Mental Health In Business
Building mental resilience isn’t rocket science, but it is more nuanced than simply adopting a stiff upper lip. It takes awareness and practice to perfect the habits required to become more mentally resilient.
In business and in life, the importance of being mentally resilient is well understood. How we respond to the inevitable stressors we face determines how well we can navigate them.
There are learned habits that help us intuitively frame better responses to stressors as we encounter them. These habitual responses to stress add up to what is often termed as ‘mental resilience’.
As such, the key to becoming more mentally resilient is to practice and hone these habitual responses to stress. Outlined below are nine of these habits that will give both contexts and outline how you can build these into your daily life.
Habit 1: Focus on what you can control
We only have a limited mental capacity to deal with all our physical and emotional needs. As such, there is no point wasting large quantities of this resource on things we can’t control. Building a decision filter that continually challenges whether the stress we are facing is something we can control or not helps the mind understand where and how it can proactively allocate its energy. Simply put, if it's out of your control, then it's not worth the stress of trying to resolve it.
Habit 2: Bring success and failure into your own hands
By focusing only on what you can control you can determine the causes of your success and failure. If you succeed, you caused it. If you fail, you caused it. This allows you to feel more in control of your environment as you can attribute your actions to observable outcomes and resolutions to stressors you encounter.
Habit 3: Bring friends and family in and let them stand behind you.
“A problem shared is a problem halved”. Having trusted friends and family is a vital part of their mental well being. Making it a habit to include people in your hard decisions, or to reach out when you are experiencing tough times has an immeasurable impact on your ability to handle mental stress.
Habit 4: Build an ‘immunity’ by learning from past experience.
Our past experiences of stressful situations, and how we resolved them, are vital to building an ‘immunity’ to the same stressors in the future. If you have been through a tough situation before, your experience with resolving it prepares you for similar future events. In the same way, your immune system works, your mental responses become less severe the more times you have experienced similar issues. As such, getting into the habit of recording and storing these events and resolutions will help you build a physical record that you can continually refer to when needed.
Habit 5: Be comfortable with harsh criticism
Criticism is immensely valuable to our learning. We need perspective and criticisms to grow and learn. Adjusting your mind to listen to others’ feedback and embrace it, is a very powerful habit for mental growth and resilience.
Habit 6: Celebrate the success of others.
When others succeed it doesn’t preclude you from succeeding too. and resentment and bitterness are a waste of mental energy. Getting into the habit of finding power in others’ success (and even being inspired by it) will pay back dividends for you.
Habit 7: Framing problems for positive outcomes
Re-orienting your frame of view about the problems you face is one of the most powerful habits for mental resilience. If you can take the time to understand your problem, and re-frame it into something that empowers meaning and purpose from finding the solution, you can literally turn a negative into a positive.
Habit 8: Focus on impressing yourself.
It seems obvious when you think about it, but the person you spend the most time with during the day is yourself. Like any relationship in your daily life, its a lot more pleasant when you get on. Get into the habit of allocating time to and effort to build trust, respect, and love for yourself.
Habit 9: Count what you have, not what you don’t have
Being grateful for what you have. Trying to “keep up with the Jones” is a fools' errand and a quick way to unnecessarily destroy your mental health. Getting into the habit of understanding and appreciating what you have will always ensure your outlook is one that is positive and fulfilled rather than negative and empty.
In conclusion, adopting these habits isn’t hard, but they do take time, patience, and consistency to truly hone them well. Try to work on adopting these habits into your daily interactions and you will start to the benefits of how good mental resilience habits will help you deal with stress.
About the Author
AIDAN KENEALY (BCom BSc MInstD)- Founder Hole In One Ventures
In 2013, Aidan founded EMGN.com, which would go on to become New Zealand’s fastest-growing and largest entertainment website.
EMGN sought to provide a mental vacation for anyone, anywhere, at any time by producing and distributing ‘mind candy’; entertainment content consumed via a mobile website. They believed that providing people with micro-breaks during their day would improve the productivity for their audience, and this is what they leveraged to grow.
EMGN’s growth was unique. Within its first year, EMGN was a global, multi-million dollar business. It’s traffic volume ranked it within the Top 10 US mobile websites and the top 500 global sites on the Alexa.com rankings. That growth continued both exponential and profitably for three more years without the need to raise any external capital.
This is what makes Aidans’ experience very different from the ‘norm’ in the world of start up. Aidan took a practical and scientific approach to all aspects of the business and it was this approach that led to an innovative company, high growth startup.
Following the successful exit of EMGN.com in 2017, Aidan launched Hole In One Ventures to provide both capital and realistic advice to founders of high growth businesses looking to take their ventures to the world.