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Hosted by
Mike Ayala

When you think of grief, what comes to mind?

A break-up, or maybe the loss of a loved one. If you have not already started down your own road of understanding grief, you may still be stalled on the first stage of coping with grief.

You may be in denial about the grief you are experiencing in this collective, global experience we all have been sharing. In times like this, it is vital to not only understand your own grief but realize that we all experience that grief differently.

This episode shares something extremely valuable during this major life event. We are all in a transition stage. We are learning how to adjust and adapt to the changes that come our way. We talk about what the Kübler-Ross model is and how in times like this, a part of us through grief literally dies.

“Everything unsustainable has now collapsed.”
“When systems collapse, people rise.”


  • [0:01] Show Introduction 
  • [0:33] Start of the Podcast 
  • [0:48] Kübler-Ross model
  • [1:05] In Times Like This Part of Us Dies 
  • [1:59] The Five Stages of Grief 
  • [2:05] Rethinking the Grieving Process 
  • [2:53] What’s Important to One Person Isn’t Important to Another 
  • [3:18] Get Honest with Your Grief 
  • [3:29] The Fear and Confusion That Comes with Denial 
  • [3:49] Acceptance, the First Step to Moving On  
  • [4:14] Dealing with the Depression in Guilt 
  • [5:22] Moving on to Bargaining 
  • [6:12] The Five Keys to Freedom 
  • [7:06] People Will Need to Take Time 
  • [8:18] The Light at the End of the Tunnel 
  • [9:10] What are You Still Living in Denial About? 
  • [9:43] Financial Challenges Create Opportunities 
  • [9:56] The New Normal 
  • [10:09] Investing for Freedom Facebook Group 
  • [10:34] You Do Not Have to Do This Alone 
  • [11:09] Outro 



[Intro] Are you looking for freedom? Freedom from the daily grind and hustle, or just finding a way to live the life you always wanted. Then join us on the investing for freedom podcast. Our host, Mike Ayala, will help you discover new ways to find freedom with tips, insights, and interviews. You’ll learn the exact systems he’s used to travel the world and live his best life. True success and happiness are all about freedom. And here’s your roadmap on how to find freedom on your own terms. Welcome to the investing for freedom podcast. Here’s your host, Mike Ayala.

[Mike] Today on the investing for freedom podcast, I want to talk to you about something that I think will be valuable to you in this period of time when we’re all in transition, we’re adjusting. We’re having to change our goals and the way that we are handling things. It’s called the Kübler-Ross grief cycle. And I was on a call, I don’t know, probably three or four weeks ago with some friends that I meet with twice a week on a zoom call. It’s a group of five of us that just an accountability group, brainstorming group. It’s what we call a pod in GoBundance. But anyway, we were kind of talking and we were, I was just sharing with them that I really think that in times like this part of us literally die. And so, you know, just going backwards. I mean, we’re sitting here, I think it’s April 27th. And so literally four months ago, we were all working on our goals. We were doing our goal planning, that kind of stuff for 2020, and just looking through what an amazing year it was going to be. And by the way, it still can be an amazing year. Don’t lose hope just because some outside forces have caused us to adjust, does not mean that you can’t have a phenomenal year and a phenomenal next couple years. Is there a lot of change? Yes. We’re going to have a lot of challenges. Absolutely. But how we deal with this cycle of grief, which is the Kübler-Ross grief cycle that I want to talk to you about is going to determine the outcome.

So the five stages of grief or denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. Mike, why are we talking about grief? Nobody died here. Typically when we think about the phases of grief, it’s we’re grieving a loss in our life. A loved one, a family member, a husband, a wife, a child. And that’s typically how we do move through it, but I can tell you what, when your dreams are shattered, your hope shattered, your financial growth strategy is shattered, your business is falling apart. For the kids that had sports careers in high school that have been derailed, there’s people on both sides of this like, “oh, it’s just high school. It’s no big deal.” yeah, it’s a huge deal. For those kids that poured everything into their senior year, and they were working at being the valedictorian, what’s important to one person isn’t important to another and we shouldn’t be judging each other right now on what we’re grieving on. But why are we talking about the grief cycle? Because in one

way, shape or form, all of us have had something die and we need to observe and recognize the five stages of grief. So again, it’s denial, it’s anger, it’s depression, it’s bargaining and its acceptance.

And if you’ll just think through it and you’ll get honest with yourself. You’ll probably see that you’ve probably moved through some of these grief cycles. Denial is like, no, this can’t be happening. It’s shock. It’s confusion. What the heck just happened? It’s fear. What are we going to do? And then all of a sudden, we moved to the next phase, which is anger. And I’m telling you right now, the faster we can identify and move through these phases, the faster we can start coming off the other side, which is acceptance. It’s exploring new options. It’s putting a new plan in place. It’s moving on. So we go from denial, avoidance, confusion, relation, shock, fear to anger. It’s frustration. We’re irritated. We have a sense of anxiety because we don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know how to move. We don’t know how to adjust. And then this is potentially the worst possible phase of the whole grief cycle. If we don’t continue to push through it. It’s depression. We start feeling overwhelmed, helpless. There’s a sense of hostility, flight. We have to be really careful in that depression stage.

