When I first started taking a closer look at my personal finances, I felt a wave of anxiety and didn’t exactly know why. The math part of your finances isn’t what’s complicated, its the emotions behind your money. When you address your finances you aren’t just looking at the numbers but at the habits, trauma, and emotional triggers manifesting themselves in your money management.
Is there a correlation between your emotional state and your money?
What is Financial Anxiety?
“Financial anxiety can be described as a fear-based response or attitude towards one’s personal finances that is often connected to (or leads to) ineffective money management and suboptimal financial decision-making”
Megan Ford, MS.
If you’ve ever felt financial anxiety, you are not alone. We’ve all felt it at some point or another and overcoming the anxiety is possible. As a money coach, I realized the #1 thing my clients have in common is they all have unaddressed financial anxieties. This creates a deeper panic because they’re scared, but they don’t know of what!
What are you scared of?
Really dig deep and asking yourself the scary questions lingering in your mind regarding your money. Studies have shown that once you speak out your fear out loud, your overall distress is reduced.
- Take a deep breathe and say out loud what your biggest money fears are
- Some of these will feel silly as you say them out loud, some other will be realistic fears. After doing this you will feel lighter.
- Now that you know what you’re scared of, take a dive into your money and closely look at what’s coming in and going out. Was one of your money fears job loss? Then one of your money goals could be to save up an emergency fund that will give you peace of mind.
Identify what your fears are so you can come up with a way to make them less scary and less likely to “come true”. Some of these fears may even be somewhat irrational and can be unresolved trauma.
Stop comparing yourself to others
And stop using societal norms to measure your success. Every single one of us has our own journey and completely different backgrounds. Comparing yourself to someone else’s success is not a fair comparison to you. You’re not seeing their full story, their sacrifices, struggles, upbringing, etc.
Comparing is a thief of joy.
Focus on how you can better youself and define your own measure of success. Your experiences and decisions have led you to where you are today and shaped you in your very own unique way – OWN IT.
You are enough.
Let go of shame and guilt
Forgive yourself and release those emotions. Living in the past and focusing on the “what ifs” is not the best use of your time. Focus on what’s going on now and what you can do moving forward. Sometimes the “now” isn’t pleasant, but that too is an important experience.
Forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve made, you are not perfect – nobody is. We learn through our mistakes. Your focus should be on the lesson, not on the mistake.
Money is a Tool that will aid in the creation of your happiness
Money does not equal happiness. Getting over your financial anxiety will allow you to focus on the things that make you happy and will give you a clear vision on how to allow money to help you in that process.
If one of your biggest dreams is to visit Europe and stay there for a year as you explore and take in all the beautiful cities and history it has to offer, money will allow you to do this. You don’t need tons of money either, you just need a plan and some intention behind your dollars! Getting your money in order and addressing the emotions behind it will enable you to better manage it so it can give you the freedom to do and experience the things that make you happy and live a life you love.