You just landed the best deal of your life, further cementing your business into the industry as a leader. You’re living the dream, and yet, you’re still facing moments of existential crisis on certain days. Stress, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed or depressed can only make things worse, and you wind up questioning your very existence.
Maybe you feel into an industry you weren’t particularly passionate about, but you were good at it. Maybe you inherited the business from a parent and don’t actually want to be a CEO. Or, maybe with all of your financial success, you still feel alone and unclear as to what you’re even in the world to do.
An existential crisis can leave you questioning yourself and sometimes can make things worse. Here’s how to navigate an existential crisis if you’re a CEO.
As a CEO, it’s all too easy to get caught up in work and forget about our relationships with the people around you. Combine this with an existential crisis, and you’ll find yourself abandoning important relationships in order to find some kind of answer out in the ether.
The fact is, some things you just can’t do alone, and that’s ok. We all need help sometimes, and utilizing your support group might be one of the best things you can do for yourself in times of existential crisis. While some “soul-searching” by yourself can be beneficial, you don’t want to totally isolate yourself from everyone you love.
The people around us are a big part of what gives our life meaning. Not sure what your purpose is? Look around you. What role do you fill in other people’s lives? Are you a parent? Mentor? What about your community? These are important questions to ask when you can’t seem to find your purpose.
Ask The Right Questions
This is the most difficult part of an existential crisis because we tend to ask the same questions: “who am I/what am I doing here/what’s the point of life/what’s my ultimate purpose?” While these questions can certainly provide a starting point for rethinking your life, they’re simply too vague to provide any real answers. Do any of us know for certain what we’re doing here, or what the purpose of life actually is? No. that’s knowledge we may never have, and part of navigating an existential crisis is coming to terms with the fact that some questions aren’t meant to have answers.
Instead of asking “What am I doing here?” ask instead “What impact am I having on the world around me?” You can include both positive and negative impacts, as the negatives give you something to improve on, and the positives give you a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence that can help mitigate the crisis itself.
Dig Deeper; What’s The Real Issue?
Sometimes, an existential crisis goes far beyond a simple need for answers. It can be part of a bigger problem, such as the onset or manifestation of symptoms of conditions like depression. It’s certainly normal to have thoughts related to life’s biggest questions. After all, an entire discipline of science came about from such questions (philosophy), but to be consumed by these questions could be related to something worse than curiosity.
You might have to do some serious digging to get to the bottom of the issue, and you might find that you require professional help to get there at all. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help, and with so many resources available both on and offline, there’s no shortage of assistance and information available for you to utilize.
Sometimes, You Just Need To Let Go
No one can have all of the answers. It’s that simple. Maybe we’re not supposed to know what the meaning of life is, or even what our own purpose here is. Maybe living in the moment, enjoying what we have right here and right now, is what we’re supposed to be doing. Either way, there comes a time when you just have to accept that you can’t have all the answers and move on.
Acceptance can be a difficult thing to accomplish, especially with such deep and philosophical questions, but it shows a certain maturity and understanding when you can accept things as they are. Pay attention to how you and your business impact the people around you, the community, and the world. The answers you seek may very well be right under your nose, or you may never find them. You’re going to need to make peace with both possibilities until one becomes definitive.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your search for answers, but some answers are truly impossible to find. Don’t let the existential crisis become a consuming force in your life!