Are You Feeling Left Behind?

By Jesse B. Jurgenson, certified financial counselor
The Village Family Service Center
www.HelpWithMoney.org

The feeling of being “behind” can mean different things to different people. It is one thing to be behind on a home fix-it project or career-related task, but what about when other parts of you feel behind—personally, professionally, economically and emotionally? How do you shake that feeling and become content with where you are in your life?

First off, be fair to yourself. You are not superman or superwoman. You are a flawed human being with moments of pure genius and moments of pure idiocy, many times in the same day. And guess what? So is everyone else. Just because you may view others as “flawless,” you have to know that you are only seeing what is on the surface. People can put an amazing amount of time and energy into looking “put together.” Sometimes people are like ducks—they look like they are floating along peacefully and smoothly on the surface, while paddling like crazy underneath.

Secondly, who are you comparing yourself against? Some careers pay more than others- that is the way it is. If someone enjoys a career and it just so happens to pay well- I am happy for that person. My chosen profession, what makes me happy and what I’m good at doesn’t. That is OK and I need to accept that, as do many people. Get over it and focus on what you can control. Keeping up with the Jones’ is one of quickest routes to financial ruin.

As young adults shove off into their independent lives, it is common to see their peers start to “settle down” and get “ahead” in terms of societal norms. This often includes marriage, a home, pets, white picket fence and possibly children. Some people meet their soul mate at 20 years old, some at 40 years old, and others at 70. Remember that a home means a mortgage payment, pets mean responsibility, and children mean a lifelong commitment and permanent change in lifestyle. Not to mention the highs and lows of parenthood. Wanting these things is OK and it’s good to be ambitious. Undertaking any of those steps because you want what others have will only end in disaster.

You are a distinctive, inspired, courageous and flawed person. Just like everyone else. Your greatness will be unique to you and you need to be prepared when that moment comes, not when you decide it should be.

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