Saturday, January 31, 2009

When Change Brings a Breakthrough

View Julie Christiansen's profile on LinkedInWhen Change Brings a Breakthrough
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working hard to put in place all the aspects that are necessary to get my new company off to a good start. Things like branding, opening up a new bank account, and setting up new merchant services.

My day to meet with the bank was Friday - and as Friday approached I found myself getting more and more nervous, and having difficulty sleeping. The night before I was to go to the bank, I lay awake, twitching and uneasy, and then when I finally fell asleep, I awoke only a few hours later in a cold sweat. To what could I attribute all this anxiety?

I immediately began to rationalize. I hate going to the bank. It has always made me nervous. Even when there is no rational explanation for it. So I say... "Anything that has to do with money just stresses me out." Isn't that an empowering statement? It is not only incredibly DISempowering - it is also UNTRUE! I certainly don't feel stressed out when I receive cheques in the mail, or when I am depositing them into the bank...

As I consciously began to peel back all the untruths associated with this statement, I made a couple of key decisions. The first decision was to SUCK IT UP and to go to the bank. A corporation needs a bank account. No ifs ands or buts about it - and stalling isn't going to help me move in the direction I want to go. The second decision was to figure this out once and for all. I had to get myself unstuck.

About 18 hours after making the conscious decision to get myself unstuck from these limiting unconscious beliefs about banking, I was taken back in my memory to another time in my life. It was a time when my husband and I were struggling financially. Every envelope that came in the mail was a bill. There were no cheques being delivered to our mailbox back then. We were terrified of the bank. When we went to the bank to talk about our financial struggles, while the advisor was nice, she did NOT NICE things - like chopped up our credit cards (with obvious pleasure).

We dreaded the notices from the bank that said our payments were overdue and that we were running out of time. Then eventually we got the most horrid notice of all - the bank had begun the process for foreclosure on our mortgage. Even now, when I talk about this, I feel that old knot tying up in my gut. Yup - that is definitely the source of my anxiety around banking. Long story short, we lost that home - the bank took it back and sold it. We paid back the CMHC what we owed them. We survived and within 6 short years we had financially recovered and were completely debt free - and ready to purchase a new home.

What's my point? Even though we recovered without declaring bankruptcy, I had this deep bitterness towards the bank for allowing us to make such a foolish move - purchasing that home with that ridiculous mortgage. I felt it was their fault - they were greedy - they didn't care about our welfare. What a load of BUNK!

The truth is this - that we went into that thing with eyes wide shut - high on the elixir of a big house that said, "we've arrived!" with no thought for the future - economic downturns or lost jobs. The honest truth is that we created our own outcomes and we were 100 % responsible for the loss of our home.

So that brings me here.10 years later I am having trouble sleeping because of an upcoming bank appointment - and it is all based on past events. I realized that I was allowing my past-based fears to interfere with my decisions and actions in my TODAY world. I realized too that THE PAST DOES NOT EQUAL THE FUTURE. We are not the same people we were then. We are older, and wiser. We make careful financial decisions and we ask questions first - shoot later. An appointment with the bank to start a new chapter in my life should not be cause for anxiety, but for excitement!

How did I get to the point where I could reframe this experience? Three things:
  1. Noticing that something was wrong in the way I was responding to the upcoming appointment
  2. Making a conscious decision to tackle that discomfort head on, rather than trying to ignore it
  3. Making another conscious decision to leave the past in the past, and to live in the NOW.

Can you do the same thing? Could you leave the past behind and let go of the past-based fears that haunt you every day without your expressed permission? Sure you can! Trust me - if I can do it - anyone can do it. Remember this: THE PAST DOES NOT EQUAL THE FUTURE. Forget your past - remember only what it taught you. You can move forward with optimism and with confidence - just live your life consciously. Notice what is working, and what is not. Make adjustments in the areas that aren't working, and you will soon find yourself navigating the road to increased success.

Would you like some help with leaving the past behind? Visit and get your copy of the audio CD with workbook, "Getting Past Your Past."