It is a jungle out there?
How many times have you wondered if you are where you want professionally? Deadlines, workload, responsibilities create negative thoughts which can be intrusive. We worry about our future, if we can cover our monthly expenses, if we are meeting our employer’s or our friends’ and family’s expectations. Sometimes we wake up and think ‘How am I going to get through this day?‘ We worry about our performance and we fear the unknown. The feeling of uncertainty can become so intense that will add up to the pressure, which is already piling up every day. We try hard not to explode but eventually, one way or the other we will release this negative energy. It might be anger in the form displacement when we yell to our mother or our significant other. It might be substance abuse to block our negative thoughts. It might be sexual addiction that could be our response to pressure. It might be withdrawal and binge eating. It could be anything that could create an escape from this reality.
Some things are out of our control. For example during times of financial crisis when there is high unemployment people get laid off and have to restructure their whole life. It is not their responsibility how a financial crisis is created but it is in their control how to make a new career plan. There are cases of people who are working in the wrong field or industry in the sense that their true self would want to work somewhere else. Some cannot decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they are 18 years old. That is why we see people changing careers all the time. Money is very important and I know how family expectations can direct us that way, but our values must be aligned to our professional life.
It is so common nowadays to meet women who spend so much time, money and energy to study and work. They work so hard their way up and stop everything to start a family. It is reasonable to do that, if this feels fulfilling for them. But in cases when women want other roles in their life besides being a mom and a wife then an investment in their academics or their career should have a return and not be just an experience. This is unique for everyone, but the main theme is that we should pursue career goals which make us feel good about ourself, create income that is related to our worth and be strategic about the future.
Financial stress is one of the most important types of stress and it affects our well being, our mental health and our purpose in life. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleeping disorders, low self esteem, anger, loneliness, lack of sexual desire and more.
Is it too late?
I have been dealing with financial stress most of my life. I had created so many fixed expenses that when my income was substantially decreased I was scared that I would lose everything. That was my first lesson, which I learned the hard way. Low fixed expenses are the key. Over the years I created a strategy on how to anticipate, how to track expenses, how to save and how to be financially independent. That means being able to meet yearly financial demands. Another challenging milestone was changing careers. That was a very hard decision for me because I had to create a new professional identity. It seemed scary. Would people think I am a failure? Am I too old to change career? Well, No and No. Apparently, I am far better at helping, guiding, teaching, supporting people as a Mentor, a strategist and a Volunteer and this is also aligned with my core value of contribution. The famous neurotransmitter serotonin is secreted every time I see the positive impact in someone’s life; I see them smile and I feel good. That simple. As far as time is concerned, trust me when I say ‘time’ is in your mind. It is never too late to change anything you want to change in your life. It is normal to worry about how your life could be affected. Outside the comfort zone is where growth and all the exciting experiences happen. The ultimate goal is to feel happy and fulfilled. If you spend too much time in a working environment, which causes frustration, then every day will be a direct hit to your mental health. Psychosomatic symptoms are so common nowadays that we have started to normalize them. Our body is screaming at us and we must listen.
Pursue your dreams
I will share everything I have experienced and all of my knowledge to keep you from making my mistakes. We will identify all the dysfunctional ways you deal with financial stress. We will prioritize and reconsider your values and your needs. We will address practical daily issues and step-by-step ways to manage them. We will set your dreams and your sense of purpose in focus. Conscious decisions will unleash the hidden potential you already have in you.
Dr. George Lagios
PhD, M.Sc. (CBT)
Dr. George Lagios holds a master’s degree in psychology, specifically in cognitive behavioural therapy, and a PhD in sexology. He is a professor of Psychosexual Therapy and author of two best sellers Would You Choose You as Your Parent? (2018) and Inside Your Mind (2020). He is also a clinical mental health counselor, psychotherapist and speaker. He has received the President’s Achievement Award from the Hellenic American Association and continues his research work on erotic desire.