Accountability is an important trait to have in life. However, do not let the weight of taking accountability consume you to the point of no return. More times than you might imagine, we blame ourselves for mistakes, whether those are bad investments, financial mistakes, or pride. To improve and grow, we shouldn’t blame ourselves for past financial mistakes.
As long as you recognized the mistake and corrected it as much as you could, you should also forgive yourself. Check out these five reasons why you should not beat yourself up for any past financial mistakes.
#1 Mistakes Happen
If there has not been one mistake you have made in your life thus far, I am reporting you to the artificial intelligence committee because there’s no way you’re real. We’re all human and whether we had full control over the financial situation or not, the mistake happened and it’s important to grow and learn from it.
Of course, that is easier said than done—but trust us when we say we have been there and done that. It’s human to blame ourselves. We blame ourselves because we have some guilt for not following our instincts (or the little voice in the back of our head that saying, “No, don’t do that, hold off”), even when our instincts were right.
Once the mistake happens, the only thing left to do is correct it to the best of our ability and walk away with our head held high.
#2 Mistakes Teach Resilience
Failure builds character, and if you have never failed, then you are not living. We’re not promoting failure, but we do want you to understand that failure is just part of life.
When you make a bad investment and lose more money than you anticipated, it teaches you to dig deep and not let the situation become a bigger problem.
Resilience can’t really be taught: it is learned when you find yourself in that moment when you must sink or swim. The key is not to blame yourself, but find the healthy space of taking accountability while making positive changes.
#3 Mistakes Shaped Your Financial Path
Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, it is important to know all the decisions you’ve made—both good and bad—have brought you to this very place in your life.
That bad financial mistake had to happen to bring you to where you are now, in this very moment, reading this very post.
As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason – sure, that financial mistake might have caused a domino effect of other unforeseen things to happen, but somewhere there is a silver lining.
Although that mistake hurt at the moment, stop hurting yourself now—because you only have one life to live, and you can’t change the past! Use what you know now, that you probably didn’t know back then, and make better decisions for your future.
#4 Do Your Research
All too often, we tend to go off of someone else’s words or results and never take the time to do our own research. That alone is the number one recipe for the disaster of making a bad investment.
However, it’s important to stop blaming yourself for your lack of understanding and learn from the situation. Doing your research will help you understand the risks of any investment you’re considering.
A rule of thumb that I have always found helpful is receiving confirmations in threes. One: I have done the research for myself but might still have some concerns or questions. Two: I have spoken to someone who has made a similar investment and heard their results. Three: randomly coming across the subject during my research!
#5 You’re Human
We are not a database that is programmed to do no wrong. We are human and because we are human, there is room for error.
If you made a decision that ultimately ended in failure, don’t regret it. No one likes to make mistakes and we are confident that if it were up to us there would be none! But the reality is, we all make mistakes.
After making a mistake, we can ponder our inefficiencies, our shortcomings, and look for ways to enhance our results. Learn to understand mistakes. Allow that learning to fuel you rather than defeat you. Allow it to make you into a better version of yourself, because that’s just what it will do.
Hollywood portrayals might promise a life full of bubblegum, glitter, and glamor—but that’s not the reality most of us live in. In fact, success comes from failures and having doors shut in your face.
There is no reason to constantly blame yourself for things that have happened in your past. Let today be the first day of many of freeing yourself from those negative thoughts.
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