We all want to make the best financial decisions; and many of us have the financial knowledge to do so, but having this knowledge does not necessarily prevent us from making mistakes. It is not easy because money is fraught with emotion, family history, and financial trauma. On top of this it is also influenced by our core values and beliefs (and some of our beliefs may not be rational). We must know ourselves. In fact, managing yourself – your moments of euphoria, envy, fear, and insecurity can only be achieved once you've obtained some self-awareness.
WHY KNOWING OURSELVES IS CRITICAL & COMFORTING
Financial decisions are easy when we are crystal clear about who we are -- and we remain true to this. Being true to ourselves will bring us closer to financial security. Even better, knowing and accepting who we are is relaxing and comforting. We are no longer striving to be someone we are not, or living a life we cannot currently afford.
Just think about how confident and secure you would feel if you were absolutely certain about who you are, what you want, what you can afford, where you are going, and what decisions would need to be made in order to get there. You would not be swayed by the media, family, or friends. You would be better able to withstand the forces that try to bully you into making poor financial decisions. With stronger convictions, you will stand firm when your emotions (or others) attempt to sway you into making bad financial decisions.
So, knowing who you are (which may include our beliefs, values, identity, foibles, weaknesses, strengths, etc.) and always making financial decisions that are congruent with who you are creates confidence, power, and strength. This strength is needed in the face of external pressures and influences.
THREE AREAS WHERE KNOWING YOURSELF WILL IMPACT YOUR LIFE
I would like to talk about three areas where being confident and true to ourselves would have a massive impact upon our financial futures. They are: being true to your values, income, and your investment personality. In this blog post, I will discuss just the first one.
1. BEING TRUE TO YOUR VALUES
One of the fastest ways to BOTH get to know yourself and be true to yourself has to do with values clarification.
Have you ever had difficulty making a financial decision? If so, if you look close enough you will see that is may have to do with a lack of clarity around what you think is most important (i.e. values clarification). Just think – what if your strongest values were financial security? Wouldn't this easilly eliminate a lot of purchases that would conflict with these values?
Ask yourself, "Is this the best possible use for this chunk of money, if my goal is creating lifelong happiness for myself?"
Knowing what you really want is a way of wearing blinders to all the "bright shiny objects" that try to lure us away from our true goals. Constantly revisit what is important to you by keeping them in the forefront of your mind. Whether it is a saying, a picture, or a personal mission statement, review it each day and keep it urgent in your mind.
In the next blog post, I will discuss how being true to your income can lead to financial security.