Emma Watson, Kate Winslet and a lot of other successful women have admitted to feeling like an impostor!
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”
Okay girl, I don’t know about you but the fact that THE Maya Angelou felt like an impostor every time she published a new book, makes me feel like I can do literally anything, impostor syndrome or not. I mean, how could the genius behind “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” ever think she was a fraud?
I guess that’s because successful people are just as human as you and I. The only thing that differentiates them from people who are not successful is that they DO NOT let self-doubt stop them from achieving their dreams!
Take note of the fact that I said, “they do not let self-doubt stop them” not that they don’t have self-doubt. The easiest way to deal with self-doubt and turn it into confidence and motivation is to discover your PURPOSE!
Yes, I know, I am extra about purpose, but that’s only because it’s that crucial to your happiness, success and quality of life. I recently wrote about why following your passion is the worst advice ever so if you want to learn more about purpose vs passion, then click thruuu…
P.S. You can get a FREE Workbook to help you find your purpose if you read that post 🙂
Now, let’s get back to our current impostor problem: the first step to overcoming impostor syndrome is to recognize the signs that you’ve been bitten by the pesky bug…
SYMPTOMS OF IMPOSTOR SYNDROME
- Feeling like a fraud
- Unnecessarily being over-prepared
- Perfectionism, obsessiveness, and overworking
- Negative self-talk and thoughts like “I was just LUCKY!”
- Not displaying confidence because you’re worried that others will reject your abilities
- Using charm to gain approval, recognition, and praise but then you flip 180 and can’t accept praise or compliments about your work
So the next time that you feel like a fraud and you’re about to down play your awesomeness, please remember that Maya Angelou felt the same way as you at many points in her life and guess what – she still published the books. Now, you and I both know her name because she is a LEGEND!
It’s your turn to just put yourself out there and make an impact on the world… Like I always say, the world is ready for your genius – you just have to own it!
Hi there Phenomenal Woman,
If you’re in the early stages of building your business and you keep prolonging your launch date, then this SnapChronicle is for you. The truth is waiting for the perfect launch date is an excuse to procrastinate. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and just launch where you are, with what you have.
The world is ready for your awesome sauce x.
Want to Submit Your Own SnapChronicle?
You can discuss anything that you think would help, entertain or inspire other women! So, if you’ve got an interesting, world-shaking topic then make a SnapChronicle and send it to email@example.com AKA your coach-fairy-god-sister!
The following terms and conditions must be met when recording your SnapChronicle… [just because life’s more fun with a little bit of spice!]
- Thou must use filters
- The entire video must be under 5 minutes
- Thou shall make the video as fun as possible
- Thou shall respect and empower other women by creating uplifting content (no negativity here)
Bonus Points if you can keep each point under 10 seconds (1 snap video)!!
So excited for all your wisdom 🙂