February 24, 2017
There was a great story published recently about a young woman who was travelling, and rushing through a busy airport trying to catch her connecting flight.
She caught sight of herself in a mirror in the airport terminal, and in her flustered state, thought she recognised the person she saw - though she couldn’t quite place them, she understood she knew them, and one thought fleetingly crossed her mind - ‘That’s my friend.’
A few seconds later, when she realised she had seen her own reflection, she was secretly delighted that her brain had identified her as an ally. “I thought my initial, subconscious reaction was great. It showed I liked myself,” she later wrote of her experience. “That was important to me.”
Being kind to yourself - and liking yourself - are two incredibly important skills everyone should master. We are often very quick to let our inner voices pipe up, and more often than not, they’re not very helpful. “Well, I blew that.” “Nobody at the party liked me.” “They only invited me because they feel sorry for me.” “I won’t get that promotion - why even bother applying?”
We are human. And the very nature of being human means we’re prone to making mistakes. When we do, we can be frighteningly keen to berate ourselves - but why? If a friend messed up a job interview, you wouldn’t say “Well, I knew you would. You’re hopeless.” You’d remind them how great they are, and how it’s only a minor setback. You’d be kind. Why can’t we start being more kind to ourselves?
The road to financial happiness is paved with a good few potholes, and even after you decide to smarten your act up, there will be a few wobbles along the way. You may spend a bit extra on holiday, or make a dud purchase - maybe that secondhand car had more than one ‘careful owner’. You may have a bad day and blow a chunk of your savings on Fortnum and Mason goodies. Hey, it happens.
The key to making lasting changes - and moving forward - is to prepare for such eventualities. Things can, and will, go a bit wonky from time to time. Making the conscious effort to be kind to yourself, face up to your mistake, brush it off, and move forward will ensure your good intentions remain intact. Resist the urge to say to yourself ‘Oh, what’s the point? You’ll never be able to save.’ Replace it with ‘Well, that was a bit daft - not to worry! It’s a new day tomorrow. I’ll just save a bit extra next month. On we go.’
You are the best friend you’ll ever have. Nobody will ever understand you, and all your little quirks, like you do. Make friends with yourself. It’s the key to leading a happier, calmer and more fulfilled life - and it’ll lead you to buddy up with your bank balance, too.