Increasingly, as I move towards being a fulltime entrepreneur, which, in part, involves spreading awareness about mental health, I’ve been thinking about my own psychological state and mental wellbeing. You see, as with any start-up business scenario, becoming a creative entrepreneur entails a hefty investment in time, the harnessing of creative energy and mental power, as well as a substantial monetary stake. But what about investment in yourself, and your mental health? This is something that can quite easily be ignored and pushed aside into the ‘non-essential, I’ll deal with this some other time’ box.
Today, let’s pull it out of the box, and really take a good look at it. Why should investing in your mental health be a priority?
The toll of entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial life is hard, especially in the preliminary stages of setting up a business. Every day, a profusion of digital entrepreneurs is rising up, as many pursue goals of using their creativity and having freedom away from the traditional careers that have held sway for so long. You work hard to inject life into your dreams, package your various competencies and expertise into neat, easily consumable bundles, not to mention jostle for your spot and creating visibility for you brand in the noisy marketplace.
In making all that happen, you’re working long hours, researching, planning, editing and producing shiny bits of content to benefit and engage your audience. In our world, deadlines dominate, and time is literally money. Have you noticed that you’re always switched on? It’s only natural that you feel drained, stressed and in need of something to revive and fully replenish all that energy and power you’re expending.
The facts about mental health
I’ve spoken extensively in previous articles about just how pervasive mental health issues are in our society (see "What's the fuss?" Why we should all be talking about mental health and Society's role in promoting good mental health).
I’ll just go ahead and drop this one figure here: 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental health issues in their life time. That is a lot. That figure means that the chances are pretty high that, at some time or another, you will have to deal with mental issues of your own.
Want to know the extra special thing about your mental health?
It doesn’t just impact on you, but filters through you and has an effect on everything and everyone around you: your business, your spouse, your kids, your friends and your employees. Mental health has the ultimate party tricks – it leaps out of your own mind and appears everywhere in your life.
What is self-care anyway?
The term ‘self-care’ gets banded around a lot, but how many of us really practise it in a holistic way? Do we fool ourselves into believing that it simply entails treating ourselves to a spa break or taking some time to vegetate in front our favourite Netflix series?
I’m not knocking any of those things, because I truly believe they do have their place and are necessary on occasion. However, the underlying backbone of the concept of self-care should be looking after our mental health. The simple truth is that without nourishing our mind and catering to its needs, everything else we’re engaged in means nothing – even if we think we are being successful, without good mental health, we just cannot be.
Our precious minds
Our minds are wonderful, complex and mysterious things. Out from your mind flow ideas, thoughts and ambitions. It’s worth remembering, though, that for this to be a sustainable process, you must take in more than you’re giving out. Just like a car cannot run on an empty petrol tank, we cannot empty out all that you’ve got inside us and expect to be at your optimal; you need to refuel.
To be able to effectively deal with all the challenges of the work environment, you need to be very protective of our mental health, and make sure that, above all, you are in a good state of mental and emotional wellbeing.
Protecting your mental health is one thing; you also need to be constantly working on yourself, developing qualities, talents, and capabilities which will allow you to become an even better person than you already are.
This kind of mental growth or personal development will also have a profound effect on the business side of things. Whether you recognise it or not, chances are there’s something that is limiting you from achieving your full potential. It could be: fear, insecurities, self-doubt, self-criticism, lack of confidence or negative thoughts.
That’s where a change of mindset comes in. Sounds simple enough, right? Only it isn’t. There are some things that are so deeply ingrained in our personalities, in our attitudes and in our entire being that they will take some effort to rid yourself of.
Such limiting mental dispositions may be as a result of bad experiences in the past, perhaps something which deeply hurt or humiliated you, that you just can’t seem to let go of. It could be that you have emotional scars that have been with you since childhood. Whatever the case, the good news is, you can overcome these.
A worthwhile investment
Here’s the thing: with these deeply entrenched attitudes, thoughts and behaviours, it’s very difficult to go it on your own. Sure, there’s millions of things you can read online by way of “self-help”. However, there’s a reason there are such things such as mental health professionals and specialists. They’re the ones that help us to keep our mental health in check, and who have the practical know-how of helping us to transform our lives by breaking free of harmful things that linger in our minds and stagnate our performance.
If you’re ready to get help in having a full mental overhaul, to unlock all the positive energy that’s inside you and channel that towards living a purposeful and abundant life, then listen up.
You may be acquainted with Athena Laz- a licensed psychologist and an author, who has been dishing out amazing advice in top publications such as Cosmopolitan Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Well, she’s put together a 12-week course, that I am so excited to be taking.
It’s an online programme, designed for both men and women that promises to get you to reclaim your inner power. Here’s a summary of the specifics of what the Own Your Inner Power programme is designed to help you do:
1. Work with and heal self-doubt
2. Develop a healthier inner dialogue
3. Learn how to recognize and alter self-sabotage
4. Awaken and reclaim your inner power
5. Heighten your intuition
6. Take aligned action and create
7. Heal old pain and move forward
As you can see, this is a powerhouse of a course, that has the ability to change your life. If you want to check it out, here’s the link.
Sure, you lead a busy life where a multiplicity of things is constantly vying for your attention. In all that’s going on though, make it a goal to slow it down and replenish and nourish your minds. In doing so, you’ll be making sure you’re in good mental health, plus continuing to grow as an individual. You’ll start reaping the benefits of having the right mentality and mindset straight away. Your mind is powerful; unleash its power and learn how to make it serve your best interests.
Tell me, what was the last investment you made in yourself? Looking forward to your comments as always!