Four hundred years ago, Sir Francis Bacon said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The constant economic crises reaffirm the consequences of ignoring these sage words.
At times like this, it’s important to ask how we as individuals can move beyond today’s economic anxiety and fear and get on with our lives. How do we keep our own stability and help build up this economy instead of tear it down?
Like it or not, we’re all in this together, and it’s clear what happens when we tackle today’s problems as a house divided. Frustration and mistrust grow and the solution seems out of reach and certainly nothing we can influence. But our own grassroots efforts can make a difference in moving us and the country out of fear back into possibility.
Following are simple steps anyone can take to step out of financial paralysis and into building new money muscles:
Talk it up: Ignoring your anxieties and keeping fear bottled up only makes them fester and grow. Share your feelings with someone and get their perspective. With shared perspective, we can begin to move from negative speculation to possibilities.
Stay in the moment: Affirm your own financial reality now. Do you have enough today? Staying in the moment and not getting too far ahead of ourselves puts a stable foundation back in place.
Choose your battle: Be honest about what’s underneath your concern – is it mistrust, lack of control, powerlessness? Can we stop the stock market slide? Probably not, but we can make changes in our own financial world.
Take the next step: Keep your eye on your financial goals and begin shifting from emotion to motion. Pay a bill; start a savings account; cut up a credit card – any next step will start the momentum.
Do it again: When the next negative headline appears (and it will) go back to #1. Fear is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over our lives. Do these steps again and eventually you’ll slip right through fear and into empowered action with a blink of an eye.
Five easy steps that move us from emotion to motion, paralysis to possibility, fear to trust. And when we trust, all things are possible.
Jane Honeck specializes in tax and financial planning for professionals, small businesses and individuals and is the author of “The Problem with Money? It’s Not About the Money!” For more information, visit janehoneck.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.