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It's All in Your Head Feeling optimistic or pessimistic about the state of the economy? Uncertain times like these can really mess with your mind. Here's what other entrepreneurs are doing to keep it together--and keep moving ahead.

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's surreal-and exhausting-to ponder how much our country has been through over the past five years. The dotcom boom. The controversial 2000 presidential election. The dotcom bust. 9/11. Enron. Iraq. Janet's "wardrobe malfunction." The list goes on.

These strange times can mess with an entrepreneur's head. As we hit the midpoint of the first decade of the new millennium, chances are you're either feeling exceedingly optimistic or somewhat pessimistic about how things are going.

There are plenty of people on both sides of the fence. Economic pessimists point to disappointing job-growth figures, an increasing number of bankruptcies, shaky consumer confidence and anemic investment as indications that the times are bad and getting worse. As of September, 724,320 job cuts had been announced-higher than every year-end total prior to 2001, according to Chicago-based global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The Economic Cycle Research Institute, an independent forecasting group in New York City that releases a weekly report gauging growth in the overall economy, concluded economic growth fell to an 81-week low this past October as mortgage applications slowed and more people filed initial jobless claims.

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