Who had ‘insane dictator starting a war in Europe’ on their ‘what can go wrong’ next bingo card?
After going from a deadly new virus and shutdowns, to record high unemployment then to people storming our capital on January 6, 2021, as Congress was meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election, Delta and Omicron waves of the virus causing more turmoil and increasing inflation, it has been a heck of a couple of years.
As Cold War tactics turn blazing hot, it brings about a whole new level of uncertainty and anxiety to the world. What does it mean for you?
We all feel anxious or scared at times. We also, generally, don’t like to admit that. It’s ok. Just sit there and acknowledge it.
The first step is to be ok and admit those feelings, and then feel them fully. It’s fine and it’s human.
The second step is to get clear on what you can control. Then, do something! Figure out what micro action you can take towards accomplishing a goal and do that. Lastly, just repeat this step over and over.
It’s also important to recognize that we all create narratives for ourselves built around our preconceived ideas.
First, we know there are facts, and boy are there lots of those coming at us these days. Second, there are our feelings about those facts. What do these facts make us feel?
Finally, there are the stories we tell ourselves about our feeling and about those facts. Those are 3 very different things.
If we are feeling anxious, it is easy to let that shape the narrative, we begin to spiral towards darker and darker thoughts. This can lead to panic and any decision made in a panic, whether personal or professional, has a higher chance of failure.
We, as humans, are not that far removed from our ancestors who were rewarded for hasty decisions to avoid being prey to wild animals. What kept us alive 10,000 years ago all but guarantees poor, hasty decisions in a crisis of today’s world.
Now that you have recognized, accepted, and identified your stress, you realize you are more than your emotions. You can experience a feeling without necessarily having to act on it.
In fact, it’s exactly what I ask of myself and clients when we ask them to stay the course and keep a long-term perspective, “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
You can be angry without being violent. You can be sad without being incapacitated. You can be scared about what is rightly frightening news without allowing it to destroy your ability to lead at home and work.
We can all emerge from this uncertainty with a greater perspective and a redoubled commitment to do what is right, but getting there will take a daily commitment to self-care.
Investors should continue to seek guidance from their financial advisors to act as both a behavioral coach and a trusted resource to help them meet their financial goals. If you do not have someone to talk to about this, please reach out, and I will help in any way that I can.
I continue to encourage all of you to take this time to be the support others need as well. Hug your child, spouse, pet, or just yourself. We will all get through this together!
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The information contained herein is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not exhaustive. Diversification and/or any strategy that may be discussed does not guarantee against investment losses, but are intended to help manage risk and return. If applicable, historical discussions and/or opinions are not predictive of future events. The content is presented in good faith and has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable. The content is not intended to be legal, tax or financial advice. Please consult a legal, tax or financial professional for information specific to your individual situation.