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The Downside of Being Up: Quotes from Famous Entrepreneurs on Defeating Mental Health Challenges

Being an entrepreneur is not all about unicorns and rainbows. Seriously.

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BY Peter Economy - 30 Jun 2018

The Downside of Being Up: Quotes from Famous Entrepreneurs on Defeating Mental Health Challenges

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Around the world, more than a quarter of the population has had some form of a mental health problem at some point in life -- in Sweden, for example, mental disorders were even identified as a major factor hampering the country's economic growth. Unfortunately, with the prevalence of mental disorders on the rise, mental health issues are forecasted to be the world's second-leading illness by 2020.

Mental health challenges affect the population in general, but they can also have a special impact on entrepreneurs:

One recent survey shows that 29 percent of entrepreneurs report dealing with ADHD, 27 percent reported feelings of anxiety, and 30 percent said they had a lifetime history of depression.

If you are similarly impacted, you are not alone -- here's what a handful of entrepreneurs have to say about their own experiences:

"Running a startup is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss. After a while, you stop staring, but the glass chewing never ends." -- Elon Musk

"Everyone sees the accomplishments but they don't see the hardships. Having a community to share the lows with can keep you sane and even save your life." -- Erik Torenberg

"Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, and though mental challenges can take a serious toll on your mind, body, and health, just know: ultimately, these challenges do not mean you are weak." -- Tim Ferriss

"Entrepreneurs have dreams that their babies (aka their businesses) will succeed. They care for their babies, they tend to them and then the problems start. What you love most is not growing the way you want it to grow. That, in and of itself, is challenging, and it's combined with the compounded challenges of life." -- Ramon Ray, of Smart Hustle

"People look at [the entrepreneur] and think, 'This guy's really got it together! He's brave!' And the man riding the lion is thinking, 'How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?'" -- Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions

So how does one find relief from these mental hurdles? Founder of Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan, suggests "closing the gap" by shifting your perspective from looking forward to looking backward. If you acknowledge what you have accomplished, rather than focusing on all that you have not achieved, you will find that you are closer to your goals than you may think.

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