When times are good it's often the company that is rewarded and cherished, but when there are setbacks and disappointments, you may get the blame. What people often don't understand is that entrepreneurs are mere humans with frailties and weaknesses. And when there is a mental health challenge present there will be times that you regret some of your decisions, actions and behaviors, but that will only hold you back and cause other problems if you don't keep it in check.
What you have to understand and embrace is that forgiveness is the way forward. We often hear about the importance of forgiving others. But forgiveness of self is the greatest gift you can give yourself to free yourself from the guilt and shame that usually accompanies years of unmanaged mental health challenges. Here are some ways in which you can practice forgiveness.
1. Give an Explanation
Come clean with employees or clients with whom you have dropped the ball or behaved in a way that raised eyebrows. It can be liberating to explain what was going on with you at that time and how your actions may have impacted the relationship or work. You don't have to give details about your mental health status, but you can share with others that you sometimes feel depressed, anxious, or a number of emotions that cause you to behave in ways that typically take you from being yourself. You'll be surprised how understanding others can be when their thoughts are confirmed.
2. Be Honest
You can't be honest with others until you are completely honest with yourself. Look across the organization and truly take the pulse of your company to see where and how your actions or behaviors have negatively impacted performance and productivity. When you can look at things and see them for what they are you can begin to move forward. Accept in your heart and mind that you made some errors, but you are willing to take ownership for the role that you played.
3. Let it go
You can control the present to some extent, but you have no control over the past. When you give up on trying to change the past, you can move forward into the future. That is where you can make a difference. So you hurt some feelings, maybe bruised some egos, delayed some processes, but you have a mental illness that caused you to mentally check out. If you had a heart attack or were diagnosed with cancer, there would be days that you missed and projects that you dropped. As forgiving as people would be for those people, you need to be that forgiving of yourself and let go of the opportunity to beat yourself up.
4. Deal with the consequences
The most difficult thing to deal with after the aftermath of a mental health challenge are the consequences. There will be consequences for your actions, which you are going to need to acknowledge with integrity, compassion, and action. You need to face these consequences by owning up to them, resolving the issue, and moving on.
Once you realize that your actions were not always a result of your own desires, you may start to heal from your missteps. But only you can forgive yourself. It is so easy to get wrapped around the axle about things so much that you become immobile and paralyzed. This will surely cause additional problems. The sooner you can move through it, the sooner you can repair relationships and course-correct.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have mental health questions that I can answer for you.