It was eight years ago that I felt like overnight, my life was yanked out of my own hands and placed beyond my control.
I’ve been transparent about my bankruptcy because I strongly believe that when you share your experiences in service and context, it’s an opportunity to dispel the stigma, help heal the shame, provide insights and let others know they are not alone.
What started out as personal devastation and an extremely difficult professional pivot, has over the years, transformed into one of my greatest gifts.
At the time, I felt like I was on the cusp of a turning point in my life. My business was growing in new ways, I was generating more revenue, I was healthy and I had just moved into a new home with the love of my life.
Then I got the call that changed everything. Someone else made the decision to go bankrupt and consequently, I had no other choice – or the absolute smartest thing I could do was file too.
The ripple effect impacted everything…
Financially I lost everything but my house.
I had to shut down 60% of my business.
Just six weeks after moving in, I re-packed up my life and moved out of my partner’s house.
And…out of integrity, I was morally and financially more in debt than I was before I filed.
I’m sharing this with you now because it feels a bit like déjà vu.
The external details are very different but the internal experience – the surreal, profound sense that there is no control over what’s happening is exactly the same.
Going through bankruptcy was absolutely one of the most painful, fearful, confusing times in my life. I felt powerless and I thoughtI lost everything.
During the first couple of months, I was overwhelmed with grief, anger, anxiety and shame. Every morning I would wake up to the harsh voice in my head that repeated the stories of who I was and the beliefs I held about what happened and what was now possible.
It took a while before the rattling in my head softened just enough to hear a whispering of something different.
I started to realize that time would pass and I would eventually be out of bankruptcy. There would be an “after”. And that the only real decision I needed to make – the one within my control was the experience I was going to choose to have along the way.
What emerged were three of the most powerful questions.
What is the story I was am going to believe?
How am I going to show up and choose to feel?
Who am I going to be when I emerge from this part of my journey?
Going bankrupt was one of the most direct (slap in the face) invitations to take a whole new level of personal responsibility. I not only spent the rest of my time in bankruptcy fiercely devoted to the answers to these questions, they have become the driving force in my life and work since then.
As I shared in my last dispatch, I am in no way sugar coating the magnitude of the impact of what is unfolding in very different ways for each person right now.
I am sharing this story with you to confirm that there is a light at the end of this season, as distant as it may feel right now.
And as a reminder of the power that you DO have in the stories that you choose to believe, how you show up and feel and who you will be when you emerge on the other side.
Now, I have two invitations for you.
First, write those three questions down and answer them every day. It will have a profound impact on how you experience the next stretch of this journey.
Second, please join me on May 8th for a free training to learn The DDA SHIFT Method.
You will learn how to quickly and easily shift your stories so you feel more at ease, less anxiety and fear and will be able to make empowered decisions and take proactive steps forward… in as little as a minute.
As always, I’d love to hear how you are doing and I’m here if there’s any way I can be of support.