Updated: Sep 5, 2021
I’ve uncovered the root of my anxiety.
It comes from my need to be in control, to feel powerful, to be all-knowing of the outcomes I set in motion.
Turns out, the anxiety, depression, and unhappiness in entrepreneurship all come from a sense of powerlessness. When we’re powerless, we feel anxious. When we’re powerless, we feel depressed. When we’re powerless, we feel unhappy.
When an employee leaves us, we get anxious because we were powerless in their decision. We get stressed because we're powerless in guaranteeing a suitable replacement. Their action doesn't cause them anxiety, our reaction to their action is what causes it.
Here’s proof: If you had a 1000 person company, and the same employee left, but you never knew them, you wouldn't be anxious. In both cases, the same employee left, therefore proving that an employee leaving doesn't cause anxiety, our reaction does.
And because we're hustling and grind entrepreneurs - the go-getters of the world - we automatically take on the responsibility of overcoming this powerlessness over our debt, overcoming the powerlessness over our circumstances, and overcoming powerlessness over our business plans. Somehow, we feel it's up to us to dig ourselves out of this mess. We say to ourselves, "I got this, I'm going to make this happen."
However, this self-reliant duty and obligation is the very thing that brings the stress and anxiety. The situation we're in doesn't cause our anxiety; our reaction and response bring the anxiety.
Notice you only get anxious about something in your businesses because you’re not certain about what the outcome is going to be. Like when you launch a new product or service and you've invested a lot of time and money into it and it's coming down to launch day, you get anxious about it. If it was a sure-shot launch, you wouldn’t be anxious.
That’s another example of how our entrepreneurial emotions operate. We understand anxiety when it's right there on the edge when it’s close because we’re not sure. But let’s ask ourselves: if we already know, and we’re watching, we would have no anxiety, right? Why? Because we already know the outcome, right?