December 1, 2011

“Stand in Your Truth”

I recently read Suze Orman’s book The Money Class. I really like her no-nonsense practical approach to finance, and I particularly love her phrase, “Stand in your truth.” To me, it means quit lying to yourself, quit sabotaging your own success, and admit those places where you repeat the same mistakes over and over and over. I posted the phrase on my computer in big bold letters.

I’m trying to follow it in all areas of my life. With the whole eating well thing, I try to admit that actually I’m not hungry ~ I’m just bored or stressed or trying to deal with things. With money, simply avoiding the issue won’t get us anywhere. With emotions, don’t bury them, but work through them. Face it, face it all. Quit hoping it will go away and avoiding and deal with it.

So it was particularly interesting when I came across this yesterday at Lifehacker: “How to Identify and Learn from Your Mistakes.” I love how writer Scott Berkun breaks the types of mistakes we make into four types and then discusses how to deal with each one.

The four types are 1) stupid mistakes like stubbing your toe, 2) simple mistakes like running out of beer when you have more guests than you expect, 3) involved mistakes that are understandable but require effort to prevent such as regularly arriving at work late, and 4) complex mistakes like failed relationships.

Dealing with stupid and simple mistakes is easy. Just avoid them, if you can, but once in while it’s going to happen.

For involved mistakes, you need to make significant changes because these come from habit or from our very natures. It’s tough because it’s changing one habit for a new and better one ~ and we all know how hard it is to change our habits ~ or going against something we really want. These habits, too, are often things we’ve tried to fix in the past, so we feel guilty and like we’ve failed even before we’ve begun. But he makes a very valid point, which is that we often refuse to even acknowledge that we made a mistake. He suggests that we enlist the aid of someone else to help us change, and that we really take stock of our ability to change.

Complex mistakes are the most interesting, he says. You need patience and you often just make things worse if you don’t watch it. He suggests getting multiple outside perspectives on the problem ~ call in the experts, if you will. Then describe what happened, which helps you to clearly define the problem. Make sure you don’t jump to conclusions and do a thorough investigation and examine your own biases. Work backwards from the event, which will help you see contributing factors.

He ends with a reminder to have courage to admit things and face the problem and realize that mistakes are inevitable and you just need to learn from them. Also, try to bring a little humor to the situation ~ it’ll loosen you up and help you deal with it.

I found all this really helpful and in keeping with my “Stand in Your Truth” offensive. We’re all facing tough economic times, which brings up a lot of emotional stuff as well, and the better we can face it, the better we’ll do in the long run.

How are you dealing with economic challenges?

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