If you’re starting to feel the world’s panic and fear slowly inject itself into your peace, I want to tell you a story today, because it’ll lift a big weight off your chest and bring you back to a sense of security.
When I was 8 years old, a scary incident in an elevator changed me forever. I was on the way to a swim lesson with my sister and our caretaker Milly. (My mother worked full time as a teacher during summer school sessions, so she needed the extra help at home!)
As we stepped into the elevator on the fifth floor and the doors closed, the elevator made a slight shudder. We paid it no mind because this was Panama, a developing country in the eighties, so everything “modern” like an elevator worked a little wonky.
Halfway down to the ground floor the elevator started to shake back and forth, coming to a halt and plunging a few times. In that moment I felt the panic rise in my body and I looked to Milly, the only adult in the elevator with us, to make me feel better.
Except she was hyperventilating and freaking out. I looked at my sister but she was screaming and crying. I suddenly realized, no one was going to take charge here because everyone was panicking. And I knew in that moment that “I” was going to have to be the one to calm everyone down and solve the problem.
I quickly sprung into action, hit the emergency brake on the elevator and pressed the big red “call for emergencies” button. Then I turned to Milly and my sister, took a breath, put on my best brave face and said: “we’re going to be okay, let’s calm down.” I’m obviously alive writing you this email today, so clearly, we got through it and survived.
That was one of those experiences that completely molded me as a human being. And I’ve carried the lessons of that moment with me throughout my entire life. It has served me tremendously while navigating all sorts of world crises and personal ones too.
It got me through dictatorships, US invasions of Panama, financial market crises, a year when I thought my business was going to go bust and so much more.
And it made me a good coach with BIG CAPACITY to walk with her clients through the most difficult of situations while remaining calm. That’s what I’m here to do with you today. Because I know what social media and the news is making you feel right now.
In the midst of many people panic-posting on Facebook, we need leaders with CAPACITY to offer a balanced perspective right now.
Even well known “leaders” are not maintaining their equanimity right now and throwing their entire communities into a panic. Or they’re posting things that “seem” like they have it together, but you finish reading their post with a mild streak of fear coursing through your body because, underneath the seeming calm of their post, fear is leading their reaction. And you picked up on that. You didn’t imagine it.
When it seems that even our leaders aren’t able to maintain their balance, it can throw us into an even deeper place of fear.
This is why it’s not enough to perform capacity. We actually have to HAVE it. People can feel the energy, even if the surface appears calm.
There’s no getting around doing the capacity work. We NEED it to survive times like these and move calmly forward. I truly believe that one of the things that will come out of this virus is our understanding that strategies and left-brain thinking are not enough if we don’t have capacity.
I know we all just want someone to tell us what to do in moments like these. So here I am, telling you what to do (except not in the way you think).
Here are some things I want you to remember and do during this time. And we’re going to look at it through the lens of the four pillars of Capacity. Let’s go…
Capacity Pillars™ #1 and #4: Discernment & Boundaries
Discernment is knowing the difference between your fear and your wisdom. Boundaries (in my definition) are not only knowing where you draw the line with others, but also with YOURSELF.
Ever heard of the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees?” That’s what I’m seeing a lot of right now. The media is pumping up the panic and that spills over into our social media accounts. Why? Because the more adrenaline they have pumping through the population’s veins, the more “addicted” we are to their adrenaline IV 24/7. They make more money the more addicted we become to their panic-inducing content.
Every news story is about COVID-19. It can make us feel like this is the only thing happening in the world and that everything has halted to a stop and we’re all going to be forced to live this nightmare whether we like it or not.
NOT TRUE. Truly, other things are happening right now. The world is moving along, still.
There are over 7 billion people on the planet. Worldwide there are 181,000 cases of COVID reported with 7,000 of those resulting in deaths. I am NOT making light of this. My heart goes out to those who have tragically lost people to COVID-19. And my heart goes out to those who will be impacted by this long term.
AND it helps to see it from this perspective– it is NOT taking over the whole world. It is 181,000 people out of 7 BILLION. Yes, we should contain it. Yes, we should treat it seriously so it doesn’t spread to all 7 billion people. Yes to taking this very seriously. (I myself have been self-isolating since Thursday before there were any confirmed cases in my area because I didn’t want to risk being a silent carrier and passing it on.)
