Mostpeople are afraid of the economic forecast. Some have lost jobs; more will. Some have lost retirement funds; more will. Some have lost hope; more will. Fear and stress stimulate mostpeople to huddle around the campfire, worrying, whining and complaining about their uncertain future. They convince themselves that they’re too weak and helpless to succeed. They’re victims together. A long, cold recession or depression is the consensus prediction. But that’s not the prediction for my life and it doesn’t have to be for yours either. And that’s not because I have guaranteed money flowing in or I’m sure my business will be immune to the next little ice age. There’s a different reason.
We each have self bullies.
The little, self-bullying voices:
- Know our every fear and weakness, our every mistake and sin.
- Demean and ridicule us, discourage and depress us.
- Predict failure, as if they want to make us lose hope and give up.
- Don’t like us even though they pretend to be trying to help us.
- That are so persuasive.
We know where we heard those voices that told us they knew better – our parents, relatives, siblings, teachers, ministers, schoolmates, peers. We know how we made their voices into our self-bullying voices.
I refuse to listen to self bullying. I refuse to be a victim of my times and circumstances. You also can rise above mostpeople.
Don’t be a victim of your past. History is not destiny. Command yourself. Ignore self-bullies. Our self-bullying voices do not know what’s best for us, do not know the future and can’t accurately predict that we’ll fail.
Of course, the economy is lousy and times will be hard. Most of us won’t be able to maintain our previous standard of living. Mostpeople are angry because they thought they were guaranteed increasing wealth and security if they did things right.
We haven’t been trained to survive a depression. So what? We can survive and even thrive.
Think about what our ancestors survived. There has always been rotten weather like recessions and depressions, poverty and war. They’re part of the natural weather cycles – hurricanes, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, avalanches, droughts or floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. There have also been plagues, famine, pestilence and war.
If we let recession-induced fear and self bullying sap our strength and will, we won’t have the right stuff, we won’t act skillfully and the economic tide will pull us under. We have within us the inheritance of an unbroken line of people who thrived. We have within us the seeds of strength, courage and joy.
These economic ice ages have happened in America before. For example, economic crashes occurred in about 1787, 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1897, 1907 and the great depression from 1929-1941. The rest of the world had similar experiences.
What can we do when we get down on ourselves? We need WILL and SKILL.
- In order to succeed, we must choose to ignore self bullying, choose to command ourselves, choose to create the futures we want, no matter what the circumstances. As individuals, we must have the WILL to persevere, with grit, determination and resilience.
Call that hyper-critical, fear-mongering side of us a “self-bully” so we’ll react with passion and power against it. So we’ll rally ourselves against its words. We wouldn’t lie down in front of those old bullies and we wouldn’t let ourselves be abused by bullies now.
- We need SKILL to ignore our self-bullying voices – turn off the discouraging TV; stop listening to people moaning, whining and complaining; stop listening to victim stories. Walk away politely from mostpeople who wallow in the dumps of fear and panic. If you’ve kept your job, don’t wallow in survivor’s guilt. Get off the emotional roller coaster.
Find friends who don’t waste their time worrying about the economy, but instead handle things in as little time and with as little wasted energy as possible. Find friends with inner lights that give them joy even when they don’t have all the comforts and toys they once did. Become such a friend.
When the self bullying voices start again, tell them we’ve heard all that before and if they want to help us, they can use a different voice and become encouraging coaches that strengthen our spirits. Fill the IMAX screen of our minds with the future we hope we’ll have and the friends we want in our lives. Throw ourselves into activities like physical exercise. Don’t feed our addictions; eat well. Feed our spirits with movies, music and books that lift up our spirits and renew our energy.
- We need SKILL to make plans to keep our jobs or find others, to spend less while still treating our spirits better. We need skill to get over our feelings, plans and expectations. Loss of riches, comforts and dreams is not really the end of the world. Get going again.
While the growing recession is the world in which I function, it’s not the world in which I live. I invite you wonderful people to enter the world that is waiting for you, if you but have the courage to take the first steps.
"What lies behind us and lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson