Since I started my entrepreneurial journey, not a single week has gone by without me feeling doubts towards what I’m doing.
The symptoms usually start with me doing everything in my power to avoid doing any work. I know that shit has truly hit the fan when I find myself browsing job websites wondering if it would just be easier to live a normal existence and get back into the rat race.
Entrepreneurship is often a balance between ecstatic highs and moral busting lows but we can stabilise these emotions by identifying their sources and then doing everything in our power to work in and around them.
1. Your Basic Needs Aren’t Being Met
PROBLEM: The biggest killer of our entrepreneurial spirit is neglecting our basic needs. As Maslow stated in his Hierarchy of Needs, physiological, safety and security are basic human needs that provide a platform for us becoming self-actualised. Entrepreneurs tend to jump feet first in to their start-ups often dwindling their savings, health and relationships so rapidly that their bodies can’t sustain their elevated output, their relationships go to pot whilst their bank balance sends them into panic mode killing creativity.
SOLUTION: Make health, finances (MVL – Minimal Viable Living) and your relationships the foundations for building a great business. Nobody will judge you apart from yourself for taking on a part time job just to cover costs whilst you’re getting things off the ground. Having the right people around you will also guide you through your doubts whilst a healthy body and mind (one that gets enough sleep) will make sure you’re regularly performing at your best.
2. You’ve Lost Track Of Your Reasons For Starting
PROBLEM: Entrepreneurs get so tied up in themselves and their personal goals that they start to lose sight of why they started their businesses in the first place. When we become ego dominant we’re extremely vulnerable to burnout and these debilitating lows because we’ve stopped tapping in to the intrinsic energy that comes from the heart.
SOLUTION: Reconnect with your why! Why did you want to start your business in the first place? Was it to help tackle the injustices of the world? Was it to give yourself a better work-life balance so you could spend more time with your family? The best anti-depressant and catalyst for action can come through your ability to re-focus on your intrinsic motivations. Social entrepreneurs are great examples of this unwavering fight through focus.
3. You’re Putting Too Much Pressure On Yourself
PROBLEM: Entrepreneurs are super-charged self-critics and workaholics. Starting a business is something only those who enjoy pushing themselves are ever going to attempt and so having a personality wired for growth and coming up against road block after roadblock is hugely damaging and often leads to these painful lows.
SOLUTION: Sit and do absolutely nothing. Entrepreneurs suck at switching off. Negative emotions never come with focus, creativity and discipline and so forcing yourself back in to an entrepreneurial environment that demands these qualities will just lead to more negativity. When you’re feeling down, start the healing process by getting back in touch with the magic of silence; this will act like a mental shower and allow you to reconnect with your inner creator sending you back into the 10th round with renewed energy and clarity.
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