A is for Attitude

Yesterday I told you that I’d joined a 30 Day You Tube Challenge.  Well today I’ve decided that I’m going to challenge myself to Blog every day too and I’m going to post my videos here to share with you.

My videos will contain my A-to-Z of Bouncing Back, you can also get it delivered directly to your email box if you subscribe to this blog or visit my website and enter your name and email address in the box on this page.

Today is all about Attitude.  What is your attitude attracting? What if you changed your attitude slightly?  Give it a try, I’d love to know what changes you experience.

Until tomorrow

 

Reflection, recognition and my gift to you

I really can’t believe quite how quickly the past week has gone.  Yes, there are Christmas preparations to make but I’ve been so busy with so many other things too.

It’s also quite a period of reflection for me.  This time last year I was seriously considering taking my own life.  Now I’m glad I didn’t but at the time it seemed like the only option.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could really see into the future?

I received a wonderful email this week from a lady in Australia who has subscribed to my FREE “A to Z of Bouncing Back from Bankruptcy“, here’s just a snippet of what she said to me

“Thank you for doing what you are doing for fellow bankrupts. It’s greatly appreciated. I’ve just started receiving your A—Z.

I found you via Twitter and am so relieved there is someone out there who understands the situation and the pain. There’s not much out there for bankrupts that ‘speaks’ to me, but your site & blog do. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being there.”

Receiving an email like this makes me feel that everything I went through was worth it.  I recall at the time, saying through gritted teeth and a set jaw ‘I’d better not be going through this in vain, as long as I can help just one person avoid this, then it will have been worth it’.  That was my sole motivator for writing the A to Z, creating this blog, my e-books and writing the various other courses that will be released in the New Year.  To receive this kind of feedback makes everything worthwhile.

In the past year I’ve been able to develop a consulting business which is now bringing me a small income.  I intend to escalate that in the New Year. It’s the income from that which has enabled me to provide the A to Z as a free gift.  However, it’s strange to think that without going through bankruptcy I would never have had the courage or confidence to set myself up as a consultant/advisor in any capacity.  It’s true what they say about there being strength in adversity.

I’m now in a position where I can look back on the past 3 years of my life and look at what I’ve learned from it.  I’m in a position of strength and positivity.  It’s taken the best part of 3 years to get to that position and if you’re not there yet, please don’t worry.  Eventually, you will come through that fog and you will look back and take some lessons from that period.  Even if it’s never to use a credit card again.  I know I’m dealing with some major money hangups at the moment but they’ll get sorted next year – I have problems spending these days which is the complete opposite to what I used to be!

The secret of surviving this route to recovery is to take things just one step at a time.  Even now I take a stumble back every so often, I fall into a shroud of worry, fear, anxiety and lack of confidence but I remain consistent in placing one foot in front of the other no matter how awful I feel and gradually I get myself back on track.  You can do the same too.

I know that at this time of year money worries are heightened and you can feel like you’re totally alone but believe me when I say that you’re not alone.  There are many, many people out there, around the World who will start the New Year worrying about how much they’ve overspent.  It’s far better to have a quieter, less flamboyant Christmas period and start the New Year feeling bright and confident about the future.

Take some time out today just to sit and think about just how far you’ve already come along the Bankrupt’s Route to Recovery.  If you haven’t signed up to the A to Z of Bouncing Back from Bankruptcy then do so now, it’s my gift to you and it will help you put one foot in front of the other and give you support when you need it.

In the meantime, have a Great Christmas with family, friends and loved ones, knowing that the most valuable gift you can give is your time.

Merry Christmas

Deb

xx

 

Where do you sit?

Everybody has a different story to tell about bankruptcy and financial difficulty and everybody has a different way of handling it.

Some people become paralysed by fear and/or embarrassment and do nothing but sit and wait for it to happen to them whilst others take control of the situation and start working out a plan of action so they can deal with the project as if it was just another challenging project that requires a specific outcome.

Others become so embroiled in anger and bitterness that this thing is happening to or has happened to them that they lash out at others going through the same thing but who appear to be coping with it.  And there are yet others who just ignore what’s happening, don’t care about the implications and hope it will just wash over them.

We all cope with challenges in very different ways.  However, the one thing I’ve noticed is that those who take responsibility for what’s happening to them and take some positive action generally have the best results or more desired outcome.

A positive attitude will keep you in a positive frame of mind and is more likely to help you get through the bankruptcy process or current difficulties with minimal scars, ready to brush yourself off and start again.

Being consumed with anger, bitterness or even jealousy that someone is coping with a similar situation better than you are is more than likely going to finish you.  It will destroy you and invariably destroy all the relationships you have as people decide they don’t want to be around such negativity or damaging emotions.

Don’t get me wrong, we all go through a wide range or emotions, not all of them good, whilst going through bankruptcy or financial difficulty.  Contrary to what it may seem it’s not always rosy in the garden for me but I don’t let it drag me down.  I’m very quick to revert back to a positive mindset and work out how I can make things better or what I can learn from this.

