One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ was his response.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
First, let me say congratulations. You have taken the first step toward building real wealth for your family. It takes courage to face your financial situation, and you have decided to tackle it head on. Well done. Your children’s children will thank you. You are already impacting their lives.
As you will start to make changes to your finances, you will recognise if you are either really powerful or powerless around your money.
In her TED Talk, ‘The Power of Vulnerability’, Brene Brown talks about courage. She says that what makes us vulnerable makes us beautiful. She tells us the word ‘courage’ comes from the Latin word cour, meaning heart, and that the original meaning of courage was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Brene says that to be authentic, we need to let go of who we think we should be, to be who we are.
It takes courage to sit down and take a look at your financial situation. Sometimes it feels too difficult or too complicated. The worse you perceive the situation is, the more courage it takes to address it. It’s about confronting something you suspect is going to feel bad. Depending on the state of your finances, it may seem overwhelming. Nothing is going to change until you take action. It’s time to put your big girl pants on and go through your finances.
It can feel quite scary to face your finances if you have never done it before. You could be feeling anything from slightly nervous to downright frightened. These feelings will be heightened more so if you believe you are not going well financially.
Courage is bravery in the face of fear. The best way to deal with your emotions is to acknowledge them. If you would like to, get your MOJO and make some notes around how you’re feeling about dipping your toe into the waters of finance.
Let’s identify a few of these fears now and get them out in the open:
You’re afraid you don’t earn enough.
You’re afraid you should have done something before now.
You’ve be pretending to be financially secure and you’re afraid that others will think you are a fraud.
You’re afraid you’ll do something wrong so you don’t want to start.
You’re afraid that you won’t be taken seriously and that people will laugh at you.
You’re afraid of being exposed.
I completely understand your fears. They are real and rational. They turn up every day in my practice. I’m going to take you by the hand and together we are going to face your fears, overcome them and put you in a position of power.
In 2014, a recording called ‘The Album About Nothing’ (Atlantic Records) was made. Hip-hop artist Wale (pronounced WAH-lay) held a recording session with comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Wale invited Jerry to the studio to ask him some questions in the hope that he could grab a few sound bites. During the recording of the track called ‘The Matrimony’, Jerry confessed to feeling nervousness and helplessness at the idea of being married. He described it as being strapped to a rollercoaster and headed to the top of a hill where marriage awaited.
Wale questioned Jerry about this and Jerry explained that we are never really ready for growth. The very definition of growth is something that makes you feel uncertain or uncomfortable, otherwise it wouldn’t be growth. There is never a perfect time to grow. You are never ready. All you can do is step forward with courage and bravery because it is the path forward.