Mike Robertson Associates Ltd, Lifestyle Financial Planners, Battle East Sussex

What does Life mean?

As Lifestyle Finanacial Planners (LFP) we know the word 'life' means many different things to different people. It can be used to describe the interests, opinions and behaviours of an individual, group or even culture. It can also be used to describe the way you want your day to day experience to be.

Everyone has an idea of what the perfect life should look like. Often we think that we should have an impeccably clean home, work out every day, cook everything from scratch, only feed our families organic produce, have a successful job and perfect children. However, in reality most people are sleep deprived, the house hasn't been cleaned for days, it's all you can do to get a few things out of the freezer for dinner and you are struggling to have a successful career and have time for your family or friends, with any self care probably coming last on the list!

As LFP's we are here to try and help you realise your dreams and create the perfect lifestyle for you!

No-one's perfect, so why are you trying so hard?

Does anyone you know truly have the perfect life? If you look past the flawless image many of us put out on social media, then you will discover that no-one has a perfect life. It's stressful and tiring constantly striving for someone else's idea of perfection.

Step 1: Why not just give up your quest then?

When you are working with a LFP you may be asked "what does your perfect lifestyle look like?" This is the point at which a lot of people describe how their family are the most important thing to them. Helping your loved ones and spending quality time with them are common drivers for wanting to improve your lifestyle.

A Lifestyle Financial Planner or personal financial planner is a professional who prepares financial plans for people. These financial plans often cover cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, financial risk management, insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning (for business owners).

Step 2: Change your mindset.

Before you start work with an LFP, ask yourself:

  • Who am I trying to be?
  • Why am I trying to change my lifestyle?
  • Am I being realistic?
  • Is it possible to do everything at once?
  • What am I waiting for?

Writing down the answers to these questions will help you to look at your goals objectively. You will be able to see if they are realistic and it will also help you to visualise what your ideal lifestyle looks like - perfect for you, may not mean having an immaculately kept house!

Are you expecting too much of yourself by wanting to be a Hollywood version of perfect before achieving your dreams? Do you love your children less if they are not perfect all the time? Of course, not, you love them unconditionally despite their imperfections so why are you setting a different example for them?

You may be comparing yourself to your next door neighbour or a colleague at work who seems to have it all. Who cares if they have a better car or their child wins more awards at school? As LFPs, we highly doubt that any of those people are entirely happy because of material things, but because they spend less time thinking about what others think of them and more time appreciating what they have and being grateful.

Think about what makes you happy, what in your life do you appreciate - how does that fit into the ideal image of your life?

Step 3: Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

LFP's know that there are so many wonderful reasons to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. But being vulnerable is scary and in modern society, we often think of vulnerability as a weakness. In truth vulnerability is actually strength in disguise. To be vulnerable you have to be honest, you have to be the real you! Without it we would not be authentic, and we couldn't feel worthy and loved.

No-one likes perfect people - they are pretty annoying, right? Do you really trust those who appear to be perfect? No because perfection doesn't really exist.

The sooner we accept who we are and give ourselves permission to be vulnerable, the sooner we free ourselves from the chains of perfectionism.

Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs or Lifestyle Financial Planners who are professionals that offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market. We listen to you on all areas including many matters such as investment, retirement planning, insurance, protection and mortgages (or other loans). IFAs also advise on some tax and legal matters.

To help you with the challenge of being vulnerable, a LFP might ask you to start by being vulnerable with the people you trust. Choose someone who you can share your dreams and aspirations with, who will laugh with you about your crazy lifestyle but will also be there if you need support. You may be surprised by how enjoyable it is once you get over the initial fear.

To summarise instead of trying to be perfect, let other people see the cracks in your armour. If someone confides in you for moral support let them share their imperfections with you for you may have been in a similar situation.

You may also find that your vulnerability will start to attract people to you, and you'll be about to build a strong support network. When you are vulnerable it is easier to connect with others because you are coming from a place of truth.

Once you have done it a few times, it will become easier and easier to be vulnerable. But you need to keep practicing otherwise you won't be helping yourself.

As Steve Jobs said "your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life."


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Mike Robertson Associates Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England No 4501167. Registered Office 30-34 North Street Hailsham East Sussex BN27 1DW

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Mike Robertson Associates Ltd is located in Battle, East Sussex, near Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne

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