Almost everyone I've talked with has suffered considerable
financial losses, many people have been laid off (and those that remain have to do the work of 2 or 3 people), business-owners have seen their sales drop off, and most people are scrambling to hang on to what they have without losing more.

It's very tempting to give in to the idea of a general downturn and constant low-level concern (or downright worry) about the future.

But will that help you or hinder you? Will it shut you down, or will it prompt you to think about new opportunities, consider novel initiatives, brainstorm innovative strategies for better results?

How you decide (yes, decide) to perceive this current state of affairs, and what to do about it will determine a few things: your every-day sense of satisfaction; your ability to experience a feeling of success and prosperity; your prospects for the future.

While it's challenging to overcome the inclination to blame the economy or the markets or the political situation, we don't need to dwell in that place; it's not productive or fun. It may be uncomfortably comfortable to allow other forces to define the near future for us, but
in doing so we give up our own responsibility for our situation.

This prevents us from taking action toward rearranging circumstances to make things better.

Belt-tightening, reapportioning portfolios, longer hours at the job or business might be called for, but don't let them inform your every decision and thought. Use them to create meaningful changes that serve your long-term needs. See them as paths to new opportunities for growth, rather than a reason to wallow in the worry, fear, and anxiety of your own Pity Party.


When you catch yourself heading into that downward spiral of thoughts that lead to visions of unpleasant outcomes, how can you put the brakes on and reverse gears? Having your own Pity Party is necessary at times. It's part of the emotions we naturally experience after a setback, disappointment, or changing circumstance.
Depending on what it is that triggered this Pity Party will partially determine how long you'd like to be there (the more serious or damaging, the longer you'll be likely to want to wallow), but here's a thought that I've found helpful (many of you who know me know that I use it often): Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

So what options are available? The first step is to realize that you're making yourself miserable, and you don't really need to. Is complaining, grousing, moaning, and bitching, going to make things get better for you?
Probably not. Instead, ask yourself some questions:
How might I be responsible for this situation? (this does NOT mean endless self-blame; realize that you did the best you could at any given moment. Self-forgiveness and compassion are key.)

How can I use this as a meaningful learning opportunity?
What positive outcome might this situation have for me?
What are the things I have to be grateful for this moment?
What would my hero do in this situation? (Pick someone you respect and admire)

Alternatively, read something uplifting (see Bootstrap resources, below), or call some friends (or your coach!) together for a brainstorming session (and don't reject out of hand…listen for what might be possible!). List half
a dozen things that are working in your life, as well as your strengths, talents, gifts and passions, and how you could use them better.

Take a walk, play with a child or a dog, help someone less fortunate than yourself, clean out some clutter, or do something fun (remember fun?).

This takes a little practice to do with regularity, but it's gets easier, and quickly.

Author's Bio: 

Kerul Kassel is a personal and business coach offering individual and group coaching formats, teleclasses, and presentations for organizations and corporations. Her compassionate yet very knowledgable manner motivates and inspires here clients and audiences. She can be reached at or by telephone at 201-903-9046. For more information go to