The entrepreneurial life is filled with both discouraging pitfalls and exciting victories. In the process of navigating the ups and downs inherent in building a new business, it’s easy for emotions to get out of control.
You may feel wildly happy one moment and devastated the next. The worst part is that you don’t manage your new startup effectively when you’re emotionally overwhelmed. If the emotional turmoil keeps up, it can affect your overall mood. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your mood to stay stable no matter what happens next.
Tap into Mental Health Resources
You’re an entrepreneur. You’re a powerhouse of creative energy and innovative ideas. You get things done. But, here’s the thing: you’re also a human. You have emotions. And, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, your emotions not only drive you but also hinder you at times.
Now, moods are not precisely the same as emotions. Emotions don’t last long. They come and go easily and are related to something specific that happened. A mood lasts longer. You may not be aware of when your mood changed or what caused the change. Mood is a state of being that’s either positive or negative. If your emotions change rapidly, it can feel a bit confusing. If your mood changes quickly, you can become unstable and unable to do your best work.
Emotions are necessary even if they’re hard to deal with sometimes. But, when your mood is affected, the difficulty multiplies. The good news is that there are mental health resources you can take advantage of to help you manage your moods. For example, you can get set up with a counselor at BetterHelp so that you’re ready to deal with outrageous emotions whenever they arise. You can address them before they turn into longer-term moods.
Relax Even as You Push Forward
As an entrepreneur, you’re always pushing yourself very hard to achieve your next goal. That’s great. That’s a part of what makes you who you are. What you might not realize is that even as you’re driving yourself forward, you need to take time to relax. You need to stay calm despite the changes that are going on around you so you can make the most of every opportunity.
How do you do that? One way is to learn relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. Experiment with techniques like progressive muscle relaxation. If you don’t know how to start with these techniques, ask a counselor to help you. It doesn’t take long to learn, and you can follow through on your own whenever you need to calm yourself.
It’s also important to take breaks. Don’t just stick to a lunch break and a couple of coffee breaks, either. Give yourself several very brief breaks during the day, ideally at least once an hour. You don’t have to go to the breakroom to do it. Just step out from behind your desk, stretch a bit, look out the window for a few minutes, and let your mind drift a bit. You’ll go back to your work refreshed and ready to go.
Entrepreneurs tend to be keenly focused on conquering the next hurdle and achieving the next goal. Unfortunately, everything doesn’t always happen as fast as you might hope it will. Accept that you don’t control every timetable.
Instead of allowing yourself to get discouraged that things are taking too long, be like a farmer. Concentrate on planting the seeds and tending the crops. Then, release your need to control everything. Let the growth happen naturally and in its own good time, recognizing that you’ve already done all you can do.
Realize That What You Created, You Can Fix
What happens when your business disappoints you? Maybe you get angry, blame other people, or complain that the world is unfair. Perhaps you feel devastated and afraid to keep trying. Before your disappointed emotions turn into a long-term negative mood, remember that you’re in charge of your business. And, if you’re in charge, that means you have the power to make changes.
This isn’t someone else’s project. It’s yours. And, that means you can make it work better than anyone else can. Disappointed emotions will come from time to time. That’s okay. Just don’t let them stay. Instead, get back to the problem at hand and find your own way to the other side.
Manage Your Expectations
Both before you begin your project and all along the way, your expectations have a big impact on your emotions. As an entrepreneur, you may build up expectations of amazing success, financial freedom, and complete self-determination. Yet, new businesses rarely meet those expectations, certainly not immediately. And, your business may never be everything you hoped for, especially if you were extremely starry-eyed in the first place.
That’s why it’s a good idea to manage your expectations from the start. Do plenty of research before you make that first investment. Know how your business is likely to fare if everything goes as planned. Then, acknowledge the fact that not everything happens perfectly. Set expectations for yourself that are positive, yes, but also realistic. At each new phase of your business, guard against unrealistic expectations. Then, if your new business exceeds your expectation, you’ll appreciate it even more.
A stable mood is a very valuable asset for any entrepreneur. It frees you to put your energy into making your business work for you. Do what it takes to manage your mood so that you can think clearly, act decisively, and accomplish the realistic goals you’ve set for yourself.