Getting Unstuck – Pushing Through The Fear

Getting Unstuck – Pushing Through The Fear

Afraid of everything… that was me growing up. I was always scared of the monster under the bed or in my closet. I never wanted to be out in the dark… fraidy cat.

As I began to think about my life and ponder how to approach the topic of “Getting Unstuck-What is Holding You Back,” I discovered that I have addressed this issue many times and have come a long way!

I was divorced and on my own for the first time at 41 years old. Surrounded by memories and not sure how I was going to move forward, I made the monumental decision that I was going to leave Mansfield, my best friends, my home, and my parents to create a new life for myself. Excited, petrified and determined, I found a job and an apartment and began a new life in Columbus not knowing anyone but determined that I would make it. So, my puppy dog, Jasper, and I moved on April Fools Day to begin our new life!! Many people told me I was crazy to do this, but the fear of “Being Stuck” was more significant than fear of failure!

Adapt and succeed

Being the only person I could count on to keep a roof over our head was frightening at times but also pushed me to work harder and succeed. My first position was with the Placement Service I enlisted as a means of securing a job in this new city. It was fascinating and I met a lot of really nice people. About 18 months in, the company announced that we would no longer be using paper files. We would have everything on a computer for easy access. Panic set in! I had never used a computer and had no idea how to do so. My dilemma was to either learn how to use the computer or get a new job. I learned so that I could continue with this company. I never realized that this knowledge would open up a whole new world for me!

I was at my first position in Columbus for almost three years, when introduced to the General Manager of a company where a wonderful new friend worked. They were looking for an Administrative Assistant. I got the job and proceeded to work my way up. As our division grew, my responsibilities changed. When downsizing closed our division, I was the Divisional Office Manager and the “right hand” to the Division President. I loved my job, and at eight years, I would have stayed forever! So… here I go again. Terrified but determined, I decided to try something totally out of my comfort zone (which seems to be the place that I find myself in most often). I was hired as the Showroom Manager for a blind and drapery company. What was I thinking?

I had no experience, no idea what I was doing, but was determined not to allow fear to hold me back. (Noticing a Theme in My Life?) Four years into this position, a wonderful old friend called me to ask that I come and work with her. I became the Assistant General Manager for a Co-Working Company. When she left the company, I took over the helm which was way out of my comfort zone, but, with support from my boss and clients, we moved ahead.

Fear was weighing me down

Let me share a secret; I had this enormous fear of walking into a room full of people and not knowing anyone. I wasn’t much better when I knew I had someone waiting for me. My dad always encouraged me to go into sales, but I knew that would never happen. Fear is a powerful deterrent.

Six months into my position as General Manager, the company decided that I would be required to go out into the community to make our company name known to all! I was determined that I could not allow fear to hold me back. So, I walked into the Hilton Polaris; a networking event with 500+ people, not knowing if I would recognize anyone. The moment I pulled open that door and stepped through changed my life. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. A weight, I carried most of my life.

20 years later, I moved back to Mansfield and became involved in the downtown area and all the exciting growth taking place.

Confidence overcomes fear!

As my life continues, I still have to walk through doors not knowing what I will encounter, but now I have the confidence to handle anything that comes my way!

So… Getting Unstuck, What is holding you back? Mine was fear of the unknown. What is yours? Once you face that fear and realize that it does not control you any longer, there is not going to be anything you cannot do. Believe in the Power of You!

Getting Unstuck:  Ideas for Financial Wellness

Getting Unstuck: Ideas for Financial Wellness

When we take control of our finances, we begin to feel more secure, and when we feel more secure, the road to peace of mind becomes easier to navigate. It is essential that we not let our finances be out of control.

It is a common dilemma in our modern world to find ourselves in financial difficulty. The average credit card debt in the US is close to $8000 per household. A horrifying number and a significant contribution to the many Americans who find themselves financially stuck. To say that getting “unstuck” financially is easy would be a gross understatement. We have first to understand that the same guidelines for getting out of debt will not work for everyone. Oh, that life would be so simple!

It is easy enough to find a list of ways to become unstuck, but the truth is that personal finance is just that, personal, and we must each discover a pathway that works for our families and us. The importance of that is finances are a family affair, and you can’t take the journey alone!

So how do we get “stuck” in the first place? Many factors may contribute to being financially stuck, some examples may be:

  • Impulse spending
  • Spending before you earn
  • Not paying bills on time
  • Excessive credit card debt
  • Poor money management
  • Job loss
  • Unexpected medical expenses
  • Not having a rainy day fund

It is also possible that the Holiday Overspending bug bit you, a common ailment this time of year.

The ideas that have gotten us stuck have a lot to do with the unique vision that we have of ourselves, and the image we portray to others. We live with the fear of being unable to keep up with our peers and concerns of discovery. We need to let that fear go and focus on the healing that financial wellness brings.

Keep in mind that if you are trying to “Keep up with the Joneses,” the Joneses are probably in debt.

One thing is certain the first step should always be STOP CREATING NEW DEBT.

  • Write a list of each debt and what you owe
  • Evaluate the cost of things like cable, internet, phone, interest paid on credit cards, and insurance. Sometimes reducing these costs is just a phone call away.
  • List all of your expenses (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • List your income, and remember not to overestimate. Occasional bonuses or overtime are not reliable income and should be put aside for emergencies or applied to the debt.
  • Talk with your family about spending.
  • Make a budget
  • Develop a savings plan
  • If all else fails seek a financial counselor

I, of course, realize it isn’t just that simple, but we must begin somewhere. Once we are aware of the size of the issue the easier it becomes to start the process of developing a solution. We all need to understand what’s behind our financial decisions, and believe that the answer lies in our unique values.

Talk to your creditors and ask their assistance with developing a plan. When possible, start paying extra on credit cards and loans. An excellent example of paying off credit card debt is to start paying extra on one card when it is paid off take the full amount and start applying it to the next credit card.

It is also crucial that you check your credit report annually. It can be a real eye-opener and is an excellent deterrent to Identity theft. You may find your three free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. You may also get a free credit score from CreditKarma.com. Be aware that any site that requests credit card information is NOT free.

There are many online resources to assist you in meeting your financial goals, and many of those resources are free to use. The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE.org) offers online classes and links to many usable resources including printable materials. Another option may be FoolProof, a free online financial education site (FoolProof.DirectionsCU.org) login to Solo to get started. You will also find several personal finance apps for your smartphone designed to keep you on track.

Just remember, create no new debt, make a financial plan, create a realistic budget, involve your family, and work towards financial freedom. It may seem like a slow process, but it is worth it!