If you’ve just filed for bankruptcy, don’t be nervous about what comes next. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, but you’re avoiding it simply because you can’t imagine what you would do once it was over, please reconsider. The bankruptcy process is just that. It’s a process. It has a beginning and an end. It will affect your life, but some might say that it affected their lives positively. It’s all in how you react to your new situation. What you do after bankruptcy matters.
What’s the first step? Letting Go of the Guilt
Stop letting negative emotions rule you. There’s no shame in filing for bankruptcy. The process is available for a reason. You can’t move on in a positive direction when you are allowing yourself to be held back by feelings of guilt and shame. Let it go.
Step Two: Pause to Think
Don’t spend all your time regretting your mistakes and wishing you’d done things differently. Pause and take deep breath and then allow yourself to really think. Ask yourself some questions and write down your answers:
How did you end up where you are?
What could you have done differently?
What would you do differently now?
What have you learned?
Knowing the answers to these seemingly obvious questions will help you make a better life for yourself post-bankruptcy. In the wake of a bankruptcy, too many people find themselves not changing their behaviors. Make sure you pause to think so you don’t immediately begin creating the same situation you just left behind. Look for a support system. Many find friends, family members, church or religious organizations, civic organizations, etc. extremely useful during this time as they can provide emotional support, a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on.
When choosing your support group, make sure that you are surrounding yourself with positive people. Never confuse “support” with someone who is tearing your down. Have positive people in your corner, encouraging you and reminding you that you can do what needs to be done. You’ve handled financial trauma and bankruptcy – you can definitely deal with the bumps that will come along after it’s all over. Don’t accept individuals into your support group that tell you any differently.
Watch for the next article from Westgate Law discussing Step Three in creating a life you’ll love after bankruptcy: Knowing Your Budget and Being On Time.