Did you know that negative emotions impact our lives more strongly than positive emotions? There's enough research out there to show that we react more strongly to negative emotions. In fact, when talking of money, the biggest hurdle to your financial success might not be market performance, lack of income, or your choice of investments, but rather your negative emotions.
By being aware of how certain emotions can affect your finances, you can stop these emotions from sabotaging your financial future. Read on to find out which negative emotions must be tackled head-on.
1. Procrastination: Financial planning is one decision we tend to put off because it involves a lot of research. Quite a bit of time and effort also goes into completing the paperwork. Some of us simply end up being lazy because of the underlying fear of being financially responsible and taking control of our future.
How to transform this feeling: To make the planning process simpler and to remove any fear, it's a good idea to seek the help of a professional who can help you with the paperwork and also be accountable to remind you of all deadlines.
2. Anxiety: You could be legitimately worried because it's a post-recession economy and the market conditions aren't looking up. Some people also feel scared about losing their money in a portfolio because of some bad experiences in the past. But whatever be your history, feeling anxious about money can negatively affect your finances in a big way.
How to transform this feeling: Is it tough for you to let go of your money-related anxieties? Try indulging them for a short time, like five or 10 minutes a day. Doing this permits you to do what you want, which is thinking about the problem, but also helps you clear your mind of any troublesome thoughts throughout the day.
3. Jealousy: How do you feel when your best friend has paid off his or her installments on a car loan or home mortgage - and you, on the other hand, are still shouldering the burden of an EMI? You feel somewhat jealous, right? Though it's natural to feel envious of someone's financial circumstances, obsessing about it could lead you down the path of poor financial decisions that aren't well thought-out or suited to your specific situation.
How to transform this feeling: How about changing this feeling of jealousy into motivation - a much more positive emotion? Find out what your friend did differently to enable him or her to up their financial game. Use it as a growth opportunity to do some self-reflection on your personal financial front.
4. Regret: You might not have planned your retirement or saved much to secure your financial future. Constantly regretting some bad decisions made in the past like an investment loss, or missed opportunities, won't allow you to look forward and move on. Instead it will make you feel like a victim and you would be stuck in that mental zone forever.
How to transform this feeling: Change your regret into an important life lesson, which is key to self-learning. Be proactive and start saving right now without wasting any time. Seek professional help or advice if you need, but don't let regret take away your peace of mind.
5. Embarrassment: You could be a student with a restricted budget unable to keep up with your friends, or someone struggling with student loans with barely anything left over to meet your lifestyle 'wants'; now comes the embarrassment. And to avoid that, you may end up making reckless financial decisions you would end up deeply regretting later.
How to transform this feeling: Just be honest with your friends, peers or co-workers. If it's a relationship you cherish, there's no point of building a wrong façade. Split the bill whenever possible. Reach out for financial advice. Save up for special occasions. Don't ever let embarrassment get the better of you and push you towards making impulsive financial decisions.
6. Sadness: You may have inherited a huge estate because of a loved one's demise or a painful divorce settlement. Of course, there will be a sense of sadness and mourning linked with that money. In such cases, you might just not want to touch it or spend it and hence, money becomes a representation of loss for you and brings more sadness.
How to transform this feeling: Dealing with a gloomy scenario or grieving is difficult for anyone, but you can't let sadness stop you from making the right decisions for your financial future. Look for a good and respectable financial planner to help you get out of this situation and do the planning for you.
7. Overconfidence: At times, being overconfident can also be harmful, especially on the financial front. You keep exceeding your credit card limit every month hoping the next month wouldn't be the same. Ignoring the glaring red flags can be extremely detrimental to your financial growth.
How to transform this feeling: Keep a tab on reality. Keep track of your credit card utilization. Check if you have saved enough for your retirement. Find out your credit score. It's great to be optimistic, but even more important to be realistic.
By Ambareen Musa
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business or its affiliates.
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