I recently began French lessons for the very first time. I always wanted to speak French but never had the opportunity. In high school, I took Spanish. (We’ll save the story about how this happened and the fight I lost with my mother for another day!) Those language lessons do help me today, but French is hard for me. There are so many sounds that challenge me and my teacher jokes that it’s an exceptional language because of all the exceptions to the rules. It will take commitment and practice to learn French, and I’m good with that. What surprised me was how hard it is to be a beginner.
At this point in my life, I have confidence about most things I do, and masterfully avoid everything else! After my very first lesson, I realized that I had stepped way outside my comfort zone. I was experiencing the feelings of my inner five-year-old, the one who was terrified to go to kindergarten. I was remembering the shy girl that stayed at the table at her first dance. (Yep, I was shy. Hard to tell that now, right?!) During my French lesson, I was hesitant and nervous. I didn’t know the answers and it didn’t feel good!
And then it struck me: this is what I’m seeing in people when they talk to me about money for the first time. They seem afraid to say things or overwhelmed about what information to share. By becoming a beginner, I was able to experience those feelings for myself. This was a big opportunity for me to help FIT members in a new way.
I always strive to be reassuring in those first conversations with people. I remind everyone that we are at the beginning and they are doing great by just showing up. My French lessons helped me see that there is more to FIT than working on finances. We are also grappling with what it is to be a beginner. As adults, this isn’t something we do frequently, and acknowledging it is as important as our willingness to work on our finances.
I invite you to embrace being a beginner. As we approach each new topic, notice and be mindful of the fact that there are two separate learning experiences happening—you will be exercising those beginner skills, and learning the concepts of Financial Insight.
Your membership in The FIT Universe will include support based on how you approach learning to make sure you are successful in this journey.