E2: The Dark Cloud of Entrepreneurship: Is This Stealing Your Energy, Joy, and Time?

Dive into the intriguing world of entrepreneurship with our latest episode on the Purposeful Powerhouse Podcast discussing the dark cloud that effects 72% of our community.

Mental health challenges are a real issue for many of us, yet its something we don't often hear much about it. This eye and ear opening episode will change that!

Together, we explore the challenges of maintaining balance in the midst of the ups and downs of life and running a business. It's a rollercoaster for sure!

We'll also delve into high-functioning anxiety and it's older sister Anxiety Overdrive Syndrome, you'll learn how it can impact your life, and how to make sure you're staying in the 'green zone' of thriving and creation.

In this episode we cover:

  • the importance of understanding your patterns and how they might be tripping you up
  • essential tools and strategies to staying centered and being the CEO of your life and health
  • key things to look for to know if you're dealing with Anxiety Overdrive Syndrome (and what to do about it)  

This podcast is a must-listen for entrepreneurs, aspiring business owners, or anyone interested in personal growth and overcoming anxiety naturally.

Grab the free the 3 part mini audio training: From Anxious to AH-mazing right here: https://www.megan-nolan.com/atappp

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Please find the show notes below. Since it is a transcription there may be spelling errors and/or weird grammar. Ignore that and enjoy!


Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Purposeful Powerhouse podcast.
Today, we're going to be talking about the dark cloud of entrepreneurship, the elephant in the room that not a lot of people talk about.
But I believe that it is part of my mission and purpose and Dharma to discuss because let's be real, 72% of the population is pretty significant.
So, what am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about the fact that the University of Berkeley in California here in the US has discovered that 72% of entrepreneurs are challenged by one or more of the following ad D A DH D depression, anxiety and, or bipolar or a combination of a few of those that research was actually done in 2018.
So before the pandemic.
So I would hazard a guess that it's probably higher than that now, but that's just my educated guess.
So, why am I so passionate about this conversation and why do I believe it's something that we should be discussing more? Well, first and foremost, it's a pretty startling statistic, don't you think? I mean, 72% of the population and it's not really something we talk about very often um in the personal development or the entrepreneur community of, you know, scaling and success and growth and all the things that we talk about.
And of course, I'm, I'm all about being aware of where we place our attention because what you focus on begins to expand in your life because you are giving it that level of energy.
And so yes, that's important, but it's also important to not ignore something because it's uncomfortable to talk about.
And I think that's probably part of the reason why it's such a challenge is that this is something that people don't talk about very often.
But I am really passionate about this because I love me some entrepreneurs because we are out there making some changes in the world going out there and you know, charging after your mission being a leader showing up on purpose, doing the things that your heart is calling you to do and it breaks my heart a little bit that so many of us are struggling in silence with these challenges.
And so I myself have been challenged by depression and anxiety for many seasons in my life.
I'm really trying to be intentional around how I describe that because I realized recently that I identified with those diagnoses for a long time.
And I would say things like I'm depressed, I'm anxious.
And I realized that in saying that I was claiming that because in your mind, you're self conscious, takes everything you say as fact.
And so I was really so identified with that emotional state that way of being that, that's what I said all the time.
And I'm not that and neither are you if you're in the 72%.
But yet we so casually use that language until we start to become aware of it.
Right? And so there's interesting ways of sort of shifting that a little bit, there's a Gaelic expression that says sadness is upon me and it's kind of like a cloud, right? It's like kind of like, let's use that as our metaphor of the way many ways we might feel.
Right? And so was clinically depressed and he kind of plodded along and, you know, thankfully, his friends continue to invite him and reach out because we all love being invited, even if we don't necessarily want to go.
It's nice to be included, right? And so was sort of that sort of plodding along.
And then pooh, Winnie, the pooh is sort of our example of the Zen, the being in balance, staying in his center, so calm, he just let things like kind of, you know, float off his fur little back, he didn't even have pants on.
I mean, he was cruise, he was totally cruising.
And then, you know, Tigger is that sort of like high anxious energy and rabbit is very critical vigilance.
And so, you know, we're probably somewhere in between.
But for most of my life, I was really in that place of, of sadness and I realized a lot of it had to do with how I was speaking to myself, the cast of characters in my head who until I started doing the work of mental fitness and doing the work that I do inside my containers inside mindful strength man.
Let me tell you that that voice in my head was nasty.
That judge in my head was mean mean but not towards anyone else.
No, mostly towards myself.
And so that inner critic gone wild, like really absolutely horrible and harsh.
And so it would leave me feeling really small and defeated and sad.
And so that inner child version of me who was just looking for that affirmation and that love was just constantly feeling ignored and denied and sad.
And so that coupled with the overwhelming unsteady feeling of being an entrepreneur because let's be real.
You know, it takes a while to get to that level where you have the consistency in your income.
So you have that safety that's necessary for your nervous system to be regulated because otherwise you're living in this sort of feast or famine or mostly feeding mostly famine in my case for a long time.
And um it's really stressful and so I was constantly in a state of anxiety and worry and overwhelmed.
And so what I really recognize recently what I learned about is that there's actually, you know, a full spectrum of these different challenges and I should stop here and say that I am not a licensed therapist or psychologist or anything like that.
I am simply someone who is learning and growing and on my own path of mental wellness.
And so, you know, take what I say as a as information, but by no means, is it any sort of diagnosis? And so please seek help as needed.
And so what I learned about was actually something called high functioning anxiety because I was dealing with am anxiety.
Tell me if you can recognize this, waking up in the middle of the night and you literally feel like you are running a marathon, like your heart is pounding, you're maybe even sweaty and your brain is like, oh, hey, you know what you did yesterday, you totally screwed that up and I don't know what we're gonna do today.
And how are you going to make your run and bla bla bla in the middle of the night? Yeah, not my favorite either, but that was happening or waking up in the morning, not necessarily in that amped up state, but more in that like swirling in the belly like, oh what are we gonna do today? How are we gonna figure this out? Is anybody gonna sign up for your workshop or not? You know, that's like shit storm of nonsense that can happen in the brain and so, you know, waking up that way, the anxiety, alarm clock and then that anxiety being a fuel for the whole day and being in such a go go go go frantic state to try to overcome that anxiety, to override it to like get rid of it, burn it off per se.
