Breathing Easy on the Financial Rollercoaster
In case you hadn't noticed, stock markets around the world have done some crazy things this week. At this point, I think we're all a little lightheaded, wondering if we should be worried and, if so, how worried. It's scary when people compare our current situation to The Great Depression and issue dire warnings about not withdrawing all of our money from the bank. It's even scarier when some of those predictions seem to come true. Panic seems the natural response, and yet we know that won't help the situation. So what do we do? What can we tell ourselves when doubts and insecurity start to creep in?
It Will Get Better
I'm sure you've heard this a million times, but I'm going to echo it again because repetition helps us truly incorporate an idea into our lives. All of the experts I've read say that we will pull out of this, and will probably do it within the next couple of years. When, exactly, in that time frame it will be varies, but the overall message is the same. There will be a day, not too far away, when all of this dizzing up-and-down will be a distant memory. The market will recover, and more of the motion will be positive instead of negative.
All of that means that, right now, we win if we just hang on. Sure, the financial world is moving up and down so fast it makes our heads spin but, when it stabilizes, the one who is still hanging on is the one who wins. There's not much we can do now but clasp our fingers around that shiny metal bar and hold on for all we're worth.
Investing is for the Long Term
Again, these words aren't anything new, but it's so good to hear them again when fear closes in. Just because our investments are barely holding their own or losing money right now doesn't mean they'll do that forever. In times like the present, this should be the mantra that we repeat as we go to sleep and that we know so well we can't get it out of our heads. Short term loss is perfectly acceptable in light of long-term gain, and that's what we're going for here.
If we really believe this, the numbers on the statement won't make such a difference. We'll be able to look at them and know they're not the whole story and, in fact, they aren't even half of it. We'll screw our courage to the sticking place and...well, stick with it.
Life Isn't All About Money
Financial concerns tend to try and take over our world. A little worry can invade and destroy an otherwise pleasant time. When it comes to the market, we can't do much about anything. Instead of holding on to our fears and letting them rule us, we can choose to let them go. That doesn't mean we deny the truth of the larger situation and what that does in and to us, but it does mean that we enjoy the things in front of our faces in spite of the situation.
Family and friends, grass and trees, sun and rain...they're all free, and they're all things we can enjoy in spite of our financial situation. And, since the weekend is just beginning, take advantage of it. Let the financially-induced tension melt away in light of the things you can choose to enjoy. You'll be surprised how much it changes your perspective.