Entrepreneurship And Anxiety: How To Win Over Stress And Fear

by Kel Davis

Entrepreneurs are one of the most admired people today. The likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are flooding our social feed. Entrepreneurs are often seen as invincible, masters of their destiny and unshakeable. Reality see a very different picture – 72% of entrepreneurs are suffering from mental issues, anxiety leading in the list. They often call this “founder’s blues” and are very common among business pioneers. To have a better context of the problem, only 7% of the general population have mental health issues.

How can you steer clear from the same fate? If you own a business and you are in so much stress, these pointers can help you.

Hang on to people – talk about your struggles

One of the best ways to fight anxiety is to talk about your struggles. When you feel the load is too much to bear, talk to someone! He or she could be a good friend, someone in the family, or someone you respect a lot (a former boss is a good idea).

Admitting to yourself that you are in trouble is one of the most crucial steps in getting out of the downward spiral. Before you start withdrawing from the people who can help you, reach out, let them know you need help.

If you know someone who is into business coaching, call that person up. Sometimes all you need is someone to assess your situation. For you it could be very desperate, but in reality there are a lot of available solutions for you. Talking to someone who understand the struggles in business can give you practical advice and get you in the path of solving problems, not irrationally fearing these.

Psychologize!

Anxiety is your mind creating bigger-than-life fears out of nothing. Practicing self-awareness can do a lot for you. Examine your own mental processes, “get out of yourself” and identify where you are exaggerating your fears. This is called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – a means of changing your thinking, behaviour and emotions toward things or situations.

If you can pinpoint your anxiety triggers and then anticipate how you react to these, you can start finding a way to change how your mind works around these factors. Are you worried about your mounting debts? Are these thoughts breeding worrying scenarios? Are these scenarios causing you to have migraines or upset stomach? As you begin to address this chain of “events” you also improve your stress management skills.

This can take time but mastering your thoughts is a must-have skill for entrepreneurs. This can help you navigate very hard situations and win over founder’s blues when it begins to take hold of your mind.

Perspective is the key

Your business is an extension of your person. This is why pursuing entrepreneurship is a very personal, confronting journey. When the business is in turmoil, chances are you will also feel defeated – the starting point of irrational fear, and yes, anxiety.

This makes perspective very important. Business trends can go to your favour or not. Between the ups and downs you need an accurate view of the situation and not be limited to what you see day in and day out inside your business. There is always an alternative view!

Facing a seemingly insurmountable problem? This too shall pass. Just like your early struggles in the business, these are all temporary. The secret is to keep on going and give yourself some time to examine the problems from afar.

Know that there are people ready to help you. Ask for help if you need it, engage with people when you feel you are in a tight spot. Know for a fact that you are a self-aware individual – you are not your thoughts! And then have a level-headed perspective of your problems.