How To Regain Control of Financial Hardships (Even When It’s Not Your Fault)
What does the Serenity Prayer have to do with achieving financial bliss? For Kelley C. Long, CPA/PFS, CFP®, quite a lot.
If you’ve ever experienced financial hardship that wasn’t your fault, you’re not alone. Even the most careful and diligent individuals can become victims of their circumstances, enduring things in life that put pressure on their pocketbooks. The end of a romantic relationship, a flooded basement, the loss of a job — regardless of causality, it’s your responsibility to decide how to pick up the pieces and move forward.
No matter how much you plan and save and invest your finances, things happen that will be out of your control. It’s what you do in the aftermath that dictates whether you flounder or thrive.
Listen to this episode to learn:
- Why taking responsibility is the path forward (regardless of causality)
- Why procrastination compounds your financial hardships
- How anger can inform future financial decision making
- How over-reliance on preventative strategies hinders you from living your best life
- Financial bliss comes to those who embrace their own power and act on things within their control.
In Mark Manson’s bestselling book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” he explains that when we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, we unlock our ability to solve the problems we face.
- Your circumstances don’t have to become your long term reality.
Regardless of whether a situation is your fault or not, accepting the reality and identifying what you can control to improve your circumstances is a powerful act. Taking responsibility for the aftermath allows you to move past the hardship as quickly as possible.
- Remove judgment from the equation to gain clarity and find a path forward.
Anger is often an emotion we experience when faced with unexpected challenges, particularly those that weren’t our fault. It’s ok to feel that anger, after all, your situation is unfair!
In “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life,” author Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, writes about the importance of removing judgment from our communication — including our internal narratives. Eliminating moralistic judgments about your emotions helps paint a clearer picture of your circumstances, freeing you to chart a path forward.
When things get hard and you catch yourself feeling angry, acknowledge it. Grieve. But then move on and ask, How can I fix this? What’s within my power to improve my situation?
- Don’t let times of financial hardship form a permanent habit of extreme frugality.
No matter how diligent you are, you can’t control everything. Life happens, often in ways you can’t foresee. After experiencing a financial obstacle, some people begin to overcompensate as a strategy for preventing future pain.
But doing so limits you from living your best life, a life that you deserve.
The best thing you can do is build your resilience, work on making financial choices that lead to flexibility and optionality, and accept the responsibility to take action when bad things come your way.
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