A Money Coach in Canada

Follow & Subscribe

It almost has a cult-like feel to it, but I don’t think it is one.

Maybe the fact that it feels a bit like one reflects how off-course our collective thinking has become. Sometimes we need to, nearly literally, re-wire our neural pathways. This is what Byron Katie helps folks do.

The rewiring ought to result in greater peace, energy and mental clarity – surely something we’d all do benefit from regarding our approach to our money!
So here’s the pitch.

We can and should challenge each of our distressing thoughts about money (or anything else, for that matter) by asking the following 4 Questions:

1. Is it true?

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

4. Who would you be without that thought?

and the last challenge is to invert that thought and corroborate that inverted thought with examples.
For example:

Thought: I might die a bag lady.

1. Is it true?
Well, of course, it might not happen. But it could. And that scares the hell out of me.

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
Uhhh… no.

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
I panic inside. I feel discouraged, hopeless and don’t even want to think about money

4. Who would you be without that thought?
Hmmm. I would feel a lot more serene. I would be more confident and optimistic about my finances, and feel better about paying attention to them. I would no longer engage in self-destructive financial habits. I might even learn to invest and start to build myself a nice little nest egg!

And the turnaround inverts and corroborates the thought:

I am not going to die a bag lady.
Corroboration: I have a job and I actually could live a bit more simply and start building a nest egg. | I have relatives who will leave me an inheritance. It isn’t much, but that will supplement my Old Age Security, and it could supplement my own savings quite nicely. | I am addiction-free and mental-illness free and generally healthy. That does not fit the profile of bag ladies!

The last bit, the turnaround, is designed to open our mind to new ways of thinking which align just as fully as our original thought. It may feel unreal, or unlikely, because we are so accustomed to one way of thinking that these new ones are hard to believe. But over time, our neural pathways should rewire and open up in ways that reduce our anxiety and enable us to relax more about money.

Katie’s site gives tons of free resources. Go play with your brain for a while!

Anxious about money? Even paralyzed just thinking about it?

Over the next few days I’ll be posting various ideas and possible techniques to break free so that you have the mental and emotional energy you need to deal more effectively with your money.

Here’s one not-the-usual option. It’s called EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s a distant cousin of its more mainstream (and generally accepted by professional psychologists) technique called EMDR .

I recently tried it out on a non-money-related matter to good effect. Did it resolve everything? No way. But it certainly helped calm my anxiety and furthermore created some new possible ways of thinking about the issues.

I’ve embedded a video below that will lead you through the technique. You can find more details on this website here or via a google search. I also recommend a FB friend of mine, Sue Burness. I did a session with her resulting in a couple remarkable insights. You may also be happy to hear she has a pay-as-you-can policy.

Are you stressed about money? You’re in good company – it’s a common thing!  Many folks respond by avoiding thinking about money altogether.  There are more productive ways to handle the stress and simultaneously re-arrange the power relationship between you and your money.

5 Actions to take if you’re stressed about money:

1. Crunch your numbers. Empower yourself with an accurate, not fear-based, picture of your financial situation. I can’t tell you how often my money coaching clients would experience a great sense of relief when they actually crunched the numbers – both the good (assets) and the bad (debts).  Once they clearly understood where they were at, they felt more grounded and could think more clearly. Extra good news: almost always the picture was brighter than they’d thought!

2.  Put yourself in charge! Stress is often a result of feeling out of control over something that matters.  If you you are held back from this either by your own thinking (I’m no good with money) or by a partner (she won’t let me), even taking incremental steps will help lower your stress.

3. Prioritize. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to solve everything.  Choose your top three (maximum!) priorities that you want to address over the next year.

4. Act! You’ve decided upon your top priorities. Now spend at least 15 minutes each evening and at least 1 hour each weekend planning (and scheming if need be!) how you will address the root causes of your financial anxiety. With the plans laid, consistently act on them until you are satisfied.   These could range from plans to increase your income to making the phone call to the cable company with a repayment plan to a conversation with your family about needed changes.

5. Give yourself a break. It’s a rare person who doesn’t have some significant money issues at some point in their life.   Don’t beat yourself up over it!  Do what is in your power to do, then carry on with your life and enjoy family, friends, whatever good things are in your life that encourage and delight you.

Photo Credit: Josef aka Hipnosato