What I Learned Living with Depression and Anxiety as a Content Creator

a friend of mine asked me the other day how do you deal with all of the stress and honestly the very first thought that came in my mind was not nearly as well as I'd like that's because for almost a decade now I have been a content creator and for many of those years a full-time content creator it's what I spend my time doing and honestly when I got started I was not prepared for what that would mean for me especially mentally and emotionally I've had this video on my list um to make for probably for months now and I've been reluctant to do it and I think the reason why is it's hard to know what to say about mental health about stress about anxiety and that impact that it tends to have on content creators so I'm going to go ahead and start this video off by saying this I'm not a therapist and I'm certainly not your therapist I'm certainly not qualified to get give you any sort of specific advice or diagnosis what I'm doing here is I'm going to share a bit about my experience as a content creator some of the things that I've identified as major causes for anxiety for stress for just mental health issues as a content creator just sharing from my experience and some of the things that I do some of the things that have worked for me to be able to deal with that so now that we've got that sort of legal disclaimer out of the way let's Jump Right In to mental health all right so for Content creation and for us as business owners if you're a content creator and you're trying to make some money from it and you're working for yourself you're a business owner too and again that was kind of a a big part of that conversation I had with this friend was trying to do business stuff content creation there's so much there's so much and there's often too much to be able to do it all and so that brings me to like the first cause as a content creator and as a business owner that I have found for a lot of anxiety and even depression and that is just with content creation there's a constant treadmill if you're on social media the treadmill can be even worse if you don't publish consistently you might just kiss your audience goodbye and it's almost like I have to create so much content and if I don't keep up with all of it I will never succeed this leads to overworking to I do this force myself like I'm looking at my phone late into the evening looking at work rated stuff looking at how my content's performing looking at that does not help it perform better by the way but I'm checking all the time it then gets exacerbated by perfectionism I can't publish that until it's good enough why because I don't want to put something out there that isn't good enough somebody might see that we don't want that so we do a ton of work and often times don't even end up publishing and when we do we then feel super insecure about it another piece that contributes to this is when opportunities do come up and we feel like like we have to say yes to everything cuz who knows which one's going to actually work so there's a lot going on here but basically it's just this kind of overworking and this constant input going into our brains and we can't put it down let's talk about some strategies that I found that have helped me and that are helping me to deal with this issue first and foremost we have to acknowledge one thing there are some things that are just completely out of our hands you can't control them and so stressing out about those things all that does is cause anxiety all that does is make you less healthy stress causes physical response in your body it releases cortisol I'm not a doctor but I know a lot about this because I've been in this for a long time it releases cortisol which by the way is really bad for weight loss it's really bad for sleep it's really bad for pretty much everything um except that it makes you more alert that's the point it's the point of it in the first place is it makes you alert to the D anger so that you can get out of the danger but when the danger isn't real it's not physical there's no way out of it when the danger is my business might not succeed the thing I'm working on might fail how do you ever get rid of that feeling well the first thing is by choosing to accept like you have to not just like think this but you have to truly force yourself to believe that things that are outside of your control are not worth your attention one big one that's hit a lot of us who have content on the Internet is Google Google just changed the game and destroyed traffic for a lot of websites does that mean we do nothing about it no of course not but guess what I'm not going to do I'm not going to sit here and gripe and worry about Google I'm going to figure out what are the things that are under my control and if we thought about this in the past which a lot of us did a pretty good job on um there have been a lot of things that I've recommended that I didn't do on all of my websites but a lot of you did and I'm proud of you for this what do we do about this focus on the things that are in your control also optimism and hope if you have if you're pessimist if you just believe that things are going to go bad they're going to go bad a lot more often but if you have optimism if you have hope then you're going to see the good and a lot about what happens to us in our lives and a lot about the way that we feel about the world has way more to to do with how we perceive things and so if you look at everything with a pessimistic standpoint you're going to see how that thing was not good enough but when you look at it from an optimistic standpoint you're going to look and see how that presented me this great opportunity but now let's get back to the overworking and the saying yes to