There’s nothing more exciting than being part of a startup and seeing your business idea grow and scale and succeed. But if your mental fitness isn’t in tip-top shape, you may as well let that startup idea go before it crashes and burns in a cruel twist of irony.

Physical fitness requires varied and diverse exercise, and it’s the same with mental fitness. If you’re slaving away for your startup all week, you’re not engaging the full spectrum of your mind. As startup founders, we can be so dedicated to bringing our business to life that we literally can’t tear ourselves away from it.

Startup founders often work so hard, making it easy to ignore mental fitness—a key component that is vital to startup success. Here are 4 reasons why mental fitness should be a priority for startup founders.

What is mental fitness?

While physical fitness is about having a strong and healthy body, mental fitness refers to having a strong and healthy mind. That is a mind that’s less overwhelmed, less stressed, less exhausted, more in control, and more productive. And what business doesn’t need that?

1. Strong mind, strong productivity

According to the psychologist Isla Gillespie, lacking in mental fitness can lead to what she calls “presenteeism.” This is the opposite of being absent at work: you are present, but you’re not firing all of your mental cylinders. You’re not achieving as well or working at your optimal level.

In fact, you may as well not even be there. With presenteeism, your presence at work lacks the productivity and growth you’re capable of. As a startup founder, you’re better off taking a “rest day” than heading to work when you’re mentally tired and not performing as well.

2. Better mood makes better business

Better mental fitness will put you in a better mood, injecting your office space with brighter energy and positivity, increased support for your employees, and more friendliness towards your clients.

Lacking mental fitness tends to leave entrepreneurs in low moods which discourage growth and change, as the mind is less able to adapt and tolerate other people’s behaviours—let alone small issues and problems that arise at work.

When you’re at the forefront of your startup and making major decisions on a daily basis, you want to do so from a place of strong mental fitness. As Fitstop gym CMO, Travis Telfer, puts it: “If you’re the face of a company, you’d better hope you’re in a good mood when interacting with the public or your startup won’t go very far.”

3. Strong mind for self-discipline

Startups are hard. When you are your own boss and responsible for the growth of your business, you need strong self-discipline to keep you on track. It’s all too easy to get carried away when there’s no external force keeping you in line.

Also Read: Mindfulness matters: Why every entrepreneur should invest in good habits

That’s why self-discipline is essential to making sure you reach your business goals and keep going when things knock you back. Mental fitness is vital for self-discipline, as it stops you from caving into weaknesses and keeps you working towards the ultimate goal in mind.

4. More resilience

Ah, what could be more stressful than the setbacks and pressure of startup life? When your mental fitness is lacking, it can be harder to cope with issues and setbacks, and take longer to recover from unexpected changes and pressures.

We’re more sensitive to stress and less able to power through trouble objectively and strongly. In the volatile world of startups, you need mental fitness to encourage stronger resilience so that you can keep performing your best no matter what life throws at you.

Final remarks

When you’re working for someone else, it’s all too easy to turn up to work in a less than ideal state-of-mind and underperform. This is why startups should embrace a strong culture of wellness and mental fitness. By doing so, your employees will be happier, more productive, and you’ll be able to retain talent longer.

Image Credit : dotshock

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