049 - A Simple Technique to Deal With Financial Stress & Worry

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In this episode, you’ll learn a simple and powerful technique to be less stressed out and tense about money.

The key takeaway from this episode is to understand that your thoughts are just thoughts and not reality. Your thoughts are also not ‘you’, because you’re the creator of your thoughts.

So how do you differentiate between your thoughts and who you are as a person or being?

Listen to today’s episode as I share how you can apply mindfulness to your financial situation, no matter how difficult it may be so that you can regain your calm, peace and clarity of thought and action to move forward towards your financial goals.

Transcript

Hello and welcome to another episode of The Financially Free Woman Podcast!

Today, I’m sharing this simple and powerful technique that can help you to be less stressed out and tense about money.

The key takeaway from this episode is to understand that your thoughts are just thoughts and not reality. Your thoughts are also not ‘you’, because you’re the creator of your thoughts.

So how do you differentiate between your thoughts and who you are as a person or being?

By practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is as defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as the awareness that arises by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. It sounds simple theoretically, until you try and do it in practice. You’ll realise your mind is constantly wandering all over the place. On the past, the future, or on your feelings.

When it comes to money and finances, our worrying and stressful thoughts are a result of thinking about an unwanted future that we believe will come to pass. Or maybe we’re in a current situation that we don’t want to be in, because we either regret something that happened in the past, maybe a bad decision, that we believe led us to where we are now. Or we’re in a place we don’t want to be and can’t wait to get to a future state which we believe will relieve all our financial troubles. Either way, how we feel is a result of our thoughts.

When you can see your thoughts are just thoughts and not reality, you can recognize them as just thoughts and not the “truth”.

When you don’t differentiate between your thoughts and the truth, you’ll end up acting as if your thoughts are the truth when they are not.

For example, you may have a thought about all the things you have to get done today. You start off the day making your to-do list.

When you don’t differentiate this as just a thought and not the truth of reality but you act as if your thoughts or your to-do list are the truth, then you’ve created a reality in that moment that you really need to get all those things on your to-do list done.

And when you don't do everything that you ‘think’ you need to get done, you feel anxious and irritated because you believe you had to do all those things because you believed your thoughts and your to-do list to be the truth.

That’s the reason you can feel driven and tense all the time, without really knowing why. Or why you feel like you’ve fallen short of some truth and reality you made up in your head.
The alternative is to see this as just a thought and not the truth. When you do this, you can consciously choose and prioritize what you’re going to do today.

In the moment you’re doing, you can also decide what you really need to do and when to take a break. This is a much more flexible way of being in the moment and it makes you more resilient to a changing environment.

When you return to the present moment, and stay in this present moment, recognizing and acknowledging it was a “thought” you’re having, you can then choose and prioritize what you actually do in this present moment.

This simple act of recognizing your thoughts as thoughts can free you from the distorted reality your thoughts can create and help you make decisions more clearly and prioritize what really matters, improving your overall wellbeing and productivity.

When it comes to your money and finances, you can apply this same principle of being in the present moment, even if it’s an unpleasant moment.

Try to pay attention to the present moment without judging yourself, other people or your circumstances. Just see it for what it is and acknowledge it is what it is right now.
When you don’t get into the whole inner dialogue of judgement, you free up your energy to focus on what you will do now to improve your situation, rather than get wound up and caught in stressful, resentful or worrying feelings.

Wherever you are right now is the only moment you have complete control over. You can choose to spend your current moment complaining, and stressing yourself out, or you can choose to spend this moment calming yourself and taking just one small action towards your financial goal.
This is an ongoing practice of training and disciplining your mind to bring focus, dedication and faith in yourself. Little by little, one moment by one moment, you take the steps to move towards your goals.

This is how you eventually achieve them. And remember to be kind, compassionate and patient with yourself. Even when you have moments when you slip up, it’s ok. We all do, even the most successful people. It’s the same process for all of us. If you fall off, just acknowledge it, instead of judging yourself, pay attention to the present moment and try again.

And even if you catch yourself judging yourself, acknowledge it, tell yourself you’re judging yourself, and don’t judge that observation! Just acknowledge it, drop it, and move on.
Just like breathing, there’s always the next moment to take another breath. As with working towards your goals, there is always the next moment to take another step towards it.

It sounds so simple, because it is. It’s not so easy to do in real life and it does take constant practice and lots of patience and compassion with yourself, because our minds are built to keep moving and working. So it’s quite normal that we all have plenty of wandering thoughts that lead to how we feel. Like I said, this is a constant practice and it’s never finished.

I continue to practice daily, moment by moment. Letting go of the judgement piece is my biggest thing I’m working on now, because I tend to be very judgemental of myself, of others and circumstances. So this is the work I’m doing daily.

Anyway, I hope this episode gives you some practical steps about overcoming your stressful, worrying thoughts about money.

And I’ll speak to you again next week!

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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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