I have never heard this topic discussed, yet I am sure that it comes up quite a lot.
I want to talk about perfectionism. Specifically, Financial Perfectionism.
Personally, I have struggled with perfectionistic tendencies my whole life. It started as early as 3rd grade with writing papers for school, where I instinctively overworked myself to get the paper done with only one objective: avoiding doing badly. From an early age, I was almost deathly afraid of failure and criticism. Without going into a long story, I experienced such an internal lack of okayness, that I thought that I had to be perfect or else I was not okay, not enough.
This translated into an intense fear of failure in my schooling. I worked tirelessly to maintain perfect grades, which essentially means I worked tirelessly to please my teachers. I was completely addicted to this behavior. Ultimately, it could only take me so far. In college, I stressed over every essay I wrote, and yet, I never managed to make the process of fear and avoiding failure satisfy me. Go figure!
As an adult, once I started to earn money for myself, this same attitude quickly overcame me.
Despite having little experience working out of the school environment (including work-study jobs I did for awhile in school), and despite having a lot of negative beliefs and fears around money, I suddenly expected myself to support myself… and be perfect at it. I was extremely upset when I didn’t achieve my goals. The good times where marred by the frustration and disappointment when things didn’t work out the way I hoped.
I have found that my own attitude about myself at times has been as challenging or more so than the actual circumstances. Again, I think I slipped into that perfectionism, where I expected myself to be able to achieve all the things I said I wanted, or else, I was to blame, and in fact, perhaps deserved punishment if I didn’t achieve them.
The fact is, learning to become a master in the area of money is not easy. It takes time. And if you are, like I was, susceptible to negative programming and belief about money, there is even more work to do to clear that to make way for your prosperity.
It is so important to allow yourself to grow. You will make mistakes. There will be challenges. It requires patience, and it requires knowing that things are not perfect. They aren’t likely ever to be perfect. And the sooner you accept that, the better for your happiness!
You may lose money at times.
You may waste money at times.
You may fail to achieve certain financial goals at times.
You may make mistakes that when you look back seemed obvious to avoid.
You may experience worry, stress, anxiety, or fear around money matters.
Okay, fine. Let it be. Let yourself be. For most of us mortals, that is life.
If you are like me, you have high-minded ideals. To borrow from Napoleon Hill, in every failure there is the seed of an equivalent success.
Be ready for it. Let yourself take the journey. Trust that you will have a lot of great experiences along the way. Try not to beat yourself up for having to learn.
With this attitude, you or I can not go wrong. Eventually, we will get where we want to go.
We can do this!