Updated: Oct 1, 2021
As I reflect on my life so far, I can identify how my self-confidence has ebbed and flowed. Looking back I can say that I had a healthy amount of self-confidence in high school. I performed in musical theatre and was a good student. However, when I went away to college I was surrounded by new people in a new place and didn’t know where I belonged. When I finally found a group that looked like fun, I had to work really hard to fit in. Here’s the thing, I got into a terrible habit of spending when I found this new circle of friends. Did these people really like me for who I was, or was I just assimilating into the crowd? Now I know that I was masking my lack of self-confidence with a lot of retail therapy.
Overcoming that lack of self-confidence wasn’t easy because I didn’t know I had a problem.
I thought those constant feelings of inadequacy were normal. All women must deal with this, right? Do I have the right clothes? Does my hair look ok? If I were only a few inches taller! It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I finally discovered what it felt like to be comfortable in my own skin.
I was, and still am, engaged in a lot of different business and networking organizations. Turns out, it doesn’t matter what I wear, or how tall I am. My personality shines through! I needed the right supportive people surrounding me to make me feel it and live it.
In my financial planning practice, I speak with a lot of clients about how their mindset impacts their financial decisions.
When I was in college I just wanted to fit in, but I always felt like being myself wasn’t enough. Instead, I racked up $12,000 in credit card debt by the time I graduated! That resulted in years of hard work to correct the problem. I meet with clients today who are still paying off old debts, nearly 20 years later. Only now they are balancing that old debt with today’s responsibilities: Marriage, car payments, mortgage, children, etc.
How many times have you made a financial decision thinking it would help you fit in with a crowd, or even help you feel better about yourself, only to feel the pain of regret later on? I’m here to share a (not so) secret. The key to finding your self-confidence is to stop worrying about what other people think! One of my favorite catchphrases of our time is, “You do you!” Just be you and be ok with it! When you are happy with yourself, you make better decisions, financial and otherwise, for you and your family.
I work with clients every day to help them find that self-confidence and self-love.
It leads to good money habits and achieving those dreams that always feel just out of reach. It is time to stop worrying and start living! Start your journey with me today!
Christina Gatteri, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886