030 - How to Overcome Financial Anxiety & Worry in 3 Simple Steps - Part 1

CONNECT WITH SHARON

In this episode, I share the 3-Step Process I've used and continue to use today to help me through financially stressful situations - or any difficult and challenging situation that we face in life every now and then.

Part 1 goes a little behind the scenes about why I do what I do, and why I've distilled everything I learned into this simple 3-Step Process. This episode introduces this 3-Step Process and what it is.

In Part 2 next week, I'll go into greater detail about each part.

I hope you find this useful. If it helps you or you think someone can benefit from it, please share the episodes with them!

And do give my podcast an honest rating and review on Apple Podcast, so that I can share my message with more people and help them live happier, more fulfilled lives!

Transcript

Sharon Sidhu: 0:04

Hi and welcome to The Financially Free Woman Podcast! Im Sharon and Im the creator of this non-financial, financial podcast about money and how money affects the work we do, the relationships we have and our ideas about freedom. Most people dont realize that the path to financial freedom doesnt begin with gaining more knowledge or making more money. In this podcast, youll learn how to embrace and accept yourself as a fully whole, albeit imperfect person so that you can become the highest and best version of yourself. And this, my friend, is the key ingredient missing from typical lessons about money and personal finance. In this podcast, youll learn about your own psychology and relationship with money, how money is more than just the dollars and cents, and practical actions that are grounded so you can transform your dreams into reality. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Lets get started! Hi there. Welcome to another episode of The financially free woman podcast. I'm Sharon and I'm the host and creator of the podcast where I help women and moms overcome financial anxiety and stop worrying about not having enough money to live the life that they want. I combined my two decades of professional experience in HR, personal and leadership development and success with my own personal struggles with money to bring you weekly chats with other women who are making profit and money from their passions and talents. I'm convinced that to truly experience financial security, peace of mind and freedom, you must first master your mindset and relationship around money. Specifically, by gaining self confidence and to have belief in yourself that no matter what your money situation is right now, you already have what it takes to create the life that you want. That includes and learning your ideas about the relationship between time and money, and taking clear concrete actions to be the master of your money. I'm so excited and grateful that you've decided to listen to this episode. So let's get started. Welcome to today's episode, today's episode is going to be one of a two part series. So today and next week, I'm going to be talking about how you can overcome financial anxiety and worries about money in my three part framework. So in today's episode, I'm going to talk a little bit more and give you the background behind how I came to the conclusion that when it comes to experiencing more financial peace of mind, financial security and freedom, which so many people want to have, and especially during the pandemic, when we saw lots of people either lose their jobs or have their hours cut, or were on at risk of losing their jobs, how so many people were financially stressed out. And it really kind of reminded me of what I went through a few years ago when I was let go from my job as the primary breadwinner for our family. And on top of that having to pay off our six figure business that so I was called I somehow had this internal calling that whatever I learned from that experience, maybe could help somebody who is going through those very same financial worries and stress that used to keep me up awake at night and fight with people and be really angry and stressed out really about my financial situation over money. And that's the reason why I was inspired or called to start this podcast to talk about this and the lessons that I've learned and to also talk to other women who have somehow also found a way to make money by doing what they love and what they enjoy and therefore debunking the often and I guess the conventional wisdom that if you want to have financial security, then it is a matter of ensuring that you don't spend you budget and you invest and do law all of that which I'm not saying it's not important I I definitely recognize it is important but what I really wanted to learn and understand and find a way a better way was. How do I keep my sanity and remain calm as I Learn how to earn more as I learn how to put away money systematically, every month in order to save and invest, how do I continue to do that in a way where I still get to enjoy my life without having to completely deprive myself. So I was inspired to start the podcast, which then also led me to start talking to more people about it. And, you know, it became clearer and clearer to me that there were really the three main components that I'm going to be talking about today and next week about how you can also start to experience more financial calm peace of mind, and to stop worrying about money. Because ultimately, in order to do that, you have to have a certain deep faith, conviction and confidence that it's going to be okay, that you have everything in you right now to be able to find a way forward no matter what your money situation is right now. And that's really what inspired me to do today's episode. And well, it's kind of quite a lot of content. So I split it up into two. So today's episode and next week's episode. So in this part one of today's episode, I really wanted to just give you a little bit of that background, behind why I even started the podcast in the first