Embrace Your Mistakes with Money

An active member of Team Debt Free raised a common sentiment on our Facebook page. She expressed disappointment for money mishaps made before the debt free light bulb flickered. One thing I know, without hesitation, is that we’ve all done something dumb with money! I truly believe the shame and/or guilt we carry over money mishaps keeps us from moving forward. We won’t discuss it or seek help and thus stay stuck in a cycle of bad money moves. When you don’t know, you don’t know.

The best way to break the cycle is embrace your mistakes. Don’t hide from them. Use the lessons from errors in judgment, bad credit reports, massive debt accumulation, etc. to make better choices moving forward. I love this quote because it’s true:

 “We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery” ~ Samuel Smiles

 Think about the word you tanked in a grammar school spelling bee. Maybe that hurdle you kicked in the track and field meet. Did you fail your driving test due to parallel parking challenges? Mistakes don’t define you. Shake off the shame of past mistakes and start to soar financially by:

  • Sharing your experience. Do you have a trusted confidant? Someone who will respect your privacy. Open up about your past money mishaps. Release yourself from the burden of appearing perfect. Nobody is actually perfect, so pretending is a waste of energy. We’ve all made mistakes. Sharing allows others to learn from your mistakes. This also creates an environment where friends and family feel comfortable releasing their burdens ensuring no one suffers in silence again.
  • Seizing the learning opportunity. If nothing else, mistakes teach us what not to do. As long as we can learn from our missteps, there is value in going through the process. People who don’t make mistakes are doing anything.
  • Side-stepping future pitfalls. There’s nothing new under the sun. A great value in learning from our past financial flubs is the ability to avoid similar situations. The wise see danger coming and take refuge. In other words, applying your lessons learned will help you reach rock star status, financially speaking that is.

What past money mishap do you need to redefine as a stepping stone to success?

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