Pensive man thinking about a recession while sitting at a table drinking coffee

How to Think About Recession

Right now, it’s difficult to overlook that the external environments are trending negatively. By most all indications, the US is heading into a recession, which may very well be a doozy.

If you know me, you know that I don’t have a victim mentality. By faith, I believe that life happens for us not to us. Given that, here are a few suggestions relative to how to think about a possible upcoming recession:

Resist the Temptation to Be Eternally Pessimistic

I’m definitely not saying we need to rejoice about a likely recession. There will certainly be difficult challenges and negative impacts that will impact a lot of people. In fact, I believe it’s of great importance for us to “face brutal facts,” as Jim Collins says. But there is a definite difference between realism and pessimism.

Because you get more of what you notice, cultivating a pessimistic mindset will only cause you to go deeper into the negative. The deeper you go, the fewer opportunities you will notice. At the end of the day, being pessimistic likely won’t benefit you and will just discourage and frustrate those around you.

Instead, work to develop an optimistic realist view. It’s ok to notice the problems, but use that to think as an entrepreneur would and ask, “What does this make possible?”

Question What the Objective of the News Really Is

Sadly, here in America, there is no real news outlet, at least not in the mainstream or that I’m aware of. It doesn’t matter if you’re on CNN or Fox News; everything coming out of the news is, at best, skewed towards one side or the other. Knowing that what do you think the objective of these “news” organizations is? Is it to inform or to influence?

Keep that in mind so that you can be very careful about any action you take as a result of watching the “news.”

Strategically Select Your Inputs

Because our mindset and the stories we tell ourselves have such an influence on our results, it’s maybe more important now than ever to consume content that is inspirational and informative.

Look for books, videos, podcasts, blogs, etc., that will help grow your faith, teach you new things, and leave you feeling empowered.

Consider What God May Be Teaching You or Leading You To

No matter who you are, you were not created to function without a connection to God. He is the ultimate source of encouragement and guidance.

Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses, especially in trying times.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Consider what God may be trying to teach you. If you’re like me, realizing that I’m dependent on God and not myself is an ongoing lesson.

It’s also ok to seek if God is leading you to something new during this time or if He wants to continue using you where you are.

Because God speaks to us through the reading and hearing of the Word, I can’t emphasize enough how much benefit daily prayer and Bible reading is. If this hasn’t been your practice, let me encourage you to try it for 90 days as an experiment and see what happens.

Look for the Opportunities

There’s one fact from American history that has stood out to me more than any other – that more millionaires were created during the Great Depression than at any other time in US history.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m rooting for a recession or depression (I’m definitely not). But it should provide a source of encouragement that there are and will continue to be opportunities if we’re actively looking for them.

When the external environments trend towards the negative, it takes even more work to lead ourselves so that we can better lead, love, and serve others.