As an entrepreneur, you spend a lot of time psyching yourself out. You’re your own harshest critic.
However positive your intentions, however driven and wonderful your team, every day is not a good day. And because you’re the founder, overseeing the life of your business, those bad days can be terrifying.
Jess Lee, CEO and co-founder of style and social commerce platform, Polyvore, explains this familiar mental trap, where founders often fall into “moments of extreme unhappiness” and stress — even when your company is doing well.
Why does this clash happen? Lee explains: “Humans are terrible at understanding absolute values. We are best at understanding acceleration and deceleration, or rate of change.”
In other words, your state of mind pegs itself to whether your company is doing better or worse than yesterday, rather than overall. It’s easy to lose perspective.
The risk of being too hard on yourself and getting knocked around by rates of change is possibly making poor decisions and feeling miserable, which can also have serious implications for your mental and physical health. The counterintuitive solution that leads to better decisions, increased motivation and less unnecessary stress is not to work and push harder, but to slow down your thinking.