everything whenever you're faced with a new opportunity one of the best things you can do is to have criteria or even just specific values things that are most important to you that you you measure that opportunity against and if that opportunity doesn't fit your criteria for what's driving you toward your goals you toward your success then it's not an opportunity you should say yes to you don't have to say yes to every opportunity in business to succeed in fact you'll be far more likely to see succeed if you focus your attention on fewer good opportunities that match your values and match where you're trying to go that means you need to let yourself say no to any of those opport unities or anything things that people request of you that aren't going to move you toward your goal that don't match those fundamental criteria for you look saying no to people isn't rude that's a problem that I have and a lot of us who are people Pleasers we tend to have is we say yes to everyone even if we know it's not a good opportunity it's not rude to say No in fact you're better off not leading somebody down a path that in the end is going to be a waste of their time so not everybody reacts perfectly when you say no I would like to pass up this opportunity right now or no I don't have time to help you with this right now because I have important things in my life too it is important to take care of yourself you can't draw water from an empty well you can't keep giving if you have nothing else to give this is an important principle in fact for you to better be able to give and to help other people you need to have enough rest to be able to give it's honestly like the way you can look at it and and is this is something that my own therapist had to um really walk me through which was that if it's important to me to help people and to want to serve people which is one of my core values one of my f fundamental principles one of the reasons by the way that I even chose to work for myself was to free up my time and hopefully to free up my finances to be able to devote more of my time to helping the people around me to being there for my kids to helping the people in my community and around the world and the thing that my my counselor really had to kind of beat into my head was that when I'm taking a little bit of time for myself to get the rest that I need to recharge to enjoy life that's actually preparing me it's recharging me it's enabling me to do a better job of helping the people around me in fact it's amazing the more you study mental health that being idle uh too much right like spending too much time on yourself and focusing inward on just yourself and then being idle like I'm just resting this week for the whole week I'm going to rest um now you may need that some people may need that sorry I'm not trying to mock that but for many of us if we're just going to take more time to rest because we're still feeling depressed being idle actually makes it worse having a purpose actually brings far more joy and actually helps alleviate depression and anxiety again it's what I found to work for for me at least and that's why I still choose to say yes to a lot of opportunities for especially opportunities that come up for to help people honestly there are times I probably still should say no because I stretch myself too thin but what I find is that I get a lot of joy out of that those interactions out of actually helping people and that is far better for my mental health what I probably need to do is do a better job of saying no to business opportunities because I get like 30 a day let's learn to say no all right number two the second thing that I found causes me mental health struggles as a content creator is success and not achieving it not achieving it fast enough not achieving enough of it you feel like you're not reaching your goals you're not reaching them fast enough and often times no amount of success that you do achieve feels like nearly enough I have seen content creators I've talked to project 24 members I've talked to family members who seem to be constantly frustrated at themselves because no matter what they had achieved they never felt like they were where they should be the biggest reason for this is often times because people we measure ourselves against an ideal we may set a goal for ourselves and we may work toward that goal and we may even achieve that goal but we're never happy because the more successful you are the more you grow the more you're able to do the more you see that you could grow more and so the more you kind of look at this ideal and recognize that you haven't achieved it you're trying to hit a moving Target uh this honestly this concept is amazing and I learned this from uh Dan Sullivan and Dr Benjamin Hardy from a book called The Gap in the gain basically we have these ideals and these ideals are like a mirage in the desert the closer you get to this ideal the it still seems just as far away and it leads to depression it leads to just dissatisfaction we have to stop doing that and the recommendation that they made and I promise you that this will absolutely help is we learn to compare ourselves only to ourselves in the past where were we only started this goal and how much have we grown since then now another similar issue is you may also be comparing yourself to other people or to other people's vision of what success should mean you set your own success criteria if you feel like you need to drive a fancy car because that is what people people around you measure success by you will never be happy because no matter how much how many of those symbols of success that you have there will always be other symbols that you probably can't afford almost nobody in the world can afford all of the status symbols and the ones who