During times of uncertainty and hardship, it’s necessary to practice mindfulness. You will come across a lot of these moments as an entrepreneur, and it’s normal to be uncomfortable. However, you must get used to checking in with your thoughts and feelings to understand what is going on. This mindfulness is key for unlocking big potential in both you and your business.
There is no way you can prepare for everything that may get thrown your way. A great example of this that many can relate to is the global pandemic. The unknown is inevitable, but so is finding a solution to help you stay in a good headspace. You may not realize this, but you are better prepared than you realize, and staying present and mindful will help support good decision-making. You will find more peace amongst the perceived chaos around you by doing so.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness may be described in many ways. You may have heard of it as taking time for self-care or seen it during a meditation session. But what is it really?
Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D., an education director at the VIA Institute on Character, describes mindfulness in three characteristics:
Not taking things for granted
Returning to the present moment
Self-regulation of attention with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance
Now, for entrepreneurs, mindfulness involves the process of being in tune with your thoughts and body, regularly checking in, and making adjustments based on what you notice. Sound familiar? It’s the opposite of mindlessly doing things or acting out of emotion without intention or strategy to back it up.
Why is Mindfulness For Entrepreneurs Important?
Entrepreneurship can be tough. Keeping spirits high among team members, money flowing in, and investors happy requires a lot of mental and emotional energy. Mindfulness is important because it helps you process the challenges you face in a way that is beneficial to yourself, those around you, and your business.
It can do many things, including improving health, preventing anxiety and depression, improving cognitive abilities, and battling burnout. Overall, it helps make tough situations more manageable. This leads to more productivity, efficiency, and happiness. All things that can create a significant boost for you and your business.
How Can Entrepreneurs Practice Mindfulness When The Going Gets Hard?
There are many ways that entrepreneurs can practice mindfulness in times of uncertainty and hardship. Of course, there are typical mindfulness establishments like meditation spots and yoga classes, but what else is out there? We’re about to share some of our favorite mindfulness tips.
Take A Step Back
Sometimes in order to see something more clearly, you have to take a step back. It can be overwhelming to tackle a hardship immediately. Make time to really reflect on what is happening. If it’s taking over your emotions, give yourself a few days to sit on it. When something dramatically bad or unpleasant or unexpected happens, do not make any decisions for 48 hours afterward.
The same reason getting ‘fresh air’ is always encouraged, being in nature can help you in a very beneficial way. One research by The Royal Society even found that individuals who were exposed to nature when having to make a big decision were more likely to take their time thinking through it and often chose the path with more value. Moral of the story here: getting outside can help you get out of your head.
Seek Help From Your Support System
As entrepreneurs, you need a support system to help guide and advise you through certain situations. This is no different when you are in a bad headspace. Lean on your friends, family, colleagues, and team members in times of need. You never know when one person has a solution that will change your entire situation. Plus, it’s always good to know that you are not alone in anything that you face.
Journal About It
When thoughts are racing, it’s best for entrepreneurs to pick up a pen and paper and start journaling. Sometimes dumping all of your thoughts onto a few pages can better help you understand what is happening. This mindfulness practice is critical to being successful and happier because it allows you to reflect and generate creative solutions. It assists our brains in properly processing what is happening in a way that can foster a healthy outlook.
Gain A Different Perspective
Entrepreneurs gain different perspectives on a daily basis, and it is no different when it comes to hardships. When things are not going as planned or how you perceived it to be, try looking at it from a different perspective. Put yourself on the other side of the problem. Think about what it may look like from an outside perspective; one of a team member or colleague. Does it seem as bad from their point of view as it does from yours? The key here is to be open-minded.
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
That last tip -- and most important in our opinion -- is to give yourself some grace. Don’t get discouraged or beat yourself up. Even if you are working on being more mindful. Mindfulness is not something you need to ‘master’, and you don’t need to be hard on yourself if you struggle with it. Just keep practicing your mindfulness and you are guaranteed to see more benefits the more consistent you become.
Being an entrepreneur is a lifelong journey, and there is no shiny prize at the end. Mindfulness is a tool that you can use to live a better life within and outside of your business. It can get you through the tough times so you can succeed.