Why do entrepreneurs have a higher tendency to experience mental health challenges?
There are many reasons, but here are two:
Stress: Not surprisingly, stress ranks right at the top!! With that stress comes a multitude of other problems like working non-stop, sleepless nights, and not eating healthily (or worse is skipping meals). Basically, self-care is ignored.
Isolation: Being an entrepreneur, and specifically a solopreneur, can be very isolating. Typically, in the early stages of starting a business, entrepreneurs wear multiple hats and juggle a mountain of priorities. It’s also likely that they surround themselves with friends and family living a nine-to-five existence who don’t necessarily understand the entrepreneurial struggle. The risk of depression is compounded by Isolation.
One way to stop the stigma around being an entrepreneur and mental illness is to start a conversation.
Having an open dialogue about the challenges of mental illness can raise awareness and can educate the entrepreneurial community. It’s also critical to create an environment for entrepreneurs to speak openly about the challenges they face. Thank goodness, more and more entrepreneurs are addressing their emotional well-being and making it clear that entrepreneurs aren’t immune to mental health challenges.
As an entrepreneur, having a trustworthy support team is essential.
It is essential to have mentors, coaches and friends. Being active in Mastermind groups is another great way to share your struggles. The fellow entrepreneurs can have a deeper understanding of the challenges you’re facing and offer invaluable insights or solutions. It’s critical to be truthful with yourself and don’t be reluctant to reach out for support.
Entrepreneurs are more likely to display extreme confidence and optimism all of the time.
Regrettably, that means that when things don’t go as planned, they tend to suffer in silence. What gives mental illness and its challenges power is shame and the feeling of having to hide the thoughts and feelings.
In her famous Ted Talk, Brené Brown speaks eloquently about how vulnerability can eradicate shame. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s an act of courage. By embracing vulnerability, entrepreneurs can finally free themselves from shame, get the help they need and empower others to do the same.