Ways to Overcome a Defeatist Attitude During a Downturn


Finally, I have to say it: the current state of the economy is pretty dismal. It’s terrifying, and the media isn’t helping matters any. People worry about losing their jobs, business owners fret about going under, and homeowners fret about foreclosure. What, then, should one do?

1.) Ink the words to the Serenity Prayer on your body in a visible location. Use it as a reference. Accept that there is much beyond your control and stop trying to exert such control over it. But there are things within your sphere of influence. Those are the materials we can use. For instance, I have no say over whether or not a specific lead will purchase from me. But I can give each opportunity my all. I may not be able to influence prices, but I can manage my finances. There’s no point in losing sleep over the stock market. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Relax, say “Serenity now,” and release your tension.

2.Return to first principles. I consider the tried-and-true methods that had brought me success in the past, such as personal notes, this newsletter, and attending networking events (something I didn’t have time for when I was busy). The best way to ensure that you keep your job is. The fundamentals: reliability, positivity, and presentation. Where do you stand monetarily? Spend less than you take in, put money aside for emergencies, etc. In those prosperous times, I believe we neglected some fundamentals.

Third, think about the dangers you’re in. Instead of taking a fun vacation this year, I decided to pay off my mortgage. Usually, I’m not afraid to take chances, but this decision has me feeling very safe. It’s ironic, but now I feel like taking more chances. Before the economy tanked, I had to lay off 35% of my staff. Their payment to me was 35% of what I made from my other client, even though it was significantly lower. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but it was the best. Because I’m not rushing and exhausted, I can produce higher-quality work while working fewer hours. Avoid being discouraged from taking risks, but make sure they are calculated.

4. Take stock of your good fortune. No matter how bad things seem, I guarantee you can find at least one thing to be thankful for. Thank you for reading this; I know how busy you are. I appreciate everyone who has ever trusted me enough to work with me, and I thank the audiences who have never booed me for their support (or thrown things). You should appreciate your current clientele, your job, your coworkers’ willingness to pitch in a little more, and the fact that the Russians haven’t invaded yet (lately).

Reduce your expectations, number 5. I am in no way suggesting that you give up. An expensive Ivy League education is perhaps out of the question. Maybe little Timmy will need to attend State University. Sales may be down, costing you this year’s $5,000 bonus. That’s fine. You can only do as well as you can. You are the harshest critic of yourself.

6. Think about what you value the most. Regardless of the economy, I still believe this is a good action plan. Until it’s gone, we may not appreciate its value. The value you place on your loved ones. Your condition? I enjoy what I do, but it had become my entire life to exhaustion before I let some clients go. Now I can devote more time to my blog, my new hobby, and get enough rest and exercise. Perhaps now is the time to reevaluate your definition of success. Is it more important to be wealthy or happy?

7. Stop comparing yourself to others; I’ve said it and will repeat it (mostly because I need to hear it). Honestly, you have no idea to whom you are comparing yourself. I used to beat myself up constantly for being a single person. However, the more weddings I attend, the happier I become. What counts is how fulfilled YOU are with YOUR life. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of life? The happiness of the majority depends entirely on their outlook, as Abraham Lincoln once said. Why should I feel bad? Check how you stack up against others.

8. Remind yourself that you can overcome any obstacle. An entrepreneur is someone who starts a company from scratch. If necessary, you can do it again because you already have. Everyone who now has a job was once out of work. You can find another job just as quickly as your current one. Think of it not as the end but as the beginning of something new. You dismiss that as empty motivation, right? Okay, you can stop reading now. Is it empowering if… Is that useful? Is it acceptable to wait in the car until the factory opens? Get with the times and read “Who Moved My Cheese?”

Nine. Increase your knowledge. It’s a smart move because it keeps you interested and boosts your employability. I imagine things related to the workplace, such as learning new software, acquiring better interpersonal skills, or writing more effectively for the business world. Do what sounds fun to you. Inform the superior. As a leader, you should make sure your team has access to educational resources. Don’t let fear prevent you from continuing your training. Even though things are tough now, the world won’t stop evolving. When times are tough, your team must step up because the competition is fiercer.

Take it one day at a time, as the AA motto goes. Today, give it your all. The fact that we have no idea how bad things could get or how long this could go on is a significant source of anxiety for us. We anticipate the worst and worry about what may happen. STOP! Make do with today’s resources. Do something unique today. That’s all I need.

Fewer than 10% of professional speakers hold the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation that Denise Ryan, MBA, has earned. Her blog can be found at You can read more of her work and sign up for her newsletter at

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