“How the hell did I get into this mess?”
“I’m nowhere near as far along in saving for retirement as I should be, I’m doomed.”
“I’m really embarrassed that I have this much debt and that I’m this far behind financially.”
In my initial conversations with potential clients, statements like these are extremely common. It’s one area of life where it is very easy to slide down the slippery slope of “I’m a screw-up” or “I’m not good enough” and land yourself in a heap where all you’re doing is beating yourself up for a wide variety of possible reasons (i.e. having high levels of debt; difficulty paying bills; feeling like you didn’t use money as well as you could have; etc.).
And what I want to say today is that beating yourself up is going to get you NOWHERE. Because if you want a different result, you first get to pull yourself out of the non-supportive energy of the past in order to stand powerfully in a place to create your new financial future. In order to do this, you must ultimately forgive yourself.
As we approach the turn of the calendar year into 2016, I want to offer you a CHOICE to turn things around for yourself if you’re feeling the negative energy of financial decisions of your past. If you want to forgive yourself for getting to the place that you are right now, follow these steps below to come to terms with where you are and shift through to a new place:
- Accept and acknowledge where you are now – I teach about “Financial GPS” in the sense that if there’s a new place you want to get to financially, the most efficient way to do that is to understand where you are right now, in this moment. Without knowing that, it will take much longer to get to your destination! Also, if you’re resisting the truth of your situation, it won’t be possible to heal what you’re not acknowledging. So if you want to truly leave your financial past behind you, sit down to ask yourself 3 key questions: 1) What’s working? (and yes, there will be at least 1 thing that’s working, even if it’s simply the fact that you’re ready to shift!); 2) What’s not working?; and 3) What do you get to add/remove? By asking these 3 questions, you’ll get a pretty solid picture of where you are right now (what’s working and what’s not working) and the path to your new financial future (what do you get to add/remove to create different results).
- Forgive yourself – If you’re like me, this can often be the hardest step to take when you’re clear that you’ve been a contribution to whatever mess it is that you’ve made (be it financial or something else). I recently realized that I’d been beating myself up pretty badly about some things that weren’t working well in my life, and the decision to forgive myself and begin anew was a powerful one. Within just a few days of deciding to forgive myself and allow myself to see the situation differently (and that I had choice to change things going forward), my energy was lighter and more focused. When you are able to forgive yourself for whatever financial results you created (or haven’t created), your energy will also become lighter and from that space you’ll be best able to decide what the next best steps are. If you’re looking for how to begin forgiving yourself, there are a variety of different forgiveness techniques readily available online. One of the techniques I’ve been working with lately that I love is Ho’oponopono. It is very simple, yet in my experience very effective. In essence, the repetition of 4 simple phrases begins to release the energy and allow forgiveness.
- Celebrate and allow healing – Once the energy of forgiveness has been set in motion, you’re more likely able to see the lessons in the situation that you’ve created. While there are indeed certain things in life that are beyond our control, I believe that we are always creating our own reality even if it’s something that is less than favorable. We’re creating our reality to learn the lessons that are perfect just for us (yes, even if it’s not fun!). Therefore, the healing can truly begin when we allow ourselves to sit peacefully to learn the lessons of our respective situations. And as we see the lessons that we’ve created for ourselves, we can also take the time to celebrate the lessons learned as part of our overall growth toward a more powerful and peaceful relationship with money. Allowing ourselves to celebrate where we are (even if it only feels like a small or partial victory), as opposed to telling ourselves what we’re doing wrong/what’s missing, will contribute to a more positive energy and faster healing.
- Ask for support – Often as we acknowledge what’s not working and the lessons that we’ve learned, we also identify that there’s something we can use support with as well. There is no shame in asking for support – financial professionals like me love to support others with our expertise! Think of it like hiring a driver to get you more effectively from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to go) in your “Financial GPS.” You may even want someone to support you in identifying what point B looks like for you.
We all have the choice to start anew each day and leave the past behind us if we choose to forgive and heal. These steps will allow you to unearth and identify what isn’t working in your relationship with money, and make the necessary shift to forgive yourself and move forward into creating a new possibility for your financial future.