Do You Walk Your Talk
Imagine coming home from a family holiday to the news that the well planned and carefully thought out financial future you had in place for your family had just been wiped out.
Not only had the bottom fallen out of the share market, and your nice growing nest egg was suddenly a scrambled mess, to top it off, the equity and income no longer covered as a rather large debt!
How do you cope, how do you keep working and how do you stem the incessant feelings of despair and personal guilt? Let me share how a one-million-dollar financial disaster in my life made me use all my tips and tools as a stress management expert to the ultimate test. This is my story.
Initially, when faced with any sort of disaster, people generally go into disbelief, then shock, then grief and then finally resilience comes to the rescue, or not. A meltdown affects the whole person, and all of who they are. When a well known financial Institution collapsed, I was a fledgling business owner, a therapist, a wife, a mum and a carer for my elderly parents.
At first, I was totally dumbfounded, however, I also knew that my business had to step up and contribute to the financial burdens we faced as a family. For that to happen,I also had to do some self-care for myself, so that I was in a healthy position to be able to work. As a natural therapist, working one on one with my clients, I had to be in the right frame of mind and have positive energy to be of service.
Many of the strategies I learned as a natural therapist came to the fore. Often, I will say to clients ‘oh, but you’ve got to smile’! And they’re sitting there, and they’re flattened and now I’m telling them to smile and they would rather hit me because they don’t want to smile. So again, I had to use the same tools that I was always giving to other people to lighten up my life as well. Much of that was through mirth, and not discounting the disaster, but being able to downplay it so that it wasn’t totally impacting my life.
Combatting the stress trigger
- Lighten the situation by downplaying the stress trigger. I came across a company that sold Australian ‘million-dollar’ notes. It was empowering to order 100 million dollars and it cost something like $19. These $1M notes were used as an energy tool to uplift myself. I placed my million dollars all over the house, put one on the fridge, in my wallet and gave them out to people. I also would downplay the value of our debt; by saying a million dollar debt is only one with lots of zeros. Well, zeros don’t count!
- 2. Be mindful of the language! A stressful situation will have words that can also trigger an instant reaction. For me the words ‘Storm Financial’ are associated with a calamity, so I would not be comfortable going to another planner with a similar name.I have learned to be aware of what emotions a name brings up, and use that response as a further way of filtering my decision.
- Smile without guilt! Most people when faced with a disaster do not want to smile, or they feel that smiling is somehow being disrespectful. However, smiling tells the body to release happy hormones called dopamine. These hormones raise the life energy. Overall, smiling gives the body a chance to pause and regroup.
- Take action – step by step! After the initial reactions, start the process of wondering how to achieve balance and harmony again. Thoughts and ideas will start to play in your head. Take the time to write down thoughts and ideas. Remember also that it is totally ok to reach out for help and guidance. Find a mentor who is willing to help you find confidence and self-belief again.
Did we manage to survive? Yes, we did. Our family pulled together and we were able to move forward and gradually regain our stability and lives again. My once fledgling business has just celebrated its 12th year and many times I have been thankful that I have been able to walk my talk.