People find it easier to discuss their sexual problems than their money problems. For a variety of reasons financial problems is a very charged topic. Whether it’s an $80,000 or $800,000 problem, dealing with your money issues can stir a range of feelings from overwhelm, fear and shame to depression, intense grief and rage, especially when your lifestyle and security feels threatened.
For business owners and entrepreneurs to survive and thrive in the current and up-coming economic changes, you will require a specific set of skills and mindset. The most mentally and emotionally adaptable will be able to recover the quickest from financial loss. These are the people who are willing and able to deal with reality as it is, not as they think it should be.
The business owners and entrepreneurs who aren’t able to or refuse to accept what happened to them financially (serious drop in revenue, bankruptcy, loss of investments, etc.) and are unable to direct their emotions to productive behavior are likely to prolong their suffering and delay their recovery.
The experience of trauma, especially financial trauma can easily overwhelm and immobilize even the most practical person. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary Definition of Trauma is:
b: a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury
c: an emotional upset <the personal trauma of a business owner or entrepreneur who is not living up to his own expectations
Here are the three basic steps for dealing with trauma:
The first step in dealing with financial trauma is to recognize when you’re feeling traumatized and overwhelmed. The main symptom to confirm you’re feeling traumatized and overwhelmed is the “Psychological Brain Freeze”. The “Psychological Brain Freeze” is when you just keep focusing on/thinking/talking about what happened to you. You’re unable to think clearly and creatively. Your thoughts and emotions are dominating you! You can’t change the internal dialogue in your head. You’re stuck mentally and emotionally and can’t really move on.
While in this mental state your judgment becomes impaired and your problem solving ability significantly diminishes. You’re not mentally and emotionally adaptable. Rarely does this psychological state produce viable practical sustainable solutions to your problems. As a business owner/entrepreneur your greatest asset is your mind. You make money through the application of your ideas. When your ability to generate strategies and implement them shuts down, you’re dead in the water.
The second step is to get out of denial. The real danger of staying in denial is the fact that when you’re traumatized and stuck, you’re more likely to fail at your attempts to resolve your problems, perhaps causing bigger financial problems for yourself and your family.
The third step is to identify and specifically list the physical symptoms that have been bothering you since all the financial stress began. For example: headaches, acid reflux, insomnia, fatigue, depression/anxiety, mental fog, back pain, etc.
This list will help you assess how well you are really handling your situation. This is called doing a reality check with your self.
Once you have the facts on how you’re really doing, you might find out you’re doing better than you thought or that you need a professional that specializes in treating trauma to help you recover. Either way you are better off knowing the truth.