Let’s face it, most of the time we are hardest on ourselves, right? We tend to go through life saying “I should”. I should go to college, I should be able to buy a house by now, I should be a better mother, I should clean the house right now or a million other phrases like this. Humans are a hopeful lot I think. Sometimes though we set ourselves up for always looking toward the future and what we think we should do instead of what our reality is at this moment. Of course there is no harm in planning for the future. You know I am always telling you to have an emergency fund. That isn’t really what I mean here. What I mean is that as bleak as reality can be we have to face it. Our financial situation for about fifteen years was pretty bleak. We did everything we could to make it through and we did but it was NOT easy. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t thoroughly enjoy ourselves in a great many ways. So stop with the negative “should” already and instead learn to embrace and enjoy what you have. It doesn’t matter if you have $100 dollars or $100 million dollars, if you can’t manage your finances. Michael Jackson had more money than most of us could dream of but toward the end of his life it had all run out and he literally killed himself trying to get more.
How do you change the conversation you have with yourself? I think it takes practice, I think it is something you just have to consciously decide to do (as it true of most things in life if you think about it). I think though that by changing your conversation you will find that though your financial situation has not improved you will be happier. Most of the happiest people I now are not rich, they are just happy with what they have. And there is the trick.
So how do we stop the negative talk? First of all its best to think about where that voice is coming from “I should be able to manage to buy $200 sunglasses” for instance. Or was there someone you looked up to in your younger years that you thought was successful seemingly able to buy those things? Or has society as a whole make you feel that by a certain age you should be successful and buy those types of things? Really think about what you are saying to yourself and where you got that idea from and if it is “reasonable”. For me, it doesn’t matter if I have all the money in the world, I will not be spending $200 on sunglasses. I KNOW I would just lose them someplace!
Then we have to learn to talk back…ya to that negative voice we all carry. So the answer to that “I should be able to buy $200 sunglasses” would be “are you nuts, those just are not important”. I talk with so many people that are “making it”, at least by my definition.
Stop with the “SHOULD” already and give yourself a break. It is what it is for heaven’s sake.