30 Day Challenge to Invest in Yourself First – Day #21

At this point in the 30 Day Challenge we are going to take a closer look at what you’ve been carrying in your baggage. In the previous post I shared that the lenses we are given in our youth are tinted and smudged with distorted assumptions and unrealistic expectations. This is completely normal when you consider that the adults around you during that time were also working through their own beliefs and values. Most had good intentions and wanted to provide some sort of foundation the best they could.

Regardless of intentions, it’s important to challenge ideas and concepts around personal finance through your own perspective. One of the biggest obstacles you will face on your journey towards financial wellness is “fear“. In the same way that you develop your own beliefs about love, you need to develop a healthy understanding about fear. It is a powerful emotion spurred by activity in the brain as you experience life. You can accomplish audacious goals because of both love and fear.

To start unpacking this idea, reflect on how fear has impacted your personal finances. Consider how fear has played a direct role in your financial decisions. Rather than focusing on the emotion itself, think about the actions or behaviors brought about as a result of the emotion. Actions can reflect a well thought out strategy and prioritization of goals. Actions can also reflect a decision to avoid the situation, being unsure of oneself or denying that action is needed.

Next, begin to re-frame any negative actions or behaviors you have experienced in the past into affirmative ones. For example, if you acted out of fear of not knowing enough, next time approach the situation as a learning opportunity – ask questions, research options or just say “no thank you”. If you find yourself behaving as though you are not measuring up or good enough, quantify and challenge your assumptions – five years of experience is not a novice and a certificate of achievement is just a piece of paper.

Now apply that same thought process towards your present financial decisions. Find ways to realign your goals with affirmative actions and behaviors based on your unique skills, interests and resources. Make room for your own perspective to guide and drive your vision.