A Recession or a Personal Renaissance?
By: Cheryl Charron, MA(IS), CHT, MNLP, CPC, BA Adv.
What do you believe to be true? What you believe is the primary force behind the choices you make, the
decisions you accept, and the life you live? During these last few months many of us have been seriously
impacted by the insane rollercoaster and crash of the economy. But, what if you saw this chaos as an
opportunity to re-create, re-examine, and live with a fresh and clear sense of being?
Does this sound too ‘new-age’ for you? Why? As I look back over my work life of some 30 years, there
have been times when the economy dropped and jobs were lost (I think of the 1980’s). I’ve quit jobs and
I’ve been fired. I’ve been cutback and made redundant. I’ve survived downsizing. I’ve worried about
the bank account and retirement plans. I’ve turned down opportunities and people thought me crazy.
Every event offered me the opportunity to examine my beliefs and challenge myself. Each time I made a
career shift, I learned more about myself and about the world we share.
There are people who rise above tough times. How does this happen? I think that instead of panicking
and reverting to the basic needs that Maslow describes, these individuals continue to move forward into
the higher levels of human needs. Those needs are focused upon self development, self-reflection, and
personal growth. Even in turbulent times we can grow without needing to invest anything other than
For example, there are public libraries where you can read and relax, use the internet, or work on your
resume. You can improve your wellness by using nature as your gym, or the stairway in your house or
apartment. You can handle stress by meditating in your backyard or in your bedroom in your pyjamas.
If you’re using public transportation consider using that time productively by reading or listening to your
MP3 player. Instead of feeling victimized, accept the responsibility to discover opportunities.
Tough economic times cause us to react in a variety of ways especially if we perceive a loss. That might
be a loss in status, a drop in income, a loss of a job, or an unwanted career shift. There are ripple effects
into all aspects of your life from a loss. With any kind with any loss there is a time of reacting. It’s
usually a mix of denial, fear, a sense of paralysis or hopelessness. These feelings don’t have to last
Remember, recessions happen. Consider also that people from all walks of life and income levels, have
faced unimaginable loss yet chose to continue forward. Maybe you are still scared and anxious. While
that’s part of the process, there is a time when you decide to move forward or do nothing. You might
benefit from talking to someone to get a more helpful perspective or to explore options that you’ve not
yet considered. You can learn from others. Consider modelling the people you admire. Ask yourself
what they are doing that you admire. Do they seem calmer, focused, well-informed, logical, confident,
curious? Keep your mind and spirit open to change.
Do you evaluate what you hear or read from the media? The media is exceptional at showing things at
their worse or most dramatic. Did you know that hundreds of thousands of people are still working?
People do find jobs? People do start over and build new success. That information isn’t always
showcased by the media. So, listen critically to the media. What do you believe to be true? It won’t
always be what you’re told.
This is a renaissance of our economic status and personal values. This is the time for you to take control
of your life and of your mind. What do you believe? Do you believe that you have incredible resources
within you that you’ve not yet explored? Chose to believe you can do more than survive. You can
You can find out more about Cheryl Charron, MA(IS), CHT, MNLP, CPC, BA Adv. at