The Pressure to Have It All Figured OutNov 07, 2022
The Pressure To Have It All Figured Out 💎
Thought of the week:
“They made me angry.” “He got me upset.” “It scared me.” “World events are the cause of my anxiety.”
Actually, it’s the exact opposite. The suppressed and repressed feelings seek an outlet and utilize the events as triggers and excuses to vent themselves. We are like pressure-cookers ready to release steam when the opportunity arises. Our triggers are set and ready to go off.” David R. Hawkins
In this newsletter, I share my experience being a mental health mentor and if I feel pressure to have my mind figured out.
This week I had my first-ever speaking gig.
I presented to a community of ~20 founders, Build In Public, focused on launching companies via LinkedIn.
I was nervous, so I told them I was excited but pretty damn nervous (this helped).
Aaron, the group leader, reached out earlier this year to pick my brain on launching an online platform and we hit it off.
As his community approached launch, he invited me to be one of the first 3 speakers and cover the topic “Mental Health of a Founder”.
Toward the end of the presentation, Aaron asked:
“Being a coach and writing about this topic online each day, do you ever feel pressure to NOT struggle with mental health?”
His timing was incredible because October was my hardest month in 2+ years and I hadn't really shared that with anyone yet (with the exception of one friend earlier this week when things already started to turn the corner).
I said, “I definitely do, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.”
Recently, I started slipping in all the areas I focus on to feel my best.
Started to eat like crap, my workouts became pathetic, I stopped meditating & reading, and I didn't even want to talk to people, let alone talk about mental health.
I skipped my first newsletter in 50+ weeks and dreaded the idea of writing anything to post on LinkedIn.
A few things came to a head in October...
While trying to get the coaching side of PER off the ground for the last 8 months, I've struggled to find my footing with my niche and make any real money.
Turns out you DO need to make money...
There's been so much love & support around our mission, great feedback from guys I've worked with, and a lot that HAS gone right, but a business needs to be profitable.
There are days it feels like it’s coming together, but a lot of days where it feels not close at all.
So I'm at a point where I need to get back into the workforce, which I always knew was a real possibility.
A few things have made it more stressful than I anticipated:
- Mass layoffs right as I’m trying to get back into the field
- 30+ auto-rejection emails from sales positions I'm qualified for
- Had an incredible job lined up, then the company went on an indefinite hiring freeze
- A recruiter told me "You haven't been in sales for 2 years, I can't help you."
- And I TANKED an interview I had with a company I was excited about
So things are tough, but I also know that tough is a matter of perspective.
For the most part, I stick to the gameplan I’ve created and know what I need to feel my best.
But as a fellow human, I'm not impervious to mental health challenges (as you know by now).
I still get stressed, anxious, worried, and have moments of depression.
During these moments my inner critic loves to say...
"How the hell do you expect yourself to coach other guys if you don't have it figured out yourself?"
While I still hear that voice, I don't listen to him anymore.
And I reflect back on the last 2 years and the power that sharing has had on others.
So I don't hide from it as I know these thoughts don't define me.
When I lean into these challenges they become incredible moments of growth and I ALWAYS come out better on the other side.
So to answer Aaron's question, I do put pressure on myself to always have it figured out.
But that's just not realistic and I'd be doing a disservice to my community if I acted like I was always feeling great.
Instead, I'm thankful for that pressure because it drives me to constantly get better and learn as much as I can.
I've needed help, I've wanted to quit, I've wanted to run away to Costa Rica and own a bar on the beach.
But like everything, those things fade and the low points come back up to baseline.
Even with as much progress as I've made with my mental health, I don't have all the answers, I don't always feel motivated & happy, I get lonely, I get frustrated, and I sometimes question everything I'm doing.
But I don't hide from it anymore.
And neither should you.
Whenever you're ready, here's how I can help: