Has your ship sunk and now you're drowning in an ocean of unpaid bills, debt, and piranha-like creditors? Going financially bankrupt feels terrible -- but it doesn't have to be the end of your dreams of financial security or even prosperity!
"Bankruptcy is designed to give people a fresh start," says prosperity advisor Paula Langguth Ryan, author of Bounce Back From Bankruptcy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet. "If you're losing sleep, your health is failing, your relationships are negatively affected, or you find yourself looking for 'ways out' - including harming yourself or doing something illegal - then claiming bankruptcy may be the best option for surviving the overwhelming financial stress."
Here are her four ways to bounce back from financial bankrupty:
1. Know that going bankrupt doesn't mean you'll never achieve wealth. Many wealthy, successful people have gone bankrupt (some more than once!). "When I went bankrupt at the tender age of 21, I immediately went into debt to the tune of $3,000 -- I was trying to rebuild my credit standing," says Langguth Ryan. "What I discovered was that if I didn't change the way I approached money, educate myself, and empower myself to make smarter money choices, I was destined to repeat the same pattern again."
2. Change your money habits, thoughts and actions. To get over going financially bankrupt, you need to make a fresh start and commit to not taking on any new debt today. Debtor's Anonymous frowns on bankruptcy and recommends that people pay off their bills. "I'm a strong proponent of Debtor's Anonymous," says Langguth Ryan. "At the same time, I recognize that people can change their money habits and rebuild financially after bankruptcy."
3. Don't rush into external "fixes" for bankruptcy. For instance, getting credit again quickly isn't the best way to get create wealth after going bankrupt. The biggest positive step you can take is internal. If you are willing to look at and take responsibility (not blame) for the part you played in getting yourself into debt, you'll get back on track. If you can realize that bankruptcy was necessary, you may stay on track for good.
4. Stop being a victim. Once you take responsibility, you're empowered and can create change. If you're always blaming something or someone else for the state of your finances, then you'll always be a victim. You'll be unable to create the level of abundance you desire - and you won't get over going financially bankrupt. For example, your partner might have used your credit card to rack up bills, but you chose not to speak up or pursue the matter legally. In hindsight, is it something you would do again? Probably not. Change those things and you'll create the abundance you desire.
To learn how your childhood and personality traits affect your ability to create wealth, read How Your Personality Affects Saving and Spending Habits.
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen is a full-time writer and blogger who created and maintains five "Quips and Tips" blogs: