When Emotions and Money Collide

About 20 minutes into my new workshop the other night, I felt the energy shift in the room.
The people attending were taking a few minutes to think about what their energy was when it came to money – was it full of resentment, anger, and upset? Or was it full of gratitude, abundance, and positivity?

Once everyone was done writing down their thoughts, I encouraged everyone to share what had come up for them with the class and that’s when the magic started to happen. As everyone shared openly and honestly about their emotions when it came to money, I could feel the sense of relief from everyone that they were not alone.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve heard me quote the statistics time and time again – 70% of people live paycheck to paycheck and 76% of people feel out of control when it comes to their money. In my experience, these statistics are primarily the result of people living in fear of taking financial action due to their feelings and emotions around money.

Guilty, scarce, shameful, anxious, alone, afraid/scared, angry, embarrassed. These were just a few of the words that described how people felt when it came to their money.

As much as I truly believe that money management is, indeed, a teachable and learnable skill, unfortunately very often emotions prevent people from seeking support to learn the skills that they’ve never been taught. They stay stuck in the fear and never allow themselves to surrender to the possibility that it’s a significant area of their life with which they can ask for support.

When emotions surface around money, I recommend the following steps to begin to move through those emotions so that you can take action to learn the money management skills that you were never taught and to, once and for all, empower yourself with skills and strategies to pave your path to financial freedom:

  1. Experience your experience – What I mean by this is the following – don’t try to avoid what you’re feeling, because when you do it’s like sitting on a beach ball under water. While you may be able to keep your feelings “under the surface” for a certain period of time, inevitably the feelings will surface and they may pop up loudly from the pressure. (Picture the beach ball just popping up from the water underneath you!). If you’re feeling angry, then feel anger. If you’re feeling sadness, then feel sad. If you’re feeling guilty, then feel guilty. Don’t avoid it, acknowledge the elephant in the room.
  2. Tell someone else – Usually when I say this, people let out an audible groan – “UGH.” Yes, telling someone what you’re feeling allows you to have someone bear witness to what you’re going through. I’m not suggesting you pick some random person on the street who may look at you and judge you (because that’s a real fear, right – that someone will judge you?), I’m talking about a best friend, a loved one, a confidante. Someone who is on your team and will listen and be the space for you to share openly and honestly what’s going on for you. I’ve found that this step is critical, as shame, guilt, embarrassment and fear can’t stand to be spoken in the light of day – once the feelings are spoken, the emotional energy within you can be shifted.
  3. Make a new choice – You’ve acknowledged the elephant in the room by experiencing your experience and you’ve told someone, so now what? It’s time to make a powerful choice. Who do you want to be with your money? What are your goals? What type of support do you need skill-wise or emotionally to create what you want in your life? Be real about the fact that you’re surrendering to your commitment to become financially empowered and skilled in the area of money management, and that you’re open to getting the support that you need to do that.

Emotions and feelings can be a significant barrier to being powerful with your money, which means that the power of money as a tool to support your life is diminished. Allow yourself to move through your emotions and shift to the other side where strategies and skills are waiting to support you on your journey to financial freedom!

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