The choice to work for oneself, to start a business, is a choice that brings adversity into our life. As the Chief Problem Solver in our business, it is our job to face it, contain it and overcome it.
If you are going through a tough stretch, here are just a few thoughts on coping when life tries to take the shine off your apple...
1. It ain't supposed to be easy. Convenience and comfort is not the objective. We were created with a need to work hard at meaningful and satisfying work. Happiness and contentment does not result from a life of ease. This sometimes requires a paradigm shift, an adjustment in our expectations of the entrepreneurial experience.
2. Growth comes from struggle. We need challenges and problems to solve and adversity and failures to grow as business people - in order to develop resiliency, learn new skills, to reach out for help, be more creative, to thrive.
3. Gratitude is an antidote to frustration. Feeling overwhelmed? Shift focus to the positive aspects of your business and your life. Gratitude is a super power when it comes to happiness.
4. Remember your WHY. Why are you doing this? Is it to grow? Is it to build an asset? Is it provide for your family? Is it to leverage your time for more meaningful pursuits? Having a clear understanding of Why you are in the middle of this, and where you are headed, can help to get you through the difficult and frustrating parts of the journey.
5. Choices are an antidote to depression. One of the most popular posts on this site is the article I wrote on depression. It resonated with a lot of you readers. For many, the struggle originates from within. Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance. If you feel stuck in a web of negative emotions, summon all the power you can muster, make one positive choice at a time and follow through, no matter how small you have to start. If depression has left you feeling hopeless, you may be in a very dangerous spot. In the western world, suicide rates are highest among men under 35. Please choose to reach out for help. Consider reading this excellent little book: Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig.
6. Help others. Helping other people gets us out of our own headspace, provides perspective and makes us feel good. You never know what positive side effects may come as a result.
7. Take a hike. Changing your physical state can help change your mental state. Might be good to go for walk, go fishing, hit the gym, something physical that can help you change the channel mentally and get into a more positive frame of mind. Nature and friendships can be really effective mood boosters.
I would love to hear how you get through rough patches in your business in the comments below.