How to Fight Anxiety When You’re Becoming an Entrepreneur
Conscious Magazine tells the stories of those making a difference — people who are approaching their lives, and their work, in conscious, meaningful ways. As you might imagine, all of us at DesignGood are such fans at that we also became Conscious contributors. That’s why we’re so excited that Rachael Baxter-Lechliter, the co-founder and editor in chief at Conscious, is writing for us this week. Her candid advice speaks to something that inevitably happens as you’re becoming an entrepreneur: facing your anxieties.
When you become an entrepreneur and are working on your idea day in and day out, you naturally begin to take your business on as part of your identity. With that identity, there are rewards and setbacks. You will experience the highs when it’s good; the bad lows when it’s bad, and the really bad lows when the dream you are building seems completely uncertain.
In the extreme awareness you have about your situation, you are going to face your insecurities, and they will become more amplified than ever.
In my case, I struggled with the comparison issue — thoughts of “I’m not worthy” or “I’m not valuable.” I experienced the “not good enough” issue, along with questions of “What am I doing?” and “Why did I think I could actually launch a media/publishing company?” I even had fears of the time and financial investment — was I a fool? I would go to bed and wake up with these insecurities, which only led to my wanting to sleep more. There was a point when I realized that in order to be whole, I needed to get in front of these insecurities and find a way to deal with them.
So, how did I manage my own amplified insecurities? Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:
1. You Don’t Have To Defend (Or Prove) Yourself
Remind yourself of this daily. Instead of trying to prove yourself to someone, just believe in yourself and know that no one can take that away from you.
2. Value Rest
We absolutely value work and productivity, but rest is the time that you can separate yourself from your work and give your mind and heart a break from the running around in circles. Rest is also a time that you can connect with those close to you.
3. Grow Into Your Patience
You may feel like the work you’re doing is not getting across the way you expected it. When this happens, take a pause and give your customers and supporters the chance to give you some feedback, respond, etc.
4. Put Words to the Emotions You Are Feeling
When we’re feeling unsure or insecure, we tend to lash out in different ways. The best way to handle this is to pause and put words to the feelings — I feel anger, sadness, betrayed, hurt, etc. This takes you out of the situation, reveals to you what you’re actually feeling, and gives you that moment to say, “OK, these are my insecurities that I can deal with.”
5. Seek Counsel
I chose to seek counsel within the first year of launching Conscious Magazine because I was so aware of my insecurities and needed to understand why. I was constantly thinking negatively about myself and feeling horrible. Well, when you seek counsel, they ask you about your childhood, and now I know why: It’s true — a lot of what we experienced as children and teens has major effects on our future.
6. Focus On Something Bigger Than Yourself
Find something that takes the focus off of you. When you’re in that mode of constantly being aware of only yourself, it can actually lead to depression. When you’re focusing on something bigger than yourself, then your problems tend to seem less important in the grand scheme of everything.
Lastly, I am a work in progress and so there are going to be highs and lows. But I now have a more intellectual understanding of my feelings, and when old wounds are opened, I can recognize them for what they are.