How to Stay Positive When Startup Life Gets You Down
Sometimes life just sucks. Resist the urge to conclude that you suck, too.
The first step is to remember when you start a new business is that you’re not alone. As wonderful and charming as your entrepreneurial life can be, sometimes it just sucks. Some days it can feel as if moment after moment the universe is looking down and mocking you, laying into you, and ruining your day "just because."
Sometimes life just sucks.
I suspect, for as long as people have existed, this has been the case. Only now, with the advent of social media, we seem much more aware when we are having a crummy day, week or month.
Maybe your blah mood has nothing to do with your Facebook account, but certainly opening it up and perusing your friend's timelines doesn’t help. At least for me, I’ve noticed anytime I am stuck in the gray clouds, it’s as if every single person I know is on a dream vacation having the time of their lives.
This only makes matters worse. But it doesn’t have to always be doom and gloom. Sure, those days happen, but there are ways to ease out of them. When the day seems dark, come out of the clouds and feel the rays of the sun. Here is what I do whenever I’m feeling like telling life that it can just take a hike.
You can change your perspective.
If everything seems like it’s the pits, ask yourself if this is really true. Even if it is true, you can find the good in the situation. There are two sides to everything, even a crummy day.
Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted, but know that there is a reason and likely, a better job is around the corner. Or if your foul mood isn’t driven by a particular instance, look around and find the things in your life that are worth celebrating.
I always try to remember that I have family and friends that I love, a dog that is always here for me. I live in a place I love and although sometimes it’s not easy, I do what I’m passionate about. Those are some easy things to get pumped about. And if that doesn’t work...
Get up and get yourself outside.
When you start to feel the slippery slope, go for a walk, a run, a hike or a bike ride. Get your body moving and breath that fresh air. A lot of times, allowing myself a half hour to slip outside and get in the sun will flip my entire mood.
Not to mention, nature has beautiful things to look at that can change your thinking. Even if it’s a tree. When was the last time you actually looked at a tree and thought, “that’s pretty awesome!” Get outside. If that’s not working, get your heart rate up. Exercise is great for you and your body will reward you by making your day less icky.
Decide to take a risk.
If your mood is down because you feel stuck, then take a risk. Make a leap into something you’ve always wanted to do. For a long time, I didn’t chase what I wanted until I realized that my hesitation was fear driven.
As soon as I decided that fear wasn’t going to run my life, everything changed. So push that fear aside, take a leap and see where you end up. What’s the worst that could happen? Maybe it won't go exactly as you hoped -- then what do you do? You have to try again. Trying again sounds better than being a bummer to me.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
When it feels like everything is dumping on you, it’s easy to join in on the action and get down on yourself even more. No one will be meaner to you than you. But what’s the point?
Sometimes you need to step back and give yourself credit for where you’re at. You’re a fantastic person, doing great things, be proud of yourself for that. Don’t allow a down day to change your view of yourself. Snap out of it, and remember that the tough spot is just for now and everything gets better with time.
Sleep right and eat right.
Okay, okay, I’m guilty. When I am frustrated or feeling not so wonderful, sometimes, I like to splurge and have a doughnut hole. So what? They’re delicious (and sometimes I have them when I’m feeling great, too).
Occasionally life may not be as friendly to your psyche because of how you’re taking care of yourself. It’s incredibly important to sleep, eat right and drink lots of water. Even if you are on a deadline and work needs to get done, it’s essential that you get the needed sleep and nutrients. Your brain will stop working, you won’t get your work done, and your company will be in a worse situation and so will you.
Go ahead, set some goals.
You don't need to set some massive, unattainable goal. Set yourself some small goals. Ones that will lead to the bigger goals. I find that the simple act of running my pen through a few small, accomplished goals, makes me feel great. It means that I'm growing closer and closer to where I want to be.
Those goals that get clicked off are something to be proud of. The more small goals you knock off your list, the sooner you’ll be able to knock off those big goals as well.
Pledge that you will make the most of every single day.
Life is short. It’s important that we make the most out of every single day. The next time you’re finding yourself feeling down, step outside, look at the sun and realize that life isn’t so bad. Although there may be some frustrations going on at that very minute, all in all, life is pretty great. Especially if you have a doughnut hole.
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