Gloria Jefferson: The Power of Financial Freedom and Mental Health

Who is Gloria?

When asked, Gloria points out that when she introduces herself, “first and foremost, I am a child of God before I list my credentials.” She points out that people think that they have to point out things so soon and list who they are, yet for herself, she is a woman who is both developing and learning. She is a mom, a wife, and somebody who decided to take a chance in the community.

What is your advice for someone who is struggling on feeling that they always have to be busy all the time?

“Just let it go.” Gloria points out that one must do this because, in her journey, she has stopped looking for perfection and approval. The minute she starts to thrive and be herself, she states that you just have to not be too hard on yourself. Her advice is, “if you start to feel overwhelmed, take a step back, a breather, and come back with a different mindset.” It is good to celebrate the small steps. She claps for herself and patches herself during this journey.

What is Path of Progress all about?

She is for self-sufficient traders in the foreign exchange market, but she also incorporates mental health. She points out that “you can’t talk about money without pointing out mental health, especially emotional behaviors.” It has been seen that many can experience depression or even suicidal ideation due to money, especially if they are struggling financially. With Path of Progress, it allows you to control your own money, and since they are learning, both she and the students would be learning as they go. “It is money, mindset, and motivation.” She is not only learning about financial literacy but also helping students learn to understand and deal with their mental health, primarily due to financial problems.

Why is mental health important to you?

The journey she grew up in an impoverished environment. With her mom being a single mom, mental health surrounded Gloria, and in the ’80s, it was at an all-time high. For Gloria, being surrounded by it made her want to do something to change it. As she grew up, she was faced with depression, so she thought she could not enter the mental health field due to her own depression. But when she talked to a psychiatrist, she brought this up. One thing the psychiatrist stated that stuck with Gloria is “everyone deals with mental health problems, even mental health advocates. What better person to help with mental health is someone who also deals with it.” She later realized that many causes of mental health issues, especially for lower-income communities, are due to finances. She brought up that if you imagine a world where everybody is rich, mental health would not be at an all-time high. Especially since many could afford unexpected costs, a better living, and a recession.

What do you think people can do to make the workplace more equitable to reduce trauma and advocate for mental health?

First, an in-depth mental health assessment should be required and given to the employees. They should make a requirement for all staff in their time or in training to just sit down with someone as a requirement. She states that it can help incorporate self-development in the workplace, and the workplace would be a more healthy environment. When you get management on board, it can create a real change.

What was it like starting your own business?

Starting a business was easy. The “being consistent” part was difficult, or so I thought. In all actuality, it was my mindset. I had to break the relationship I had with money. She brings up that she learned to not be afraid of investing her money and not let money control her. It is not easy, but it is essential to break it because most people start with a business and then do not see it make any progress and quit. But once you understand that money is a tool and sometimes it takes a lot of tools to fix a problem, you will see a positive change in your business. Most people want to avoid taking risks because the more you hold into them, the more you will fail as an entrepreneur.

What is your advice on overcoming the fear of failure?

“It does not go away.” Gloria points out that when it comes to that fear of failing in your business, that feeling will not entirely disappear as much as you want it to. “You just have to have something inside of you that screams louder than the voice of fear.” Rather than losing to that fear, you need to listen to that inner voice that is confident in fueling you in your journey. You need to ask yourself why that voice is trying to give you that fear and reason with yourself. It takes a lot of rewiring, but Gloria states that once you get used to listening to that inner voice telling you to keep going, the voice of fear will only be a whisper.

Is there anything else you want to talk about, anything you are working on?

It’s important to talk about money freely, and being uncomfortable with it helps not stigmatize discussing finance. In regards to breaking that stigma of not talking about financial literacy, Gloria states that in many cases, there is the fear of asking for a raise for a 9-5 job. No matter what field you are in, many still have built that relationship with money because of the fear of losing money.

What do you think about the statement that more money is more evil?

Gloria states that is why no one wants to talk about money. We were taught from a young age, especially if we come from a lower-income household, that money is the root of all evil. Yet if you were raised in a wealthy home, you were taught that money is a tool. Gloria states that the minute you say you want to be comfortable with your money, you just want to be comfortable. In contrast, others are left to be uncomfortable. You want to use money as a tool to not only help yourself but as well as need to help others. Something can happen with stability and may cause you to return to being unstable. Yet when you think about having more money, you can have something happen and still have enough for yourself. When it comes to investment, it opens so many worlds. It opens other investments. While you may have yet to be taught growing up, it’s never too late to learn. Especially with free resources available, it just depends on you if you are ready to get uncomfortable with learning.

Money provides more opportunities. With cash, you can pay to get help regarding mental health. This is why learning what to do with money and how to invest can help you grow your money and deal with your mental health. Many businesses should incorporate mental health to support the workplace and develop what is behind the company. Gloria points out she has never heard of people from higher-income households stating that going to a mental health place has not helped them, but rather those in lower-income households state that those places do not help them. She says that that makes her think that the help provided to those with a lower income is not the same quality as those who support a higher income. The pandemic has taught us that mental health was there, to begin with. “Not surviving but living.” In a way, do what is needed to help with your mental health and get out of that mindset that you are just surviving. Gloria states that we are all students. No matter what age, we can still continue growing in our mental health or, in this case, our finances.

Do you have any lasting thoughts?

“Be open to change.” When a person is uncomfortable, welcome it because it means things are changing. Definitely get some mental health and consider it even when you’re moving in this world.

Written by Fatima Santoyo

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