It’s Time to Let Go of the Fear of Wasting Time and Money

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Blog

It's Time to Let Go of the Fear of Wasting Time and Money

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to a topic that seems to be a common stumbling block for many of us – the fear of wasting time and money. It’s this ever-present cloud that looms over us, questioning every decision we make, especially when it comes to our careers and life choices. The nagging doubts about whether we’re making the right moves or investing our time wisely can be paralyzing, holding us back from the very opportunities that could lead to our actual fulfillment. So how can we know if an investment or decision won’t be a waste? By challenging the fear that keeps so many of us stuck. Here are my insights on embracing every experience, even those perceived as failures, as valuable stepping stones in your journey to a fulfilling life.


It comes up… a lot


One of the things that I coach on the most is this fear of wasting time or money. Maybe you’ve had this fear come up for you in your own thoughts before: What if I try this and it’s a waste of time? What if I invest in this and it’s a waste of money? How do I know before I make an investment in myself that it’s not going to be a waste of time and money?


The short answer is: you don’t know.


The questions we cycle through out of fear assume that there is a way to know the future. That there’s a way to know something before you’ve done it. This keeps so many of us paralyzed from ever taking a step because we assume we should know how our decisions are going to turn out. And even more so, that they will turn out the way that we want them to. 


The real set back


Believing that the only decisions worth making and worth investing time and money into are the things we know the outcomes of, is a hindrance to our growth and happiness. Think about how often you spin out over wasting time or money and then stress over your inaction (having lost the opportunity of time and money). Labeling an experience as a “waste of time” is just a thought, not an undeniable truth. 


When you think about your life, where you are, and how you’ve gotten here as the person that you are, it is not because everything went your way. You did not become the person you are and build the traits that you are proud of like resilience and confidence because you made the right decision every single time. Your life is unavoidably a journey filled with both time and money spent on your successes and failures. 


The lesson you needed


Instead of dwelling on what might seem like a waste, consider each experience as a valuable lesson in building you up to who you are today. Embrace the idea that every outcome is either the result you wanted or the lesson you needed. Our growth stems from learning through challenges, not avoiding them. 


I want you to think about a very basic example: a baby trying to walk. How many times does a baby have to fall before they have failed to walk? As if every attempt to stand and take a step was a waste of time. Or were they building muscle and gaining motor skills every time they tried to coordinate their feet? Of course we don’t consider learning to walk for the first time as a waste of time for toddlers. We can recognize that each failed attempt helped with their balance skills and recognition of where to place their feet.


The same is true when you invest your time and money into something new and it doesn’t go as planned or you don’t get the outcomes you were seeking. Let’s say you try starting a business or a new romantic relationship and it fails. Now what? We could spend our time telling ourselves it was a waste of time or we could learn from it and reflect:


What wasn’t I paying attention to? 

What were the red flags?

How was I showing up? 

Did I set myself up for success? 

Did I get the mentoring or the support that I needed? 


Looking at your thoughts


Following through with action despite our fears of wasting time and money requires us to manage our minds. But we can’t do that if we are spending our time beating ourselves up believing the mistaken assumption that we should know the outcomes of every one of our decisions somehow.


In the Quitter Club, I teach you how to look at your thoughts in a model and I want you to practice this with me right now:


  1. Consider the thought, “It was a waste of time.”
  2. Identify how it makes you feel. 
  3. Now when you’re feeling that, ask yourself, “What do I do from this headspace?” 


Wasting time or money likely makes you feel frustrated, annoyed, or defeated. Maybe you think, ”I just spent two years on this business. It was such a waste of time. I feel shame, frustration and disappointment. What do I do?” And as a result, maybe you consider not taking risks anymore. 


Willing to take risks


Taking risks and learning from mistakes is never a waste of time. We have to let go of this fantasy that we’re not going to make mistakes. Take a cue from Gary Vaynerchuk, the entrepreneur and marketing expert. While he shares insights into marketing and business, one valuable lesson his influence has imparted on me is the willingness to take risks. 


Gary is honest about the fact that we only see his successes but that his wins have come with their share of incorrect trend predictions and lost investments. But he uses the analogy that he’d rather juggle eighty balls and have five or ten drop, than try to juggle two balls and keep them both in the air at all times. Meaning, he’d rather go after new business endeavors and lose time or money for the overall outcome and experience than be unmoving in the direction of his goals.


Time and money not wasted


Similarly, when I started investing in business mentorship programs, I realized they weren’t all a perfect bill of the value I was in search of. But the majority of them could teach me something, open me up to a new perspective or business model, and change my life in ways I couldn’t anticipate before working through a course or coaching program. And that’s exactly what has happened. 


I have invested over a hundred thousand dollars over the last five years into business mentorship and made over seven hundred thousand dollars in the same time from my business. It has been a resounding success and I have learned skills that I will continue to build on to keep making hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Yet, in that hundred thousand dollar investment in mentorship, there’s a pile of failures and programs that I have invested in that I didn’t really get much out of or that weren’t the most aligned with my business niche. Because of these experiences, I can now look back on why some mentorship resources weren’t a fit and learn to make better investments going forward. Now, I’m a much better judge of what I need, where I’m at in my business, what I want to spend money on. I don’t need to beat myself up, thinking that every single investment into mentorship I make has to be the golden key.


Decide to let go


If I can decide I’m okay with a couple balls dropping and I’m okay getting it wrong and trust that I have pretty good judgments more so than not, then I can open myself up to more opportunities for growth. I can try so many things and experiment. The fear of wasting time is an obstacle we impose upon ourselves.


You can’t figure out what you want unless you’re willing to experiment. And you can’t experiment unless you’re willing to fail and willing to waste time. The nagging doubts about whether we’re making the right moves or investing our time wisely can be paralyzing. By letting go of this fear, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. If you want help with the thought work and putting it into practice, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. Together, we can work on eliminating limiting thoughts like “wasting time and money,” empowering you to confidently embrace your path of growth and self-discovery.