This is part of the Unconventional Guide GRS series (affiliate link) by JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly. I’m working through the material and have started writing about it again. If you want some back story, check out some of my earlier posts:
Financial trolls. I don’t care who you are, where you live, or what you’ve accomplished, at some stage in your life you have faced a financial troll. A financial troll is similar to an internet troll. You know these troll guys, they are the ones that pop up out of nowhere on the internet and launch the comment equivalent of an anti-aircraft missile at your blog post (or whatever it happens to be). It could be related to your material or it could not be – the point is that trolls have effectively sabotaged your conversation because people are reacting to this new target. That’s it. No more discussion. No more dialogue.
The same thing can happen in your own life. Perhaps you’re trying to buy your first house, start your own business or break into the stock market and you come into contact with someone who has nothing good to say about anything you’re doing.
“You know that you’ll never buy a house – you’ll have to save for 50 years just to get a down payment together.”
“Hey, guess what? Seventy-five percent of all businesses fail so you might want to rethink that plan.”
And so it goes.
Right now, you might be wondering what kind of people I know: Who would actually say something like that? Maybe most people wouldn’t be this blatantly judgmental with another person but your internal critic can be much worse – your own financial trolls. They are more insidious and can creep through the chinks in your financial armour. They are the ones that whisper self doubt and defeating thoughts when you’re trying to pursue your financial goals and they can be hard to identify. Here’s what they might sound like:
Financial Troll #1: Procrastination
This financial troll is all about later. “I’ll track my expenses later” or “I’ll start saving money with my next paycheck.”
How do you fight this? Be clear on what you can and can’t accomplish and follow through. Sometimes things do get in the way but don’t be fooled by your own small print, you have to find a way even when you don’t feel like it. Set a schedule and stick to it, it’s like exercise that way.
Financial Troll #2: Rationalization
These are the voices that masquerade themselves as “good reasons” or “logical arguments” when you are trying to achieve your goals. These are the ones that tell you “I should reward myself for doing so well” or “I’m out with my friends, I should have as much fun as I can.”
These ones can be difficult to identify because it usually seems like a good reason at the time. Perhaps there’s even a grain of truth. If you haven’t put together a plan to achieve a goal without enough leeway to let loose once in awhile, you might be setting yourself up for rationalization to sneak in through the back door. Pay attention to these little messages and make sure you aren’t being overly restrictive with yourself. But once you figure out the balance, hold yourself accountable and stick to the plan!
Financial Troll #3: Self-defeating thoughts/behaviour
These financial trolls are mostly about how you see yourself. If you are setting goals that are going to bump against your own insecurities and doubts, you can expect to be challenged. These messages can sound like “I don’t deserve a promotion at work.” Or “I’m not smart enough.”
If you struggle with these kinds of thoughts (financial trolls) when you are trying to do something positive, it’s important to identify these for what they are. A voice in the wind. A passing thought. Try not to give these doubts more energy than you absolutely have too. Identify it. Name it. Move on.
Financial trolls can come in all shapes and sizes but the sooner you’re able to target them, the sooner you can make it hunting season. Keep a journal with you and jot down quick notes when you find yourself procrastinating, rationalizing, or self-defeating. Find a way to challenge those financial trolls and achieve your goals.