Financial mistakes can be tough to accept. It’s difficult to move past when all you can think about is your error: ‘Why did I do that?’ ‘What could I have done instead?’ However, this doesn’t help you in the long run, and in fact, if you keep dwelling on it, the likelihood of repeating your mistake becomes much higher. With these four steps, you can instead take action on your mistakes and fix your financial future.
- Figure Out What Led To the Mistake
The first step to fixing any problem is to acknowledge it- in this case, figure out how you made a mistake, whether it was a poor investment, you took out the wrong loan or some other error. Understand what you did wrong, and move on to the next step:
- Take Responsibility
Don’t let your frustration turn into guilt- it is easy when you make any error, to throw up your hands and retreat from the situation, but this will not allow you to grow in the future. Instead, find a way to make sure that the problem doesn’t happen again with your new understanding of why you made a mistake. For instance, let us say you are a small business owner who loses a few thousand dollars on a training program that turns out to be a scam with no refunds. You wouldn’t give up- instead, in the future, you would investigate more closely into training programs to make sure your mistake doesn’t happen again.
- Forgive Yourself
It’s not easy admitting that you have made an error, and sometimes it’s harder still to move past it. However, this is, in its way, your responsibility to yourself- one mistake can’t define you and your financial future, and to reach the goals you want, you must move past your pitfalls.
- Seek Help
‘A problem shared is a problem halved.’ Find a friend or family member you can trust, in whom you can confide. While trusting the opinion of a friend alone for your financial woes is never a good idea, they can provide important emotional support and a way to help you get back to where you were. For financial advice, talk to a financial professional who can give you an honest, experienced answer. If your mistake is deep-rooted, get a financial counselor to help you recover.
Lastly, after you are done with all the steps we listed above, you have to move on. Acknowledge that you made a mistake, find out what led you to make an error and most importantly, forgive yourself. From there then you can set your goals and come up with a plan to achieve those goals. Be committed and note all the progress you make regardless of how small it is. Celebrate all the little victories and believe it or not, you will not even remember that past mistake. Use it as a stepping stone to your future financial success.