The following post is a contribution from Todd. He’s the co-founder and content manager at the Men’s Blog Fearless Men. It’s a blog on Manliness that inspires men to grow strong, get fit, be wise, kick fear in the face and become a better man.
What I admire most about My Money Design is the tagline “Designing Financial Freedom.” I believe that just because you have a dream or a goal doesn’t mean you’ll get there by accident. You won’t wake up in 6 months or 6 years and fulfilled your goal without having done it on purpose. You must plan, you must design how you’re going to build toward financial freedom.
Want to be financially free? Stop living in Financial Fear. A leading cause of paralysis with investors, savers, planners and thinkers is fear. And it’s rarely fear of the unknown. It’s fear of the past, the present, and how our shortcomings can affect our future.
What financial fears might be holding you back from designing your plan for financial freedom?
1. Fear of Loss:
What happens if I invest, and I lose it? How will I ever earn it back?
2. Fear of Looking Stupid:
Formulating a financial plan is about saving. No one gets criticized for that. But when it comes to people wanting to take a risk to get a greater return, it can get scary.
Maybe you have a spouse, and you don’t want to make the wrong decision and disappoint them. Maybe you don’t want to make a play that “hurts” your family financially. These are all valid warnings signals that should be listened to. Fear does give us correct alarms sometimes, and helps us take a step back and consider what we’re doing.
But more often than not, the fear of looking stupid is just plain stupid. Fear can also give us false signals. It takes wisdom to discern which is which.
3. Fear of Getting Trapped:
You may not fear investing, and you may not fear a little bit of risk. But some people’s financial fear is simply being unwilling to move forward with a plan because they are so adverse to commitment. They don’t want to commit their money to one (or a plurality) of things because that then means they aren’t available to take a stab at the “next big opportunity.”
This type of fear reminds me of the guy who never asks that girl out because someone slightly better might come along.
Becoming financially free isn’t dating, and your money shouldn’t be your girlfriend.
4. Money is Their Lover:
You’ve heard it said that the root of all evil is the love of money. Not money itself, but the love of it. The addiction to it. Our forceful grip on all things finance.
Let me tell you, that person’s financial fear is losing control. Losing the power that money brings.
The fear of losing control will stop a person dead in their tracks from designing their money plan for financial freedom.
Remember, people don’t become free on accident. A dream, a design, a plan, happens on purpose.
What do we do if we suffer from financial fear?
First: Focus on a Dream:
Determine where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years.
Those are all arbitrary numbers of course. And you don’t (but probably should) have to write a mission statement. Just figure out where you truly want to be down the road, and assign a time value to it.
Second: Design a Plan:
Dreams don’t happen on accident. Neither does plans. Go make one.
This site is full of a wealth of information of where to start and what specific steps to take. Educate yourself.
Third: Identify What Fear is Holding You Back:
Is it self-doubt? Fear of loss? Fear of looking stupid?
What is causing you to hesitate when it comes to pulling the trigger on your financial plan?
Expose yourself to the fear. It may sound counterproductive, but you’re only going to begin moving forward with the plan you designed if you face your fear. People who are afraid to talk to people should go introduce themselves to 100 new people. People afraid of public speaking should take some speaking engagements.
To truly feel confident when your bravery is fleeting can take specific and sometimes meticulous preparation. But you shouldn’t sit back and wait until all the ducks are in a row and the perfect scenario presents itself. We’ve all felt some apprehension when it comes to financial fear.
The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.
Now that you know what to do, make a choice. Choose to move beyond your financial fear, and take your next, well-designed step to financial freedom.
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