Day 3 : Money and feelings, Part 1

A new money mindset begins with being conscious – conscious of your mindset as it is in this moment. Pay attention to your thoughts, behaviors, and actions involving money. A few examples from everyday life:

  • You see a really nice coat in a store window. What happens when you look at the price tag and see that it’s 1000 euros? What’s your reaction?
  • You’re on social media, scrolling down, and an ad pops up. How do you react? What changes are going on in your thoughts, your feelings?
  • ·A relative tells you she’s taking a trip. She’s flying business class and staying in the most expensive hotels. What’s your reaction?

These are just examples of situations in which you react with your money mindset. You are always in contact with money. Starting now, observe yourself – when shopping, when talking to friends and family, at work. Your goal is to get to know yourself and your response pattern.

Psychology and money

This isn’t a psychology course. You probably noticed, though, that a lot of what influences your attitudes comes from an unconscious level. That’s completely normal – nobody is entirely rational when it comes to money. Even if you’re totally enthusiastic about saving something out of each paycheck, sometimes you just don’t do it, even if you know it would be wise and practical.

All too often, we are controlled by emotions rather than wise, rational thoughts. Emotions are constantly running, like a program in the background, influencing our actions. The main emotions and feelings associated with money are fear, guilt, shame, and jealousy.

  • Fear and money

Many people act out of fear when it comes to money. In most societies, we have internalized the connection that those who have no money do not survive. Financial fear therefore often comes from a place of fearing for life or death. And it touches on another human need: that of belonging. Whether we like it or not, money has something to do with acceptance as part of a group. How is it for you? Basically, money has the power to paralyze and to make you make irrational decisions.

  • Guilt and money

Guilt is a surprisingly strong driver when it comes to money. Who “gets to” have a lot of money? And why? What are your feelings toward people who have less than you? How should people with more money than you feel about you?

  • Shame and money

Shame is also a strong and often painful feeling. In the context of money, it’s closely related to guilt. It comes about when people think of money as something disgraceful and really want nothing to do with it. A major issue in this context is the connection between success and money. Only you can decide what’s right for you!

  • Jealousy and money

Money is distributed unequally. Many have little or very little, and some have a whole lot. There are many reasons for this. Jealousy comes into play when you resent someone for their wealth. This conflicts with the positive idea that there’s enough to go around.

It’s tough and often painful to acknowledge any of these emotions in ourselves. But you can work with them and understand why you are the way you are when it comes to money. Confronting your emotions is an important tool if you want to alter your money mindset.