Entrepreneurs are faced with the task of being their own boss. For many, this may sound like a blessing, yet the motivation necessary to start a business tends to also have a dark side. A strong internal critical voice that is never satisfied will make even the most successful entrepreneur focus on their flaws and leave them believing that they will never be good enough.
For women, this impossible standard is an all too common feeling in many areas of their lives; for example, regularly question themselves about whether they are being a good enough daughter, partner, friend, or parent. Add to this the fact that they no longer have a boss who could potentially provide positive feedback may lead to feeling even more unsure of themselves.
Another common trigger for poor mental health is when one attaches their sense of identity to their work and thus their self-worth is then based on their success. Understandably, the pressure to succeed in addition to managing all components of a business will compound stress exponentially, setting off nearly round-the-clock fears around failure and perceived judgment from others.
Lastly, another potential reason why women entrepreneurs’ mental health struggles exist more than men may be due to women gravitating towards working with diverse teams and benefiting from a sense of community. An entrepreneur’s journey can be very isolating, often removing the social benefits of working alongside peers. Not having someone who gets it to talk through an issue can lead one to feel stuck, frustrated, and, undoubtedly, alone.
There are several steps a female entrepreneur can take to improve their mental health:
- Find a mentor, coach, or therapist. Someone whose job it is to support you on your path while being an impartial person who you can be completely real and vulnerable with. Connect with someone in any way you can that will remind you that you are not alone. If hiring someone one on one is not possible right now, follow inspirational mentors on social media or find podcasts related to your field.
- Connect with a community of entrepreneurial women. Once you start doing a little research, you will find a tremendous amount of support on and offline. Some examples include joining an online Facebook group, joining or starting a mastermind group, or attending a business networking event.
- Practice self-compassion. Now more than ever, there are many unknowns in the world due to the pandemic and its influence on our professional and personal lives. Reminding oneself to be compassionate not only with others but particularly with ourselves will help sustain one’s mental health, allowing for greater clarity, motivation, and confidence when making important decisions. A helpful website to check out is https://self-compassion.org/
Hopefully, this post has inspired you to prioritize your mental health. If you would like to learn more about working with a coach, I welcome you to reach out. Taking just one step in building your support is always beneficial!