In one of my recent blogs, I wrote about the beauty of being a higher force’s “pencil”. I wrote about how our work as female soulpreneurs is our love letter to the world and that that higher power is always guiding us.
My second blog was about establishing a deeper relationship with this higher loving force.
Today, I’d love to focus on the 3 main reasons female soulpreneurs can struggle with their mental health:
- As female soulpreneurs there are so many ways in which our mental health can suffer. I’d love to release the stigma around it and open up the conversation about mental health
- I want female entrepreneurs to know they are not alone and that many of us can relate to their mental health struggles
- I want to empower women in their soulful businesses and help them cope better with their mental health. I want them to come to a place of acceptance and surrender
There are so many different reasons why we can struggle as female entrepreneurs. It can be directly linked to what we’re doing or have nothing to do with it – aka when life happens.
This blog will focus on mental health directly linked to our entrepreneurial journey. I came across three main themes to watch out for.
1. Not being on the right path as female soulpreneurs
That’s how it started for me. I wanted to “make it” in corporate, even though a deep part within me knew this was not my path. Yet I resisted taking a decision for many years out of fear of being judged. I also had a genuine fear of not knowing what else was out there for me. My soul was bleeding.
I felt like a fish out of water or like a bat being forced to sunbathe. All of this created havoc on my mental health until I decided to quit and follow my intuition.
I suspect there are thousands of women like me out there who would thrive outside of their 9-5 soul-sucking jobs, yet don’t dare to leave. If this is you, know that sometimes your new path will only be fully revealed once you quit. This is how it was for me. Don’t expect anything to be magically lined up for you in case you choose an entrepreneurial path.
There won’t be a manual taking through from A to Z. There is no guarantee you will immediately be earning a lot. Let alone as much as you used to in your stable job. You definitely should have some savings before you quit.
Of course, there are many women who already know what they want to be doing. They start their soul business on the side and quit once they feel the business is taking off.
2. Being on the right path but outgrowing certain elements of it
Once you’re finally on the right path and you feel all the stars are aligned, you might feel shocked when you suddenly fall out of love with certain elements of your business.
Let’s say you became a life coach and don’t love the tools and techniques you have been using anymore. Or maybe you don’t feel you identify with life coaching at all. Maybe you have been following breathwork practitioners, healers, or art therapists and feel drawn to something new.
It can be a very painful process, after all, you built up a whole new identity as this one person. A life coach. You have built yourself some reputation, made a name for yourself, and feel bad about starting from scratch once more. You show up feeling like an imposter and like you are doing a disservice to the clients you are working with.
For writers, it might mean trying a new genre or going from fiction to non-fiction. Artists might need to learn a whole new painting technique. For activists, there might be a whole new cause waiting for you to emerge yourself in.
I went through this with my Reiki energy healing business. While Reiki was never the only thing I was doing and practicing, it was a large part of it. I invested a full year of my life to learn, master, and eventually teach it. I had built my identity as a Reiki healer. Once I fell out of love with it and started questioning things, there was no way back for me.
That’s when I channeled my own healing system. The channeled messages came through via dreams and my meditations. However, this was only possible once I allowed myself to leave Reiki behind and when I decided to open myself up to new ways of facilitating healing for myself and my clients.
However, there was a transitioning phase that was scary:
- I feared losing my livelihood, after all my Reiki practice was generating most of my income
- I felt like an imposter and a failure, after all, I already had felt unhappy at corporate. And now, once more, I wasn’t happy with what I had chosen for myself. I thought that I would never be truly happy. Showing up to be of service to my clients took a lot of energy in that short transition phase.
- I had to trust that everything was aligned and that took a lot of energy, too. I kept questioning myself and what I was channeling. It took me some time to believe in my abilities. I had to trust that this new way of conducting healing came through for a reason.
How I overcame this:
I gave myself ample space to feel what it was I was feeling. Deep down I knew I needed to detach from Reiki. I now believe that Reiki had just been my initiation into the world of energy work.
Reiki didn’t need to be the one and only identity. What helped me the most was to see myself as a multi-passionate woman who was keen on learning new things and being a clear channel for the divine. And when the divine wants me to move on and learn something new, I will.
My pro tip: If you have been struggling with falling out of love with one or all elements of your soulful business, know that this is happening for a reason. You most likely need to birth something new. Allow yourself to explore a new direction, or at least make fundamental changes to the ways you have been practicing things.
You might have outgrown your mighty wings. Below is a poem from my book “When A Wild Woman Rises” I wrote when I was navigating depression and was in that transition phase of letting things go.
Letting go of something we loved once is always hard – in fact it’s one of the hardest things to do, especially if you had built your entire identity around that one thing.
On day 2 of my 5-day “Level Up Your Impact Challenge” (more info at the bottom of this blog), I added an exercise to grieve the old we have left behind such as ideas, projects, or a business that we had to let go of.
3. Not charging what you’re worth and what you deserve
Once I opened my coaching & healing business in 2012, I knew it was just me, myself & I. I was single AF, had to pay for rent and living costs all by myself in one of the most expensive cities in the world (Geneva), and had no parents able to inject cash into my business or who would “bail me out” if things went south. I knew I was financially independent and that even if I would be in a relationship one day, I would always choose to remain financially independent.
Because of this, I never felt bad about charging elevated prices.
- I’m not entitled to paid sick leave as regular employees are
- I didn’t generate any income when I am on vacation
- Same in case I needed to take time off to help a sick loved one
- I didn’t get paid when I was dealing with my own mental health struggles or physical illnesses
- I have no access to unemployment benefits
- Heck – it’s even more difficult to get a rental contract going as rental agencies will always favour people with permanent employment contracts.
- I don’t have an employer paying into my retirement fund or who pays for my health insurance
- When a pandemic hits or we are in a recession and people feel fearful of spending extra money, I need to know I have substantial savings to last for a while
My pro tip would be to always factor all of that into your prices. Do not be amongst those who charge the least in your industry.
Having financial troubles because of your chronic unworthiness to charge what you’re worth is just one more awful layer leading to mental health struggles.
I worked with many female soulpreneurs who burned out. They fell out of love with what they were doing because it wasn’t sustainable. Because of this, they felt they weren’t good enough and took that as an excuse to stop doing what they were doing. Even though the only block they had, truly, was the one of stepping up and thinking like a female CEO who is in charge of their business. That means we need to stop treating our business like a hobby and charge what we are worth.
And from what I have also seen in my work with women: how they do one thing is how they do everything.
These feelings of unworthiness to charge more money for their gifts and talents also showed up in their romantic relationships as an unworthiness to be loved. As such, they would repel true love and only attract those who would make them feel unloved or unworthy of a healthy and stable love. Working on worthiness, thus, will improve your life in general.