5 Unexpected Challenges of Financial Freedom
Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Tara Schiller.
Although most of us aren’t anywhere close to financial freedom, I think you’ll find these suggestions make sense no matter how much money you currently have in the bank.
We all want to be financially free, right?
I mean, who wants to be told what to do, where to go, when to wake up, and who to be? In fact, we value freedom so much it’s considered an essential human need.
So how could there be a downside to something as wonderful as being free?
Well these 5 challenges may surprise you.
1. You have to learn to write your own story
Because we are told who to be and how to behave from the time we are very little, we don’t realize that having the whole world open to us can actually be a huge challenge. There’s an initial sense of floating in space with no anchor to anything solid.
And it’s not just that there are too many choices, but we suddenly feel the pressure of making the absolute BEST choice, because it’s being made by us.
There’s a term for this challenge called Analysis Paralysis, where a person overanalyzes every option, and then they have too much information to make a concrete decision. So how do you overcome this?
The old adage “know thyself” comes into play here. Taking the time out to know who you are and what you personally desire, regardless of all the great options, is worth the effort.
We are taught to please others by default, so there’s a mentality shift in learning to do things for yourself. Before you walk forward in a direction, learn to look within. Remember, just because it’s good, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Do what fits you.
2. You have to be self-motivated
With no one there to make you get out of your pajamas in the morning, you have to learn how to motivate yourself, otherwise you could end up sulking into a depression and smelling like wet dog.
Being financially free doesn’t mean you have to stop challenging yourself, but it does mean you get to pick your own challenges now. Since you have the time to figure out who you are and what you want, you can set goals that excite you. And developing a new kind of self-discipline, one where there won’t be severe consequence like not being able to pay your bills, will be key to moving forward.
These goals may or may not revolve around money, but you now have the option of them being founded on becoming more of who you really are, rather than achieving financial means.
3. You have to learn to prioritize your non-financial goals
In our society we’re taught that financial goals are important, so if you have to say no to participating in an activity because of a work obligation, it’s understood.
But what happens if you’ve committed to practicing an instrument daily, or writing your novel? You may feel like you don’t have a solid enough excuse to say no to things anymore. And before you know it, you’re running all over town for everyone and everything, and you never get to do what you wanted after all. Learn to prioritize your new challenges and give them a place in your life.
You may have to explain this to loved ones, helping them to understand that you worked hard for your financial freedom so you could do what you want.
Or if you’re on the other end, and became financially free to spend more time with loved ones, you may have to put aside the busy work to prioritize them. Either way, time can be filled up with things that don’t matter to you just as fast as with things that do, so make a commitment to live on purpose, whether you’re being paid for it or not.
4. You have to develop a new comfort zone
With all the changes around you, there may be things you continue to do automatically, even if they don’t make sense anymore, simply because they are old habits. This can make it difficult to start pursuing new activities, because it pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Some people will need to start small, changing one little habit at a time. For others, the best approach is a complete life overhaul so that they can identify themselves as a completely new person.
5. You realize “making it” doesn’t mean you stop having problems
When we’re chasing our dreams and visualizing the end goal of financial freedom, we tend to think all our problems will go away if we reach our goal. But life is a roller coaster, whether we’re working in a cubicle or resort hopping on exotic beaches.
Setting clearly defined goals, so that there’s a sense of triumph when they’re reached, and then learning to appreciate the beauty of the moment, will help to enhance the feeling of “making it”, and encourage you in a whole new set of dreams.
Tara Schiller spent the last 10 years of her life dedicated to the sole purpose of coming fully alive. She now uses her knowledge and experience to write the inspirational, completely authentic, and sometimes poetic blog, Absolutely Tara. In 2015 Tara also published the book, Living an Alive Life, which encourages readers to fall in love with their true selves. Follow along with what Tara is writing on Facebook and Twitter.