can we look down on because they hoard too much of their wealth what you want is what matters to you you define what success means you set the criteria you set your values is there a trend here in this video yes you decide what matters to you and don't let other people decide that for you that is the key to good mental health or at least one of the keys in my opinion as a content creator and a business owner not as a mental health professional I have to keep making sure that that's clear I mentioned the other issue here and that is comparing yourself to other people other people are at a different place in their lives on different things other people have strengths that are different from your strengths we all know this I think fundamentally in our brains and yet how often do we look at other people and compare our success our failures social media is like thrives it's like the purpose of social media is to literally look at other people and how great things are for them and then look at ourselves and feel ashamed and then what do we do we go and post the very prettiest best things about ourselves so that we can feel better we tell our kids multiple times a week this phrase comparison is the thief of Joy anytime someone's like but she got forget it she's two years younger or old older or four years younger or older they're a different age than you they're going to have different privileges right different things are going on different people are going to be capable of different things that's just how life is and if you're going to compare yourself to anybody compare yourself only to yourself in the past and celebrate how much you've grown all right now we need to go into the third cause that I found at least for me for mental health struggles as a content creator and that is the stuff that other people say say or do about me now this isn't exclusive to content creators I mean bullies have been around since the dawn of time right there's always somebody who's trying to tear somebody else down to make themselves feel bigger better whatever but if you're creating content and putting it out there on the internet you are being vulnerable and it's one of the reasons why so many of us end up as perfectionists is because we have been picked on before and we just don't want to give people ground we don't want somebody to take the work that we've done that we put something into and assess it and decide that it's not good enough that doesn't matter it feels like it matters but you know it shouldn't matter look nothing you create is going to be good enough for everybody there's going to be somebody out there who's going to poke a hole in your argument whether or not there's an actual hole in your argument it doesn't actually even matter I want to share with you a couple of experiences I have to be honest this for me is the hardest one from a mental health standpoint this is the thing that gets me more than anything else last year I had a member of my team leave the team and when I did it was shocking it was I'd say disheartening but honestly that word is far too weak for what it was seeing the way that our audience on a YouTube channel that I own on channel makers um to see the way that so many of them reacted and the kinds of accusations and the kinds of claims that were made About Me by people who don't even know me and I was like no but these aren't true it's not true it's not true right and you start reading all these comments and you're like no all of you people think these horrible things about me I literally watched as a body language expert picked apart all of my facial expressions and completely misread the situation only making it worse and then read a bunch of comments from people who are like oh thank you for giving us so much Clarity on this situation and then they just thought even worse of me now this was a situation that actually did lead to Serious like business success type impact like things that actually held me back and have caused my team and I to have to do a whole bunch of work a whole bunch of damage control but also honestly for me the biggest impact was just what it did to my mental health and then not long ago an SEO influencer decided to tell everybody on Twitter that I um have had a net negative impact on society I don't know what it takes for a person to say that kind of thing about another person I can't even imagine doing that about virtually anybody and the only people I can think of where I would maybe say that about are people where we would all agree they had a net negative impact on society in fact it was so exaggerated the claims that it actually made it a little bit easier for me to dismiss them here's what's worked for me because I faced that more in the last year than in probably my entire life combined even all the things that anybody might have ever said about me in high school middle school college my entire life combined I think I've had more in the last year but I've also had plenty of it as a content creator over the years people choose to pick on everything even if the things you say and the content you create is amazing they're just like yeah but your eyes are too close together or the one I get all the time hey look guys he's fat thanks Captain Obvious all right anyway here's what works best for me first first of all getting a little bit of support from people who actually know me um it was really cool to see in both of these situations it it didn't happen immediately because it was the people who were negative and the people who were very active in those social media circles they're the ones who jumped on things first but eventually the word spread and people who know me who I didn't ask to do this jumped on and and said no this claim isn't true and they had very positive things to say