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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—œ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—™๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ: ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—”๐—ป๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜†

Updated: Jun 8



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"Self-blame, self-doubt, feelings of failure, fear, and fatalism -

they're residing in the shadows,

even when I'm surrounded by wins."

โ€“ Anonymous business leader*

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All founders face anxiety, but the pressures of entrepreneurship can make introverts even more anxious since they are predisposed.

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This post covers how anxiety affects founders, their particular challenges, and ways to function better.


This post is part of a series on introverted startup leaders.**

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How You May Experience Anxiety


Anxiety can show up in ways you may not recognize.

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Physically, you may be unable to relax, get tired quickly, and have difficulty sleeping. You also may get headaches, nausea, and/or muscle aches.

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Emotionally, you may experience increased irritability without a clear cause, impacting your relationship with stakeholders.

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Mentally, you may have trouble focusing and worry excessively about everyday decisions and events than warranted.

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Anxious founders may be haunted by a pervasive and constant fear of failing.

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Despite having serious anxiety, founders may seem calm and successful.

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The Anxiety Paradox


Being a founder is full of stress. How can you know if your anxiety is caused by your work or being predisposed to the emotion?

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One indication is being anxious when it seems unwarranted, e.g. you feel nervous before every meeting, even if everyone works well together.

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Recognize the tradeoffs that come with anxiety. For instance, a brief period before a big event may be useful, while constant nervousness is detrimental.

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As a founder, you have to decide how much anxiety is necessary.

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Ideally, you can mitigate the negative effects while retaining the advantages.

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How to Face the Anxiety

These steps can help to address the cause and symptoms:

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Call it Out. Describe your anxiety (in writing or talking). When you can name your enemy, you gain some agency immediately.

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Peer Support. Join founder groups to gain practical advice and normalize your feelings.


Mindfulness. Learn meditation, breathwork, and yoga to face anxiety and reduce symptoms.


Balance. Spend time with friends, hobbies, and interests to refresh and get a new perspective on problems.

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Health. Invest in exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet to improve your wellness and offset feelings of doubt.

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These tips may be particularly useful with ongoing, low-level anxiety. If none of these actions will be enough, engage a professional to reach a new level.

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By recognizing the signs and impact of anxiety and determining strategies to improve well-being, you can focus on business success better.


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This post was written by me with AI editing. The image is AI generated.



** Premise: Being a founder is always tough. Introverts tend to be more inwardly focused and recharge when alone. Entrepreneurship often requires an outward focus. This series sets out to surface being an introvert across selling, networking, leading, facing anxiety, and finding happiness. To be clear, there is a range of introverts, and extroverts also face many stressors. Hopefully, these posts offer something to everyone.


Our latest newsletter talks about How Early VC Talks Uncover Blind Spots


๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฒ: ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ธย is a 500-page handbook with over 130 articles that ascend into topics like leadership, growth, sales, marketing, operations, finance, and teams. In five minutes, learn the best methods and practical solutions to reach your dreams.

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