Whenever I do podcast episodes or blogs or Facebook lives etc on Mental Health and my therapy, they consistently get the best downloads the most downloads the highest views and this is a very serious subject but also hopefully with some very practical solutions too. So my hope is that this reaches as many people as possible so before we get into this weeks blog I want to ask you all to share this because sometimes you never know who is struggling. And they may not thank you for it right away but believe me if you’re reading this and you’re struggling, I think some of the content will help you.
But if you’re reading, and you’re not yet struggling, as things get harder in business as there’s a recession, as maybe you’re struggling with the work-life balance as you’re working hard, and maybe, your energy, and passion, and enthusiasm start to wane, as you have disruptions, legal cases, reputational, and other issues, this stuff can really come at you as a surprise. It can blindside you. I probably was too proud a few years ago, to talk about some of the feelings that I had, which were, quite dark or empty. Because sometimes, emptiness is worse than darkness.
How to set goals
I know, sometimes, I drive myself wild with my own thoughts. When I write my goals every 6 months, I don’t just put the physical goals, the tangible goals, the material goals, the results goals. I actually have a little section, which is, how I want to be known, and how I want to be remembered. Certainly, when I go off track from that, that’s definitely when my self-worth, or how I feel about myself can drop a little bit.
The paradox of that, is, don’t go beating yourself up when you can’t quite live up to the expectations of who you want to be. No one is perfect. We’re all going to fail frequently. But if you don’t have a vision for who you want to become, how you want to be known, then you have no standard to live by. When you have a standard to live by, and you live by that standard, that makes you feel very secure, very strong, and someone that you like, someone that you like to be around. You know, when you like to be around your own thoughts.
What to do about criticism
I think it’s good to give yourself feedback. It’s good to be honest and say, you know what, I shouldn’t be doing that. I’d made a mistake, and I’d let myself down. I need to fix that. But that’s feedback. You don’t want to turn it into an inner critic, where you’re beating yourself up all the time, and you’re beating yourself down. You’re harder on yourself. Sometimes, the standards you hold yourself to, are, too high and unrealistic.
Criticism is hard to take, but if you believe in self-awareness, self-mastery and self-development as I do, then you’ll recognise that, even when it hurts to hear, there is substance to complaints. It’s your duty to work out whether your critics are motivated by a desire for recompense, a need for “one-upmanship”, a drive to offer you some worthwhile advice, or just because they are bitter and angry and looking to cause you grief.
How to get motivated when you’re just starting out
When I started out as an entrepreneur in my 20s I started out from nothing. I was in a lot of debt. I’ve got myself in a lot of debt. I was at my lowest point in confidence probably, and my lowest point financially, probably in my mid 20s, I would say. And I felt it was really hard to make something of myself. I felt alone. I felt I was playing a bit of the victim mentality, if you like. I was needy. I didn’t feel noticed. I didn’t feel respected. I felt embarrassed, because I hadn’t sorted my own financial situation out.
The problem with this self-pity, and this wallowing, and this “I’m feeling sorry for myself”, is, you get massive secondary gain. You get a bit of a dopamine hit. You get a rush of feeling good in a moment. That relief when you can moan, and complain, and bitch, and justify, and get the violin out, heart bleed, and everything else. So, it actually can feel very good to do that.
Recognise that if a criticism is being said to your face (online or offline), that’s better than it being behind your back. It means that this person is less likely to be bitching about you in private, and it gives you a chance to weigh up the comments more objectively.
We all feel sorry for ourselves, and it’s okay, because it’s a natural human emotion to have some self-pity and introspection. I just don’t want you to do it forever and set up these big pity parties, which you think you get this secondary gain from, but in fact, most people really don’t like.
How to surround yourself with the best people
For me, probably the greatest gift of life is the people that you meet, the experiences you have with people. We’re an interconnected social animal. Have you had something happened? And then it happened on your own. You didn’t get to accelerate with anyone. And maybe, you didn’t feel as good.
Make sure you’ve got wise counsel around you. I mean, all the time, anyway. But when you’re in this emotion, people who’d call you out on your shit, people who’d just correct you and show you the upside, and guide you, and care about you, and want you to win, and have got your back.
Everyone is allowed a bitch, a moan and a complaint. We’re human beings, and we can be very cathartic. Just select the right people to do it, not social media, not online in massive public groups, not to people who you can’t trust, not to people who will use it against you, not to people who go and share it that are indiscreet. You could journal. You could write and express all your feelings down.
Here’s a tough fact to swallow: the more successful you are, the more hate you’ll get.
I see people worrying about their competition. Looking at what others are doing. Feeling like they’re getting left behind. Finding how to sit on their hands. Want to do that income stream, that business model, that opportunity, because everyone else is doing it. And it’s really easy to get distracted by anyone else.
Do I need a therapist? Do I need a mentor?
I get a great amount of personal therapy and catharsis in my podcast, and lives, and videos, and books that I wouldn’t be able to get. I know I’d be bottling all of these stuff in, if I didn’t do that. So, I would definitely encourage you to share more, not necessarily in a public forum, but maybe, one step at a time. Just share more some of the things you’re feeling.
My podcast is my therapy to myself, and my own emotions and challenges. My rants are that. I try and turn that into good work, that the world finds value from. I try and do it in a respectful way, i.e., not pointing fingers at individual people, or segments of people or culture or races. I try my best not to do that.
I mean I’ve done so much personal development, so many courses. I’ve got so many mentors, and yet I learned so much more about myself that I didn’t know. It’s very cathartic, of course. You’ll often find your triggers, which you’ll be able to own, and repair, and forgive. You work solely on you for a change. You’re not fearing judgment. I’ve learned so much about myself.
I kind of struggled alone. I did a lot of personal development. I went to a lot of seminars, and did a lot sort of personal therapy, if you like, and to realise that a lot of the emptiness, and the darkness, and the struggle was kind of self-inflicted in my own mind. There were things I could do about it, some simple things, but I just didn’t know. You don’t know what you don’t know. There were some resources that I didn’t know, because you don’t know what’s not there.
How to take care of yourself (mentally and physically)
You have to take good care of yourself. I’m definitely not the best at this. I’m a working progress. But some of these I do quite well. And many of these I’m figuring out just like you.
But entrepreneurs tend to go from goal to goal. We tend not to really take good care of our health, our well-being, our happiness. We tend not to take too much rest, recuperation. We tend not to reward ourselves. We tend not to spoil ourselves rotten. I think that, that’s really important that we do that. Have fun. Laugh a lot. Take some time out. Do the things that make you feel good. Caring about yourself.
You have to remember that you’re unique. And I don’t say special, in that, you’re a special individual like your mum would say. But you are completely unique. There’s no one like you on the planet. You have a unique set of values, a unique set of experiences, a unique set of knowledge and gifts and talents. Some born, some nurtured. And you should remember that.
If you’re going to be an inner critic, you’ll also need to be an inner carer. And each time you say, “Oh, I failed at this, I’m not very good at this,” you need to immediately with another voice on the other side of your shoulder, go actually, “but I’m really good at this.” And I did this really well. Make that a balance. I know a lot of people they’re more of an inner critic than an inner carer.
So that’s it for this blog but I encourage you to share these tips and this article with as many people as possible and if you have any more tips and advice to help people