How Mental Health Can Get In the Way of Our Goals

I don’t think it is any surprise but taking care of our mental health is incredibly important! Addressing any symptoms of depression, anxiety, and more can have a powerful effect on every aspect of our lives, and investing time into our mental wellbeing can not only make a difference in how we feel, but it can also make a difference in how we achieve our goals. This week on The Stress Less Show, I brought on Daniela Galdi, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of empowerment organization, Still Standing Together, to continue our October theme of Mental Health by sharing her own story of achieving her goals while managing her mental health.

As an entrepreneur, media personality, philanthropist and more, Daniela has developed a lot of passions in life and accomplished quite a lot of goals in her time. However, starting out as a trained dancer and producing live shows, she wasn’t always planning on doing so many different things.

“I have a lot that I do, and for a long time, that was something I looked at as something that was a weakness or [to be] frowned upon.”

She eventually found herself resisting her own interests and passions which led to a period of deep depression. It wasn’t until she began to really focus on her mental health and view of herself that she was able to make real progress on all of the interests and passions in her life.

“I finally got myself therapy again and started to take care of myself and realized that for 2019 I was just going to live by this motto: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? Go do them.”

Since then, she has founded Still Standing Together in order to support other women in their own goals and mental health journey. Through all of her work, she has come up with a few tips she shared with me on how to manage both your mental health and your goals.

Tip #1: Recognize why we aren't taking action

A lot of times, we spend a lot of time locked in a cycle of setting goals for ourselves and beating ourselves up for not achieving them. The reality is that sometimes the biggest thing standing in our way is our own mental health and state of mind, but we often aren’t even aware of it. That is why Daniela first recommends taking time to identify why we aren’t taking action on our goals.

“A lot of times, I was procrastinating on launching something because [of] that feeling of maybe I'm not good enough.”

Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues often make it difficult to recognize what is holding us back from our goals. When it comes to breaking that cycle, we have to first be aware of it and understand the thoughts and behaviors that are leading to our inaction. When we don’t take this time to identify what is causing our inaction, we end up spending more time reacting to our own inaction instead of taking productive action.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures and they really shouldn't… That really can get in the way.”

Tip #2: Start with something small

When we are experiencing times of depression and anxiety, we often put so much pressure on ourselves to accomplish all of our goals right away. We set ambitious goals, but that pressure to succeed can discourage us from even trying to work on those goals. That negative inner voice tells us we can’t get all these things done so why try. Daniela’s tip for fighting that inner voice is to start small.

“I was procrastinating on the dishes because I felt like my time was so limited... Why would I waste my time on dishes? I had to get my life in order. But then I started to realize that I can fit in all these small things, [and] it would lead to the big picture”

When it comes to our goals, making progress is more important than trying to make big leaps forward. By focusing on our goals one small step at a time, those goals become less daunting. Take a look at the goals you have for yourself and think about what you can do in just a few minutes that will help you move a little closer to your goals. That is enough!

Tip #3: Clear away the physical and mental clutter

For a lot of us, our relationship with clutter in our lives is a pretty dysfunctional one. We see clutter slowly pile up around us, but we don’t think to do anything about it until we feel buried in it. The problem with clutter though is that when we are dealing with mental health issues like anxiety or depression, this clutter in our lives only serves to keep us feeling even more helpless to our mental health.

That is why Daniela suggests taking the time to work on clearing out all forms of clutter in our lives. This can mean clearing out your physical space to give yourself a clean and inviting space to get work done. However, Daniela also stresses the importance of identifying the mental clutter that we have in our minds.

“[Mental clutter’s] that questioning we do for ourselves, but [there’s] the other noise that comes in from other people.”

We often hold a lot of different thoughts in our heads, but not all of them are helpful. Clearing out the thoughts that do not serve us can help us feel freer to work on the goals we have set for ourselves. Trying things like mindfulness or journaling can help to sort through our cluttered minds so that we have the clarity we need to succeed at what we are truly passionate about.

This episode was sponsored by Daniela Galdi Ventures. Have an idea or business you can't stop thinking about pursuing? Now is the time to start! Through her DG Venture Program, talk one-on-one with Daniela through a complimentary 25-minute Strategy Call, then use code "STRESSLESS25" for $25 OFF your next service. Learn more and sign up here.

View a full transcript of this episode here.