Your financial fears are a warning that you need to start thinking and doing things differently.
One of the biggest fears people facing divorce have is not having enough money after their divorce is finished. This fear strikes people of all income levels.
Now, the fact is that at first you won't have enough money to continue living the lifestyle you had when you were married. That's just what happens when you get divorced and you divvy up the assets and debts.
And being fearful of that change is natural because money represents important things power, security and freedom.
But your fear of not having enough money is about more than just not wanting your financial status to change. It's also a call to start doing things differently.
And that's because, in general, fears are warnings. They alert us to the fact that there's a risk or threat we're facing and that we have an opportunity to do something about it.
No doubt you've heard that the fear response is fight, flee, or freeze.
If you choose to flee or ignore your changing financial situation, chances are your financial situation will be much worse than necessary, because you'll attempt to continue to live as you did before your divorce.
If you choose to freeze and just keep saying things like "I don't know what to do" and "this is so horrible" you'll remain a victim of circumstances. You'll find yourself trapped in feelings of scarcity.
However, if you choose to fight or get into action, you'll make it through your financial fears feeling capable because you've changed your life for the better.
Hopefully, you recognize that the best response to your financial fears is to get into action to change your situation and mitigate the risk you're facing.
So how do you do this? By following these 3 steps.
1. Change the story you're telling yourself. Fears become scary when you focus on the negative what-if's: What if I wind up living on the streets? What if I don't have enough money to feed my kids?
You don't have to continue dwelling on the negativity and the easiest way to change the story you're telling yourself is to come up with 5 positive what-if's for every negative one. What if I find a reasonably priced place to live that I love? What if I find a great job? What if I win the lottery? What if I start a side business that's amazingly successful? What if I discover that living within my budget is super easy?
2. Act to start making one of your positive what-if's a reality. Your action could be creating a plan to achieve what you want, asking for help, or getting back to doing what you already decided to do. It's amazing how quickly working to make what you do want to happen a reality will decrease your fears.
3. Be thankful for what you do have. You might think this sounds cheesy, but by choosing gratitude for what you do have instead of living in fear of what you don't you'll completely change your mindset. You'll realize that you have more than a lot of other people do and know that if they can make it on less, you can certainly make it on what you've got now as you continue to work to make your situation different.
Now these three steps might sound like mind games. And in some ways, you're absolutely correct – they are mind games.
The thing is that continuing to live in fear of your financial situation post-divorce is a mind game too. A BIG FAT HORRIBLE mind game that will make you positively miserable.
So, what can it hurt to challenge yourself to take your fear and use it for good by changing the way you think about it so you can get busy creating the post-divorce financial situation you want?
Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach and divorce survivor herself. She works with clients who are looking for support and advice to get through their divorce . You can join her newsletter group for free advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with Karen directly in her Time Trade calendar.