“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
I love this quote from Albert Einstein and when it comes to money, we all make money mistakes.
Not only do we make mistakes but then we feel horrible about them and ourselves.
Can you relate? Have you ever struggled with being critical of yourself over a money mistake? Are you weighed down with regret over what you did or didn’t do? Do you keep thinking and thinking and thinking, going round and round wishing you’d done things differently?
Me too! To make it worse we don’t talk about it! Compare this to when we make a mistake in our relationships; we get together with our girlfriends over a glass of wine and hash over the “I can’t believe I did that!”
But when it comes to money, we can be particularly self-critical; suffering with anxiety, regret and shame. Oh and we also replay our money mistakes over and over in our head, mostly in isolation.
Time to heal those feelings of ‘could have’ – ‘should have’!
First step; talk about it and name the regret. Mistakes are not who we are, they are what we do with what we know. Get clear about the regret or mistake you made and speak the truth to someone. We carry around the shame worrying someone will judge us; “If they only knew the truth, then they would see that I am a bad person” or whatever story you have made up and are lugging around.
Speaking our truth heals, so get clear about the regret… and tell someone. Who do you trust with your regret? Who would not judge you but would simply listen and love you anyways? It helps to be specific about what you regret.
“I regret acquiring that $25,000 in credit card debt over the last few years.”
“I regret borrowing money from my friend 4 years ago and never paying it back.”
“I regret buying a house that I couldn’t really afford.”
“I regret not saving more money.”
“I regret taking out student loans and then not finishing school.”
When you do speak your truth out loud, it heals you. When my clients ‘come clean’ and finally unburden their guilt, shame or embarrassment, they’ve described it as ‘coming out of the closet with their deep dark secret’. This is healing. It’s done, it’s out and now we can deal with it.
The next step, and this is what sets me apart when it comes to talking about money, is now we need to name the underlying belief that has been fueling the behaviour.
Some examples I hear are;
“I think I believed that I didn’t have to really care about my spending. My parents never did.”
“I guess I had this fantasy that I would make enough money to pay the loan/credit card back.”
“Well, I thought that my income would go up to afford it.”
“I believed that I didn’t really have to think about the future, I was too wrapped up in the present. I believed that things would magically always work out.”
“I think I was at a loss as to what to do with my life, so I decided to hide in school for a while.”
Uncovering the underlying beliefs, is healing your relationship with money from the inside-out. If you don’t get to the root of the cause, you’ll find yourself repeating the same old mistake over and over. Maybe you get this intimately? Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the problems by ourselves; when you’re in the picture, you can’t see the frame.
The most important step is to forgive yourself. Let me say that again…. forgive yourself. I always say; when you know better you’ll do better. You’ve done the best you can with what you’ve been taught or experienced so far. And besides, you’re human, to err is human. Your life can be at stake here, so please be mindful that mistakes are inevitable, you ARE human.
If we don’t forgive ourselves and get help we are jeopardizing not only our emotional well-being but our physical well-being too. This can lead to dis-ease and in extreme cases death; self-inflicted and from illness. Now I don’t mean to be Debby Downer here, but I know how desperate people can get, I’ve lived it myself. I have been at that place of feeling that there is no hope or answers. What saved me was getting help from a mentor and friends.
You can do this with the help of your friends, a mentor or a coach for the sake of not only your health but your future self.
Some people have a hard time forgiving because they confuse it with forgetting. They’re not the same! You don’t have to forget, you can use what happened as amazing fuel to move you forward. And you deserve to forgive yourself. What happened is one piece of your life, but it’s not YOU. And remember that it’s a process. You can start by saying, “I’m in the process of forgiving myself.” Repeat ten times a day, for a week.
The key… find the silver lining; what did you learn? The school of hard knocks is hard, but it isn’t called a “school” for nothing. What would you do differently? If this hadn’t happened, might it have happened in the future in a bigger or different way? There is a learning here, treat it as a gift.
The good that will come out of this is that you can take new actions to feel better. Cut up your credit cards, get help from a mentor, coach, family or friends. Start saving and take some healthier steps with money. Do you need to talk to your banker, mortgage broker? Is it time to hire a money coach? Pick one action and move forward because it’ll feel so good!
The truth is that making money mistakes does NOT define who we are.
What we do about them, though, does say a lot. It’s our ability to see and learn and grow that makes us amazing human beings. Transforming and healing your relationship to money is a journey, full of twists and turns at times. But it is a journey none-the-less. Is it time to forgive yourself so you can continue the journey?
Life can be short, don’t let your money worries weigh you down. Don’t settle…it’s time to have fun!
I’m here to hold your hand and help you believe that you are worth it and build a plan with you to get what you really want; what you may have only dreamed about. Why? …Because dreams do come true.
If you would like to talk about your situation with me…click here to contact me. No judgement, I’ve been there and I’m a great listener and I can help!
Don’t give up, get going and believe!
Love and support,