Sometimes I don't run my business, my business runs me. I've been behind on posts (sorry) & I've been trying to work out some logistics for Give a Damn Goods, all while trying to keep my mental sanity together. My anxiety has been really magnified lately. I think it's from everything going on, moving around so much, and all the business stuff on top of the personal.
If we're being honest, anxiety runs my business. It's the constant checking of the e-mail in fear that I have messed something up. It's double checking & triple checking everything I send out. It's constantly checking the time, if someone is one minute late to a meeting and being convinced that I'm at the wrong place or read the wrong time. It's opening my e-mail and becoming too anxious to sit down and actually respond. It's obsessing over the littlest details or minor mess ups. It's taking the actions of others personally, even when it's just business.It's feeling a constant guilt and pressure in my chest when I'm behind on work (which is basically everyday). It's the fear that I'm not doing things right or well enough. It's wondering if it's worth it? And worst of all, it's the constant fear of failure.
While some of these thoughts are probably typical of all entrepreneurs, my anxiety forces me to put an unnecessary pressure on myself. Some days I have a butt load of work that I know needs to be done, but I'm too anxious and can't focus or be productive. Some days I beat myself up because I'm unproductive due to my anxiety. While the flexibility of being self-employed is great in the sense that I CAN take mental health days, I also struggle to relax if I know there are things that need to be done. Creating boundaries has been a challenge. My anxiety over my business keeps me up at night. It can be crippling because I can't escape. Just relax? Nope, my anxiety says no relaxing until everything is perfect and things are NEVER going to be perfect. There is always something that needs to be done. It's something I'm working on accepting. It's a nasty cycle, but honestly, my entrepreneurial spirit helps me fight my anxiety in ways I never imagined.
Daily, I have to put myself out there, talk on the phone, and drive to meetings. All things that make me anxious. Yes, I know they seem like such simple tasks, but they can get me really worked up. Some days I wish I had someone, or an entrepreneurship step by step guide book, reassuring me that I'm doing things right and that nobody can please everybody. My anxiety tends to make me doubt myself and every little decision that comes with the responsibility, but what I have to remember is that everyday I'm fighting my own demons and working through my anxiety, proving to myself that I am capable. I'm a capable entrepreneur. I'm a capable creative. I'm a capable writer. I'm a capable business owner. I'm a capable woman. And anxiety is just something that is just a part of all the other wonderful things that I am. It does not define who I am.
If you're a business owner who struggles with mental health, please know you are NOT alone. It can be SO challenging. Remember that YOU are capable & know that I admire the work that you do. It's inspiring when others are able to fight through anxiety to follow their passion & dreams.