Reframing my Financial Fears

I recently started reading Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup and instantly fell in love with her relatable storytelling style and her tender approach to money management. Northrup’s whole premise is that by learning self-love and applying that self-love and value to our relationship with money, we can heal ourselves and our financial situations. I love this! And I’m completely on board. Northrup’s book is peppered with exercises and activities for getting to know yourself better and for reframing your relationship with money. In an effort to be transparent here, I’m decided to share some of the reflection I’ve been doing as part of this reading experience.

I particularly loved Northrup’s exercise around reframing fear and identifying action steps. She asks you to identify the thing you’re most afraid of doing right now. This was such an important distinction for me - not the thing I’m most afraid of, but the thing I’m most afraid of doing. As she says, “This is a book about personal responsibility.” Looking at things this way, my core fear as it relates to money right now came immediately to mind:

I’m afraid to leave my current job

Northrup asks us not to relate the “why” so I won’t here, but you might imagine along with me some of the reasons that this fear is cropping up for me particularly relevantly for me right now. Then comes the reframe; switching that fear to an excitement:

I’m excited to leave my current job

And the added weight/ammunition comes into play when you ask yourself why are you excited:

I’m excited to leave my current job because it will give me the time to explore my true passions and desires and find a way to incorporate those things more fully into my life.

And this wouldn’t be a good self-help book if Northrup didn’t help us break it down into bite-sized pieces. She recommends looking at the next, small, finite step that you can take to help yourself achieve the goal that you’re so excited about (that reframed fear from above). So, in order to hold myself accountable to create the financial future I’m dreaming about, my tangible next steps are:

  1. Carve out 2 hours this week to work on coaches training
  2. Submit materials for affiliate faculty position this week
  3. Post on my blog three times

These may seem like small steps, but they’re all moving me in the direction of my excitement and that is away from my current 9-5 day job. Of course my ultimate goals are much bigger than just quitting my job - I want to pay off my nearly $70,000 in debt, to become financially independent, to retire early. All noble, but for now - step one in the right direction is addressing the fear of leaving my current job head-on with some tangible steps.

I’ve decided that every Sunday I’m going to examine this question - what am I most afraid of about money right now? Then reframe it and come up with some finite next steps. Just completing this exercise has made me feel infinitely better about the week ahead as I begin to feel empowered and worthy around my money choices. It’s huge. Tune in next Sunday for another episode.

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