You Are Not Your Net-Worth
Over the past two years, I’ve met many people who were at the top of their game prior to the 08’ crash. Some owned very successful businesses, many had thriving careers prior to the crash and a few were close to reaching financial independence. The common denominator was that not a single person ever imagined anything could or would go wrong and not one had built a relationship with a trusted financial advisor that could have offered them an independent and objective second opinion.
They believed the music would never stop, that real estate prices would continue upward, and the economy would keep expanding and growing. With this belief came the desire to take on more and more debt. Many purchased 3,4,6+ homes with negative amortization mortgages. Business owners leveraged their assets including their retirement accounts in order to expand beyond common sense. By the time they met with me, many of these folks had already lost 70-80% of their overall net-worth.
No doubt that a loss of this magnitude, especially for someone in their 50’s or 60’s, is devastating. It’s a personal financial crisis of the highest order - yet it’s a spiritual crisis as well. Many who suffered this type of financial loss have also, at least temporarily, lost faith in their ability to succeed again. It’s this loss of faith in 'better days to come' that prevents them from regaining their true and divine authentic power.
Although the ‘Great Recession’ officially ended around June 2009, the fallout from this global downturn still causes havoc in many lives. It’s hard to quantify which demographic group was hit hardest, but I do know that with time not on their side as they approach retirement, baby boomers have been feeling the pain.
Like with any setback in life, resilience is the key. We need time to assess the damage, accept what happened, get back in the game and move forward if we’re to regain our mojo and start moving forward again.
Although many of us have experienced the pain of a broken heart when a relationship has gone south, we eventually summoned the courage and strength to trust again and ultimately to love again. It’s amazing how the pain eventually dissipates to be replaced with true love, yet again. And yes, count me as a hopeless romantic.
Yet lose a substantial amount of money on a speculative investment that you knew in your gut was too risky, or lose the business you started 20 years ago because you stayed in denial mode too long and didn’t face reality soon enough to course correct, then getting back up on your feet can become one the greatest challenges you’ll face in your life.
Faith, Gratitude, Empathy & Forgiveness-The Way Forward
During the Great Depression, when so many had lost everything, including their faith and ability to dream, a book was published that would go on to become one of the greatest best-sellers of all time - Think and Grow Rich, written by Napoleon Hill.
Although the title suggests it’s all about getting rich, the word ‘rich’ is a relative term. It’s more about using your mind and the power of auto-suggestion to reclaim your authentic and divine power. As Hill puts it, “If you can control your mind, you can control your destiny”. And remember, this book was published during the height of the depression when so many were lost and confused about regaining their power to succeed.
If you’re someone that has suffered from a devastating financial loss, then renewed faith is very much needed in order to restore your self-confidence. Fear will find every avenue possible to seep into your life if you allow it to. Fear restricts energy while faith expands energy. Fear is darkness, faith is light.
As you begin to rebuild your life, step by step, dollar by dollar, know that your attitude of gratitude will turn fear into faith and hopelessness into optimism. It’s the secret sauce in the formula for rebuilding your life. As much as you may have lost, you must find ways to be grateful for all you still have.
The emotion you’re aiming for as you rebuild is empathy. Perhaps when you were on top of the world, it was challenging to understand the plight of the less well off. Now events have conspired to help you feel empathy for all who suffer and go through tough times. Perhaps this crisis was a blessing in disguise?
In order to summon the power you’ll need to pick yourself up, dust off and get back in the game, you ultimately need to forgive yourself fully and unconditionally. You must learn to love yourself again for the magnificent person you are destined to become, and this love must be unconditional. The love will allow you to begin the healing process.
And finally, as hard as it may be to imagine, when the time comes that you’re able to look back on this financial/spiritual crisis as a gift, then you will know and feel your divine power again and this time the power will be authentic and sustainable.
Photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/
Faith photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/soloflight/