How are you feeling right now?
There’s a lot going on in the world and it can feel super overwhelming and, let’s be honest, a bit doom and gloom!
Even in the heatwave last week everything was scare mongering language, dramatic imagery on weather reports where previously it would have been happy sunshine icons being replaced by dark red maps, fear for the future of the planet. Understanding climate change and how we can do our part is hugely important of course. But this was not that!
The national psyche in the UK and around the globe is that none of us are going to be able to afford to live very soon. This is one of the very things that CAUSES recessions. In the same way reports of shortages of toilet rolls and pasta at the beginning of lock down CAUSED everyone to go out and ransack the shelves leading to a far worse shortage of toilet roll and pasta! Inciting panic about rising costs CAUSES people to stop spending.
Issues of the awful and disgraceful war in Ukraine and how that’s affecting people there and the rest of the world. The fact the focus is less on people needlessly dying now, and more on how it affects our energy and petrol pricing is also grim.
There’s far too much else to mention in this episode but you get the idea.
It’s inciting panic which influences our behaviour because we have our very ‘survival’ at stake according to our brains and we operate from that space. Scarcity, lack, stop spending, seek the evidence to confirm the reports.
You can see how this works.
And it’s a lot.
It can really affect how we feel and our mindset which in turn affects our beliefs and our behaviour.
Especially if you don’t have your wits about you and certain simple things in place that can potentially make a big difference.
So, I wanted to have an open chat about a few things and also give you a couple of perspective shifts, reframes and tips that I think could be helpful for you.
I talk about our unconscious programming all the time and why it’s so important to make the unconscious conscious, the same applies here.
I’m always talking about society as a whole and the media having a lot to answer for in terms of how we’re wired and what we’re wired for.
A little context for you. I went to university to study communications and sociology because I’ve always been fascinated with human behaviour. My dissertation was all about how the media and advertising and the social psyche serves to cause women to feel inadequate after a certain age. It’s really fascinating when you dig deep into a subject and see how society and people’s behaviour makes so much sense. Which is a GOOD thing because that’s the space where you can create some discernment and consciously choose to do something with it instead of being consumed by it.
One of the things we looked into and researched was the idea of newsworthiness. What makes something ‘newsworthy’. And why does it need to be.
Why? Because media companies want you to watch. They want you to read, they want you to buy. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you remember that and consume it with that in mind. Call that your ‘pinch of salt’ if you like. We all know about click bait. What’s going to make you click, what’s going to make you buy, what’s going to keep you glued to your TV screen?
You don’t have to blindly believe what you read, watch or hear. I highly recommend that you don’t.
I had a glorious 15 year career in media and advertising so I’m really not knocking it. It’s a huge business that keeps the economy going. But, with that experience my eyes are very much open and I’ve studied this stuff from the sociological perspective and the mindset perspective too which means it’s FAR easier for me to see things from a different perspective and not get consumed by it. To take everything with a pinch of salt. To consciously form my own opinion.
Because, no two ways about it, this messaging is affecting how you show up in your business. This panic will make you make rash decisions. So the more conscious you can get to this now, the better.
It seeps into your psyche and when we look at it from the perspective of what’s deemed ‘newsworthy’ it’s usually shock factor and negativity. That DOES have an effect on your own mindset and your own view of the world and your place in it.
Remember you’re wiring your brain all the time, what are you wiring? (Ooooh that’s going to be a whole other episode actually it will tie in nicely with this one.)
So if you’re ‘feeling it’ right now? I’m not surprised, it’s totally understandable. There are harrowing things going on in the US, Ukraine, The UK and so many other places that it can all get a bit much and we can feel powerless.
So what can you do to start shifting this up a bit?
I have a few things I do and ways that I’ve trained my brain to think and behave. Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t and see if you start to notice a shift in how you feel.
Firstly, I have self imposed boundaries over my own media consumption.
I choose reputable (as balanced as possible…still with a pinch of salt) places to get my news and I do not sit there seeking it. I might once per day, probably less, see what’s going on and what I need to know to remain informed.
I quite like a newsletter called The Conversation but even with that it’s a ‘need to know’ basis. Love a bit of independent journalism!
I also put myself on a celebrity gossip ‘ban’ about 3 years ago and even that on its own made a HUGE difference. It’s normally full of negativity and picking people apart based on their looks. No thank you!
The next tip is to figure out what’s true for you. Be curious. Ask questions. Seek alternative perspectives. Trust yourself to form your own opinion.
Ask yourself, What am I creating as my worst case scenario? What would I do in that situation? What COULD I do in that situation? What do I have control over right now?
How can you limit YOUR media intake in a way that works for YOU?
Can you start to notice when you’re becoming consumed by negative news or environments take things with a pinch of salt and discernment? Look at your social media for this too and why I prefer Instagram to Facebook, it’s far easier to control what you’re feeding your noggin!
Can you separate what’s happening in the world and in the news from your personal situation? Of course there will be things that could have an effect but before you make big decisions are you able to take a zoom out and observe your situation for what it really is instead of what any scare mongering is creating for you in your mind of what your future will hold? Remember, the media aren’t mind readers.
You have far more control than you think.
Notice your inner self talk and ask yourself what you can put in place that could be a safeguard for your future or something that could potentially avoid the worst case scenario altogether?
Biggest thing is how are you going to look after your own wellbeing and what does that look like for you?
Is it journaling, getting out in nature, making sure you’re exercising and moving your body?
Is it simply noticing that you don’t have to believe every thought you have or is it making extra effort to speak to or see people you love.
How do you feel well regulated in your own self?
There’s SO much nuance to every individual situation that can’t possibly be covered. Make sure you’re operating from a place of knowing yours.
You’re unique, your situation is unique and you’re the one in the driving seat as long as you remain conscious!
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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