I REALLY messed up recently. During a time of too much change, I made a bad decision that cost me a lot of money.
For a very good reason, I had decided to move from one city to another. That meant resigning from one job and finding a new one, and leaving my apartment in one city and finding a new one. It was a lot, but seemed manageable to me… as long as nothing went wrong.
I quickly found a new job and had to start there within less than a week. No worries, I thought to myself, I can stay on site during the week (this was offered), go home to my old city on the weekends, and take my time to find an apartment in my new city. After two nights on site, it became apparent that staying there wasn’t going to work for me. First, the kitchen was unusable. And second, the bed was so small, it felt as though I was sleeping in an undersized coffin. That was the first thing that went wrong.
The second thing that went wrong was that my new job was much more intense than I had ever imagined. Plus I wasn’t enjoying the work at all. That was the third thing. And the fourth was that no landlord I’d come across in my initial search seemed to be willing to consider me as a tenant. I didn’t have the paperwork required to rent an apartment (I hadn’t been living in the country long enough).
Overwhelm started to set in big time.
I felt under enormous pressure to find an apartment. So when, after two weeks, I found a landlord who would rent me one as long as I paid six months’ rent upfront, I grabbed it. Without wasting a moment, I signed the lease and paid the money. ALL I wanted was to remove the apartment pressure from myself so I would feel less overwhelmed.
What a mistake I made. The landlord was a con man and the apartment had such a severe noise problem that I was forced to leave after only a couple of months. When I tried to break the lease, the landlord was able to delay and manipulate things in such a way that I ended up paying four months of rent for somewhere I wasn’t living any longer.
A decision I made when feeling completely overwhelmed ended up costing me a lot of money.
What should I have done instead?
I should have stopped making ANY important decisions until the overwhelm passed. I could have stayed at a hotel temporarily – even a three-month stay would have cost me less than the money I lost on the apartment. I should have tapped into some patience.
The minute you start feeling overwhelmed is the minute you need to sit down. And do these three things:
- Stop taking on more change.
- Stop making important decisions.
- Start assimilating the recent changes you’ve made into your life so they feel more comfortable.
Stop. Assimilate. Decide.
And give yourself a break. Plus a pat on the back. You’ve earned it.