As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I know it can be hard to separate our emotions from our finances. We trick ourselves into believing money can solve our problems. If only we have that luxury car, that dream house, then we’ll be happy, we think. On the other end of the spectrum, when we struggle, we can’t always untangle our self-worth from our bank account balance. But here’s the thing: It is truly not in your best interest to beat yourself up, particularly if you’re looking to rebuild after bankruptcy. Holding onto shame will only make it harder to heal.
Throughout my career as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve seen so many families turn a new leaf after bankruptcy. They go on to lead wonderful, rewarding lives. There’s a common thread in all of those success stories: perseverance. The people who can let go of the shame, who refuse to give up, are the ones who make the most of their fresh start. Here is my advice for navigating the tough emotions that bankruptcy can inspire.
Many perceptions about bankruptcy are untrue.
Bankruptcy has been unfairly stigmatized. There are many inaccurate myths about bankruptcy that perpetuate the stigma, and often prevent people from seeking a solution that will fix their families’ finances. People fear their finances are beyond repair. They fear that everyone, even family members, will judge them. They worry that their credit score will be irreparably damaged — which is absolutely false. These beliefs lead to more fear, which makes the process, and the aftermath, more difficult. Tune out the naysayers. You have no reason to feel shame, because all the negative things these people are telling you have no validity.
You are not alone.
A lot of bankruptcy filers feel isolated. They think that they not only have they failed, but also that they are unique in having done so. First, let me state explicitly that you are not a failure for filing for bankruptcy. In fact, it’s the most responsible thing you can do. But secondly, anyone filing is not alone. Just look at the numbers. For instance, in 2016, 800,000 people filed throughout the United States. You are also not alone when you have a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer like me by your side. Yes, the process can be overwhelming, but I am here to help you every step of the way.
Be proud of yourself.
The amount of shame you feel is dependent upon your perception. So my advice to you is that instead of viewing bankruptcy as a failure, think of it as a new path — as the beginning of a new future. You have many reasons to feel proud. You are doing the best thing for your family. In fact, many studies have found a link between children’s stress and their family’s debt. Another misconception I hear is that bankruptcy will be a burden on the kids. It’s actually relieving their stress, in both the short term and the long term. It isn’t easy to take that first step, so rather than feel ashamed, give yourself a pat on the back for your courage. And above all, don’t give up.
Talk to a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer today.
We’ve helped thousands of people get out of debt. And we’ll offer every resource we can to help you do the same, so you can rebuild and get the future you’ve dreamed of.