I made a TV appearance on Monday morning on the AM Northwest morning show, sharing about how to move forward when you feel stuck. However, there was some bigger news that morning. The stock market plummeted, Congress couldn’t agree to a rescue measure for the current financial situation and people were scared.
Usually after my TV appearances, the phone rings and rings. Monday morning? Nothing. Not one call. Perhaps not many people saw my segment, focused as they were on the other news. Or maybe, they felt frozen.
My coach and I were chatting today about the acronym FEAR: Future Events Appearing Real. What strikes me about the current economic climate is that it is driven by fear. Fear makes people rush to the bank to pull out their money or dash to the phone to sell off their stock. People disconnect from one another, compete for assumed limited resources and base their decisions on what might happen.
So what can you, a person who wants to find equilibrium, do in the midst of this situation?
Do you have a roof over your head and enough food today? Is your family cared for and are your own needs met? While these things are not true for many people in the world, what is your current situation?
Being present means being aware of what you are actually experiencing today, right now, instead of focusing your attention on what might happen. When you are present in the now, you might feel more gratitude than fear. Think of all the times in your past that you have been afraid of what might happen. How many times did your worst fear actually occur? Usually, our minds can create far more terrifying outcomes than reality brings.
Many of your fears are reasonable. You want to keep your job and home. You want to live in a country that is abundant and you want to have opportunities open to you and your family. But do you think your fear and anxiety will bring you closer to these desires?
Set intentions for what you DO want to experience and then take actions in alignment with them.
I am not suggesting that you disconnect from reality. What I do believe is that your intentions are powerful because they focus your thoughts in more positive direction. The way you think influences your emotions and how you feel about your life is expressed through your actions. And your actions have a direct influence on your experiences and outcomes.
A simple intention like, No matter what happens I know that all is well, might allow you to take some deep breaths, focus your attention on all the things that are going well in the present and even inspire you to take action that would have been impossible if you were stuck in fear.
Be clear about your purpose and priorities.
Times of crisis often invite us to focus our energy and become more inventive! When the proverbial poo hits the fan, it is even more important to be clear about what you are doing in your life. When you are living intentionally and in alignment with your purpose, you are much less likely to be sidetracked by fear. You know that whatever happens in the financial climate, you will weather the storm.
I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship.
Louisa May Alcott
Connect to your own personal faith.
If you are a spiritual or religious person, you might find your faith tested by your fear. It is much easier to say you trust in God/The Universe/Divine Light when things are going well. During times of challenge, you have the opportunity to really explore, what do I believe? What is this reality all about anyway?
So, I invite you to take a few deep breaths with me (right now) and realize that while you might not be able to control the financial market, you can choose your attitude.
And that might have a lot more impact than you think.