But it’s not the ONLY thing happening in the grand scheme of the year or of our lives. Nor in the planet’s life. Perspective. Discernment.
If we watch the media or our social media feeds, it feels like this is the whole world and your whole life right now. Just like any scary situation. But it’s not. The stats say otherwise. This too shall pass (and we must be responsible about it so that it DOES pass).
Using your discernment allows you to see CLEARLY and see the forest, not just the trees. This allows you to stay aware but also centered.
I also see a lack of discernment causing people to make a lot of bad decisions with their businesses and careers right now, putting the cart before the horse.
This is what I call “panic decisions” and they are driven by fear. You know decisions made out of fear will only hurt your business or career long term.
I saw a woman who complained to me last year about her audience being conditioned to pay her too little for her work discounting ALL of her courses to 75% off. Ironically, she only had a few sales. But guess what? She just damaged her brand long term by further conditioning people to wait for a 75% off sale as if that’s what her programs are really worth.
I saw one leader in the field doing several posts about “how to cope with disaster and bad economic times.” While on the surface this seems like helping, in some ways, it’s like seeing a news article that says “Don’t panic but there’s a huge monster standing right behind you.”
Before you create an entire program around coronavirus– ask yourself, is this really what your community needs right now? What might be a way to empower your audience without freaking them out so much they lose their own discernment? Because more empowered people means less panic, less economic fallout, and a flattened curve for this virus, quicker.
What if what your community actually needs right now IS your 7-day self-care program and NOT more panicking posts about impending health and financial doom?
It’s okay to sense people’s fear and try to help. Of course. But there’s a fine line between that and contributing to the subtle fear-mongering the media itself uses to hook you in.
I want you to really use your discernment right now. And set up some VERY clear boundaries both with others and yourself.
Notice what you’re letting into your space (energetically, physically, spiritually and mentally.)
Be very careful about what you’re letting into your personal ecosystem right now. Do NOT watch or read the news unless absolutely needed for government updates. Don’t hook into the adrenaline IV. Unfollow people who are subconsciously or consciously fomenting the panic and keep your social media timeline full of people with balanced perspectives.
Watch your thoughts. If you notice your ego spinning out because there are so many “unknowns” right now, be FIRM with your ego and say NO, WE ARE NOT GOING THERE.
Do other things right now other than focus on the news. I had a full day of coaching calls with clients yesterday and it instantly took my focus off Coronavirus and into serving my clients. It was wonderful, reminded me that the world is still moving along and there are things to do (from the comfort of my home).
During times of stress, distracting yourself from what you can’t control goes a long way. So does doing what we love and helping others.
Throw yourself into the service you offer your community. If you have a corporate job, find ways to help the senior leaders navigate the pivot to virtual and make yourself indispensable—because you’re leading with service and offering solutions while everyone else is frozen.
Watch a good movie with your kids while you’re at home self-isolating. Pick up a new hobby. Make your services virtual, offer a free mini challenge that’s a great precursor to your course. There are so many things you can do to keep perspective.
Wherever you put your attention, it grows. Do you want to grow fear right now? Or do you want to grow grounded empowerment and calm within yourself and others?
Stress actually lowers your immune system response, and we need strong, happy immune systems right now. We want your mind, body, AND soul on board for staying empowered so you can make balanced, empowering and LONG TERM healthy decisions for yourself and your business/career.
We don’t want to be making hasty decisions that damage our businesses or careers right now for the long term. We can’t be in short term thinking. Staying away from people and media with undercurrents of panic and fear will allow us to stay centered.
Capacity Pillar #2 and #3: Sovereignty and Equanimity
One of my favorite quotes about money comes from the movie/play “Hello Dolly.” The lead character, Dolly, when speaking about money says “Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”
Worried about the markets? Starting to hoard your money because you keep hearing people freaking out about the impending financial doom of this virus? Starting to wonder if you should put off investing in that program or coach that was going to help you grow your business “in case there’s a downturn in the market”?
Watch it. It could make things worse for you in the long run if you’re making the decisions from a place of fear of the unknown.
First off, right now to cut coaches, programs or investments that are literally going to help you make more money and navigate this is like wanting to win gold at the Olympics, firing your coach and deciding to train yourself before you even start training. It’s a self-sabotaging decision made out of fear. You’re not gonna win gold with that attitude.