place. And how I came to the conclusion of these three steps that I think that anybody can begin to start paying attention to and taking these steps, and that you will find will start to give you a sense of calm and confidence over your money, which in turn, then opens up doors or enables you to see opportunities where previously you might have only seen problems and challenges before you. So last year, during the whole the whole pandemic. And in the beginning of 2020, the company that I was working with was also recently acquired. And then shortly after we had the whole pandemic break out and saw many countries go into lockdown, including ours here in Singapore. And all of that all kind of culminated in me being asked to reduce my working hours, and obviously also decreased my income. And one thing that really stuck out for me was that being someone who used to be always very stressed out about not having enough money, and always worried about making sure I have I make enough money to have the lifestyle for our family that we wanted. One thing that I noticed when I received that piece of news was that I was surprisingly calm. I did not panic, although my immediate thought was a oshit moment. But I kind of quickly recovered, I somehow knew that there would be a way and I also knew that look, this whatever this is happening now. There's something I can learn from it. And I know there's an opportunity amidst this challenge. And that response of mine kind of surprised, even myself, because all my life, I used to respond with quite knee jerk reactions, whenever I felt my finances were threatened, or Yeah, where where I might lose my financial security. And that actually really was the starting point, when I realized that maybe all the work I have been doing in the years before that was really starting to pay off. And at that time, it didn't really, I didn't really make too big of a deal over it. I just thought it seems like I'm quite incredibly calm over this whole thing. But then I was just focused on then keeping my eyes peeled and looking for opportunities to make up for my loss income. And very quickly, almost immediately before even my reduced hours took effect, I had already got something lined up that more than compensated for the loss of my income. I became a freelance trainer for one of our social enterprises here in Singapore. And during that time, we were conducting a lot of training for displaced or at risk workers. And so it was very seamless. I actually didn't really even feel any financial stress at all on a practical level. But then in the training because of the group of people I was training, who were all people who had their jobs who were at risk of losing their jobs, reduction in incomes and all of that because they were in an industry that was heavily heavily impacted by the pandemic. I realized I know An idea just kind of came into my mind that look, you could help so many more people, if you could share what you did over the past few years going from someone who wouldn't been so stressed out and worse. So completely stressed out over being let go from a job back then to where you are now today where you've got financial resilience to get through even the experience of having my hours reduced. And I just felt a call to have to share this on a public platform, which is always difficult, because we know once we go on a podcast like that, people will judge you people will say things and I, you know, I used to be someone who used to care a lot about that. But I think the call for me to actually share what I went through in the hopes that it could help even one person was so much stronger than my fears of being judged and criticized. And so here I am. And they're all started in November of 2020. When and I started interviewing women who were also finding their way to make a living doing what they really love what they believed in and had a passion for, and finding financial freedom and financial success in their own unique ways. They were creating their own paths. And that was something very different from the conventional way of thinking about how you just focus on getting a good job, a good paying job, stay in that job, work your way up, get the promotion, earn more money. And that was supposed to be one of the paths to financial security. And I was seeing before my own very eyes, that very large, established corporations were letting people go, and that they were not spared from what was happening with the pandemic. And I started noticing a trend as well myself that I experienced that how I arrived at this place now where I am so much more confident and feel so much more financially secure and have peace of mind over my money, it doesn't really begin with how huge my bank account was, or is, I mean, of course, having money helps, I'm not going to deny that having money as a cushion is going to help ease the whole transition. But back when I started doing all of this work, I was really struggling to make ends meet. And the external appearance was that I was very successful. The external appearance was that everything was okay. But internally, I didn't know if I could make the mortgage payments. I was not having lunch so that I could save that money I would attend I was doing as trainees have certification costs that I had already paid for previously. And breakfast would be provided during those training days. And I would just eat enough in the morning when breakfast was provided that would last me through the day, just so that I didn't have to spend money on lunch. And that is so like when I talk about this now I can't believe how bad things were then. And yeah, so it was not. Sometimes I think we all have a lot going on behind the scenes. And the appearance is not what it is. So although I might look on the outside, that I was fine, behind the scenes of this was what I had to resort to, I never had to do that I never was, I mean in that unfortunate position. And I know people may be in this situation, and I my heart