One of the major causes of stress today is money. Not only for “battlers”, but for people on all levels of society.
Of course, financial hardship is tough. However, I have found that people from all walks of life obsess about their finances, no matter their financial bracket.
There are those who earn a liveable salary. All their needs are met but still they are not satisfied. These individuals may work excessively, attend seminars on ‘how to get rich quick’ and dream of winning the lottery. The need to have more frequently leads to feelings of discontent, inadequacy and even depression.
There are others who are wealthy with enough savings to retire and live comfortably. They too are plagued with self-doubt, anxiety about the future and hopelessness.
Sid falls into the first category. He has a good job, decent house, savings and goes on holiday once a year. Nonetheless, he feels it is not good enough. Actually, he feels that he is not good enough. So when his family has a holiday at the Gold coast, he feels deprived and depressed because in his mind the holiday destination should have been Fiji. Similarly, when he gets a bonus of $5000 at work, he cries and wishes it could have been $2 million like the CEO of the large bank.
Liam belongs in the second category. He watches his bank balance and share portfolio daily. He needs constant confirmation that his worth is intact. Moreover, he worries a financial collapse is imminent. His anxiety about the future, and vigilance, keep him awake at night.
Here are some questions to help you avoid falling for the sales spiel given at seminars. They will also provide you with a framework which will stop you from feeling anxious.
- What are your deepest values? What is more important to you than money?
- At what point should you draw a line in the sand and say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”?
My advice on how to overcome anxiety about money matters:
- Reconnect to your deeper values (like spirituality, family, health). Keep them in your mind’s eye and do not be seduced by other values.
- Write down a clear cut, achievable goal (such as a modest home that has no mortgage). You will be able to let go of your stress when you reach that goal.