WARNING: Vulnerability ahead.
On Saturday, March 14, 2020, I woke up and realized that the coronavirus outbreak was a runaway train, that would certainly and inevitably have a major effect on my business and livelihood. It has quickly become the most uncertain period in my lifetime, and who knows how long that will last.
And truthfully…I rapidly started getting nervous and worried. I wouldn’t say “panic,” necessarily, but to use a technical term, I was beginning to “freak out.”
I knew I needed to get ahold of myself–and fast. So I sat down and did some journaling; processing my thoughts and deciding what I would focus on to keep my head right. These 11 personal affirmations came out of that morning journal session. I’ve left these unedited and imperfect, and have added a paragraph of explanation to each.
[Honestly, I feel a little self-conscious about sharing this. After all, once you see my affirmations, you’ll get insight into my weaknesses–the things I struggle with, or am afraid of–that I’m working to overcome.]
But it feels like the right thing to do, so I’m going to share these with you. My hope is that this will inspire you to write your own list of personal affirmations for difficult times. Feel free to borrow or modify a few of mine, to get started.
#1: I am a good person with self-worth regardless of my bank account balance
There’s a pitfall I know I can slip into (because it’s happened before): when I’m flush with cash, I feel good; when I’m low on cash, I feel bad. I know this correlation is silly (to put it politely), and I work to make sure I remember that my self-worth is determined by my being a good person…not by my cash balances.
#2: I am an honest and responsible captain at the helm of my ship, and I will do my very best to do right by everyone in my world. My moral integrity does not waiver, even in difficult times.
This is mostly a reminder to myself–that I’m a good person, I treat people well, and I sincerely do my best to do right by people. I have a lot of real people counting on me in my business: tenants, private lenders, employees. This was me reminding myself WHO I AM, and that who I am is an honorable person who will do his best to keep his “ship” safe–I’ve never had any question about that in my mind, and I’m not going to start now.
#3: I choose to handle my situation and challenges calmly. I will be the one to determine my own state.
I will not be reactive to other people’s panic or fear, or them imposing their chaos on me. I will remain calm–“running my own race,” and managing my own state. This is the ultimate version of “the one thing I CAN control is ME.”
#4: I choose to be happy, and focus on other aspects of my life not related to money and business: creativity, music, family, health and more…
In the past, I’ve allowed business to become the basis of my entire sense of identity. I have all but forgotten the other myriad aspects of who I am as a person; I went from “well-rounded” to “one-dimensional”…and it wasn’t good. This is me reminding myself that I am MANY things, and a businessperson is only one. I am a creative person, a guitar player, a songwriter, an aspiring novelist, a husband, a brother, a son, a guy who loves soccer, and so much more.
#5: I choose gratitude
Simple and self-explanatory…I will choose to remind myself each day of everything I’m grateful for. I will NOT focus on the lack in my life, I will focus on the ABUNDANCE.
#6: I will not focus on what *may* happen; I will choose to focus my inner feelings on abundance, positivity and happiness.
This is about me committing to NOT WORRYING. This is a big one for me; I’ve got a history of worrying. In the book You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, author Jen Sincero points out that worrying is like praying for things you DON’T want to happen. Amen to that–I will not do that. Plus, when I worry about what *MAY* happen, I experience the pain whether the negative event actually takes place or not…and if it does take place, I’ve now experienced that pain twice. That’s just dumb.
To cite another book I recently read (like 4 times), Dollars Flow To Me Easily (yes, I know how cheesy that sounds!), my plan instead of worrying is to conjure up physiological feelings of happiness and positivity and let the Law of Attraction do its magic. You know that feeling of joy and excitement that tingles in your stomach? I believe, from reading the book, that if I can physiologically feel that feeling in my gut, it will attract more positivity into my life.
#7: I choose to KEEP GOING, to create value in the world for the people I can help. I will not be in “the waiting place,” I will be on my front foot, moving forward.
I don’t have any tattoos, but if there was ever something I would consider imprinting on my body forever, lately it feels like it would simply be: KEEP GOING. In this affirmation, I commit to keeping moving forward; I will not be paralyzed by indecision. In the classic book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, the wise Dr. Seuss talks about “the waiting place”–that useless place where we stay, waiting in indecision for everything to become perfect. I will NOT hang out there. As they say, “you can’t steer a parked car,” and my car will NOT be parked.
#8: I will focus on TODAY, on the NEXT STEP, one at a time. I will keep moving forward incrementally, even if I don’t see the full path in front of me.
I’ve decided is that all I have is TODAY. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and it’s certainly not something to be worried about. Here’s what I’m telling myself: TODAY, right now, I’m safe. I’m warm. I’ve got a roof over my head. I’ve got food in my fridge. Right now, in this moment, I’m safe. I’ll focus on getting through today, and live to fight another day.
For me (and probably many people), it’s more comfortable to take the first step when we can see the whole path ahead of us. At this, that’s just probably not realistic–we don’t know what is to come, or if our steps today will be guaranteed to lead us to safety. But I’m committing to not standing still.
#9: I will treat my body and my mind well; I will take care of myself, eat well, exercise, rest and mediate
In other words, I will not beat myself up or abuse myself. I will remember that if I want to perform well in what may become the fight of my life, I need to treat myself well in preparation.
#10: I choose to be a leader to those I can be, and for those who need me, even when I don’t feel entirely clear and confident myself
This very well may be the number 1 thing running through my mind the past few days. In many ways, it’s why I decided to write this post and share these thoughts. It’s definitely why I created the “Real Estate in the Time of Coronavirus” Facebook group. It’s why I felt good after I sent proactive emails to my tenants and private lenders. I believe–at least in this current case–leadership isn’t waiting to have all the answer, and THEN being helpful; it’s about stepping forward WHILE figuring it out on the fly.
#11: I will remember that I have a lifetime track record of somehow solving every problem that I’ve faced. My record is like 1000-0…I’m undefeated, and there’s no reason to expect I will start losing now.
This is HUGE, and is SO comforting to me. I need to remember all that I’ve already accomplished, and give myself credit for that. All the challenges I’ve faced along the way, all the things that seemed insurmountable at the time, all the heartbreaking moments. But guess what? I’M STILL STANDING.
AND SO ARE YOU. If you’re reading this right now, you too have a lifetime undefeated record. You’re still standing…why stop now?