Does that sound familiar? Because that is high functioning anxiety, generalized anxiety.
And for most people, a lot of people that have anxiety, they tend to get anxious and they shut off and they close down and they, they isolate themselves or they just kind of navigate it, but they're, they're in a slower pace.
High functioning anxiety is like full on overdo it constantly on the go feeling guilty if you stop because you feel like there's so much for you to do and you have to get it all done and there's that level of kind of frantic energy under toning all of it.
So let me know if you recognize yourself in any of this because of course me true to form.
I was like, yeah, that's totally me this hyper fun, this high functioning anxiety, but I always have to take it a step further.
You'll get to know that about me.
This is only episode oh episode two.
But we'll get to this in a minute.
Is there's, there's another caveat to this that I've recognized in a lot of the entrepreneurs that I get to serve inside my community.
So having that energy of being able to go, go, go throughout the day despite having your anxiety at about a five out of 10 or higher.
So start to see if you recognize any of these um these different, you know, symptoms or situations in yourself.
So being able to go through the day power through it and get through even if you're exhausted, even if you're tired, but just still in that go, go go energy constantly being in high gear because you feel like there's always something more for you to do.
There's a compulsive desire to keep working like you, you know, maybe workaholic sometimes people call it.
But it's that sort of feeling like you are the one that has to do it because you have to prove that it's good to yourself and to other people because you're always in that overthinking very self critical position in the head, right? That has to do with these, these patterns that we learned as Children that were, you know, their survival techniques as Children is that this is how we handle stress, right? It's modeled for us.
And so a lot of what you notice in yourself, if you recognize yourself in these, in these characteristics, you may notice in your caregivers, you like your mom, your dad, your aunt, your uncle, or whoever raised you.
So again, this is stuff that we can start to just become aware of, right? Because that's the key to everything.
It's the key to everything is that awareness, very important caveat to that is that it's a a soft awareness, a nonjudgmental, compassionate awareness, right? Because if we go into the judgment, then we've been hijacked by the cast of characters, the negative committee in your head.
That's like make trying to make everything wrong because it's a stress response, right? It's a, it's a survival based stress response that some people even say is a trauma response from childhood.
So just remember these are all just ideas.
So take what lands for you take what feels good.
But ultimately, the most important thing is that we do this with a a soft compassionate awareness.
So feeling like we have to prove ourselves constantly pushing, constantly going, kind of running on that um feeling of frantic frazzled energy, caffeine and Cortisol man.
That's it.
That's, that's the fuel, not necessarily the best source of fuel, right? As you likely know, but stress, right? Stress and so maybe pushing through working hours, hours, hours and then having a hard time taking a break or having a hard time resting and shutting it all off without some help.
Maybe the help comes in the form of sauvignon blanc.
Definitely something I enjoy.
Maybe it comes in the form of scrolling on Instagram and totally just numbing out and and watching um this really awesome woman somewhere on the mainland of America with all these incredible cows and I literally watched like probably 50 different videos about her and her cows the other night.
And I was like, wow.
And I was just so it's so, and she's awesome.
She's great.
If you're, it, she's just super funny.
Anyways, sidetrack.
Yeah, easily getting sidetracked.
Um So maybe it's wine, maybe it's scrolling, maybe it's zoning out on Netflix.
Maybe it's cannabis, maybe it's whatever.
But having a hard time shutting your brain off without that level of support.
If you will call it that OK.
Maybe so another thing to look at, then these are all characteristics of what I have come to call anxiety overdrive.
So, you know, frantic frazzled on the go maybe despite doing all the healthy things like the yoga, like the workout, like the meditation, like the mindset work like the vitamins, like the oils.
Maybe you got the cold plans going on then maybe you do the micro dosing.
Maybe you do um the chanting, the gratitude, all of it still getting sick, still feeling like, you know, there's something dragging here.
You're just feeling like you're constantly dragging despite doing all the healthy things.
OK? So again, that's something to look for.
Maybe having a hard time forgiving yourself for past mistakes really getting in that spiral of it could have been better.
It's got to be better next time.
I don't know what I was thinking there and what, what like uh or having a hard time delegating something out because it's just easier for you to do it because somebody else is gonna screw it up.
Control issues.
Ok? So control issues combined with that really high level of, you know, some people say it's a really high standards and having standards for yourself is very important.
Of course, we want to have goals and we wanna have markers of what we're working towards.
So that we have that as our North Star and we're moving towards it but not being able to be compassionate with yourself when something happens.
Or maybe if you don't get to the goal or maybe, you know, you make a mistake or something, you know, it's just like life, I mean, that's how it is, that's how we learn, right? And so having a hard time forgiving yourself for past mistakes.
So then that's pretty much high functioning anxiety.
But I really, again, like I said, found that there was something else for me that I was seeing in myself and seeing in a lot of other people that I know and I get to work with and I get to support or that I've had conversations with is that there's another component that that go, go, go, go, push, push, push, push, get it done, get it done.
And again, there is a time and a place for that, right? Like if you're in a launch and you gotta get things done and you gotta keep showing up on social and doing all those things but not being intentional with taking power, pauses during that, that you get to the other side, like you close the cart or you close enrollment or whatever and then go bam, crash, boom, bam bang, whatever they say into what I call the state of being defeated and depleted.