If we don’t start moving into bargaining and which is literally struggling to find meaning, reaching out to others, telling our story, communicating, being honest. If we don’t start moving into bargaining and we stay in depression, this is when we start fighting with our spouses and our partners. And literally right now across the country, domestic violence is skyrocketing. People are cooped up; the kids are cooped up. This is a stressful time for everybody. It’s a stressful time for our kids. You got to understand what they’re going through too. I mean, their emotional intelligence is potentially not as high as ours is. And they’re living in fear too. They’re watching us live in fear and anxiety and not understanding what’s happening. So you have to be really careful about this depression stage. The way to move into bargaining. Again, it’s literally defined as struggling to find meaning, reaching out to others. There’s a key in this, telling one story, reaching out to others, telling one story, reaching out to others. If we don’t do what I’m able to do, like with my pod and with Kara, my wife and my partner and friends, if we don’t start being real about our emotions and being honest, we can’t move into bargaining and we definitely can’t get to acceptance.

A lot of us don’t want to talk about our fear and our anxiety. We don’t want to talk about the anger and our depression, but I’m telling you that’s the step toward winning all this. And eventually we move into acceptance. So that’s exploring new

options, new plan in place. Moving on.

I want to bring this back to the five keys to freedom. What do you really want? Why do you want it? What are you going to do to get it? Measure results and adjust. And I’ve said to you several times in the last couple of weeks, like the adjusting is key because sometimes outside forces come in and they dictate to us, they throw us off track and we have to adjust whether we wanted to, whether financial markets dictate that we need to, whether we determine that it’s just not what we really wanted. It doesn’t really matter what the reasoning is. We’ve got to be flexible and adjust. And so that’s at an acceptance stage. And I’m telling you, anybody that’s going to be successful in the backside of this downturn, I have a feeling guys that this is going to get a little worse before it gets better. This is not just about, you know, the quarantine and everybody’s going to be back out me first. And it’s business back to normal. We have so many people, I’m not here to get into the pros and cons against opening the economy back up and stopping, flattening the curve. That’s not what I’m here to talk about today. But even if we get our businesses opened back up, it’s going to take a while for that level of customers to come back. It’s going to take time for people to start spending money again. It’s going to take time for people to get comfortable. And even if we do open up, social distancing and the spread and the way things are going to have to be managed.

If your business was struggling before this happened, it’s not going to just roll right back to, everything’s great. Otto Scharmer made a comment that I was on a training the other day. He said everything unsustainable is now collapsing. The other side of that one, when systems collapse, people rise to the occasion. So this is the acceptance piece. Once we start bargaining and we struggled to find meaning and we get through this grief cycle, the faster we can move through this process, identify it, realize what’s going on with us. Denial, anger, depression, the faster you can identify that and move through those stages of grief. I’m not telling you to ignore them, move through it, let the emotions flow, deal with it, journal, have conversations around it. The faster we can move through that and start going into a bargaining and then ultimately acceptance, the win on the other side of this, everything’s changing. And when systems collapsed, people rise.

What are the opportunities on the other side of this? That’s acceptance. It’s exploring new options. It’s putting a new plan in place. It’s moving on. So literally, so many of us have had our dreams, our goals, not only for 2020 but the things that we were, everything has changed for everybody. We’ve literally, we have to accept that something has died. Our dreams have died, our plans have died. Certain businesses are never going to come back. We have to accept that and move on. Put

a new plan in place, that’s literally the fifth part of the grief cycle. Put a new plan in place and move on.

So here’s my question for you. What are you still living in denial on? What are you not moving through the process? What areas do you have your head in the sand and you’re not moving through that? You’re still stuck at denial. I’m not telling you that the world is ending. I’m telling you the world is completely changed and everything that we knew six weeks ago and six months ago is completely different. With the amount of money that’s being printed. With the bailouts happening the way that they are, we’re going to have some financial challenges ahead of us, but it also creates opportunity and that’s where the acceptance piece comes in. I can’t say it enough, move through the grief cycle. Realize that things are not going to go back to normal. There’s a new normal, if you find yourself at a place where you’re needing help, determining what the new normal looks like and you’re having a challenge putting a new plan in place and moving on, I would encourage you to go find the investing for freedom Facebook community. We’ve got a lot of good things coming up in there. I’ve got a lot of friends that are going to help us, come in and do some lives and some teaching and Kara and I are going to drop in there once a week and do some couples conversations. Just a lot of amazing value.

So as you’re working through this grief cycle and you are bargaining, struggling to find meaning, reaching out to others, telling one story, moving to the acceptance phase, make sure you’re not doing it alone. If you’ve got a support community, great. If you’re looking for a great place, I would just encourage you to reach out to the investing for freedom Facebook community. You’ve obviously already found the podcast and I appreciate you. I hope this was valuable today and I would just encourage you to really dig deep, do some inner reflection, and just really understand what’s happened here and what stage of the grief cycle you’re in and just move through it as fast as possible. It’s a process, but I’ll tell you what, the faster you get through it and you get to that acceptance and you start moving on and create a new life, a new way, the faster you’re going to get to whatever that is. So I appreciate you, have a great day.

[Outro] If you found value in this episode and you know someone who’s wanting to start or move further along in their journey toward investing for freedom, I would be forever grateful if you would share this show with them and help me get this message out to more listeners. Also, if you enjoy what you’ve heard, I would appreciate it if you’d take 30 seconds and leave me a five-star review and share this with your friends and until the next episode, cheers to moving further along in your journey of investing for freedom.

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