The Blessings of a Personal Crisis

By David Geller   |   January 6, 2014

At some point, we all face a personal crisis.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a serious illness, the loss of a job, bankruptcy, divorce, or another significant personal challenge, having a crisis is an inevitable part of life.

When we face a crisis, it is never an easy time.  We are often left feeling like our life has been turned upside down.  We feel lost and confused, wondering what to do next. Sadly, most of us add to our misery by blaming ourselves for our misfortune; we beat ourselves up for not behaving differently or for being unsure of how to handle things.

But consider this: when we engage in self-attack, we often feel less confident, more anxious and more depressed – none of which help us work through the crisis at hand.  The next time you face a personal crisis, instead of attacking yourself, tap into the power of self-compassion.

  • Embrace your humanity. Acknowledge that you did the best you could.  Like the rest of us, you are not perfect; perhaps you made some mistakes.  That is part of life and part of the human condition.
  • Give yourself permission to feel sad.  Give yourself some space to reflect and regroup. Connect with others who have undergone a similar challenge. Often our broken heart allows us to establish loving connections with others, and in doing so, help us heal.
  • Use this crisis to add to your wealth. Wisdom is the key element of our wealth.  Think about what you did well and what you wish you had done differently. Think about how you can avoid making the same mistakes again, or how you can protect yourself better in the future. The wisdom and knowledge you gain during this crisis could help you weather your next challenge.
  • Most importantly, realize that today’s crisis often gives birth to new opportunities, new relationships, and a new and better life.  Rarely does anything new occur without the loss of something old.  

Crises can be heartbreaking and challenging, but by practicing self-compassion, we can avoid adding to our misery and we can look for the blessings of new-found wisdom and new opportunities.

About the Author

CEO David Geller co-founded the firm in 1991 and led the creation of Behavioral Wealth Management. Recognized on numerous prestigious "top financial advisor" lists, David is an in-demand speaker for professional groups and JOYN workshops. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post.

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