by Leah Hadley
Are you troubled by mistakes you’ve made with your money? Ever ruminate or shake your head with resolve never to do “that again”! Remembering financial mistakes with regret gets in the way of efforts to secure your financial future. Recognizing the mistake and observing yourself in a pattern that corrects the problem is the most important step in allowing you the freedom to make new money goals. Be honest-are you really still being haunted by the financial mistakes of your past?
Here’s an example from one of my clients. She gave me permission to use this story, but I will not share her name to protect her privacy. I’ll call her Sally. Sally came to me about two years after her divorce was finalized. All the items in her decree had not yet been settled, even two years after the divorce was final. This is not all that uncommon.
However, Sally was very angry with herself for not getting everything taken care of. She was angry with her ex-husband about the divorce itself and she was angry with her attorney because she felt like she had been taken advantage of. And there were still financial issues that needed to be resolved. For Sally, the greatest source of her anger was feeling like she had no control over her situation.
There is nothing wrong with getting angry. In fact, it can be very motivating. The problem is when the anger festers and limits our opportunities for growth. In Sally’s case, she was stuck in the practical sense because there were practical issues that needed to be dealt with – calls that needed to be made and forms that needed to be filled out. She was also stuck emotionally and energetically because of the anger that was consuming her.
Forgiving yourself is an important step in allowing you to move closer to your goals.Take a minute to think about mistakes you’ve made with money in the past. Now tune into your body. Do you feel yourself holding the negative energy in your body? If so, where do you feel it? How would you describe it?
For Sally, forgiving herself was a huge step in resolving her financial mistakes. Once she forgave herself and focused on her goals, we were able to quickly resolve the relevant financial matters. In this case, it even opened Sally up to finding a new relationship. Once she released her anger, she was open to attracting positivity into her life.
The Power of Forgiveness & Planning
Are you holding on to financial mistakes you’ve made in the past? In Sally’s case, there were issues that we were able to resolve. That’s not always the
case. Regardless, forgiving yourself for you past blunders and creating a financial plan for moving forward is powerful.
I often here from clients, “If only I had started saving sooner…” Well, we cannot change the past. However, there is no benefit to staying mad at yourself for something that could have done or should have done.
In addition to anger, shame often comes up when I talk with people about their financial mistakes. It is often the reason that people wait to seek the advice from a financial advisor. If you are meeting with a financial advisor who makes you feel ashamed, that’s a pretty good indication that’s not the right professional for you. However, working with a financial professional can often help you correct your mistakes more quickly so that you can make greater progress toward your goals. The key is finding the right professional – someone who can help you to forgive yourself, create a plan, and move forward. Don’t let the financial mistakes of your past continue to haunt you.