I do not hear the mental health side of leadership talked about enough, especially in business. I struggled with mental health issues from a very young age and grew up in a house with parents who also suffered from mental illness.
I started taking antidepressants at age 11. I had an intentional drug overdose at 13 (pills) and an accidental one at 19 (heroin). As a teenager and young adult my drug and alcohol use was out of control. I was angry and negative. I was totally at the mercy of addiction, mental illness and a dysregulated nervous system. I was destructive both to myself and others.
For a very long time, I believed there was a ceiling on what I could do because of my mental health issues. I thought I was broken.
I saw others succeeding and building great lives and believed because of my brain chemistry, I was just limited in what I could do. Believing this made me more anxious and depressed and caused me to self medicate even more.
I’ve since learned this is called a “fixed mindset.” It’s the belief that intelligence, talent and ability are innate; something you are born with. I truly believed this and I know so many others do too.
Alternatively, a growth mindset is the belief that you can become smarter, more skilled and in my case more stable with practice and coaching (and therapy). The shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is what changed everything for me.
I am not invalidating your feelings or your experience if you struggle with mental health. You are absolutely up against a huge challenge every day and you should be so proud of yourself for getting up and fighting on. That’s badass.
But if you feel disheartened and hopeless because of what you feel you can never achieve, if the world has led you to believe that you’re broken, I’m telling you today that’s bullshit.
My life now is a result of a ton of therapy, great mentorship and daily personal development.
I have a healthy marriage, great friendships, a beautiful home and I am CEO of a multi 7 figure company. I absolutely still have bad days, but overall I have created a life for myself that I never would have believed was possible.
You are not fixed. You are capable of constant growth and evolution.
You can do anything.