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How to overcome entrepreneurial anxiety

Many people find the entrepreneurial journey to be a lonely and stressful one, fraught with highs and lows, elated wins, and crushing losses. The crux of anxiety is uncertainty; entrepreneurs fear the future and worry about how they will cope. The absence of a regular paycheck, market fluctuations, and the inevitable risk-taking required to grow, only compounds this uncertainty.

As an entrepreneur, you are your biggest asset and your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health. Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders that we can suffer from, so here are five ways to manage your entrepreneurial anxiety.

Self Compassion: As an entrepreneur, failure is inevitable.  But being compassionate to yourself cushions you against failures, allowing you to bounce back and try again because you learn that failure is just part of being human. It’s treating yourself as you would a good friend, with understanding,  kindness, and respect.

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Taking breaks: It’s time to start working smarter, not harder. Your brain is not designed to work flat out for 10 hours a day. You need time-outs to process information and perform at your best.  Schedule breaks into your diary to make sure they actually happen and head out for a walk, have a stretch, meditate, make tea, daydream, read, or phone a friend.

Meditation: Meditation doesn’t take time away from your busy schedule; it gives you time.  Famous entrepreneurs who espouse the benefits of meditation include Tim Ferris, Oprah, and Russell Simmons. Those with a regular practice report increased mental focus, lowered stress and anxiety, and higher levels of creativity

Phone boundaries: Mobile phone addiction is on the rise.  Each time you check your emails, receive a new tweet, or an intriguing news story pops up on your our phone, you get a hit of dopamine. You get addicted to your phones. Being at the beck and call of your mobile and answering email 24/7 is bad news for your mental health because it keeps you on high alert, never allowing you to fully switch off.

Procrastination: Anxiety and procrastination are often linked.  When you feel scared and overwhelmed it can be hard to take action and get things done.  If you fear failure, you might struggle even to get started. Then the more you put things off, the more pressure you’re under, making it even harder to focus and concentrate.

Culled from LSETF Digest

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