We all make money mistakes. And on top of our mistakes, we feel horrible about them. We often struggle with being critical of ourselves over a money mistake.We are plagued with regret over what we did or didn’t do? We keep thinking and thinking and thinking, swirling in a circle—wishing we’d done things differently….
To compound our woes, we rarely talk about them. When it comes to money, we can be extremely self-critical—suffering pangs of regret and remorse- replaying our money mistakes over and over in our head– mostly in isolation.
Here is how to get over the money mistakes we have made:
1. Talk about it! And name the regret. We all know that speaking our truth heals, so get clear about the regret… and tell someone whom you trust and who would not judge you but would simply listen. Be specific about what you regret.
“I regret incurring that Rs.85,000 in credit card debt over the last few years.”
“I regret borrowing money from my friend 8 years ago and never paying it back.”
“I regret buying a house that I couldn’t really afford.”
“I regret not saving more money.”
Speak your truth out loud. This is healing.
2. Name the belief you think fueled that behavior.
“I think I believed that I didn’t have to really care about my spending. My mom never did.”
“I guess I had this fantasy that I would make enough money to pay the loan back.”
“Well, I thought that my income would just keep going up forever.”
“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.”
Naming the belief is part of healing. Without naming the belief, it’s easy to repeat the mistake.
3. Forgive yourself. You did the best you could with where you were at the time. To err is human. And you ARE human. Every study done on the subject of forgiveness tells us that not forgiving harms our health- emotional and physical. Some people have a hard time forgiving because they confuse it with forgetting. You do not have to forget. You can use what happened as amazing fuel to move you forward.
4. Find the silver lining. What did you learn? 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. Find it.
5.Take action. There is good that can come out of this. You’ve learned some things. Can you cut up your credit cards? Can you set up an automatic savings account? Is it time to work with a money coach? Pick one action and move forward. It feels good.
Remember, to make mistakes is human. And making money mistakes does NOT define who we are. What we do about them, though, does say a lot.