Ten thousand years ago the root cause of our fear was physiological, like facing wild animals, but as we’ve evolved our fears have become more psychological like fear of money and success.
Our mind is primitive - it assumes financial fear is the same as fear of a wild animal and it instantly goes into survival mode.
The fear of money holds us back financially
Obviously fear of money holds you back, it doesn't make you jump for joy and say things like “let’s go make tons of money today.”
1. Anxiety about money
Your fear escalates into panic as you focus on your current financial situation. You keep thinking about what to do next and instead of calming down your fear and anxiety escalates, constantly triggering a physiological response.
2. Inability to take financial action
Fear makes you freeze for a little while and immobilizes you because you’re overwhelmed and scared but you don’t allow yourself to go into panic, instead you choose to run from your financial situation.
3. Engage in avoidance behaviour
You choose the flight response and
- run away from dealing with our finances by refusing to make money (why would you want something that you perceive as dangerous?)
- denying the severity of the situation by drinking, not looking at our bills etc.
- self-sabotage by making bad investments
- get rid of money – when you’re scared of an object you want to avoid it and the best way to avoid your money is to give it away or spend it as fast as possible
How to overcome the fear of money and success
We’ve trained ourselves to react to certain objects and situations with fear. The good news is that we can un-train ourselves.
1. Become aware of your financial fears
Visualize yourself taking charge of your finances. The subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination so when you visualize, you’ll automatically go into fear mode because your mind will believe that you’re really facing your fear.
Take 3 deep breaths and sit with all the emotions that come up, notice how you may want just get up and run, sit and observe without reacting.
This simple change in behavior with regards to your money will send a message to the amygdala and slowly start to change your behavioral responses in the present moment.
2. Focus on your breath
The first thing you learn when you meditate is that the mind and the breath work together.
When you’re calm your breathing will be relaxed but when you’re scared or anxious your breath will change and become rapid and/or shallow.
Whenever you’re dealing with your finances, observe your breath and don’t make a decision until your breath slows down and your mind is calm.
The worst financial decisions are made in haste and tension.
3. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
EFT is like acupuncture without needles. It’s a finger tapping technique that combines Neuro Linguistic Programming with acupuncture theory.
Use your fingertips to tap on the meridian points on your face and upper body as you talk about your emotions.
After a few rounds of this session you'll find yourself having released your fear. Watch an EFT video about how to overcome anxiety about money.
4. Develop an action plan
Commit to mastering your fear of your finances by taking one action a day or one action a week that brings you closer to your financial goal.
That action may be as simple as going to talk to the bank about your financial situation or drawing a budget.
I suggest looking at your bank account every day for 5 minutes because there's no better way to overcome your fears than to face them
How has your fear of money held you back?
Let me know in the comment section below.