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How Do You Handle Transitions?

One of my favorite aspects of growing up in Asheville was that we experienced four distinct seasons.  When I grew up and lived in other parts of the country, I appreciated this distinction, and now understand that it matches my curiosity and excitement about what may happen next as change unfolds. My basic personality type seeks out change, and I look forward to the seasonal transitions as nature showcases something new in each one. As we enter the fall season, many of us become aware of the shifting feeling of a transition.  It can show up as an uncertain rumbling of anxiety, or as excitement as the crisp fresh air replaces the summer heat.  How do you handle transitions, whether it is the change of seasons, a new job or home, or a major life transition from a divorce or loss of a loved one?  Our core personality may influence how we approach these chapters, and influence our coping ability.

There are two types of change: external (marriage/divorce, having children, moving, changing jobs) and internal (how attitudes toward change are shaped).

Change theorists surmise there are three stages of change (source):

Stage 1: grieving whatever you are letting go of

Stage 2: period of doubt and uncertainty, where most of the action is internal, i.e. how you’re processing the change

Stage 3: light at the end of the tunnel, where plans begin to take shape and action is ready to be enacted. This is the period where hope for a better outcome begins to take hold

Finding coping mechanisms helps with navigating transition, especially the big ones. (source)

  • Expect a certain amount of anxiety or depression. Even positive changes often mean the loss of something in our lives, i.e. changing jobs means saying goodbye to coworkers we’ve come to think of as friends, buying a house or moving to another state could mean leaving behind a beloved home full of memories, or saying goodbye to friends.
  • Realize this is a new chapter. While acknowledging the losses is healthy, avoid living in the past, and this can be accomplished by thinking of the new thing as a fresh start.
  • Think positively about the transition bringing opportunity. The expression, “When one door closes, another opens,” may be clichéd, but it can also be true. Perhaps a career transition forced by a layoff can become an opportunity to learn a new skill to take your expertise in another, more exciting direction.
  • Avoid stagnation. The longer you take to get started on your new journey, the more chance there is to become inured in routine that feels comfortable but may not be very fulfilling
  • Have a support system. Going through change alone is daunting to say the least, but relying on friends, family, or counselors/coaches can help you maintain your momentum and move forward.
  • Make sure your expectations and timeframes are realistic. There will be difficulties associated with the changes, but taking them one at a time helps keep them from being overwhelming. Biting off more than you can chew is a quick path to giving up. However, by taking the change in manageable chunks helps you not only navigate the transition, but when you look back, you can see how far you’ve come. If you’re visual, make a list and mark how long the tasks take to do, and by the time you’re near completion, you can see how far you’ve come. For example, someone wanting to change careers may need a degree to enter the desired new field. That’s a big obstacle, but going about it one class at a time, they can manage it in smaller doses and before long, degree in hand, they can begin their chosen path and be proud of progress made.

At Earth Equity Advisors, we have noticed that our biggest competition is often not another financial firm, but inertia.

Some people explore responsible investing, yet feel overwhelmed with the thought of moving accounts and establishing a relationship with a new financial advisor.  They may even cringe with they open their statement and see that some long-held investments do not match their values, yet making a change feels like it will take more energy than they can muster up.

At a recent conference, the keynote speaker referenced a psychologist’s statement that as consumers, our first decision to buy a product or service is from the right side of the brain—how it feels to us, rather than all the analytics of price, value, product quality, etc. that come from the left side of the brain.  When it feels right to you, making changes and navigating the transition can feel empowering and positive.

Here’s to embracing change as we enter fall, and cheering nature as the leaves change color—they make transition look easy

A Look at Your Financial Health

I was honored to write an article for Women AdvaNCe, “A Look at Your Financial Health.”

Women AdvaNCe is a not for profit organization that delivers thoughtful content and builds a supportive community that empowers women and enables women leaders to further the cause of full equality in North Carolina.

READ AN EXCERPT:

Just like an annual physical exam, it is helpful to take a look at your financial health at least once a year.  Having the knowledge to not only handle money responsibly, but to use it to create the life you want, and that reflects who you are, improves all aspects of your day-to-day living.

More women are now making the financial decisions for their family, including investment decisions. According to the Family Wealth Advisors Council, nearly 95% of women will be their family’s primary decision maker at some point in their lives.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WOMEN ADVANCE

Women Are Leading More Investment Strategies…Here’s Why

“Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for. Our life energy is our allotment of time here on earth, the hours of precious life available to us….it is limited and irretrievable…our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on earth.”

—Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, Your Money or Your Life

Contrary to the popular belief, money isn’t a man’s game. More and more women are now making the financial decisions for their family, including investment strategy.

According to the Family Wealth Advisors Council:

  • In four of 10 American families, the woman is the breadwinner.
  • Nearly 95% of women will be their family’s primary decision maker at some point in their lives.
  • Women account for more than 40% of all Americans with gross investable assets of more than $600,000 and 48% of the country’s millionaires.
  • An estimated $25 trillion will accrue to women through 2030 via generational and spousal transfers. (By then, at least two-thirds of the nation’s wealth will be in women’s hands.)

Generally speaking, women put energy into the areas they care deeply about.

How they behave with money is a gauge that reflects these values.

Just as women are carefully reading food labels and altering household purchases to keep their families healthy, they are also thinking about the entire path and impact of each and every dollar they spend…especially when it comes to moving larger amounts of their money around.

What kind of company or service do they want to support (or avoid) to reflect their value systems?

The moment they go with either-or is the moment that choice reflects them as an individual, a partner, wife, mother, employee or employer. Many women are curious about the overall behavior of the corporate entity that make specific products, and will actively complete research or seek out companies that exhibit the values and attributes that match their view of the world. These attributes may include treating employees and suppliers honorably, giving back to the local community, and using only their fair share of environmental resources.

Women are currently leading a sweeping divestment-reinvestment shift in finance.

They are choosing to invest in and support companies that hold a triple bottom line philosophy. This means a company not only pays attention to making a profit, it is also socially and environmentally responsible.

The sheer volume of dollars women are making decisions about will shape the future of the investment markets.

This act of consciously investing will affect both sides of the gender coin–it already has in certain governments, institutions, endowments, and financial groups.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, do a check-in with your financial and investment decisions, and see if you’re making choices that reflect your values.


To schedule an appointment with Leesa Sluder, contact us.