This is the third, and final, post in the Women Inspired series from Prudential. In the first post I wrote about how I became the person that I am today. In the second, I wrote about my aspirations and inspirations. And in this final post, I've been asked to write about what I learned about myself through this process and in sitting on the Prudential panel at the BlogHer15 event.
As I mentioned in the second post, sitting on the panel was very out of my comfort zone. I'm a shy introvert by nature, and the thought of speaking to a room full of people was really scary for me! However, I also wrote that I know I need to step out of my comfort zone to achieve my goals (or even to experience some great opportunities).
In situations like that, I have this little trick I play on my mind - I pretend that I am someone else, an actress, just playing the part of Katie. I'm still ME, in the sense that I am totally honest; but by pretending that I'm acting out a script, I have less anxiety about the whole thing. Now that I write this, I realize how silly this sounds, haha!
|One of the scariest moments of my entire life! But in the end,|
I am glad that I didn't let my fear stop me from doing it.
However, that, in and of itself, was a huge learning experience for me. I realized that I am the sort of person who hates to make decisions. The responsibility of being the decision maker is worrisome because I would hate to screw something up for somebody else (like my family). By attending this panel, I hoped a financial advisor would make all these financial decisions for me - basically give me a list of things to do in order to become financially secure. That way I wouldn't risk screwing things up for my family.
I have that mindset with many goals in my life. When I lost the weight with Weight Watchers, for example, I followed the plan right to the letter. That way, if I didn't lose weight, I would know that it wasn't my fault. When training for a race, I still tend to choose someone else's training plan - even though I am certainly qualified to write my own plans. That way, if I don't reach my goal, I can think of it as a faulty plan. Realizing all of this was pretty eye opening for me! I've discovered that I really need to take chances, and take more responsibility when things don't work out. Things don't work out EVERY TIME for anyone, and I'm certainly no exception.
Hearing the other bloggers speak on the panel was very inspiring. Most of them have blogs that are businesses, and they had to do quite a bit of work to build them that way. They had to make a lot of decisions (and mistakes!) along the way to get where they are now. They are very proactive people in general, and I realized that I am not. I tend to be very passive and wait for opportunities to come along.
I've been getting better at stepping out of my comfort zone when opportunities arise. The key is, I wait for opportunities to arise rather than seek them out. I believe that is the big difference between actually getting things done, and just dreaming about them.
Regarding my financial goals, there were two things at the top of my priority list: 1) Start building an emergency fund, and 2) Get life insurance. A third big goal, although not entirely financial, was to write a will. While Jerry and I don't have much in terms of possessions, I wanted to legally appoint a guardian for the kids in case something happens to Jerry and me.
I won't tell the boys who their guardian would be, because they just may start planning Jerry's and my demise... ;)
Finally, the life insurance is still in progress. I truly knew absolutely nothing about it until I started reading about it after I got home from NY. Hopefully by the time this post goes live, we'll be covered. I was surprised to see that insurance wasn't nearly as expensive as I'd imagined. I had always assumed it would be a couple hundred of dollars a month, but it's nowhere near that.
To sum up this jumble of thoughts, my learning experience from this program with Prudential really boils down to my own introspection. I learned that I love to set goals, but have a hard time being proactive. I worry that I will fail, so I tend to wait for someone else to tell me what to do or point me in the right direction. I learned that I have to take risks in order to reach my goals, and take responsibility if I fail to reach them. I am very grateful to have discovered all of this about myself, because I took charge of a few goals on my list and knocked them off in just a couple of month's time!
From this discussion/advice, what do you find the most valuable? Is there anything you can apply to a personal situation? Join the growing community of #womeninspired.