I am certain that we all get into a funk sometimes, while others dive into full blow depression over matters in our career or business. I know that I feel down on myself at times, and feel like everything I do is pointless and going nowhere. Despite the success I have seen so far and the promising future I probably have ahead of me, my stupid brain takes over and analyzes every bad thing it can think of.
I get anxiety attacks. I beat myself up. I can’t focus for all the crap floating around in my head. I know this is much worse for people with a history of serious depression, so I will not pretend to be the expert on what solves this problem. All I can do is share my experience. Here are four tips for overcoming business related depression.
1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Everyone
This is what I fall into more than anything else. I see people my age who I feel are much farther along than me and I get angry that I have not gotten as far as them.
I always need to step back and recognize that they are on a different path. They have different contacts. They have different resources. At the end of the day, they might just be better than me and there is nothing I can do about that other than keep pushing myself!
When you stop comparing yourself to other people, you can simply focus on what you do best. You stop trying to catch up and just do good work.
2. Do What You Do
Get to work. Just start doing something. You know what I did when I woke up depressed this morning? I started writing this article. I am only a couple paragraphs in and I already feel the frustration fading away.
By doing something that makes you feel useful and fulfilled, you recognize that you actually have value to give. I know that I forget this often in light of how small I am in a big world. I need to just start doing what I do and show myself that I can makes something worthwhile.
3. Spend Time With Loved Ones
This can be extremely valuable for me because my loved ones don’t just pat me on the back and say everything is alright. The people in my life who care for me the most will challenge me.
“Oh, you think you suck and nothing you do is good? Well, what are you gonna do about it?! Sit around and be useless?!”
They help me put things in perspective. They talk me through all the negative thoughts that are bombarding my confidence. They guide me in a way that allows me to get through those feelings without making rash and stupid decisions.
4. Get Away From Everything
Sometimes, and for some people, getting away is really the best answer. There are days where I like to just sit on my back porch with a cigar and think. I take my journal with me so I can write down my thoughts and organize them. I stay away from anything that would really be considered work.
This helps to calm my nerves and put everything back into perspective. This is generally the most effective on those days where I am focusing too much on the big picture and not enough on simple execution. I get caught up in the fact that the big picture seems so big and impossible, and I feel like all the little stuff I am doing will never add up to the image I have in my head. By organizing my thoughts, I can more clearly see the path I am building myself with all the small things I do each day.
Figure out what works for you…
Obviously these aren’t all meant to be done at once. You need to figure out what you need to get out of a funk or a time of depression.
Don’t wallow. That is the worst thing you can do. Don’t allow yourself to stew in those thoughts and spiral out of control. I understand this is easier said than done, but it is up to you to develop the discipline and self-awareness to know when you need to step back.