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'bout that action boss
GM. It’s been fun commiserating with everyone in the NFT space so far. Y’all seem to have a good sense of humor about it all…we’re trading cartoon JPGs for money in a lot of cases, and we’re having a wonderful time doing it.
But after seeing some concerning stuff in a tweet I sent out last week (see below), I’m definitely seeing a shift and I feel obligated to devote the newsletter today to a semi-serious subject - mental health.
(Over the course of the next weeks, I hope to hit a few topics that I’m seeing as bad trends for the NFT space in general.)
In the words of Marshawn Lynch (wen Beastmode NFT btw?), “take care of y’all’s chicken and take care of y’all’s mentals.”
Based on my tweet, I’m obviously bad at the chickens part. But the mentals? I’m surprisingly OK with those and feel I can comment on them. Do note I’m not a doctor (not even close, in fact) and this is probably not good advice. If you’re having issues, I recommend you get professional help. I, for one, go to therapy and can’t recommend it enough.
Over the past few months in the space, I’ve seen many take Twitter sabbaticals in order to get their mental health in check as the constant deluge of information and controversy turned their feed toxic. Conversely, I’ve heard stories of people taking profits and using it for therapy (yay!). Unfortunately, I’m also seen a lot of self-medicating (boo).
WAGMI (we are all getting mental illnesses) and we need to talk about our sanity with each and more often.
I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone in feeling weird about NFTs. On the whole, NFT Twitter could do a lot better in helping each other with issues that may arise from trading decisions or general fatigue so my DMs are open if anyone wants to talk mental health.
It’s hard to cope with bad investing decisions because more often than not, the burden is on you alone. You can blame others, call it bad luck, or whatever, but ultimately you decided to put your money somewhere and it didn’t work out. It hurts. Over the years, I’ve been really good at making really bad decisions. After the tweet went viral, I had some reach out to ask how I’ve dealt with these mistakes.
These are the practices that have helped me “cope” (as they say):
Gratitude - There is always someone who is doing better than you on NFT Twitter…but that is true in life too. To stay grounded, I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be trading JPGs for money. For example, you may not have a Bored Ape (or may have sold it too early) but conversely, what do you have? Not everyone has a Cool Cat. For me, that’s the decision I look at and am grateful for. Through all my bad trades, I like to remind myself that I did get that one right (for now), and it gives me the confidence to keep trying (to the detriment of my bags). It doesn’t have to just be NFTs though. I’ve used gratitude journals before and I can see why it’s helpful to some. While not an everyday practice I use, I still bust it out sometimes and find myself being thankful for the little things…working eyeballs (to look at my NFT art), a community I feel a part of (check your Discords!), and a supportive family that doesn’t care that dad is losing money on JPGs (ok, fine they don’t know about it).
Short Memory - The best athletes and traders are like goldfish (Ted Lasso fans stand up!). Sold an NFT too early? That’s OK we all have. Don’t look back or beat yourself up about it. Whether others want to admit it or not, there’s a lot of luck involved in investing. Don’t let that bad luck define you. All you can do from situations like this are to learn from it and then forget it ever happened. I harbor animosity towards NFTs that pumped when I was no longer along for the ride. Don’t be like me. If there’s a buying opportunity don’t let your past trades dictate your future ones either!
Positive Self-Talk - How would you talk to a friend who is experiencing the same woes as you? Would you call them an “idiot” or the “worst trader alive” for selling too early? Probably not (unless you’re Beanie). In actuality, the way you would communicate to a friend who just lost out on some money is with compassion and empathy. “Sorry that happened to you.” Now think about what you tell yourself when you make a bad trade. Don’t continue to beat yourself up especially if the circumstances are largely out of your control. Remember, no one has ever sold at the exact top and bought at the exact bottom for every trade. If they did, they are likely from the future and need to be destroyed.
Core Values - I came into NFTs from a place of privilege…I don’t need JPGs to “moon” right now because my income is not solely reliant on NFTs. Even so, I find I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because I want to make NFTs work so badly. Sometimes, I need to take a step back and remember that I started this for fun, not profit. For years, I’ve had “investing core values”. For those unaware, core values are a buzzword in the tech-startup world. But they can be an effective way to communicate your personal goals and keep everything pointed in one direction. For example, mine are 1) take profits, 2) have an abundance mindset 3) be comfortable 4) have a plan and conviction. Whenever I make a big investment decision I refer to these to make sure it operates within my core values. It also makes it easier to “cope” when I make a bad decision because I did it by my book and my rules.
Community - When sharing my losses with the whole world in that tweet, I was shocked at how open people were doing the same. I guess my vulnerability shined through and made everyone comfortable to share some honestly heartbreaking bad luck from their end. There’s misery in company, and that is never truer than with NFTs. Try to remember that for everyone like you, there are probably hundreds if not thousands more. If you can even find one of them to talk to, you’ll find the pain is a lot less. We are all learning on the fly and no one knows what they are doing. It’s nice to know that there is a lot of others who have no idea what’s going on too.
In my tweet mentioned too many times already, I used a video that I thought was very funny. I realize now that it’s insensitive to those battling suicidal feelings or thoughts.
I should have used another video and apologize if it offended anyone.
I speak of community, but I can tell you who in the community wasn’t helpful when responding to my tweet…
Everyone telling me to buy 2 of a project’s NFTs so I could sell one later. Easier said than done. What am I made of money? Also, who’s not to say that my paper hands wouldn’t have just sold both for a discounted price?
The people shilling me a project that I “totally shouldn’t sell early”. Dude, your Noundles Cats Yacht Club derivative is definitely not something I’m going to buy in the first place. Also, I’m pretty sure I won’t miss out on some huge pump.
There were a lot of people doing the ol’ “profit is profit!” bit with me. Sure, but my profit buys a nice dinner at McDonald’s and the profit I could have made buys me a car…it’s not exactly comforting to know be reminded of this.