Right before the holidays I made a few financial decisions that I wish I hadn’t made. Nothing catastrophic. Just some money that went places I wish it hadn’t, in retrospect. It’s made for a tighter start of 2013 than I prefer.
Confession: I’ve been beating myself up about it for weeks.
Recently I was being interviewed about my philosophies about nutrition and health, and I heard this come out of my mouth:
My number one piece of advice to women is to put down the flail when it comes to food and exercise.
As soon as I uttered those words, I knew that they apply to EVERYTHING, not just food and exercise. And yet beating ourselves up is like a national past time.
If you’re an achievement-driven girl like me (and so many women I know) who tends toward self-flagellation when things aren’t going as she’d like, I have a remedy.
1. Remind that little inner drill sergeant of yours that beating yourself up is a waste of time.
I like being productive nearly as much as I like feeling loved. Seriously. So when I realize that I’m being super hard on myself, especially about something I’ve already done that I can’t do anything about anymore, I remind myself of one simple thing:
There’s nothing productive about beating yourself up. It’s wasted time.
Instead, I redirect as quickly as possible to actions that move me closer to the way I’d like things to be or feel. I look for the lesson in the mistake and see where I can implement it in the HERE and NOW. The energy I save when I put down the flail can be used toward producing things that help the world. And that’s where I’d like to be focusing most of the time. Wouldn’t you?
Two days ago, while in one of my panty-twisted money tizzys, I decided I needed a little Goddess love. So I pulled out my favorite Doreen Virtue Goddess Guidance Cards. (She also has an app for the iPhone where you can pick Goddesses on the go. Oh my Goddess it’s amazing!)
I thought about my financial angst. I thought about how much of a loser I feel like that I don’t always make perfect money decisions. I thought about what a fraud I feel like when I make mistakes in an area that I teach about. (News flash that likely won’t shock you: I’m not perfect.)
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and pulled two cards out of the deck. I got:
Mother Mary: Expect a miracle and Kuan Yin: Compassion.
Long. Deep. Loving. Breath.
“Put down the flail,” these Goddesses said together.
I immediately remembered how much better I am with my money than I was ten years ago. I reminded myself that I’m not the only person on the planet who’s not perfect. I assured myself that everything was going to be okay.
I spoke to myself as Mother Mary and Kuan Yin would. It felt damn good.
3. Tap it out. Yep, tap it right out.
One of the most immediate ways I’ve found to feel better is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping. It’s a brilliant, free, quick method that involves tapping on a series of points on your body to feel better. It works every time I try it.
Here’s the thing, no matter how far along our path we get, we’re still going to make mistakes. I teach financial well-being and yet before the holidays I made some spending decisions I wish I hadn’t that made my money life a little uncomfortable for a few months. Weight-loss coaches sometimes binge. Life coaches’ lives sometimes get messy. Spiritual teachers sometimes have complete and total meltdowns.
We’re all human. We all make mistakes. We’re all going to keep making mistakes.
So please, for the love of The Divine, and for the love of YOU:
Put down the flail.
Save your energy for feeling good and helping other people feel good. You can’t go wrong with that as your compass.
Kate Northrup is a professional freedom seeker. She achieved financial freedom at the age of 28 and enthusiastically teaches other people how to do the same thing because it feels so darn good. Her first book, Money: A Love Story, will be out with Hay House in 2013. Follow her on twitter and check out her facebook page!