Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
Money can stir many emotions, some positive and healthy and some that tend to be negative and unhealthy. It’s the unhealthy emotions that often lead to frustrating and self-sabotaging relationships with finances. Do you recognize and understand your predominant money emotions?
According to Wikipedia the definition of emotion is: “An emotion is a term for a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts and behavior. Emotions are subjective experiences, or experienced from a individual point of view.”
Money is as much an emotional mindset as it is a physical act of holding coins in your hand. Each of us has a unique and personal concept of how money and financial success positively and/or negatively can and will affect our lives. Our feelings and emotions about money are distinctively our own. It’s our unique life experiences that work to shape and form our conscious and unconscious perceptions about enjoying, or not enjoying, money.
What does money mean to you? Answer this question honestly and quickly with your first “gut” reaction.
Was your initial reaction positive or negative? What memories or pictures formed in your mind as you thought about having or not having money? What emotions did you experience? Your answer can mirror unconscious feelings and emotions about your relationship with money.
Some examples of emotions: Anger, annoyance, anxiety, boredom, desire, deserving, disappointment, despair, enjoyment, enthusiasm, envy, embarrassment, excitement, fear, frustration, gratitude, grief, guilt, happiness, hope, hopelessness, hostility, jealousy, loss, making mistakes, pleasure, pride, regret, remorse, risk, sadness, security, shame, stress, suffering, worthiness, worry.
Take a few minutes and make a list of your positive and negatives “feelings” about money. You may surprise yourself with just how many emotions are locked deep in the unconscious parts of your mind. Looking at your list, would you say you have positive emotions about money and finances?
Our emotional relationship with money began in childhood. We felt the emotions that parents and growing up role models expressed about enjoying or not enjoying money. Locked deep within our unconscious mind are all the emotions we heard, saw and experienced about the positives and/or negatives of having, saving and enjoying money.
One more question to ask yourself: Do I feel worthy and deserving to enjoy abundance and wealth? Giving yourself the emotional permission to enjoy your money is a prerequisite to making and keeping a well-rounded and healthy financial lifestyle.
Here are two books I highly recommend that have activities, worksheets and practical advice for dealing with the emotional and “real-world” aspects of finances.
Women and Money (My BellaOnline review) by Suze Orman – It’s like a girlfriend giving you a financial wake up call. If you’re ready to get a positive grip on your finances, this may be just the book for you.
It’s Not About The Money (My BellaOnline review) by Brent Kessel – The subtitle says it all, “Unlock your money type to achieve spiritual and financial abundance.” This book helps determine your emotional (heart and soul) relationship with money. Get ready for some emotional soul-searching.
Here are direct links to Amazon.com if you'd like to read more about either book:
Women and Money if you’re interested in the book and you’ll also find a downloadable audio version. And It's Not About The Money