You stare at a blank computer screen as your thoughts race along in your head. You can feel the beginnings of sweat rolling down the back of your neck. You breathe quickly as you become unable to catch your breath fully. You can feel the panic setting in as you wonder how you are supposed to be taking care of everything you need to just to feel accomplished for the day.
You have never felt this way before so you don’t know what it is or even what to call it. Your eyes scan the area quickly as you begin to wonder how you got to this point. Your schedule is so full you have no hope of finishing everything in one day. That thought alone causes the panic now going out of control in your mind.
You close your eyes tightly as you lower your head onto your hands. You’re shaking by this point but have no idea how you can solve it. Why can’t you be more productive like the other successful entrepreneurs you see on Facebook? Why is it so hard to get everything done? I’ve had that question in my head and so much more during my time as an entrepreneur.
Being someone with constant anxiety, this is a scenario that plays out for me all the damn time. You don’t know when it starts or when it will end for you. That’s not to mention just how brutal this time is for you. This is why I wanted to discuss this sensation with you today.
I wanted to talk about how to tell if you have anxiety as an entrepreneur while also explaining how to combat it. Take it from someone who knows the scenery: it may be difficult to live with it and it’s easier to let it consume you.
You get easily overwhelmed at your to-do list.
Getting overwhelmed at the thought of the tasks on your to-do list is a common sight for those of us with anxiety. Having a long to-do list may not bother other people with this mental block but it seems like a mountain of tasks to someone whose anxious. You don’t know how you’re going to get everything done and you end up abandoning it quite often.
Breaking this to-do list into a more manageable list can be a great way to defeat the overwhelm. For me, I always have a weekly to-do list with one major task to accomplish for the day. I will get that task done as quickly as possible with as few errors as possible. I will then work on other tasks if I have the time to do so.
Breaking it up into bite-sized tasks works better for me. I often have anxiety attacks if I have huge lists. Having only one task per day with a bigger goal in mind often helps me from getting overwhelmed since I look at that task only. I don’t look at the bigger picture or I’ll become panicky all over again.
You become snappy when someone interrupts you during this time.
Have you ever been in panic mode and someone walks into your office for a chat? Did you take a figurative look at your response to that interruption? Taking a look into your reaction will more than likely show you that you snapped at the person. It doesn’t matter who they are; you’ll snap at them since you feel you have too much going on.
You feel like you don’t have time to deal with something else on your plate as well. It might even be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. This will become the point where you give up for the day, if not the entire week. You think in your mind that you’ll get more of it done tomorrow with a clearer head. You can’t work like this, after all. Right?
This is the way I used to be as I sat in front of my laptop, wondering how I was going to make enough money to survive month-to-month. I was looking at the big picture and was overwhelmed by all the tasks in front of me. That is when I snap at everyone trying to get my attention. I couldn’t get ANYTHING done because of it.
When you get to this point, I want you to take a step back. You need to breathe for a few moments before you respond to this person. You can explain all you have to get done today while asking if whatever they need can wait. If it can’t, you can always come back to your tasks with a clearer mindset. Taking a break will always help you in the end, right?
You spend too much time wondering how you’re going to get everything done.
Have you ever meant to spend only ten minutes on Facebook and find out you’ve spent over an hour on it? Have you ever sat there, staring at the screen, and wonder how you’re going to get everything done in one day? At this point, your heart begins to race as you wonder about an answer to your question.
You shudder at how long you’re going to have to work just to get everything done. Could it even be possible without having to stay up most of the night? You think not but then miracles could happen at any time, right? You can’t help wondering if your parents were right about that. They had tried getting you to believe it but you couldn’t make yourself do it.
This symptom is something everyone goes through from time to time. You have to be determined to step away from the social media in order to get your tasks done. If the task does not involve the internet, then you could shut it off. You could go as far as to shut off your digital devices altogether. You can do whatever works best for you.
You’re nervous ALL THE TIME. Like, heart-racing and adrenaline-pumping nervous.
This is something I have personally dealt with since high school. From the time I wake up until the time I fall asleep, I am nervous to the point of throwing up. Did you think you were alone in this? Think you were alone as you look over your shoulder every time you hear a noise? Those are things I do on a regular basis.
Revealing this fact about me has never been an issue. I don’t want people to think they are going through anything on their own. I know how heavy that can feel and how quickly it could lead to depression. Again, this is something I deal with on a daily basis. Personally, I am going to therapy and getting medicated for it.
My suggestion would be to get checked out by a PCP at the very least. At least a doctor in your insurance network. Prescription medication can get quite expensive so that might not be the best solution for you. My other suggestion is to see a therapist about the problem. The therapist would be able to tell you why you are feeling this way. You know, like an underlying issue.
Your heart races at the thought of doing tasks that make you nervous.
You will always have those tasks you can’t stand. You have spent all your life doing those tasks while you were in school. You also had them at your corporate job to the point where you dreaded going in to work each morning. You didn’t know how much longer you could take those tasks because you hated it so much.
I hate to tell you this, my new buddy, but you’ll have tasks as an entrepreneur that you’ll hate as well. You will run into those tasks, like cold-calling people to attain clients, that you won’t want to do. You’ll try to hedge around these tasks or even try to find another way to accomplish them. I have tried to do it myself and it has never worked for me.
I always do the dreaded task in the end, no matter how much I dread it. My palms would sweat while completing the task and my heart would try to race out of my chest. I would even second-guess myself while doing it. You are doing the same thing now and it doesn’t help your drive to get the task done. By this point, you’re feeling miserable.
One thing you could always do to pep yourself up to doing the task would be to do something you like first. You could do something like drink a beer (I wouldn’t condone more than one!), or spend a few moments on Facebook. Do your favorite task first so you can feel more relaxed about this task you dread so much.
Over to You!
Sometimes all you need to do when you have this anxiety is to take a step back. Your mind needs another task so it can refresh itself from the stress of anxiety. It may not be as easy for you but don’t let yourself become too stressed that you quit. I’m sure you don’t want to fail, after all. Take a look at the break-down of failure I found! Scary, right?
What else have you noticed about your anxiety as an entrepreneur? Do you experience symptoms other than what I’ve listed here? I want to know about it – drop me a comment about it below!