So all of that is fight or flight, right? All of that is stress but defeated and depleted is that shutdown.
It's a different aspect of your nervous system.
So what we're doing there is we're shutting down out of protection.
And so the defeated and depleted is when we get into that state of being so exhausted, having such high standards and really having a hard, a hard time letting go of what happened and then just collapsing into that puddle of what went wrong or what didn't get done or all of that stuff and telling yourself, ok, well, you know, once I get to cart close, once you finish the launch, then you'll take a break.
And you know, I've definitely done this, tell me if you did this that, you know, you schedule a massage at the end of the promo when everything is done as your congratulations as your reward.
And then you literally spend the whole time during the massage, doing the mental debrief of the launch of, you know, the opt in page and the sequence and you just kind of like going over all the details in your head while you're meant to be relaxing.
Getting to a point where you're like, I don't even know what the point of this is.
It feels like you're running at a wall and you're trying to get over the wall and you just keep, like running into it again, flapped on your back and then you get up eventually and you're like, ok, here we go.
Let's try again and just run right into it and get thrown back again.
And so that is the pattern of being defeated and depleted because we get to that point of exhaustion and then we get back up and we're like, ok, let me try again and we go back into the fight or flight.
So we're still in stress, your body goes back into fight or flight.
It's like, ok, let's take action.
Here we go.
We can figure this out.
Let's go do this and then because we're not regulating back to that steady state of connected awareness and being in that stay and play the ideal state of your nervous system where you have the energy, but you are able to stay in that place of taking power, pauses, noticing when you're in the red zone when you're stressed out and you're able to really navigate that with resilience.
That's what we're working towards is being able to go when we need to go slow down to recover without needing to, you know, go flat out into exhaustion or having to but being able to kind of dance the dance of what it takes, right? Because there's gonna be up moments, there's gonna be down moments, but we're trying to really get ourselves into this zone so that we are able to stay in this green zone in the middle.
Right? We're not getting into the red zone of like, ah, I can't do it.
I have to do it all myself and look into that super anxious and not getting into that the black zone where you're just flat out, totally defeated and depleted, dropping into sadness, dropping into that, you know, um discouragement.
We want to be able to play the edges of that, of the green zone where you are feeling grounded when you're feeling calm, when you, when you're up and in that state of presence, right? And so all of this really presents as repeating patterns that you're maybe seeing over and over in your life and in your business that are frustrating, right? And despite doing all the things you, you know, like in your soul that there's something missing that you just haven't put your finger on it yet to be able to navigate all of this.
So this is anxiety overdrive syndrome that I really, I see a lot in entrepreneurs.
And as I said, you know, with so many of us having these challenges, diagnosed challenges or maybe you just, you know, you recognize a lot of, of that in yourself, just meet yourself with the compassion and know that, you know, maybe you recognize yourself in all six of those or maybe just a couple of them.
And, you know, if you got 100 out of 100 put your hand up because I did, you know, and so that's OK.
And if you, if you didn't, because it's not necessarily a test, you're aiming for 100 on.
But um it's all good, it's really part of the journey.
And so it's interesting because what I'm really passionate about is helping people to overcome this because I think that, you know, we're all on the spectrum of some degree or another.
And it's really about having tools to help you to navigate.
And I completely respect all sorts of medicine and, you know, at points there will be times when medication is needed.
I take medications daily for my thyroid.
I've taken antidepressants, I've taken anti anxieties.
I am not currently on any, but I know many people that are and I love and support that decision if you feel that's the line for you.
But what I'm suggesting here is that when we begin to understand these patterns in yourself, then having the tools to be able to stay in the, in the green zone, being able to recognize when you're in that amped up, stressed out state when you're in the patterns and compassionately pausing and coming back to center, coming back to that place of connected awareness because that's really what this is because as I mentioned earlier, we learn a lot as Children, right? When your brain was developing, you were modeled behavior and you started to mirror that behavior in yourself.
And so you learn to do things by observation.
And so without awareness of these patterns, right? And having somebody like me and maybe other people you follow on social media, tell you about these things, you know, sometimes we don't see it, right? Like what's that saying? We don't see the label from inside the jar.
It's challenging to notice these things until we start to, you know, read that sort of checklist if you will, that I just listed off or, you know, starting to see patterns over and over in your life that's looking at it with a sense of curiosity because for me, that's really what this whole life experience is about and you know, being the CEO of your business or the CEO of your life or both, that's what you get to be in charge of is the direction and the health of your business or your life or yourself.
And so it's just becoming a witness to these different patterns.
And we look at that, we look at trends in social media, we look at trends in your email, open rates, we look at trends in, in your life and you know, all that and it's really, it's just learning to be a witness to those things and, and stepping back and noticing the meaning that we wanna make about it, that your mind, the cast of characters in your mind wants to make about it.