really goes out to you and I really empathize with you. And I think that whole experience helped me to have more compassion for people. But lucky for me, I had never really had to think about that. And I had to at that point in time, and I was still keeping up appearances that it was okay that I still had enough money to buy food. But I was just trying to save however I could so that I could give whatever I could to the kids and the school and all of that. So that was the situation I was in then. And yet from there, I actually did the work to work on my own mindset and to understand my relationship with money, what money meant to me and what I made it mean to me in my life, and all of this inner work, right. And that's how I learned that actually, in order to be really to feel financially secure, it actually doesn't mean that you must learn and know everything about money and investing. In fact, the first step is to actually work on your mindset and the belief in yourself first, and your ability to figure things out, especially during challenging times. When you feel like it's so difficult to actually still have the belief in yourself. It's a little bit like the diet right if you've ever wanted to lose weight. And if you started with all the foods that you couldn't eat and you will make a list that you will avoid that hardly ever becomes sustainable change. Why? Because you are constantly in deprivation mode and willpower can only go so far. However, if you started off with getting a really clear understanding of your relationship with food. What are you using food for? When do you eat you eat for comfort? Do you eat when you feel stress? And actually, what do you really believe about food? Do you think that by eating certain foods you will put on weight. And so therefore, you think that by cutting out that food, you'll lose the weight. I mean, now there's this whole area called intuitive eating that teaches a completely different philosophy. But cutting out the all these foods that you think is going to cause you to gain weight, it might work in the short run. However, it is quite hard to sustain over the long term, because underneath all that, you still may be still treating food as comfort or a means to release your stress or feel better about yourself. So the next time when you're under stress, or you want to feel better about yourself, you're just going to go back to that old behavior and that old habit again, and it's very similar to money. Most of us aren't really aware about the relationship that we have with money, and all of us have a relationship with money. And I learned through my own experience, right surviving that six figure business that being let go from a job when I was the primary breadwinner, which, by the way, was a role a resistant but that's for another episode surviving a restructuring, having my income cut significantly because of the whole pandemic situation. And I learned through all that, that actually being financially resilient, and experiencing financial security and peace of mind religious goals, it goes beyond just learning how to invest in safe. So it's not enough for us to just learn financial literacy. Because for many people, the process of getting to that level, whether it's a certain salary that you want to be earning that you think by earning that amount of money is going to improve your lifestyle and your family's well being. Or if you're trying to work up to a certain investment portfolio where you feel that okay, and financially, you'll be okay for retirement or for your health care needs for your kids college education, whatever it is that you're working towards, is going to take time. So from here now until the time when you feel that you have reached that level, what are you going to do in the meantime, are you continue to are you going to continue to live your life while doing that in a very stressed out state, right. And if you don't deal with your relationship with money in the first place, you may never even get to a point where you feel like it's ever enough. Because you feel like you'll always run out. Why? Because money will get spent, as long as you're alive, right, and you have to eat, you have to pay for bills, money is gonna get spent. And if you still don't have a good, healthy relationship with money, then you're gonna feel like you're on the hamster wheel again, having to make more money, and then spending it and having to make money again, and spending it I mean, just talking about it already makes me feel stressed out and exhausted, with the whole hamster wheel going round and round. So what I'm here, what I'm trying to do, and what I'm trying to share here is also something that a solution I set out for myself, I wanted to find out how you could remain calm, confident and feel safe and have peace of mind. Even while you're taking the steps to build up your financial buffer, build up your savings, get to a better higher earning level, whatever it is that you feel you need in order to create your dream life. I wasn't satisfied, we've just been told that you just have to budget, you just have to save and then invest whatever extra money you have, and then earn more. I wasn't satisfied with that answer. Because I wanted to enjoy the journey of saving, investing and earning more and not feel completely stressed out. Like I had a certain deadline to meet all of this, or suffer the consequences, right? Sometimes we're told, you know, you're gonna need X amount of dollars to retire and continue this lifestyle that you have. And the later you start, the more you're gonna have to put aside because of the compounding effects of time. And if you're of a certain age, you just don't have as much time as someone who started earlier. And all of that just sounded very stressful to me, like I was working on a clock right, I was on a clock. And that just led me to be even more stressed out about no money in no time. So this whole search led me to the conclusion that is really not enough to just go