Mental Health for Entrepreneurs

6 Ways to Master Mental Fitness for Entrepreneurs

Mental fitness is important for entrepreneurs. A strong mind can stay calm and collected in adverse circumstances. How can entrepreneurs hack their minds and train their brains?

A workshop entitled “Mental Fitness for Entrepreneurs,” offered by Lassonde for Life tackled this question. The program is provided by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and provides free support to alumni entrepreneurs. The presenter was Lesli Shooter, a U alum and founder of Turned to Rise, a mental training program that helps sharpen performance. Shooter is a performance and wellbeing coach with a background in exercise and sport science.

Shooter believes it is possible to strengthen the mind through training and skill development. A strong mind can lead to better performance, relationships, and heightened well-being.

Use Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand personal emotions and the emotions of others. High emotional intelligence is a pattern among successful leaders. It has four parts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Competencies are not fixed and can be developed through mental training.

“Lasting positive change requires mental training” Shooter said. “Change is 20% insight, and 80% mental muscle. Through improving daily habits, the neurological patterns within one’s brain can be changed, bringing lasting benefits.”

Keep a Positive Mindset

Shooter describes mental fitness as “having the capacity to deal with anything that comes our way with a positive rather than a negative mindset.” Looking through a positive lens can increase performance, relationship success, self-management, and peace of mind. A positive mindset stems from mastering the mind and emotional control.

The model for positive intelligence (PQ) includes neuroscience, performance science, positive psychology, and cognitive behavioral psychology. Negative thinking freezes the brain in a negative loop. The brain habitually jumps to familiar pathways. Positive psychology can rewire the brain and change the neurological patterns behind thinking – training the mind to see through a positive lens.

Flex Your Mental Muscles

Three muscles within the brain deal with mental fitness. As either inhibitors or motivators. The muscle groups include saboteur, sage, and self-command muscles.

Saboteur muscles generate negative emotions and thoughts – whether stress or anxiety. These muscles are built based on patterns throughout life. Learning to recognize negative thoughts and stop and intercept them is crucial.

The sage muscle is associated with calm, clear thoughts, and positive emotions. The sage brain is a natural state of flowing thinking, acting with empathy, and high performance. This mode can activate through positive intelligence reps. Shooter said, “PQ reps get the brain out of the head and into the senses of the body.” Focusing on details for a few minutes is one positive intelligence rep strategy.

The self-command muscle can quiet the saboteur region of the brain and heighten the sage region. Mental exercises enable the brain to redirect thinking to sage and prevent saboteur hijacking.

Turn Negative Emotions to Good

Sometimes, negative emotions can be good – like an alert in your brain. Touching a hot stove causes physical pain. In the same way, stress alerts a negative state of mind. Utilizing mental training reps can strengthen self-command muscles and guide the brain into a positive state. Negative emotions help increase self-understanding and pathways to improve.

Avoid Self Sabotage

Everyone has dominant saboteurs. The most typical is the judge-critical sense of self and external perception. Nine other common saboteurs include the controller, hyper-achiever, stickler, restless, pleaser, hyper-vigilant, avoider, victim, and hyper-rational. Everyone has dominant saboteurs – the trick is to become aware and gain control. (Take a saboteur assessment here.)

Strive for Positive Motivators

Energy drainers motivate saboteurs. Emotions that compel a negative mentality include shame, fear, anger, stress, and insecurity. The sage is motivated by positive emotions of empathy, curiosity, passion, and purpose. Embracing these emotions throughout life activates the sage and flips the mental switch to positive.

Final Thoughts

Keep all these things in mind if you are working on a startup company, considering it, or have another type of entrepreneurial venture. Mental fitness is critical to your personal and business success. Use these lessons to get off to a good start and improve your performance, elevate your relationships, and find more enjoyment in your work.

About the Author:

Abigail Cheney Originally from Connecticut, Abigail Cheney came to the University of Utah for their esteemed entrepreneurship and marketing programs. She is passionate about startups and entrepreneurial exploration. Her enthusiasm aligns with writing and additional artistic endeavors. Connect on LinkedIn.

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