As humans, we tend to be hard on ourselves. When we make mistakes, we dwell on them, dredging them up, and remaining ashamed — often long after others have forgiven us and moved on. The same is true of our money mistakes. It’s all too easy to get caught up in what we’ve done wrong, and find ourselves dwelling on the things we’ve done wrong with our money.
Unfortunately, this tendency can hold you back. If you are ashamed of what you’ve done with your money in the past, it’s a good idea to let go. Constantly dwelling on your mistakes can put you in a negative state of mind, and also cultivate feelings of helplessness. These feelings of helplessness can, in turn, prevent you from trying to improve, since it often results in a “why bother” mentality that isn’t conducive to actually changing things.
You need to move on from those mistakes, and live better. While you do need to fix the financial problems in your life, and make plans so that these mistakes aren’t repeated, you also don’t want to let those mistakes hold you back to the point where you are so ashamed that you are unable to move forward and make better decisions for the future.
Recognize Your Money Weaknesses and Strengths
The first step to getting over your money shame from the past is to recognize your financial weaknesses and strengths. We’ve all made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes in the past myself. Dwelling on those mistakes won’t turn things around for you, though. Instead, you need to use those mistakes to better yourself.
Acknowledge the money mistakes you have made, and then look for the weaknesses that led to the mistakes. Recognize these problems so that you can fix them, and move forward.
But don’t just take stock of your weaknesses. You should also consider your strengths. What can you do to improve your situation? Look at the things you have done right, and recognize how some of your good decisions have benefitted you. Then, focus on how you can change your habits so that your money weaknesses no longer have a hold on you. Use your financial strengths to help get you on the right track so that you have something positive to think about as well.
Look for Support
Few of us can overcome our past money mistakes without help. This is especially true if you are paying off large amounts of debt. Look for support from people who care for you, and who are willing to provide you with encouragement. Good friends won’t keep harping on your past mistakes. As you work to overcome your problems, look for people who bring out the best in you, and are willing to support you as you work toward your goals. Try to avoid people who will keep reminding you of your missteps, and who seem to delight in making you feel bad about the past.
If the goal is to move forward and improve your life and finances, you will need the right kind of people around you.
Create a Financial Roadmap to Follow
One the best ways to leave your money mistakes in the past is to create a roadmap you can follow. A plan of action will take your forward, and when you have a purpose for your money, it’s much easier to avoid falling back into the traps of the past. Do yourself a favor and put together a financial roadmap that can bring you to the point of financial freedom.
This means that you will need to take the self-analysis from step one, and apply to your current and future situation. One of the great things about this approach is that you look at where you are right now, and then consider what needs to be done in order to take you from your current point to your future goals. This doesn’t involve dwelling on past financial indiscretions.
Once you acknowledge your mistakes, and figure out what you can learn from them, it’s time to leave them in the past and move forward. You’ll be much happier with your financial situation, and you will be able to put yourself in a position to succeed in the future.