for some financial literacy class or talk or to keep learning the latest investing strategy or how to make money fast. I wanted something that works. I wanted something that I could stick with in a long term. And I wanted something that I actually would enjoy doing and keep my sanity while I worked towards a place where I no longer have to stress about not having enough money in order to have the lifestyle that I want. And that led me to a place where I've incorporated my personal struggles with money with my corporate experience in personal development, leadership, high performance and success. I've been doing that for a long time now studying how successful people thought differently and behave differently. And I applied that to money. And then I combined it with whatever I'm learning from the women I'm interviewing on my podcast about how they were turning their dreams into reality. And that's how this three part framework was born, which is I call it moms who profit, right? Because my goal is really here to share everything I learned with you so that you can also create a life of your dreams, doing what you love, making good money, and experiencing more financial security, peace of mind, calm and confidence with your money and your financial situation, and yourself, knowing that no matter what you have what it takes to get through it, and to figure it out. And in particular, for women and moms, and especially high earning women and moms, they can sometimes be a lot of shame and guilt, shame, because despite being able to earn good money, that if we can't seem to keep it or know how to deal with it, or do and grow the money, right? Because after all, if you're such a high earner, you should know better, right? You should know how to deal with your money, you should know how to keep the money and growing invested right? After all, you have a successful career, how can you not have your money situation figured out and guilt because sometimes we use money to make up for some other area of me that we're neglecting, or maybe we're depriving ourselves. And so I wanted to create this community of women who create and create the safe space right for us to share those insecurities and fears and doubts so that together, we can find a way to take concrete actions, to deal with all of our fears and insecurities and doubts and move forward to create and live the life that we want in all areas of our lives. Whether it's just, I mean, not just money, but even in our careers, with our family, with our kids parenting. And for moms, really, you have a far greater influence on your kids than you realize. And therefore it is even more critical that you're the role models of financial success for your kids. And really, that goes beyond just getting a high paying job. It also goes beyond kind of lights not being money, because we all need money to live a good life. So it's not like you have to choose one over the other. Rather, it's about having a deep self knowledge and confidence and belief in yourself that you can work it out, you can figure it out, you can find and create your own path. So the three parts of this framework that I came up with that I feel really make the difference in terms of helping you to experience more financial peace of mind is first to develop self confidence, particularly in your ability to handle any financially difficult situation. So this is all about creating and having a vision for your life and for yourself. How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as someone who actually is not financially savvy? Or do you see yourself as someone who is a master of your own money? And if you're someone who's a master of your own money, what does that actually even look like for you? The second thing that's really important is to learn while rather to unlearn. Right? sometimes sometimes we've heard this model where time is money. I know I came from that kind of mentality. But in fact, what we need to do is to change that mentality into one where we can create time to make money. And that really is about looking at how you're spending your time are you using the time that you have to create the life that you want the bank account balance or the wealth that you want? And what is the relationship between time and money? Because if we say time is not money, then what is it? Right? Because understanding that even this whole concept of time is really something that man made up I mean, human beings we made up, no doubt time is a factor because we live in this finite body of hours. With time we talk a lot about the power of compounding about how you can make use of time to grow your money. We also understand that actually everything in life happens in cycles, right? different seasons, different cycles. And when we understand this whole concept of time, we can actually make better use of our time and how do we actually do that? How do we make better use of our time because if you look at financially successful people, or people who have achieved great things in their lives, they had the same amount of time as us in a day and many often actually passed away prematurely even and yet we're able to accomplish such great things in an even shorter time. In what you and I have. So what's different about that? How did they manage to do so much given the same number of hours in a day that we have. And then the third part of it is about mastering your money. And in this part is really about taking concrete action. So as much as I talk a lot about your mindset around money, and your relationship with money, and all of this kind of like a bit softer, fluffier, more psychological stuff, I'm all about taking concrete actions, because without concrete actions, nothing changes. When you don't do anything, nothing changes. But the kind of like, the actions that I'm talking about here about taking, it's not the usual kind of like hard work full of effort, very difficult suffering, and all of this kind of effort, that just sounds so so difficult. What