Hello friends! If you are checking to see if you read the title wrong, I promise, you didn’t. This is something I kept feeling a pressing to write on, so I pray you find this helpful in your life.
How can you run a business while dealing with anxiety, or depression?
I’m writing from a place of personal experience, and it’s hard, but not impossible. Most people deal with a minor form of anxiety, but still accomplish their goals, and lead a pretty active social life. As for me, it got to a point where I was trapped inside my house, and felt panicked if I tried to do anything different outside of hiding behind my computer working (i.e: “Working” on Facebook, “Working” on my website, “Working” on projects). I wanted to look busy so that nobody knew what was really happening, so often my statuses would result in, “I’m “working” on something”. Whats even worse is that I felt trapped inside myself. I wanted to be pro-active, I wasn’t a lazy person, I knew how to work hard, but I felt so paralyzed to do anything. During this time period, I was essentially jobless, broke, lost a few friends during that hard season of life, and that’s when depression hit, and it hit hard.
My parents realized how critical it had gotten, when I made a comment, “I just don’t want to be here anymore”. Immediately they prayed with me, and soon after that I started to feel hopeful again. There were days I had to work harder than others to feel okay, but the more I prayed the better things became. Today I am enjoying life more than I ever have before, and I find myself laughing more than I ever have before. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but it is possible, and so worth it.
Maybe you’re reading this right now, and realizing you’ve been to that point, or maybe you’re in the middle of going through this right now. Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that you are here for a reason. You have a purpose, and you can still be a successful business owner.
*This one is personal to each person, and how you believe, so don’t take offence with this post, but prayer can, and will change things. I am a firm believer in Jesus, and I know the more I dive deep into God’s word the more my circumstance, and attitude changes in a good way.
*Surround yourself with other like-minded individuals, and personal friends who can guide you, and lift you up when you feel stuck.
*Just get out from behind that computer. You don’t need to sit around checking your Instagram 24/7, comparing your website with other photographers, creatives, or anyone else in your area. Plan time to get out for a walk, go eat lunch out somewhere, take your work to a small local coffee shop, etc. Just being out for a while will make you feel so much better.
*Feel the fear, and do it anyway! I find myself practicing this one more than anything, because when it comes to meeting another industry peer, client, vendor, etc. I get so nervous, and anxious that I am going to screw it all up that I can’t focus. If I let the fears get to me, I’ll back out, and end up kicking myself for not going.
*Narrow that to do list down! You need to create your own business funnel(i.e: A streamlined process that makes doing business easier on you). Don’t look to what everyone else is doing, find what works for you, and your business. You don’t have to, “Keep Up With The Jones’ “ so to speak.
*Stop Multi-Tasking! Yes I said stop multi-tasking. In today’s world we are taught that we will be better if we do more than one thing at a time, but we were not designed that way. We were designed to focus on one thing at a time, and do it exceptionally! (I’m still struggling with this one too, but each day gets better) Look at your calendar, and write specific tasks for different days. One day may be social media management, another day could be content creation day, another day could be all about writing blog posts, etc. I’ve noticed that when I do things this way, I actually get way more done in the long run.
For me the benefits have been huge! Once I stepped out of my own way, stopped letting anxiety, and depression debilitate me, some amazing things have happened:
*I second shot an amazing wedding in downtown Asheville, NC and worked with an amazing photographer, Ruby Peoples(btw I am shooting with her again in June)
*I finally settled down, chose my specialties in the industry, and by doing this, I am able to speak directly to my ideal clients, and my work is steady.
*Made some amazing friends in the photography industry.
*Booked my very first professional head-shot session with someone outside of my home state.
*Being able to travel. (This one is huge for me, because it’s all I want to do!)
Now these steps may seem small to someone else, but to me they are huge. I still have my days where all I want to do is stay home, and hide in my safe place.
Is that going to garnish the business of my dreams? No! So I keep praying, keep pushing myself, and above all I’ve learned to really trust God. He knows what he’s doing, and He’s really good at getting people out of their comfort zones even when they don’t want to.
If you need someone to talk to about what you are going through, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help you work through this, because you are not alone. I know it can feel that way, because not everyone goes through it, especially a lot of business owners. Most business owners are very Type A, social butterflies, etc. so I know how lonely, and hopeless it feels.
Contact me right here, I’m here for you.