And so really what we're doing here is getting to be intentional with your thoughts.
And that's one of the pillars of being a purposeful powerhouse is taking control of your mind.
Easier said than done if you've ever tried to meditate when you're anxious and you know exactly what I'm talking about.
It's literally like, what am I looking at here? A jar full of angry bees.
Like it's just, I love analogies in case you haven't caught that yet.
But that to me what it feels like when I'm trying to meditate when I'm anxious and some people can do it.
My C star is like, that's her go to, I'm like, I don't even know how you sit still.
I it's crazy like, but that's the beautiful thing is that there's so many different tools and especially with the brain and body based approach.
Like the one that I use in mindful strength is there's a lot of tools depending on where you are, right, de depending on the state that you find yourself in and that the ideal state that you want to be in, right? How you can navigate back to that.
And so really, it all starts with awareness and I believe that's the most important key and tool to all of this to this whole lesson that is our life experience, right? And, and especially because as for those of us that are entrepreneurs, the the personal development that you didn't know you were signing up for, but you are all up in it now that you get as being a business owner, then that really is the is the learning ground, right? That's where you get to play in.
And so that's what I wanted to share with you today.
And if you really having that tool of awareness and being able to witness yourself in a loving and compassionate way, because really that's what this all comes down to and the the tools of yoga and the tools of mental fitness and actually have something that's going to introduce you to mental fitness as a special gift for you, um are so powerful because what they're really helping us to do is go from a place of self awareness, witnessing the patterns, right? Like, say, for example, in yoga, if you see in a photo that you're doing warrior pose, and you think your back arm is up in the air and parallel to the floor and it's like dangling, slacking off, it's just awareness.
You're not gonna make it wrong that your arm was there.
But yet, if we have, you know, come short on our goals for our launch, we make it all sorts of wrong and all sorts of a problem.
And you know, and so it starts with self awareness, then we go to acceptance of what it is.
But then we get to expand on that, with compassion, with curiosity, with a sense of exploration so that we can integrate love.
And really, that's it.
That's the journey, self awareness to self acceptance and self love.
And, you know, before you shut this off and you're like, oh here she goes, she's gonna talk about the power of love.
Yeah, I'm going to talk about the power of love because that's what we're looking for.
That's really what we're looking for.
And so it's one of the things that I think has been such a huge component of my mental health journey.
My mental wellness journey is learning to be compassionate with myself and learning to love myself as I am.
And so that's really what the tool set of yoga helps us to do.
And that's really the end goal of all of this, right? And so I actually have something that I would love to share with you.
So I created a three part mini audio training.
So it's like this little secret podcast off of this podcast and it's called from Anxious to Amazing.
And it is teaching you all about the tools that help me to make that transition, that help to support that journey of learning to catch myself in the old patterns of being harsh and horrible to myself and being able to catch that and shift it, being able to update the operating system in your head to one that aligns with where you want to go.
Because in order to get to where you wanna go, to bring that big vision of yours to life, you get to evolve, you get to cultivate self awareness, self acceptance, self love and in the process, evolve into who knows what right, who do you get to be to accomplish your goals? That's really the beautiful outcome of a goal.
And so I'm gonna share the link for you to grab from Anxious to Amazing.
It's a three part mini audio training and you'll get to meet some of the characters in the collective in your head.
That noisy chattering collection of nonsense talkers that I like to called the shitty committee, technically inside Mental Fitness, they're called the saboteurs.
But you know, they have all sorts of names and you'll get to know them because we all got them right.
As much as we may be reluctant to admit, we talk to ourselves and a lot of it happens up in here.
And so the stuff that we say that you say to yourself is so impactful on how you feel and what we say to ourselves is impacted by how we were raised by what we learned when we were growing up.
But a lot of it has to do with something a lot deeper and we're gonna explore more of that in coming episodes.
But a lot of it has to do with our interstate, the state of your nervous system.
And that depends on a lot of factors which I'm not gonna go into because I'm gonna close up this episode here.
But I just want you to know that there's really exciting things coming up in future episodes.
So make sure to listen, you don't have to listen in order, but definitely go and check out the from anxious to amazing mini exclusive audio training where you will learn how to update the operating system in your mind and be able to take control of your mind and use it like a powerful tool because it is a powerful tool, especially when you know how to use it with intention and in just 15 minutes a day because I mean, hi when you have a tool set that will transform you on every level from the inside out and go much deeper than mindset because you're actually getting to the root of the issue, no fluffing it over.
Like you're not just closing the doors on the messy closet.
You're actually doing the work to reorganize and organize things, then you'll learn how to do that inside the training series, then that's really what makes the difference.
So make sure to grab that totally free.
And if anything landed for you, I'd love to know what it was.
Please take a screenshot of this episode and tag me on social media and I would love to connect with you over there and until next time, thank you so much for being your incredible self and I'm so proud of you for doing all of the amazing things that you're doing in the world.
Take good care.

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