I'm talking about is actually taking actions that you're energized to take, you're excited to take you exhilarated to take, you're looking forward to take and all these actions, you are still taking actions. And these actions are still taking you closer to your vision and your ideal life. But you're taking it with energy, right, and you're taking it with excitement, very different from when you are just doing something, you're working overtime, and you're depleted of energy, and you have no energy or life in your left to actually spend time to be with your kids in a kind of vibrance or a way to be fully present for them, because you're just too tired. So that's not the kind of action I'm talking about. The action that we take has got to energize us has got to make us feel excited to want to take the actions because we can see those actions taking us closer and closer and closer to our goals. And that's exciting. And so you know, that's the reason why I really wanted to share this. And I do specifically talk to I think I will probably moms and of course, women will be able to relate to what I'm saying just because I think a woman's perspective of money. And also for some of us like myself, I'm talking about myself, who are very traditional ideas of the role of men and women when it comes to earning and money, it really does affect how we see ourselves. So I definitely for women and moms, I think that you will kind of be able to relate to what I'm saying. But however, I do not exclude anyone, whoever that this message that I'm talking about resonates with is always more than welcome to be here to join in the conversation. So that's kind of really what I have for you. In today's episode, just a quick introduction of those three parts that I talked about, which is to develop self confidence, to learn how to change your mentality about time how you see time and use and create time, right to make money. And then to take concrete actions in order to master your money. And I'm going to talk about that these three parts in greater detail in next week's episode. But I just want to quickly introduce it to you here. And if you're interested to find out more about this three part framework that I'm talking about in much greater detail, you can also join me in my upcoming free training that's happening on the 20th of May at 8pm Singapore time, and that's 8am Eastern Time for those of you in the US. And you can register for this training at twopointzero.me/freetraining. I'm gonna include that link in the show notes. So it's just twopointzero.me/freetraining, and then we can talk more there and I'll share a lot more about the whole three part framework there. Okay, so I hope this episode kind of gives you a little bit of a background around why I don't think financial literacy alone is sufficient for us to actually truly experience financial security and confidence and peace of mind and freedom really. And we really need to also combine all those things with our mindset, understanding our relationship with money, and then taking very specific clear concrete actions that we are excited about that gets us closer to the life that we want. Alright, then. I'll catch you again in the next episode. Bye now. I'm so excited to be pre selling my online course. Rise. Rise is a step by step program to help you master your relationship with money so that you can be financially free doing what you love. In this four module, self paced online course you'll get to learn how to recognize and let go of the self defeating money stories and rules you've been living your life from, which is likely the very thing keeping you imprisoned by the fear of not having enough money. You'll learn how to master your head and your heart when it comes to money so that you don't have to let money control you or make you feel stressed or anxious or burdened. For more information about the cause, visit twopointzero.me/rise. That's R I S E. Once again, it's twopointzero.me/rise. Thanks for listening, and I hope to see you in the program. Thanks for listening. If you liked what you heard, please leave a review on whichever podcast player you were listening on. It really helps me further my mission of helping more people realize their highest potential and live rich, fulfilling lives. Don't forget to hit subscribe to be notified when a new episode is released each week. Finally, download the worksheets and check out the resources for the episode. And most importantly, practice what you learned so you can transform your life. I'll see you in the next episode.

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SHARON SIDHU
The Financially Free Woman Podcast Host

ABOUT SHARON & THE FINANCIALLY FREE WOMAN PODCAST

The Financially Free Woman Podcast was launched in November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to share the stories of everyday people making a living doing what they love. While training her students in leadership and mental resilience, Sharon noticed the rising level of financial stress and anxiety experienced by many of her students. It dawn on Sharon that this was an opportunity for her to share how she overcame her own financial anxieties triggered by her personal experience with a 6-figure business debt and being let go from her job as the family's primary breadwinner. She began sharing everything she learned about mastering not just the practical side of money but also her mindset around money. Through this work, Sharon began meeting and building a community of women creating and living their dream lives. The Financially Free Woman Podcast is a collection of stories, practical tips and strategies to help you discover your passions, and use them to make a lucrative living. Imagine a life where you spend your time doing what you love and getting paid well for it! That's exactly what these women featured on the podcast are doing and they tell you how! Get inspired and start creating your own your dream life!

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