This is short term, panic-induced thinking. When has that EVER produced results for you? You must cultivate the capacity to see beyond what’s right in front of you. People who have this capacity are the same people who thrive during times when everyone is behaving like it’s the end of the world.
You know what actually cripples markets and creates financial doom? Hoarding resources and curtailing spending. This is fear-driven behavior and it’s like a domino effect that creates more fear and paralyzes the markets further.
This is where Equanimity will literally save your @ss.
Equanimity is the ability to remain calm, grounded and centered no matter the storms that surround you. It’s a CRUCIAL skill in any leader and it’s NON-NEGOTIABLE if you want to expand your capacity for more growth, wealth and success.
If you have the ability to not freak out and panic when people and markets around you spin out in chaos–can you see the advantage and benefit of that?
While others are making bad decisions that impact their businesses poorly (think of the stories I told you above of people cheapening their brands further in their customer’s eyes by offering too many discounts when a free gift to their audience would have been a better choice)….
…you’ll be solid, grounded and knowing the EXACT moves you need to make to navigate the chaos.
I spoke with a 1:1 client yesterday who told me “what’s going on around me is having no impact on my internal calm. I’m vigilant, self-isolating and taking care of my health. AND my head is down, focusing on my lane, just like I was before this hit. I signed two high-end clients today. I’m about to hit my highest revenue month when everyone else is acting like no one wants to pay for their services.”
THAT’S equanimity in action.
Maintaining your equanimity means you also won’t make panic-induced money decisions that actually end up hurting the financial markets even further.
The markets are driven by consumer spending. Any basic Finance or Economics class will tell you that.
Don’t forget YOU ARE THE MARKET. Your spending drives the market. I already called up my cleaning lady, nail lady, and gardener and told them not to worry–they will be paid whether they come to work or not. Am I currently a billionaire that doesn’t have to worry about money? No.
Is it tempting to hoard what I have “just in case”? Sure, but only if I let in someone else’s panic-induced reality.
I know that paying people with the money I was already planning on spending for their services keeps the market healthy and benefits all of us, including me, in the long run. Because the people I pay will go out and still be able to spend money and keep the economy going.
If you have money right now, don’t hoard it. This is scarcity thinking around money and will only create more scarcity for yourself and others. Think BIGGER.
Pivot if you need to. Add more virtual events if you focus on in-person events. Look at where the current needs are and fill them. There is ALWAYS opportunity to be found and service you can offer. But you can only see that if you have equanimity and can see clearly without freaking out.
THIS IS SOVEREIGNTY IN ACTION.
When we have sovereignty we don’t feel at the mercy of markets or the stockbrokers out there who are trading in fear. We feel grounded in our own inner knowing and we know how to ACT and BEHAVE in ways that are truly best for us.
Actions that come from empowered knowing vs. panicked reaction. Which type of actions do you think create a successful financial future for us? I think you know the answer.
When we are sovereign, we understand the stockbrokers are trading because of their worries about OUR spending and therefore we take back control of the markets by NOT behaving in a panic with our money.
If we all adopted more sovereignty with our financial habits and refused to let THEM tell US what is going to happen with our money…the market would be a very different experience altogether.
The power that consumers (that’s us) have is with our wallets–where we spend our money and how we spend it.
One of the things I think this virus is teaching us is more sovereignty.
Many governments have botched the containment and testing process for the virus. We’re having to rely on ourselves instead is waiting for the government to “save us.”
Kind of how Milly, my caretaker, was the panicking one instead of being the adult in the elevator when I was a kid. In that moment I realized I had to take responsibility for myself because no one else was coming to save me. I had to save me and us because no one was available to do so..
What if that’s the deeper invitation for you here?
What happens if instead of waiting for something outside of you to save you, you start looking for ways to take back your power?
Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all expanded our capacity for more sovereignty?
Some of the most successful financial times for me and many other people I know came out of what other people called “hard times.” They force you to think differently and to be more creative about how to make more money. And if you stay in a positive mindset around money, money naturally is attracted to you.
You are not a victim to the financial markets. YOU DIRECTLY INFLUENCE THEM with your own behaviors with money. Remember that.
The era of waiting for someone to come save us, the era of being in a codependent, disempowering relationship with people who don’t have our best interests at heart is OVER.
Politicians aren’t going to do it. Stockbrokers aren’t going to do it. WE are.
