For most, hearing the word “recession” means an emotional nightmare. The stress of uncertainty can be exhausting and the chaos that ensues may be unrelenting. There is the “walking on eggshells” and the scrutiny, real or imagined, that leaves one feeling overwhelmed and anxious. A lot of energy is spent on thoughts about everything we have said and have done. As a result, bad decisions are made leaving a residue of helplessness and self-doubt. If these feelings are left unchecked they can and will cripple your mindset. This is how a growth mindset accidentally becomes a fixed mindset.
As you can see, our mindset is powerful thing. It shapes our perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards everything in life, which in turn influence our behaviours and actions. Since our mindset can determine life’s outcomes it’s good news that our mindset can be changed, allowing us to cultivate a more positive and proactive approach towards many areas of life.
Despite what we may think, a recession is a magical time. While everybody is distracted with the chaos a recession brings, you can take advantage of the chaos and pivot. You can learn to change or at least, manage your mindset so you come out the other side all the better for it. Let’s explore how this can happen:
The first step towards changing your mindset is to shift from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset.
A scarcity mindset is characterized by the belief that there is never enough, that opportunities are limited, that success is reserved for a select few and that any situation is permanent and there is nothing that can done about it. Scarcity comes from a subconscious and primal fear for our own safety and well-being — this mindset can convince you that you need more, or you can’t take the leap, or that the reward is not worth the risk.
An abundance mindset, on the other hand, is a belief there’s more than enough to go around, that opportunities are abundant, and that success is within reach for anyone who is willing to work for it. It’s not that an abundance mindset will solve all of your problems or you won’t struggle to see the brighter side of life, rather it will make those problems and struggles feel more approachable or manageable.
To cultivate an abundance mindset, start by focusing on what you already have. Take inventory of your assets, talents, and accomplishments. Recognize you have unique strengths and abilities that can be leveraged to create more abundance in your life. Then, take advantage of the chaos and focus on the opportunities that exist around you. Look for ways to create value for others, solve problems, or contribute to a cause you believe in. By adopting an abundance mindset, you will start to see more opportunities and become more open to receiving them.
The second step towards changing your mindset is to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that your abilities and talents can be developed through hard work, practice, and persistence. It’s a mindset that embraces challenges, sees failures as opportunities for growth, and values the process of learning and personal improvement.
In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief your intelligence, abilities and talents are fixed and cannot be improved. It’s a mindset that avoids challenges, fears failure, and values the end result over the process or the journey. Those who hold a fixed mindset believe they are who they are, things are they way they are, and they’re convinced it’s talent that gets you places not hard work. When faced with a challenge they wonder, “Why is this happening to me?” or think “What’s the point of trying to change?”
To cultivate a growth mindset, start by embracing challenges as they come and see them as opportunities for growth. Take time to reflect on your successes and allow disappointments to lead you to become aware of the areas where you need to improve. Proactively seek out feedback from peers, friends and mentors and focus on the process of learning and improvement rather than the end result. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and recognize the value of your life journey so far. Allow all of the ups and downs, twists and turns to be the springboard that keeps you moving forward.
The third step towards changing your mindset is to shift from a disempowered mindset to an empowered mindset.
An empowered mindset is the belief that you’re capable of creating the life you want, that you have control over your thoughts and emotions, and that you can overcome obstacles and challenges. It’s a mindset that values self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-respect. In contrast, a disempowered mindset is the belief you’re a victim of circumstances, that you have no control over your life, and that you’re powerless to change your situation.
To cultivate an empowered mindset, start by developing self-awareness. When you’re self aware you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions as well as understand your internal values and standards. To become more self-aware, pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and identify any patterns or beliefs that may be holding you back. Then, practice self-acceptance and self-respect. Self-acceptance means recognizing your value goes beyond your personal attributes. Self respect is about staying true to yourself because the more you engage in behaviours that are consistent with your values the more you will feel fulfilled and confident. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, and take the time to recognize your own worth and value.
Finally, take action to create the life you want. Set clear goals, develop a plan, and take consistent action towards achieving them.
Your mindset can serve you during a recession. Again, it can be a magical time if you adopt a mindset of abundance, growth, and empowerment. Remember, your mindset shapes your perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards life, which in turn influence your behaviours and actions. By cultivating a positive mindset, you can see a negative situation as an opportunity to grow and develop and ultimately create the life you want.