I’ve attached a link here to a ‘transition curve’ by John Fisher which illustrates how we, as humans, handle change.  I find it a really useful tool to use to work out where I am on that curve and then plot where I want to be.  It’s also useful when I need to remind myself that not everyone handles change/transition in the same way or as quickly as I do.  Take a look at it.  Where do you currently sit on this curve?  Where would you like to sit?  What action will you take to get to where you want to be?

I know where I like to sit on the curve and I ensure I always take positive actions to keep me as close to that place as possible.

I’d be interested in your feedback.

TEAM ~ or ~ The Show Must Go On

There are so many acronyms for the word TEAM aren’t there, but I think the most appropriate is Together Everyone Achieves More.

So often in life we try to carry on by ourselves when it would have been so much better if we’d used all the resources available to us from within our team.  Team doesn’t just relate to your work team.  It could mean your family, your friends, your sports team or any other team or group you’re a member of.

The power of team was really highlighted to me last night.  My hobby for the past 26 years has been amateur drama.  I started singing in musicals then moved on to plays.  This week I’ve been performing every night in the local theatre in a production of Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield”.  As usual, I arrived in the dressing room around 6.40pm and together with the rest of the cast got busy getting into costume and applying make-up for curtain-up at 7.30pm.  At around 7pm the director called us all into the largest dressing room. There was a serious problem and we weren’t sure if the show could go on – the man playing David Copperfield had been knocked off his bicycle en-route to theatre and had just arrived in A&E by ambulance where he was awaiting x-ray, stitches and Lord knows what else.

I’m sure you can imagine the feeling in the dressing room at that point.  We were all worried about our leading man but we had an audience of around 100 people waiting for a performance.  Could we really send them home? Could we really put on a performance?  The decision was taken.  The Show Must Go On!

A rapid re-casting of some of the other roles, an announcement made to the audience and curtain went up at 7.35pm, not bad all thing’s considered. The audience were on our side, you could feel them willing us to succeed, and were sure as hell weren’t going to let them down.  There were a few hiccoughs, hardly surprising really.  We put 2 intervals into the play and by the time the second interval arrived the original David was back from A&E (we’d sent one of our members, a doctor, to collect him from A&E) stitched, bandaged, bruised and battered but determined he was going on that stage.

A further announcement to the audience that the original David was now back and the cast would go back to it’s usual roles and the next Act opened to rapturous applause.  We were stunned but in reality we weren’t surprised.

It was an amazing feat to be pulled off by a group of amateurs, something like that could have finished so many other groups, amateur or professional, but it shows just what can be achieved with the right passion, attitude, ability and resources.

It reminded me of my team – friends, family and business contacts – without whom I’d never have got through bankruptcy.  In fact, without some of them I wouldn’t be here today to be able to write about it.  They’re all listed here. They’ve all been thanked individually and this is my way of thanking them publicly

Take a look around you and identify your team, in whatever shape it takes, because with the right team behind you your Show really Can Go On and when it does, make sure you thank them and show your gratitude.

All I know is I am on my way…..

I had a relatively quiet weekend.  I listened to what my mind and body needed and did just that.  It’s something I’ve learned to do more and more since becoming bankrupt.

My default setting has always been to tear around like the proverbial blue-arsed fly trying to keep busy or fix things or just DO things.  I’ve always had difficulty slowing down and relaxing.  My mother has nagged me for years just to give myself time to recover but did I listen?  Did I heck!

But this weekend, incapable of doing too much we spent some time as a family, me, my other half and my son.  We took a day off on Friday and went to the beach at Weston-Super-Mare about an hour and a half’s drive away from where we are.  We turned off our phones and just enjoyed the beautiful early Autumn day as we sat and ate fish & chips and ice-cream on the pier and watched the tide come in.  My son was fascinated by how quickly the sea came in, despite us living on top of a cliff the speed of the changing tides isn’t as noticeable as when we were sat literally on top of them on the pier.

It reminded me of how quickly and silently our fortunes (both literal and metaphorical) can change and how, quite often we’re unable to do anything about it despite often having resources at hand that could help, if only we’d asked for help sooner.  This was also brought to my attention, again by my son, when on Saturday evening I was in a lot of physical pain and at one point I cried out as it was excrutiating.  Bless him, my 6 year old, who has always proudly declared that he “looks after mummy” said, with the wonderful innocent logic of a child “Mum, we could always call an ambulance.”  In his wonderfully innocent World the emergency services can fix anything, they’re his superheroes, along with Buzz Lightyear, Spiderman and Ben10.

Thankfully I didn’t need an ambulance on Saturday night but he reminded me that sometimes we ask for help a little too late. Or sometimes, we ask  for help in the wrong places.  I remember before my business folded that I instinctively knew something was wrong.  I asked for help but kept getting told everything was fine and I was wonderful.  Whilst it was great to hear that I really didn’t want to be told what I felt was a load of bull.  By the time I found someone who was prepared to tell me that what I knew was right, it was too late to save the business.  I had no choice but to try and manage it as best I could with the knowledge and experience I had at the time, to make the final days easier and pray for a miracle.  Of course, the miracle never happened but I was at least prepared for the worst.