Choose your behaviors wisely. Time to start saving yourself and building the world you want to see by choosing DIFFERENT, more empowered actions with your money.
One last thing I want to add about money: my cousin was on a private investor call for one of the largest financial firms in the world, where 1500 companies dialed in to talk about what’s happening. THEY ARE NOT AS WORRIED AS THE MEDIA WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE.
They all believe this will balance out as the virus begins to fade out as we flatten the curve. And that the markets will recover. This will be nowhere near the dreaded 2008 stock market crash.
And by the way, I know several entrepreneurs and business owners who had their BEST MONEY YEAR ever during the stock market crash. Maintaining your sovereignty and equanimity will ensure you keep growing when others are trying to convince you to shrink because of their own scarcity mentality.
Again, you are not at the mercy of the markets. There are always people available who want to pay you for your services and help. There are over 7 billion people on this planet.
This is going to force a lot of businesses that need to expand to virtual services, to pivot. It might be the fire you needed under your booty to get that second income stream coming in.
And that’s not a bad thing. We must have the CAPACITY to pivot when needed. It’s a life skill.
Everything we’re talking about above is CAPACITY in action.
This is exactly why Capacity must be at the forefront of what you prioritize as a leader. Without consistently working on your capacity you get easily sucked up into fear and start doing things that damage your business and relationships.
When you have capacity, you can navigate and pivot outlier situations like this in a calm, balanced and strategic manner which also sets an example for others to NOT go into a panic.
There’s always going to be something to obsess over, panic about and get bright shiny object syndrome with.
I spoke to clients yesterday who are doing capacity work with me. Every one of them told me, “I feel fine. Every once in a while I feel some fear and worry, but then I remember my capacity tools and I come back to my inner calm and keep focusing on my work.”
This experience is giving them an opportunity to step into greater levels of capacity and use their tools to great effect.
These are the times when capacity work shines. This is why it’s not your strategy, it’s your capacity.
Capacity gets you through uncertain times. Strategies only go so far. And if you don’t have the capacity to emotionally handle the uncertainty, the strategy won’t be executed properly.
If you’re ready to expand your capacity, I have several ways to do that.
1. Attend my virtual Money Capacity retreat on Friday (one spot left) to navigate your fears around money and shift into an empowered stance that will ensure you navigate this successfully (and build wealth while everyone panics about markets) It’s virtual (always been) so you can attend while self-isolating and it’s always been priced at the reasonable price of only $500. Grab the last spot here.
2. Join my Capacity Shift™ program This is a monthly, ongoing group program where you can work on all your capacities, within a group of amazing women just like you. Bi-weekly group coaching, Facebook group for support in between calls, and 48 modules of content to expand your capacity. The women in this program rave. And it starts at only $375 a month. I currently have 5 spots open for this month and close enrollment on March 24th.
Want to learn more? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and say, “I want to speak with you about Capacity Shift!” I currently have 5 spots open for this month and close enrollment on March 24th.
In love & capacity,
PS: here are a few other things I consider “good news” and that can help you take your sovereignty back.
On the “woo” side of things: Many astrologers and intuitives I know are telling me that March is still a great month for business growth and money-making. They also tell me that the astrology of the times indicates this will all start to get significantly better by the beginning of April.
Also, did you know some psychics predicted this virus many years ago? They also said it will disappear quickly.
This post with all the good news about Coronavirus around the world yesterday.
This thread from one of my favorite personal trainers where people all helped each other out financially and several people got enough donations to pay rent or buy food. I think this is good news because it’s easy to freak out thinking the government won’t help us- but we forget the power of NOT hoarding and helping each other out.
The post I wrote about all the herbal things I’m doing to make my body an unwelcome host for the virus (with exact things I’m taking that I learned from 2 years of studying herbalism as a hobby)
Hilarious memes about being self-isolated from the Ellen DeGeneres show (laughter is good medicine right now. Recently I watched Fortune Feimster’s Sweet & Salty stand up show on Netflix and laughed so hard!)
Canals in Venice running clear and full of fish after only a week of lockdown
Aerial maps of China’s reduced pollution since the lockdown.
Universal Studios is putting its current movies in theatres online for you to watch from home. Pretty cool!
Hallmark movies give me a positive outlook and a sweet, hopeful perspective on the world. Much better than watching a horror film and getting your nervous system all revved up.