about me I didn't even have to go in and like defend my own honor because there were other people who were like hey you're saying this but look this guy's changed my life he's helped me there were other people I talked to in my personal life and this helped me a lot was being able to just talk to people but there were people I talked to and I said look he's saying these kinds of things and it's really kind of angering me and to see their facial expressions was something that really helped me because their immediate reaction that was probably the most genuine thing like yeah they could come up with really nice things to say but their immediate reaction when I saw them react with like disbelief that was actually a big help and so for many of you who may have participated in that thank you because you may or may not have any idea but that actually helps me a whole lot now those positive responses and stuff doesn't really stop all the other bullies on the internet from piling on honestly everybody on the internet's got opinions about everything even things they know nothing about and so you're going to get plenty of that and you may face that as a content creator going forward you're going to face people who are going to say mean things about you here's the next thing that helped me was stepping back trying to emotionally sort of detach myself from that situation not detach myself from my emotions but for me to step back from that situation look at it from the outside how much impact was this going to have on my actual business and on me achieving success I told you that first situation had a real impact and there were things a lot of things I've had to do as a result of that to try to just strengthen and secure my business so that my team you know can all still have jobs and so we can keep doing what we do here for you but this second situation honestly it wasn't actually hurting anything you see the people who were piling on those people were never going to buy anything from me those people many of whom I recognize their names are people who' have already decided at some point that they don't like me so what further damage was actually being done a lot of times both bullies blow smoke and they don't do any real damage except the damage they do to the victim and most of the time it's only if the victim gives them that power stepping back like that and and just seeing it through that light though that allowed me to just walk away and guess what happened the minute I walked away and just went back to work doing my stuff and decided I don't need to give that any more attention because it's not an opportunity or a detractor or anything that has any impact on My Success back to the very beginning of this video so it's not an opportunity that's worth my time it's not a detraction that's worth my time so I put my effort back into my work just like my my mental health all of it it just rebounded almost immediately and the anger it went away and in fact when I was quiet about it when I just ignored it from that point on instead made the other guys just look like the bullies that they are so keep this in mind if you're going to be a content creator if you're going to put yourself out there on the internet people are going to talk about you it's going to happen but I learned this cool principle a while back um and I just love this what other people think about you and even what they say about you it's not of your business it's their business and guess what it's their problem you can't do any anything about what other people think about you just be the best version of you that you can be and focus on that so bringing this all back together set your core values set your actual goals like what does success mean to you and forget about what the rest of the world thinks about success what do you actually want work toward that only take on the work that's going to lead you to strengthening yourself along your core values which might mean doing a lot of really good things to benefit and Bless the people around you because that's part of your goals that's part of how you measure your success that's how it is for me so I'm not talking about being selfish and only spending time on things that are going to make you rich spend time and effort on the things that matter to you and forget what all of the people around you think you should want and think you should do to be successful and then as those people say whatever they want to say about you who cares you shouldn't I shouldn't so this video is as much for you as it is for me let's focus on doing what we can do on growing what we can grow and make sure that what we work on is aligned with how we Define our success I think we're going to find a lot more happiness now if you are struggling with mental health and if your mental health struggles go well beyond what we covered in this video I do strongly suggest that you reach out and get help I have had many times in my life when I needed help not just from loved ones but from someone who is a trained professional who knew what they were doing and whose values and principles align with mine that has been one of the best things that's helped it's helped my family it's helped me in so many ways so if you need that help go get that help I think we live in a world where as we move faster and faster and faster AI is not slowing us down right now we're expected to get 10 more done in a day because we have ai to help us our brains are shifting focus a thousand times a minute the anxiety I think is only going to get worse unless we learn how to define our own success how to manage our time and how to take care of ourselves so do that take care of yourself and be successful whatever that means to you [Music]

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