Day One: Acknowledging Adversity
Denial is a save now, pay later scheme. ―Gavin de Becker
Adversity that affects our finances can come in many forms. A cancer diagnosis. Divorce. Job loss. Identity theft. A sudden slow-down in our business. A landlord decides to sell the house we’re renting. Some happen fast and some sneak up on us. Some are relatively short term and simple to fix. Some are long term, complicated, and terrifying.
When adversity shows up suddenly, we can go into a temporary state of shock, shutdown, or even denial. Our minds go numb. We “can’t believe” this is happening to us. This is the case even if it has been developing over time. We may hide our heads in the sand, not wanting to look, and thus missing the cues that could have prepared us to take advance action.
Denial is a common human defense mechanism, and it’s part of the way our brains are wired to help us cope with what could otherwise be overwhelming stressors. It’s important to remember in those moments that hardship is temporary. Crisis is temporary. It is there to be moved through.
But here’s the thing: if you can’t see it, you can’t fix it.
Today we encourage you to take some time to look closely and courageously at your situation, whatever it is. Write down what is happening. Include how it is affecting or could affect your finances. Don’t try to figure out how or why it’s happening. Just acknowledge what is. In as much detail as you can muster. On paper or on your device. Where you can refer to it when you need a reality check.
It’s a scary thing to do. It takes courage. And it takes honesty. But once you’ve acknowledged it, you can start to address it.