You’ve made it to the end of our three-part series about the biggest threats to your financial wellness. (Wanna catch up? Check our Part One and Part Two, then come back.) If you’ve noticed a theme, it’s because the biggest threats to your finances come from within.

In this post we’ll discuss two of the most common failings people experience: fear and hesitation. If you let these internal feelings dictate how you live your life and use your finances, you’ll struggle to achieve your goals.

Financial Fears

Money is a tool. Any good tool is designed to make a person’s work easier. You have to let your money work for you to make your life and future easier and better. But uncertainty in the market and fears powered by “what if?” thinking can threaten the power of your financial strategies. Decision making based on fear is nearly as dangerous as impulsive behaviors. Fear clouds your mind and removes objectivity, turning everything into a dire situation when you need calm and collected observation skills.

Allowing fear to dictate how you utilize your personal finance is a surefire way to reduce its potential. Panicked selling during market downturns, jumping on investment fads, and other fear-motivated behaviors can result in short-term gains but long-term lessons. It’s all about time in the market, not timing the market. Combat your fear by building a strong financial strategy and standing firm in it. Your future will thank you.

Hesitation and Personal Finance

Fear and self-doubt can do more than motivate poor decisions: they can cause paralysis by analysis. If you are facing a large problem and feel overwhelmed, useful data can make it worse. The decision becomes larger than it actually is and you end up missing out on a valuable window for your decision, leading to lost opportunity cost. When it’s time to act, you won’t have time to hesitate. Do your research, consult with a trusted advisor, and act decisively. Commit to a plan and then measure the result. Even if it doesn’t go as well as you hoped, you gain useful insight for future initiatives. It can also teach you a lot about yourself, which is always valuable for your future.

Overcoming Yourself

Unfortunately, fear and doubt will always be present in your financial life in some way. You have to accept them as part of yourself and learn to use that energy when making decisions. Any time a decision has risks associated, you will have some sense of fear or doubt. If you allow your feelings to dictate your financial life you will be stuck for a longer time than you need to be. You are master of your own destiny. If that’s not empowering, we don’t know what is.

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