I want to discuss a topic that often remains hidden behind the curtain in our lives, especially in the business world—mental health challenges as a leader.
After returning home from Afghanistan in 2017, I was diagnosed with severe depression and PTSD. The journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s offered invaluable lessons that have made me a more resilient individual and a better leader.
1) The Power of Vulnerability
Contrary to the age-old adage of “never let them see you sweat,” I’ve discovered the strength in vulnerability. Opening up about my challenges has created an environment where my clients, employees, and partners feel comfortable discussing their struggles as well. This level of emotional intelligence is a game-changer for any business, improving team cohesion and overall productivity.
2) Self-Care is Not Selfish
For years, I conflated hard work with self-worth and overlooked the necessity of self-care. Understand this: Taking time to recharge isn’t an indulgence; it’s a requirement. Your ability to steer your business effectively is intrinsically tied to your mental and emotional well-being.
3) Adapt and Overcome
As someone who served in the military, adapting to new situations isn’t foreign to me. However, adapting to internal battles is a different kind of challenge. Acknowledging that some days will be tougher than others and finding coping mechanisms that work for you can help your business withstand unforeseen difficulties.
4) Build Your 360-degree Support System
One cannot underestimate the value of a strong support system. While self-reliance is crucial, it’s equally essential to allow trusted mentors, friends, and family to offer their support. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone.
5) Authenticity Breeds Success
Dealing with mental health issues has stripped away any pretenses I might have had about who I should be in the business world. Authenticity is magnetic; it draws people in and establishes a foundation of trust. When you’re authentic, you’re not just building a brand; you’re building relationships.
To my fellow business owners and entrepreneurs who are dealing with mental health challenges—you’re not alone. The journey may be arduous, but it also has the power to transform you in ways you never imagined possible. Take it one step at a time.
Contact me if I can ever help you through the tough times.