Pro tips for overcoming money anxiety


When one of the co-founders of his company moved away, it was a curveball that propelled Leslie Bailey, co-founder and CEO of Indy maven, a business and lifestyle media community in Indianapolis, in a spiral. “I was suddenly responsible for all aspects of the business with no one to work with on a day-to-day basis,” she shares. “I think it was the first time in my life that I had no one holding my hand when it came to money, and it triggered huge insecurities in me and impostor syndrome. I didn’t feel confident or experienced enough to run a business from this point of view.

Bailey’s reaction to taking on greater financial responsibility is common, and for many people, a big part of the process of financial independence is about overcoming money anxiety. To do this, you must first determine where your worries about money are coming from, and then use mindfulness tools to help you overcome or deal with any limiting beliefs or blockages you encounter in dealing with your problems. finances.

“Once the trigger is isolated or identified, it’s easier to wonder when was the first time I felt this?” What you feel will identify the deeper problem, ”says financial advisor Eva macias.

To identify yours, psychotherapist Grace Huntley, LMHC, encourages you to review your last five purchases and write down how they made you feel. If a purchase triggered negative emotions, naming the specific feelings (shame, guilt, fear) can also help offer a roadmap on how to take care of yourself and your emotions.

It can help you develop a healthy relationship with money, according to Huntley. “Once you have a solid understanding of your beliefs about money, where they come from, and how they affect you, you can work on pushing back some of the distorted beliefs about money that can cause you excessive anxiety,” she says.

What exactly is financial anxiety?

While some money stress is both natural and normal, says Huntley, if left unaddressed, it can turn into money anxiety. “When this starts to cause dysfunction in our life and day-to-day relationships, it can be defined as a constant worry and discomfort about money that impedes effective spending and management,” she says.

For many, money anxiety can manifest as hoarding (not even spending on basic necessities) or financial self-sabotage. According to Huntley, it might feel like giving up promotions or fair compensation opportunities, or giving your job away for free out of a sense of guilt.

Often times, our feelings and relationship with money are defined or influenced by our family and culture from an early age. “Often, limiting beliefs will arise through messages we internalized about money growing up or the communities we find ourselves in as adults,” says Huntley.

This was the case with Rosa Pruneda, consultant and founder of RosaEPR, who began to feel anxious about money when it came time to negotiate the salary of his first job after college. “Personally and culturally, I was brought up to be grateful for what I was offered and negotiating for more money was not something I felt comfortable doing,” she says. “Healing generational money wounds is very difficult, especially if you are one of the first members of your family to start questioning the way things have always been done; However, it becomes easier with financial mentors, resources and support. “

Reframing your relationship to money

Money is an easy area to sink into the “owes”, says Huntley: I should be saving more. I should never spend that much on a haircut. I should earn X amount if I want to go on vacation. I shouldn’t have gone out to dinner last week. But moving away from this type of negative self-talk and replacing it with more positive inner dialogue can help allay anxious feelings about money before they turn into dysfunction.

Another thing that turned out to be beneficial for Bailey was creating a toolkit to help her overcome and overcome her anxiety about money. “Over the past year, I’ve done three very specific things to try and mend my relationship with money, and I attribute my new and improved relationship with him a lot,” she shares.

First, she hired a sales coach, then she started adding more financial books to her reading list like You’re a badass for making money by Jen Sincero. Finally, she joined a support group of others who were also working on overcoming money anxiety.

You may find it beneficial to hire a financial planner or advisor who can help you build your financial capacity and feel more comfortable with managing your funds. Or, disentangling old money wounds with a licensed therapist can also prove to be helpful.

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