Everyone has a bad mental health day from time to time. And we can look at the amount of pressure we feel from our needs to succeed, get ahead, make money and generally manage our lives as key factors in determining our moods and attitudes. But why do some people seem to handle these pressures better than others? And what can we do about it?
First, we need to STOP trying so hard to do it ourselves! This means, asking for help.
I have been a business and personal life coach for more than 35 years and I consistently see that one obstacle to growth is deeply rooted in the belief that we should be able to handle things on our own.
Reaching out is actually a tool we can use to help us get back to what I call Reality Based Thinking.
Often, we can’t see what we’re doing, or get objective about the situation at hand. A coach, a close friend, even sometimes a person we run across in the grocery store can help jar us back to reality with a comment or a different perspective. You could call it looking out so we can look back inside.
What we’re looking for is honesty. And it is hard to be honest with ourselves. We would rather make up stories about what wrong thing someone did, or how “they” don’t understand us, or how we are stuck with the residue of family issues that keep playing out in our adult lives. A coach or close friend can be a mirror for seeing the truth. We are responsible for our lives—which also means we are responsible for our lies.
Example: a company owner keeps having problems with an employee and is beyond frustrated. She is erratic and unreliable, changing her schedule to suit her, not the clientele.
The owner, when asked why this has been allowed to continue, admits that she avoids confrontation and wants the employee to do better, but hasn’t set clear boundaries.
Who’s problem is this? And how does it relate to mental health?
The problem is the owner’s, because she is the one not only at risk, but also wanting to pull her hair out over the situation. The employee is happily doing what she wants, not showing a genuine concern for the good of the company. And will likely continue her behavior unless the owner is honest with herself.
The owner is responsible for setting boundaries, establishing clear expectations of her staff. She is the one driving the business. This goes directly back to her original vision and is reflected by the buy-in she gets when including her team in enhancing and expressing the vision by helping set goals and objectives that bring it to life.
The ability to face ourselves, take responsibility for what is going on around us and do something about it gives us a direct path to mental health. Doing this once or twice is not enough. It must be a daily practice.
Once the owner saw the problem, she started seeing other parts of her life where she abdicated responsibility and set about changing the situation. To be clear, it is not in her power to change the employee. But the owners job is to clarity expectations and set consequences if expectations are not met. If the employee gets it, and alters her behavior, then she can stay. If not, she doesn’t. Plain and simple.
This is an example of how we disturb our own mental health by not doing what WE need to do for our own well-being. No one else can do it for us! (Remember the old hymn: You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley; you’ve got to walk it by yourself….)
Pay attention to what you’re thinking! And try this exercise:
Walk around all day with a little note pad and before you do or say anything, ask the following questions:
This exercise will give you inside information about yourself. Then use that to get whatever help you need to enhance your mental health.
If you’re looking for coaches and peers to give you that much needed honestly, the Count Me in Revival Community is here for you. We meet every two weeks to dicuss any and all problems facing us- including personal mental health journeys.
If you don’t want to meet in person, our newsletter also offers helpful self help tips and great articles about other women in business to keep you motivated!