The Anxious Entrepreneur: 3 Things Your Doctor Would Never Tell You
Anxiety in female entrepreneurs, women in business, even women in demanding corporate careers. A lot of the things that I hear from my friends in business is that anxiety for them comes part and parcel with being in business. I mean there's so much uncertainty in business, and there's a lot of responsibility that's on your shoulders. But some of my friends will say that the anxiety that they feel is what makes them successful. And I want to talk about that…
What I'm going to talk about is that they're most likely successful in spite of their anxiety and anxiety can show up in different ways. So it can feel like the feeling of being nervous, or restless, or irritable, having a racing heart, finding it hard to breathe. You can feel tense. You can be waking up in the middle of the night. All of those are symptoms of anxiety.
It's not just the extreme, which is the panic attacks that some people can feel which is kind of like the physical symptoms. And mentally, what we feel is that obsessive thinking or the worry, or the fear that's going on in our mind. Then behaviorally what you'll see in your life and what I see in my clients is that, and I've seen it in myself, obviously, is that your world starts to shrink because you're not open to new opportunities, you don't do the things perhaps that you're normally used to doing. You won't be as social, so your world starts to shrink because you feel like you can't handle more than what you already have. These are the really common symptoms of anxiety.
I had a client who came to me with anxiety, and she could see that it was holding back her life and particularly her business as well. She wasn't stepping out there and trying different things because she felt like she couldn't do it, or she couldn't have more on her plate.
I want to go through the three main things that we talked about and your doctor most likely won't talk to you about, that are important to overcome your anxiety.
The first one, I use the analogy or the metaphor of a computer. So, with a computer, we have the hardware, software, and we need the power to run it. For us, we have our hardware which is, an example of that is anxiety which is linked to gut health. So if we have a compromised gut, what happens is that it generates a lot of inflammation in the body. Around our digestive system, we have about 70 to 80% of our immune system. When our gut lining becomes compromised, our immune system generates a lot of inflammation, that inflammation becomes systemic, which means it affects the whole body, including the brain.
Then what happens is we get an inflamed brain, and that's linked with anxiety and depression. We've got fine neurotransmitters in our brain, and when the brain becomes inflamed, those neurotransmitters go out of balance, creating symptoms of anxiety, depression, brain fog, irritability, poor memory, etc. That's one example of a hardware problem.
We also have our high-stress hormones that are released with anxiety. Fear and worry, obsessive thinking. We have high levels of the stress hormone, particularly of cortisol. Cortisol impacts our other hormones in our body. One example of that is progesterone. Progesterone is our natural anti-anxiety, anti-depressant. Stress hormones are another example of how our hardware could be creating our anxiety along with food. There's a very big link with food and mental health. There's a direct link with food and mood. But that's just a few of the examples of the hardware aspect.
The second thing I'll talk about is the software. Software is in our head. So that's the thing that's running our hardware and it's running our body. With anxiety, anxiety is triggered by stressful thinking. It starts in our mind, and then it affects our body. In order to be stressed, we need to think stressful thoughts.
This activates our nervous system and gets this whole process happening in our body with our stress hormones, and then with our symptoms. So when we're looking at it as a software problem, we need to look at this, or we need to look at anxiety from a holistic perspective and not just look at it as treating the symptoms, just to keep you relaxed. We need to look at what thinking is driving this anxiety.
Often, a really good example or reason why we are more stressed today than we have been in generations before us is that we have a really good imagination. And so, we're creative in the ways that we can create our stress, we kind of future trip on what could possibly happen to us in the future. So it's imagination combined with our insecurities that drive a lot of our anxiety.
The third key thing is, what operates a computer and what operates us as well, is power or connectivity. So we need to be kind of plugged in. I call this being plugged into the life force. This source of energy behind life, and when we're plugged into that, we feel in the flow. Things feel like they're happening much more easily. But when we're disconnected, we feel like we're pushing that boulder up a hill and everything feels hard.
The problem with high achievers and type A personality is that it's hard for us to let go. So in order to be in this life force or source energy, we have to let go. Because when we're holding on too tight and we're trying to control things, it's almost like we are squeezing. If we think of a hose, it's almost like squeezing, the force going through or the pressure going through and we're restricting the flow. So what we want to do is be able to let go to allow the life force to move through.
There's a book called Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver, and she talks about this so beautifully. She talks about letting the divine lead the way. So really being able to let go of our big plans, and getting back into the flow of things, where things just happen more smoothly more easily for us.
Another thing that I want to mention with being connected and being connected with the life force is that the more we are in this flow, the more we can access our creativity. Creativity is so important for business, but it's so important for us… We need creativity in order to create our life and to create our future. Anxiety is going to cut that off.
Is this is you, if you're anxious, you're stressed, you're overwhelmed, perhaps tired as well? I'm going to talk more about this, and these kinds of hardware, the software, the power connectivity in a workshop that I'm doing in a couple of days. This workshop is completely free, and it's designed for women in business and entrepreneurs. I'm going to talk about what are the three vital signs, your vital signs that are impacting the vital signs of your business, and your bottom line.
I'm going to talk about how you can go from feeling exhausted to energised, and how to soothe the stress, and have a much calmer mind.
It's completely free, and I'm going to take you through the whole process of what you need to do in order to repair these areas, the hardware, software, and the connectivity, so you can feel your best and you don't feel that anxiety through the day where it impacts your productivity as well: