Fight Fear for Financial Freedom image

Fight Fear for Financial Freedom

Women, you are not alone!

Is fear holding you back from success and financial freedom? You are not alone… many women all over the world feel the same way. But how do some successfully overcome their fears while others let their fears get the best of them? Here are a few insights from my experience that may help you.

If you are fearful of divorce, increase your financial education.

A study quoted in the Daily Mail of 2000 adults, conducted by Seddons Law Practice in the U.K., found that of the women surveyed, 59% said they would divorce immediately if they had the financial means to do so. And the survey respondents also indicated that, “overall, 12 per cent said they were in a loveless relationship and more than a third (35 per cent) believed their marriage would turn stale in the near future.”

Now, I am not recommending divorce for anyone. The point I’m making is that too many women, all over the world, stay in unhealthy marriages because they fear they will not be able to take care of themselves financially on their own. That is disturbing.

The key to overcome this fear is to begin educating yourselves about money. Getting a financial education is not difficult. It just takes time and some effort. It is very doable. For me, I would rather be broke temporarily than miserable for a lifetime.

The world needs more women leaders and leadership takes courage.

Courage is the result of facing your fears. Whether you are a leader in your family, your community or your country, you will likely face situations in which you’ll stare fear in the face, and it will test your courage and your strength.

It wouldn’t be courage if you weren’t scared.

So what fuels our fears? What I’ve found is that, for many women, it’s a fear of the consequences, the outcome. The outcome of our actions is almost always unknown and it’s human nature to imagine the worst-case scenarios…and be fearful.

At one point, not too many years ago, I realized that in order to be a spokesperson for women about money and investing I needed to be able to speak to large groups in a public forum. That’s not an unreasonable requirement… except for the fact that it scared me to death.

In fighting that fear I asked myself, “What’s the worst possible consequence of public speaking?” The answer was simple: being humiliated in public. It would have been much safer to just stay in the background.

Ultimately, I decided I was willing to take the risk of making a fool of myself in order to reach my goal. And, as it turned out, the horror I imagined never materialized. The important thing is that I was willing to accept those consequences. That was all that mattered.

I believe most of us know what we need to do. The question is: Do we have the courage to accept the consequences?

While the (real or imagined) consequences are different for every woman, some of the consequences I see women avoiding in their lives are:

  • fear of a fight with a spouse or loved one
  • fear of alienating yourself from friends
  • fear of being broke
  • fear of making a mistake
  • fear of being alone

For the record, I have experienced all of those things. And not only am I still standing, but it’s because I was willing to accept those consequences, (and the fear that is much worse than the actual consequence) that I am so much stronger, smarter and happier with who I am than if I had backed down and let the fear win.

When you back down or quit, it’s your self-esteem that takes the greatest hit. I’ve done that, too. I think the greatest sense of accomplishment and joy comes from facing your worst fears and making a breakthrough. That’s where true growth and happiness lie.

What are you going to do today to face your fears?

For support on your journey to financial freedom, check out our free, financial education community here.

Original publish date: March 28, 2013