Worse still, anxiousness about one theme can cloud judgement in another. For example, if you’re worried about something at home you could take different decisions in business than might otherwise be the case.
If that sounds familiar to you personally, it is certainly familiar to Scottish businesses collectively. Ever since the independence referendum of 2014, the course of domestic politics has chipped away at business confidence. It hit rock bottom in the FSB’s latest business confidence index.
That concern for the future of our nation, both as a member of the UK and the EU, is perfectly valid. How many different decisions might have been taken, had Brexit or IndyRef not been part of the context?
The statistics suggest this lack of confidence has affected decision-making. Two in three small business owners across the UK do not expect to increase capital investment and one in five of those are actively decreasing investment in their firms.
The question is, should it impact day-to-day business decisions? Are there more pressing matters for businesses to tackle?
The irony of this situation is that Scottish companies trading overseas are actually weathering the storm. Scottish export of goods increased at a higher rate than any other part of the UK in the year to September.
If Scottish businesses can trade beyond their domestic borders so successfully, why the lack of confidence around Brexit? Yes, our future trading relationship with overseas markets matters hugely, but running a successful business is not beholden to those circumstances. Regulatory risk is just one of many risks.
The ICAEW points to marketplace competition and customer demand as two challenges currently preoccupying Scottish businesses to a similar extent to Brexit.