Ten years ago, I hit rock bottom - my downfall wasn't caused by Covid but the impact was the same. I found myself in a place where impression management became my best friend. Optics mattered as building a business became my only option but the impact of managing stress while pretending to be a confident business woman definitely took a toll.
Things were tight - the house was sold to avoid foreclosure. Furniture was in storage and I had an extended period of living in poverty. I was raising a child on my own while trying to start a business. Even though I wasn't living on the street - I was bouncing from place to place - couch surfing and staying with friends. It was a terrible place to be and there was one option - build a business.
Living like this for an extended period of time takes a toll on your mental health. When events cause this kind of impact - this fall from grace, the shift in social standing - when an event threatens our basic needs of food and shelter - we are rocked to the core. Our internal resources are shaken and mental toughness is required at a time when we have too many demands on our limited internal and external resources.
It took more than impression management to get up every day and go through the motions. Here are my top 3 suggestions if you find yourself in a similar situation.
1. Find a true friend. I'm not talking about someone who will pick your scabs for you and listen to you commiserate over a coffee only to rush out and share your downfall with others. I'm not talking about a gossip. I'm talking about someone who will remind you what you can do well and connect you to the people you need to meet. I was blessed to have several. I've coached dozens who have gone bankrupt and one thing they always say is "you never made me feel ashamed". It's hard enough to get through this without judgement. You need people on your side who are going to lift you up.
2. Spend every penny wisely. Your inner voice will try and convince you that you deserve a little treat when you get a little cash. You do deserve a treat but you're going to have to put that off. There may be harder days ahead than the one you're facing today. Things may get worse before they get better. The wolves are in the kitchen - look after that first. Find other ways to treat yourself.
3. Don't borrow money you can't repay. I delayed bankruptcy because I had personal debt that needed to be taken care of. I regretted borrowing that money because there was no way to pay it back. It put me in a terrible position. Avoid borrowing money that you can't pay back in a reasonable time. Friendship turns sour pretty fast when there is money on the table.
Join us on Monday mornings at 8:00 AM ADT as we talk about these and other tough money topics.
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