I was supposed to write about a Startup Weekend and explain what it was about. But I’m sorry, I can’t. I gave up on myself. Should I move forward? Absolutely. Maybe this is one of the most personal post I ever wrote. It’s not easy to talk about our mistakes but I really believe it's necessary if we want to move forward to the next step. At the end, we can learn even more about our failures.
It was early in the morning on Friday, October 16th. I was heading Stockholm to attend my first Startup Weekend aimed at developing projects related to the Internet of Things. I was excited when I decided to sign in. I thought it might be a good idea even I’m not a technology person. It was a chance to learn new things and meet people over the world. As I said, excited but nervous as well. After an airplane, a train, the metro and a 10 minutes walk, I arrived at the University district in the Tekniska Högskola.
I only opened the door and I felt like I was in a state of panic: excessively prepared Young people were attending the event. Have you ever seen The Big Bang Theory? There were Sheldons everywhere except me. What I am doing here? Really… WHAT is a mom of 2 boys doing here????
Each participant pitched an idea in 1 minute. After that people voted those ideas they liked the most and joined a team to bring out prototypes and launch startups. I listened all the ideas while sweating a lot and breathing rapidly. When it was time to vote I looked at the wall but I couldn’t see anything. I really don’t like any idea or I’m not able to see beyond? Each group needed a minimum of 3 participants but I felt my strength abandoned me. I tried to hide myself from the rest of the people in the event and be so small that nobody sees me. Panic and anxiety attack.
I run away but when I was running something in my head was saying to me I didn’t take the right decision. For this time: Panic 1- me 0.
Maybe you went through a similar situation or maybe not. According to the Mayo Clinic the panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. This wasn’t the first time I went through a panic and anxiety attack and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one I run away some time. But the fact is that it didn’t make me feel better.
According to the 7th National Congress of Anxiety that took place in Barcelona in 2014, around 40% of Spaniards have had anxiety and that brings about 10% of absenteeism from work, which means +7 points than the European average. The financial crisis and the income loses is one of the reasons of these numbers in Spain. Another fact is: who is suffering anxiety the most? Which target group? Principally unemployed persons, housewives and freelancers. It’s really hard to be freelance in Spain, we all know but not impossible. At the end, it’s all about to learn manage these feelings, something as important as managing your own business.