In life, in business and with money, the journey is rarely a straight line from struggle to success or from one level of success to the next

Your own experiences have proven this to be true, so your initial reaction to what I’ve just said might very well be, “duh, no kidding!” 

Yet, how often do the twists, turns, and setbacks you experience catch you by surprise? 

How often do you find yourself buying into the messaging that:

  • your situation needs to match some one-size-fits-all ideal;
  • blames you entirely for missing benchmarks created by someone else who you don’t even know and doesn’t know you;
  • rewards immediate results and faults you for not getting “there” as fast; and
  • systemic factors are a crutch too many hold onto 

In other words, messaging that sometimes oversimplifies the challenges you face and sounds a little something like: 

“If your journey isn’t straightforward and uninterrupted – if you’re not always knocking it out of the park, well, then, there is something wrong with you.”

As you can imagine, I have a HUGE problem with this messaging. 

And yet, it abounds. 

Especially in the personal finance and entrepreneurship spaces where it tends to shame individuals for their choices (financial or otherwise) or circumstances when their situations are not ideal. Or, when they fail.

Before I go further, it is true that some people are not self-reflective and never take a step back to evaluate their choices and the role those play in their results and experiences. They blame others for every unwanted twist, turn, and setback. I didn’t write this for them.

Today’s missive is for those of us who could benefit from the reminder that: 

You are NOT broken or inadequate. 

I hope the spirit of these words comes through in everything I do. 

Because whether I say it directly or not, I use every chance I get – coaching, speaking, writing, podcasting – to remind folks that they, as a person, even when your finances (and business) are not in the condition you want them to be or need them to be are not broken or inadequate.

It’s why my coaching offer is called, “Successful, Profitable, and Not Broke.” 

The title speaks to what I want for everyone I encounter, and how I don’t want them to be or feel broke financially, energetically, or creatively.

And based on the reactions I got to a recent reel on IG, where I posed the question, “Does the typical personal finance messaging cause you to feel broken?,” it was clear that a) I struck a nerve, and b) people need to give themselves some more grace. 

(More) Grace, Please!

The question I posed on social media pertained to personal finances, but it could have easily also been about entrepreneurship, too. 

I am deeply immersed in both realms — personally, as a product of my own lived experiences, and professionally, evidenced by my body of work. So, I intimately understand the impact of spotlighting success stories in both spaces. 

And while these spotlight narratives undoubtedly inspire and illuminate the realm of possibilities, the other side of the coin reveals itself when realities deviate from expectations (yours and/or others). Be it due to unexpected twists, turns, setbacks, or the lack of immediate results. Things that commonly steer individuals down the path of self-blame. 

In such moments, it’s understandable why people may find themselves descending into a rabbit hole, perceiving their circumstances through the lens of inadequacy and brokenness.

I share this insight not only as someone who has personally navigated this journey (and continues to), but also as someone who has guided others back from the proverbial edge.

Money, as a standalone entity, holds a prominent place among life’s most influential tools for personal development and growth. Introduce entrepreneurship into the equation, and—whew, chile—brace yourself for an incredibly non-linear experience!

An experience that often requires a lot of grace – perhaps even a heightened level of grace toward yourself. 

A Powerful Antidote

“Grace” is a versatile word with nuanced meanings, varying depending on the context. For today’s discussion, let me clarify what I mean by ‘grace’ and how you can employ it as a valuable emotional and mental tool during moments when you might find yourself buying into messaging that is negative, brings you down, and doesn’t serve you. 

Grace means:

Having self-compassion
This involves extending kindness, understanding, and forgiveness to yourself. In other words give to yourself the same compassion you might offer to a family member, dear friend, or client.

Being resilient
This involves remembering you’ve faced adversity before and bounced-back. Tap into the lessons you’ve learned and get curious about what and how you can apply those learnings to this present moment.

Having a positive mindset
This helps you to reframe how you are viewing whatever is causing you to internalize the negative messaging. Not in any pollyannaish way. But, by spotlighting your strengths and achievements, and focusing on this as a situation that represents potential for growth. 

Defining your self-worth
This encourages you to define your own self-worth, and it reminds you to remember that your value is not determined solely by societal expectations or messaging you don’t want to embrace.

Grace can mitigate the negative impact of messaging that tends to shame you for your choices or the condition of your circumstances. Or, your failure. 

It can shift the narrative from one of lack to one of empowerment.  

So, the next time you encounter messaging that causes you to second guess your intrinsic worth, remember you are not broken or inadequate. Remember to tap into the grace you’d naturally extend to others…and extend it to yourself!

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