Overcome (Financial) Fear With Appreciation

by Manisha Thakor

“Do you ever feel that no matter how much money you earn, it is never enough?”

As a financial adviser working with high net worth women and families, I have observed that even financially successful people struggle with a sense of scarcity. This may sound strange, given the widespread idea that “more” (money, status, success) leads to increased happiness. But all too often, increased income is accompanied by the expectation and social pressure of a more expensive lifestyle. As such, I see individuals across a wide range of income levels living beyond their means and accumulating possessions or expensive habits that don’t bring genuine, long-lasting life satisfaction.

So what is the solution for avoiding this “more-faster-better-flashier” cycle?

First, recognize that you have enough, and know you are not alone. The annual Consumer Electronics Show was recently held in Las Vegas where the latest and greatest electronic gadgets were on display. Interestingly, research from the NPD group indicated 68% of consumers are just fine with their current gizmos and feel no need to spend any more of their hard earned money on new devices. It turns out a lot of us intuitively know what we want. And it’s not more.

Second, remind yourself that appreciation is an incredible power-tool. Give it a whirl. Next time you are feeling tense or stressed about something, challenge yourself to sit down and literally count 3 blessings. The simple act of appreciating what is right in your life can lead to increased calm and clarity. If you are not sure where to start, visit a website, such as Giving What We Can where you can submit your annual income and find out what percentage you fall into in terms of the wealth of the world. Surrounded by so much plenty, it’s easy to get a skewed perspective on what is “enough”.

Third, face your financial fears with tender care, awareness, and careful judgment. If we want to heal our relationship with money, we need a gentle approach to our financial fears. And for so many of us, these fears are rooted in primal places. Our unconscious beliefs about money are often related to our sense of power and identity. The core of inner healing is about recovering the truth of who you are and what you desire. This delightful piece from ForbesWoman lists 10 common financial fears that I see frequently – everything from the proverbial “Bag Lady Syndrome” to not being able to make sound investing decisions. Take a few minutes to look through this link and see if any of the problems… and more importantly solutions… resonate with you.

Feeling like we are incomplete or personally lacking, as we often are today, is a big drain – on both our productivity and our happiness. So this week, invest a bit of time in thinking about what “enough” means to you.

[Want more financial love? You can follow Women’s Financial Literacy Initiative founder, Manisha Thakor, on Twitter at @ManishaThakor or on Facebook at /ManishaThakor, or visit MoneyZen.com.]

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