However, rather than let it take me under with it (it would be a few months before I let it catch up with my emotions and then I fought against it and them) I decided that I had to do something.  I had a choice, I could either get on with life or I could hide under my duvet, never to come out again,  I chose the former.

I was reminded of this yet again over the weekend.  We borrowed some musical DVDs from my parents (I’m a long-time member of amateur dramatics and love musicals) and decided on Sunday afternoon to watch “Paint your Wagon”.  It’s a musical I haven’t seen for many years and is about the gold rush in California between 1848 – 1859.  It’s daft and funny and we enjoyed it but a refrain from the opening and closing song stuck in my mind.  It goes like this: “Where am I going? I don’t know.  Where am I heading? I ain’t certain. All I know is I am on my way.”

I wish I’d watched that 2 years ago.  I spent so long searching for a goal, a reason to go on when all I needed to do was put one foot in front of another, start on The Bankrupt’s Route to Recovery and just know, with great certainty that I am on my way.  It’s a great line isn’t it?  You don’t really need to know what your destination is as long as you start along the route, it will become clearer each day.  And if you take the wrong route?  So what.  You either retrace your steps or work out how to get back on the right track.

What are you going to do today to help you get on the right track?  What are you going to do that will say to you “All I know is I am on my way.”  I’d love to hear from you.

Deb

Don’t let your past dictate your future…..

As I sit here, frustrated from enforced bed-rest (I’m not seriously ill but bad enough to do some lasting damage if I don’t heed Doctor’s orders), it’s giving me plenty of time to ponder on how life has changed in the past few years.  In fact, to be honest, it’s changed quite dramatically in just a few short months.

Two years ago I was declared bankrupt.  The only thing that stopped me throwing myself off the cliff I now live on top of was my then 4-year old son.  All that kept me moving forward was the thought “What will my son think of me for leaving him?  How will it affect him in the future?”

I have no idea from where I summoned the strength to carry on, and even today, when I have a down day as we all do occasionally, I wonder if I can still carry on.  Thankfully those days are becoming less and less and the past two years have taught me how to cope.  I’ve developed a super-structure of family and friends that supports me and most importantly doesn’t judge me.  And they have no idea how much they bolster me when the vultures (and there are still plenty of them out there, I’m sure you’ve got some of your own, who want to see you fail and are happy to humiliate you no matter what the cost) seem determined to undermine me or try to topple me over the edge of the cliff.  There was a time when the vultures almost won but thanks to my super-structure I’m still here.

I’ve wandered down routes that at times have been dead-ends, others have just been ridiculously stupid and some, well, I should have known better but at the time of deciding which route to go down I took that decision based with all the knowledge and experience I had available to me at that point.  Maybe one day I’ll write a book because sometimes I really can’t quite believe how I got from there to here.  Maybe I’ll explore that through this blog, or if you join me on one of my e-courses, we’ll explore it further then.

When I was in the depths of despair of bankruptcy the one thing that I kept saying was “No-one should ever have to go through this alone and they won’t – if it’s the last thing I do”.  That seemed like a grand statement at the time, just one of those grandiose things you say to make everyone around you think that you’re coping.  Yeah, right!  Like I was really pulling the wool over their eyes with my bluff and bluster!

But, with some encouragement and cajoling I’m almost ready to launch my e-courses to help those affected by bankruptcy, bad debt or in dire financial straits.  I’m not going to tell anyone how to budget better or rebuild their credit history, Lord knows I’m still working through that myself, but what I’m aiming to do is offer the emotional support that was missing when I needed it.  Look up “surviving bankruptcy” or any similar search string on google and you’ll find page upon page of hints and tips to save money, do more with less, etc, etc, but you’ll find next to nothing on what it’s like to go through bankruptcy and come out the other end.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no guru or expert but as no-one else seems prepared to talk about it, I felt I should.  Quite why I don’t know, but discussing quite how low, dirty and unworthy bankruptcy makes you feel with someone who hasn’t been through it doesn’t really help.  It makes you feel as if the other person, whilst empathetic, is judging you.  I now know they’re not but try telling that to someone who is drinking water, not because they’re on a health kick but because they can’t afford a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.  Or to the person who has suddenly fallen in love with ‘Vintage clothing’ (read charity shop bargains or freecycle freebies) after years of buying top quality, top priced clothing because it’s sustainable and good for the environment!

So, where am I now, 2 years down the line? Well, my address history is improving; instead of 9 changes of address in 2 years I now have just 2 different addresses for the past 2 years (every little helps).  I am self-employed and happy, I have learned to accept myself and have rebuilt my confidence and self-esteem, I see my son every weekend and I’m in a loving relationship with a wonderful man.

Everything started to fall into place as I made some changes to my life and my mindset and things are now coming together nicely.  There’s still a way to go, I’ve got another 4 years of being a “discharged bankrupt” to get through yet, but I have to be honest and say if they carry on like this, it’s not going to have been such a bad thing to happen after all.  If only I’d realised it at the time.

My e-courses will be launching soon and I hope you’ll join me on “The Bankrupt’s Route to Recovery“.

Deb