Starting a Business Simplified is a podcast that aims to provide valuable insights and tips to entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners alike. In episode 20, Suzy welcomes guest Nova Beltran, a licensed psychotherapist and transformational coach from Texas, to discuss the topic of high-functioning anxiety and depression in the business world.

During the episode, Nova shares valuable information about the symptoms of anxiety and depression that can go unnoticed in individuals who are deemed high-functioning. She describe how individuals with high-functioning anxiety and depression often overachieve, leaving no room for others to recognize that they are struggling. 

Symptoms of high-functioning anxiety and depression include feelings of disconnection, lack of joy, hopelessness, negative self-talk, physical health problems, difficulty sleeping and eating, and the tendency to stay busy all the time.

The Problem of High-Functioning Anxiety and Depression

Business owners and entrepreneurs who suffer from high-functioning anxiety and depression may find it challenging to recognize that they need help. They may not see their symptoms as a problem, possibly believing that it is just part of the process of achieving success. However, the reality is that untreated symptoms of anxiety and depression can worsen over time and lead to more severe mental health problems.

Suzy notes that high-functioning anxiety and depression may be the reason why many business owners experience burnout. They describe how it is common for business owners to feel that they have to work non-stop to fulfill multiple roles; however, this pressure to perform often leads to stress and anxiety.

Nova emphasizes that high-functioning anxiety and depression in business owners and entrepreneurs is becoming increasingly common. The speaker notes that they have worked with many successful business owners who have experienced symptoms of high-functioning anxiety and depression. They believe that the pressure to achieve and receive approval from others, particularly in the business world, can be overwhelming.

Perfectionism in Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Nova draws attention to the role of perfectionism in high-functioning anxiety and depression. They note that many entrepreneurs and business owners are perfectionists, which can be an asset and can contribute to their success. However, it can also be a major cause of anxiety and difficulty relaxing.
Nova comments that perfectionism can often extend beyond work and affect other areas of one's life, making it difficult to switch off and rest. They suggest that it is essential to assess one's ability to rest and have downtime, particularly if they can see that they are frequently tired or have low energy.

The Benefits of Coaching for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Nova suggests that one way to address high-functioning anxiety and depression in business owners and entrepreneurs is to seek coaching. They argue that coaching can be beneficial for those who are functioning well, as well as those experiencing mental health issues.

Nova speaks to the importance of having a coach or mentor in place to help individuals starting a business or undergoing any kind of transition work on themselves, particularly around mental health issues. They acknowledge that mental health can be a sensitive topic, but emphasize that it is vital to have open and honest conversations about it.

The speaker notes that game-changing coaching can transform one's life. They describe how coaching can help identify patterns in one's behavior, thoughts, and emotions. It can help individuals recognize how their symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems affect their life and work.

The Hakomi Method: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Coaching

Nova speaks about their experience with the Hakomi Method, a mindfulness-based somatic approach to coaching that allowed them to do transformational work that goes deeper. The Hakomi Method incorporates mindfulness meditation, non-violent communication, and somatic (body-focused) awareness and has been transformative for Nova.

Nova describes how they incorporate the knowledge they gained in psychotherapy into their coaching work, with a particular focus on trauma awareness. They acknowledge that coaching and therapy have different modalities, with coaching emphasizing accountability and commitment to the work.

Coaching vs. Therapy

Nova notes that they have experienced therapy and coaching as a client and has learned about the differences between the two approaches. They suggest that therapy is usually more focused on addressing past issues and examining the root causes of mental health problems. On the other hand, coaching is forward-looking and goal-oriented, with an emphasis on taking action and making changes to improve one's life.

Awareness is the First Step to Change

Nova stresses the importance of awareness in addressing high-functioning anxiety and depression. They suggest that individuals document their behavior and identify patterns that may be causing them to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. By paying attention to their behavior and emotions, individuals can understand more about themselves and seek support from a therapist or coach.

Overall, the episode is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs and business owners who may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Nova provides valuable insights into the symptoms and causes of high-functioning anxiety and depression. They emphasize the importance of seeking coaching and support from a therapist or coach to address these symptoms and the role of perfectionism in exacerbating anxiety. 

Nova also highlights the importance of being aware of one's behavior and emotions as the first step to change. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, this episode is a must-listen.

Contact Nova Beltran:
988 is the suicide and crisis lifeline
866-903-3787 is the national mental health hotline

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