Recession Proof: It Starts In Your Mind

by David Allen

I don’t know if a recession is on the horizon. Any one who tells you differently is lying. That being said, your mindset will ultimately determine your success either way.

We are going to go through an economic downturn. It might not be this fall, it might not be this year or this decade, but at some point it is going to happen. Any brief look at history would make it clear that we should expect at least a few over a lifetime. Uncomfortable things are going to happen to us. And likely more than once. This is life: both the ups AND the downs. We are neither promised nor do we deserve only the ups. Recognizing this allows us to better deal with the situation because it was not unexpected. It also allows us to better prepare for it.

If you can control your thoughts, you can control your actions. This is why mindset is key.

  1. Avoid Thinking like Chicken Little

I once had a conversation with someone who was talking about the 70’s in relation to a potential recession. At no point did they provide any investment advice, monetary strategy, or words of wisdom. They didn’t even say “But we still had babies, went to cook outs, and lived life and got through it. Everything evened out eventually.” They just bitched and exaggerated how bad the sky was falling the whole time. 

All chicken little does is exaggerate a situation to make it seem worse than it actually is. Maybe as an expression of his own fear or maybe to feel important, I’m not sure. I do know that there is no benefit in allowing yourself to be pulled into that same level of illogical fear. So, turn off cable news and don’t give ear to anyone committed to acting like a real life chicken with their head cut off. 

2. You’re Going to Be Okay

One thing you learn from training is that pain is not forever. No matter how hard you strain, how far you push, the workout will come to an end and you will recover. The ones that have the most success are those that can understand this, accept it, and live for a brief period in the discomfort.

My parents were both bankers in 2008 with one child in college and one in high school. They were both let go from their jobs within a few months of each other. At the time, I really had no understanding of what was going on but when I asked my parents if we were okay they said yes, that they had been good stewards of their money, had saved up and would be able to get jobs again. And you know what? They did.

It’s tough to think big picture when you’re stressed and in pain. But if you’re too head down in your brief moment of discomfort to see an end and recognize you’re going to be okay, you’ll get stuck in negative self talk and end up manifesting an even worse situation for yourself. Keep your head up and know that this isn’t forever (whether good or bad). Doing so allows you to focus on your actions, instead of your emotions. 

3. Adopt a Money Mindset.

How you view money will impact your monetary actions which will in turn manifest your view of money into reality.

See money as limited, hard to get, and a point of stress you’d rather ignore? You’ll act that out.

See money as a means of maximizing personal pleasure and status? You’ll act that out.

See money as the source of ultimate power to carry out machiavellian social change? You’ll act that out.

See money as a gift for you to steward well, to save, to grow, and to do good in the world with? You’ll act that out too.

This can also be said of your other resources as well (time, energy, mind, body, soul). Everyone has a plan for their money and other resources (some just more thought out that others) that is tied to their view of the purpose of that resource. So, if you’re wanting to change an outcome tied to that resource, you first need to change your mindset towards it.

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