Across the world, governments and populations alike are encountering the same challenges – namely, how to treat the coronavirus and prevent its spread.
But this is just the beginning. Certainly, in the here and now – in the immediate future – bringing the virus under control is the priority, and we salute the legions of scientists, medical personnel, and key workers who are making that happen each and every day. But what comes next? How do we deal with the economic depression that follows such a crisis? How do we avoid global recession?
There is one thing we must do: We must not give in. We must not roll over and simply accept the worst case as the inevitable.
And we won’t. This is not the way that we – as a species – do things. If the last few months has taught us anything, it is that the incredible resilience of humanity is still alive and well. Even in the face of such hardship, the flame of endeavour, of compassion, of positivity, still burns brightly.
This is all well and good, but what does this mean in practice? How do we go about channelling this resilience into a set of practical solutions that will carry us, and our finances, forward?
Let’s take a look at this in a little more detail.
Practical Solutions to Winning the Psychological Battle
We often hear the phrase “it’s all in your head,” as if a psychological problem is somehow less valid than a physical or external issue. In the 21st century, we are pushing back against this – not only recognising that psychological issues need real consideration but also understanding that there are real steps we can take to overcome them.
So, if you’ve found yourself hounded by money worries and anxiety as a result of this crisis, how do you overturn the negativity?
Develop a complete understanding of your situation
Much of the anxiety and worry we feel on a daily basis comes from uncertainty and a lack of knowledge. Basically, if we do not know what we are dealing with, we assume the worst. And, these negative feelings build and build until we are overwhelmed.
Fight this tendency. Fight it with knowledge. Sit down and work out how the virus has affected your incomings. Then, work out what adjustments can be made so not only can you keep yourself moving forward, but you also can actively set yourself up for a thriving future.
This is not a one-off exercise. You need to get used to appraising your situation on a regular basis, running the accounts, assessing the damage and the improvement, and arming yourself with the knowledge you need to gain the upper hand.
Begin to diversify
Don’t put all your eggs, as the old adage goes, in one basket. There’s a reason why this has become so cliché – because it’s such great advice. If your income stream is too narrow or too restricted, you are putting yourself in danger. Even when times are good, you are only a hop, step, and jump away from a serious financial problem.
So, what’s the answer? Diversity. Don’t turn your back on your current revenue streams and business interests. Instead, seek to add to them. Think about how you can protect yourself with a more diverse portfolio of investments, and then consider how this diversity can really drive your success.
Build a positive attitude
Negativity will get us nowhere. Instead, it erodes our psychology, and makes it difficult to gain perspective and understanding of our situation. Our minds become clouded by doubt and other such thoughts.
But, by making small positive changes to our mindset, we can counteract this. Make these small incremental changes – by reframing setbacks as challenges and opportunities, for example, or by putting certain minor hardships in a broader context. Get used to doing this, and witness big changes in your psychology.
Change cannot happen by itself. Your aims and objectives won’t be achieved without effort and action. This does not mean mistaking movement for progress and rushing around like a headless chicken, though. Rather, it means outlining what you want to achieve in the long and short term, thinking about what you need to do to achieve this, and then putting one foot in front of the other until you get there.
The coronavirus has made goal achievement a little more challenging than usual, so you may need to change your approach. But don’t be discouraged.
There is help out there, so make sure you get the help you need. This may come from talking to friends and co-workers, or from engaging with webinars, video media, or insightful articles. The truth is, there is no single “correct” way to educate ourselves and to grow our emotional and psychological resilience.
We are all in this together, so let’s help one another. Let’s accept the help that we ourselves need to win the psychological battle, and to come through this crisis stronger than ever.
Det David Love is a consultant with Money Mastery International, a financial education consortium. MMI offers live workshops and seminars designed to help people become financially independent. The instructors are professionals and business entrepreneurs who take a wholistic approach to financial literacy by exploring the psychology of money, practical money management principles, and time-tested wealth-building methods.