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Identifying Emotions & Staying on Track


We have a lot of roles in our lives. Employee or employer. Teacher or student. Spouse. Daughter or son. Friend. Sibling. Parent.

Some of these roles are easier to navigate than others. Which ones are the most challenging for you? Maybe you’re having trouble balancing both work and school. Or problems in your family life are getting in the way of you maintaining friendships in your personal one. You could be devoting much of your emotional energy to your aging parents with responsibilities to your spouse, children and job being left behind.

So what does this all have to do with finances? These life stresses can bring out our worst spending habits, especially those that involve collecting things. The dark side of your relationship with money rears its head when you feel overwhelmed.

Remind yourself of the influencing forces behind your financial emotions. Is your personality type a hindrance to your personal growth or happiness? Do you find yourself blaming others for standing in the way of your financial success?

Now is the time to identify the emotions behind your money decisions. Shame, blame, judgement and guilt often materialize in your day-to-day life as splurges. Life is peaks and valleys; don’t allow the low times to ruin yourself financially. And even if you slip up every now and then, don’t allow your mistakes to crush your self esteem and worth. Remember, you are worth more than whatever that number in your bank account says. Those titles that sometimes become unbearably difficult are also the same ones that fill your life with joy, love and meaning. Why not view your money that way as well?

Action step

What titles do you embrace and which ones do you begrudgingly accept? How often do you attach a negative emotion to a role you play? Look at the roles you play in your life as objectively as possible, and determine how those roles have affected your relationship with money. Embrace whatever feelings you have about your roles and the negative part they play in your finances, and forgive yourself.

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