By Luke LaRock, NSSA®, Associate Wealth Advisor
Throughout our lives we often encounter moments that challenge our knowledge, skills, and abilities. We’ve all had those moments that leave us feeling inadequate, unworthy, or embarrassed. These moments aren’t meant to be stumbling blocks but rather stepping stones toward personal growth and development in our journey to True Wealth. We ought to start treating these moments as what they are: learning moments. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of treating these instances as opportunities for self-improvement, instead of letting them become reasons to put ourselves down.
The Nature of Learning Moments:
Learning is a lifelong process and it’s crucial to acknowledge that making mistakes or facing challenges is an integral part of it. Whether it’s a project at work, a new skill you’re practicing or a personal goal you’re working toward, each experience, positive or negative, contributes to your overall growth.
Financially speaking, we may make the mistake of getting sloppy with our monthly expenses from time to time or we may start saving or planning for our future later than intended. While the best time to start planning and saving for your future was yesterday, the next best time to start is today. Learning to plan ahead for your near and long-term financial future is a necessity in reaching True Wealth.
After all, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark (Howard Ruff).
Instead of viewing setbacks or misunderstandings as failures, treat them as learning moments. Say in your head, “This is a learning moment, and I now know something I didn’t know yesterday!” Admittedly, it’s easier said than done when everything seems to be falling apart.
To help shift your perspective, consider this quote by James Russell Lowell: “Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.” Mistakes are not signs of incompetence but rather indicators of areas where improvement is possible. By reframing your mindset, you can transform what might seem like a setback into an opportunity for development.
The Power of Self-Compassion:
It’s easy to be overly critical of ourselves when things don’t go as planned. We spend hours, days or even longer beating ourselves up, replaying the situation over and over in our heads and wishing we could turn back time. However, practicing self-compassion is essential in these moments. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer a friend facing a similar situation. Remember that everyone faces challenges and setbacks do not define your worth or capabilities.
Identifying Areas for Growth:
When faced with a learning moment, own it. Instead of responding with excuses, which ultimately don’t change the reality, accept the mistake as your own if it truly was your mistake. Reflect on what went well and what could be improved. Rather than dwelling on what went wrong, focus also on how you can enhance your skills or approach for future endeavors. This proactive approach not only fosters a growth mindset but also empowers you to turn setbacks into opportunities.
Continuous Learning as a Lifestyle:
Embrace the concept of continuous learning as a lifestyle. Treat every experience, positive or negative, as a chance to acquire new insights and refine your skills. This mindset shift not only promotes a positive attitude but also positions you to more readily adapt to the ever-evolving challenges of life. Don’t take yourself too seriously!
Seeking Support and Guidance:
It’s important to recognize that learning moments don’t have to be faced alone. Seeking support and guidance from mentors, friends, and advisors can provide valuable perspectives and insights. Collaborative learning environments foster a sense of community and can turn challenges into shared experiences that contribute to collective growth.
As we look to set goals for the year ahead, it’s important to approach learning moments from the last year with a positive and constructive mindset. These instances are not indicators of inadequacy but rather opportunities for growth and improvement.
By treating ourselves with kindness, reframing setbacks as learning opportunities, and fostering a continuous learning lifestyle, we can turn every experience into a stepping stone toward becoming the best versions of ourselves. Embrace the journey of learning, and remember that every moment, regardless of its outcome, is valuable in the journey to True Wealth.
If one of your goals is to solidify your financial plan, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team here.