Episode 26 – The uncertainty of change is hella scary. What to do and not to do…

Do you actively reflect and take action to make positive choices and positive changes in your life? How often do you consciously put aside time to reflect on what has happened to you, and where you are now and assess whether your goal posts have shifted? How long do you spend dwelling on what’s happened or on the possibilities to get you back on track? We all go through this process differently depending on our experiences, personality, and support network. We experience difficulties where we are not in control of the changes. It can happen quickly, almost overnight, you can split up from a relationship, your business can go bad, or you can lose your job. There are a hundred things that can happen that force you to pivot your life. Often, we see it as a negative, getting hung up in the past where it affects your future, but worse, we can feel trapped in the present moment unable to see the future.  

Getting out of the space of being angry or anxious and moving towards acknowledgement is difficult but it is the first step towards a positive outlook towards change. It is extremely hard to accept that things are out of your control when you are in a negative headspace. Sometimes it is not personal, like the restructuring of your workplace where you lose your job but you take it personally. Self-compassion is crucial during these times to reclaim your power. Take time to acknowledge the situation. A great way to do this is to step outside of your self and assess the situation as if it was happening to a friend. We all have negative self-talk that we would never ever say about someone else let alone speak aloud about ourselves, so catch yourself when we have these negative internal thoughts. Sometimes it’s worth asking those close to you what they see when they look at you and the situation you are in. They might unlock a door for you to open or simply highlight a strength of yours you never saw setting you up on the path to your desired destination. During times of transition, we often stay in the negativity for way too long creating bad habits. Drinking too much alcohol, scrolling endlessly, ordering Uber Eats instead of cooking. It can be that negative self-talk or not looking after ourselves with diet, exercise, and connections. Ensure you are looking out for yourself instead of only caring for others. Work hard and set boundaries to get a balance in your relationships.

With the right mindset, we can look ahead with a positive mindset and set goals to reach our new destination. The four D’s of goal setting are discovering, dreaming, designing, and destiny. One of the first things you need to do is know what your end goal is and be willing to explore to get there. Henry Ford went bankrupt four times before he started the Ford Motor Company, so starting again is an option. There’s no shame in failure in business because we learn the most through failure. Construct a pathway to your end goal, knowing that it will evolve and there will be hurdles and caution signs along the way. Set aside time for this discovery because how do we expect to heal if we’re not taking the time out of our day to do so?

When I found myself in times of change and uncertainty, I did something for myself every single day and that became my mantra of self love. This then turned into two or three things, and suddenly I was filling my life with things that I really enjoyed. And I’m not talking big things or expensive things. Simply go to the gym, get a really nice cup of coffee and have a chat with the cafe on your way to work.

In these times of unpredictable change, we need to be conscious of our money for our security and need to feel safe. When we get caught up in our own misery, and feel isolated and disinterested in the world, having the comfort of money is grounding. A relationship breakdown or losing your job, they are going to have an impact on you financially. If you have good structure and awareness of your finances you are going to find comfort in having backup funds or another stream of income. Put time into researching what else is out there to support you. You may need to contact the Government for financial assistance such as Centrelink. There might be an opportunity to borrow from friends or family. Try to avoid payday loans, and marketing schemes on how to get money fast. They are charging you 2%, which sounds great, but is not clear is that it is 2% a week, so 2% a week on the whole amount that you’ve borrowed, capitalised on to the loan. Your interest is compounding on your interest making it approximately a 30 or 40% interest rate. You’re paying 20% when using money out of your credit cards. It reaches a peak and then suddenly you have a great amount of credit card and personal loan debt. You are better off acknowledging your situation and having conversations with your utility providers, your landlord, or mortgage provider, to be on the front foot and consider payment plans, refinancing, or reducing your costs. It will not be the first time they have had this conversation. Ask them what they have in place to be able to help you. As a mortgage broker, we are here to ensure you don’t lose your house or get stretched too far. There is also early withdrawal from super, however, you need to be under massive financial stress and a last resort. Be aware that good credit goes bad very quickly. All it takes with open banking now is one overdrawn, one missed payment and suddenly it starts to affect your credit file. Never skip paying your car insurance as that’s when you might be unlucky and get into an accident. There is something about being on the front foot financially, taking control of the situation, and not letting them control you. It builds motivation.

A timeline to dwell in the crisis must be limited. It’s constructive to create a timeline to dwell on a lost relationship a lot, say this is going to take me 28 days to feel the negative emotions, and then I’m going to find a way forward. Give yourself an end date to allow time to grieve and a date to look forward to positive change. Looking into what you need, develop a dream and vision about an end destination. Designing your path out of the situation so that you reach a destination will help lift you up. It takes time and effort, to find the positives and learn from the journey along the way.

Contact Phoebe

Phoebe is available for interviews, guest appearances, article commentary, and talks on a range of topics relating to property, mortgage broking, and personal finance (particularly for women!).