Failure is a universal phenomenon, but it’s one that makes you feel isolated and alone when it happens to you. When it comes to financial failures — from thwarted entrepreneurial ambitions, to poor investment decisions, to overwhelming debt — the feeling of failure is magnified by the fact that talking about money is taboo in our culture, and there are relatively few safe spaces to discuss your financial problems.
But financial failure is just as common as any other kind of failure, and there is no reason to let it derail your path to success. When you face a financial failure, remembering these key facts can help you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep working toward your financial goals.
1. No One Else Is Keeping Track of Your Failures
Just out of my graduate education program, I applied for a teaching position at every school district within driving distance. I sent out about two dozen applications. I went on about four job interviews. And two weeks before the school year began, I landed an interview and a job at my preferred district.
During that time, I beat myself up for all the districts that weren’t calling me and all the interviews that didn’t result in a job. But from the outside, my series of failures looked like me landing a job right out of graduate school at the district of my choice.
Facing a series of failures before reaching success is a part of life, but no one other than you sees all of those failures. If you’ve tried over and over again to get the job you want, or tame your credit card debt, or qualify for a small business loan, no one other than you will be keeping a tally of the times it didn’t work. You are the only person tracking your failures.
2. Failure Is Not the End
Life is a little messier than in the movies. Moments of success do not end with a swell of music and rolling credits — and neither do moments of failure. Your life continues after you declare bankruptcy, even if your day-to-day life looks a little different from it did before your bankruptcy.
That means no financial failure is the end of the story — unless you choose to let it be the end. Yes, you made some mistakes in the…