Last week I banged into an old belief that I haven’t thought about for a long time. I started to believe once again that I can’t make financial decisions without a partner–namely a husband. Or if forced to make one I need to consult another wiser adult, maybe my son-in-law or my neighbor or a solid friend who has a better grasp of money matters than I do. But is that really true? I wondered. My old TV was dying and I didn’t feel like nursing it along. At the same time I felt stuck when it came to purchasing a new model. I know it sounds crazy but that’s how my mind worked. I worried that because I’m an older woman a salesperson might take advantage of me, try to sell me something I don’t need, yada yada. The more I thought about it, the more I believed it. I asked my son-in-law to go with me and he agreed.
I stewed over this for a few days before calling him to make an appointment. Then on the spur of the moment I told a friend at the gym about my ridiculous fear. But was it really ridiculous or was it based on some experience from the past? The more I thought the more I remembered that from the time I was a little girl all the way into my 50s my father had instilled in me (perhaps without meaning to) that I needed a man to guide me in such situations. Even after my husband and I bought our condo my father said he was concerned that we couldn’t make the payments! We were 55 and 65 years old at the time and both working. Where did this come from? Perhaps from Dad’s past growing up in poverty during the Depression.
But now I see that those subtle and not so subtle statements and so many more like them were woven into the fabric of my mind.
I said to my friend, “I’m afraid I might make a mistake, pay too much, or be sold something I don’t really want or can afford.”
She looked at me and without hesitation said with a big smile, “Karen, no one could ever take advantage of you.”
You think? Wow! I suddenly knew she was right. It was time to face that belief, to break it, and toss it. So immediately after our exercise class I put on my ‘big girl pants’ and drove to Best Buy and purchased a new smart TV to be installed this week and it is what I want and what I can afford and the salesperson was one of the nicest men I’ve ever dealt with.
So much for old worn-out beliefs running my life. Who knows what I might do next–crazy or not!
Please tell me I’m not alone. Have you ever come up against a ridiculous belief that you finally had to put out to pasture?