4 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Defuse Anxiety

These points are extracted from my fourth book, The Anxious Entrepreneur.

It was at about 3:35 pm. I felt I was about to faint or have a panic attack. The day was not going well. Over and above, I was overly tired.

It had been weeks since I had any ‘win’. Therefore I needed to hustle people on the phone even if it was 4:00 pm. I was desperate. For goodness’ sake, that time is around knock off time. A business pitch is the last thing they would want to hear.

A rejection email had heightened the panic. All these triggered my mind to think I have no hope: immediately, I time travelled in the past and the future. I saw no advantage of what my past has brought to today and I saw no light in my future.

Below is what I do to counter such episodes.

1. Start the day with personal achievement activities

I start my day at 5 am with what appeals to my being and interest. I write articles for my blog or to a book until 6:30 am.

This signals my subconscious that I have fulfilled a self actualising activity. Throughout the day, I become somewhat robust to knocks.

My other interests are reading and running. Before writing, I read a few pages from books I like so to activate my literature mood. “Every morning I wake up and run away”, said a certain soccer player. I also run away jogging in the morning at about 8am.

2. Work on ‘business potential’ tasks early on and for a fixed time

I find the mornings to be a good space to type out business pitch emails. The previous day, I would have made calls and got email addresses.

This is after I have written but before I go jogging: 6:45 to 8 am.

After my jog, I feel I have done enough to win the day. I am fulfilled throughout. The day could follow no particular pattern; I do what needs to be done.

Pitching business all day long is the right ingredient to send entrepreneurs to the highest anxiety hills. I prefer to do it for a fixed period. This makes sure I am effective.

3. Escape frustration tasks

I believe on that day, the tasks I was doing weren’t directed by a good sense of business value but frustration and desperation. There I was thinking I am adding points to my ‘working hard’ score-card.

The pitches I was making didn’t thoroughly consider fair value-add to those I was pitching. I just wanted to win. I was being a nuisance and spam.

So when I feel like I am being desperate to win, I take a break from work so to zone out from the anxiety.

4. Other people’s energies

Whenever I feel close to being overly desperate to win, I know it might be all about ‘me me me’.

I read somewhere that Shark Tank’s – Robert Harjavec was saved from his depression and suicidal thoughts by volunteering at a soup kitchen.

He got severely depressed after his marriage ended. He turned to his pastor who advised him to give his time at the shelter.

There is this amazing and relinquishing energy which transmutes back to us when we give and help out.

– –

I went to sleep. I played the movie 300 so it can get me to doze off. I am a comedy guy and action movies usually make me sleep. I tend to use them as sleeping pills.

When I woke up, I was feeling better. I even played Donny Hathaway’s rendition of ‘To be Young, Gifted and Black’. It always soothes me. Always! Later on, I checked my emails and I had new business…

 

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