I was shaken to my roots. I had just gone through an attempted home invasion. Under the cover of this week’s heavy rainstorms, at 11:30 at night, three feet away from where I worked at my computer – with all lights on – someone tried to force his way in through the sliding glass doors.
My automatic responses were good: I threw on the outdoor lights, tore back the vertical blinds and let out a blood-curdling scream as only adrenaline can create. And called 9-1-1.
The house is fully protected by alarms and arms. But the brazenness of the act – and the total surprise – left me quaking. There is no other word.
And in the days that followed, every possible scenario ran through my head as I got more and more information on another attempt … then another attempt … all on the same night.
Now, three days (and nights) later, I can start to look a little more rationally at the psychological journey I just took.
It doesn’t matter if I have someone in the house who can protect me and if I have an ironclad alarm system. The fact of the matter is that, for an instant, I did not feel I was in control of my life.
What followed for me was a whole review of the concept of control.
I talk often about how women give away control over their money, and how taking back control has an empowering effect that spills over into other areas of their lives. Yet, whenever control over money is held elsewhere, the result is fear. In some cases, paralyzing fear.
My control over my money is solid: I know my daily numbers. I know my targets and my progress towards them. And I have a clear head about what money means and what it can do for me. I am fully in control. But whether related to our money or any other part of our lives, the vulnerability that comes with lack of control is the same. Even if it is momentary.
The question for me then became: what can I do to take back that control?
Just as I advise the women I mentor, I first looked at my immediate surroundings. Where had I gotten sloppy? Where had I let down my guard? What burned-out bulbs had not been replaced? What parts of my original plan had disintegrated with time because I had become lackadaisical? (Or maybe even a little arrogant.) What systems were outdated or could be improved with new technology?
(It’s no different with your money, right?)
But then came the psychological aspect. In the case of money, taking back control comes in the form of revisiting and cleaning out any issues around beliefs: good enough, not good enough; deserving, not deserving; manipulating, manipulated; independent, dependent; and on and on.
I’ve struggled for days to find what would erase that feeling of fear. It felt as if it were engraved on the very cells of my body. I reviewed all the incidents in my life that have impacted my feelings of safety or danger. They’ve all been addressed in the past … and I thought they had been put to rest. Apparently not.
It wasn’t until today, as I read my daily email from Abraham-Hicks, that I found the key to my solution in a quote:
“You see, you’re giving others too much power as you even acknowledge how they make you feel. What you’ve got to decide is how I’m going to feel. We would go to a Virtual Reality and we would practice feeling good. Manifestations come on the heels of what you’ve conjured in thought.” ~ Abraham
What Abraham is saying is that the power I gave away to that incident, in that moment, is mine to take back. If I had the power to give it, I have the power to take it back.
This has been an important life lesson for me.
I hope that somewhere it will strike a chord of where you might be giving away power. Yes, there may be physical things required to take it back. But, psychologically, what you first have to do to take power back is decide.
Let us know in the Comments section below what “Aha!” you might have had reading this. It can be very powerful.
Bio: Sharon O’Day fixes financial lives. She is a tell-it-like-it-is money expert with a successful career in global finance, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in getting entrepreneurial women over 50 back on their game so they can have more money, less stress and more joy. With her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” strategies, they take actions that lead to their ultimate goal: financial peace of mind.