Being kind to the inner critic

Sometimes, we can be hardest on ourselves (and others) when working with money! This could be because we’ve been taught to think that our success is largely determined and defined by numbers, investment strategies, and external factors that impact our financial well-being. However, true financial success is most often rooted in our internal world—our thoughts, beliefs, and the narratives we tell ourselves. So – it’s a much bigger picture.

As we begin to explore this bigger picture, one of the most significant obstacles to financial and emotional well-being is the presence of a harsh inner critic. This internal voice, formed during childhood, can fill our minds with self-doubt, negativity, and a sense of inadequacy. As we grow older, this inner critic can become more pronounced, influencing our financial decisions and hindering our ability to lead fulfilling lives.

The inner critic can manifest in various ways when it comes to our financial lives. It might tell us that we’re not good enough with money, that we’ll never be able to save enough for retirement, or that we don’t deserve financial success. These thoughts can lead to feelings of anxiety, shame, and even paralysis when it comes to making important financial decisions.

The key to overcoming the inner critic lies in developing a more compassionate and kinder relationship with ourselves. This involves telling ourselves that our worth is not tied to our financial status and that setbacks and challenges are a normal part of the journey.

So, how can we begin to silence our inner critic and cultivate greater self-compassion in our financial lives? Here are a few strategies to consider:

1. Practice mindfulness:
Take time each day to observe your thoughts without judgment. When you notice your inner critic arising, acknowledge its presence and then gently redirect your focus to the present moment.

2. Reframe negative self-talk:
When you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk about your financial situation, try to reframe those thoughts in a more balanced, compassionate way. For example, instead of telling yourself, “I’ll never get out of debt,” try, “I’m taking steps to improve my financial health, and I’m making progress every day.”

3. Celebrate your successes:
Often, our inner critic can cause us to overlook our financial wins, no matter how small. Make a point of celebrating your successes, whether it’s paying off a credit card or sticking to your budget for a month.

4. Seek support:
Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you, whether it’s friends, family, or a financial planner who takes a holistic, client-centric approach. Having a supportive network will help counteract the negative influence of your inner critic.

5. Practice self-care:
Engage in activities that promote your overall well-being, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time in nature. When we take care of ourselves holistically, we’re better equipped to manage stress and maintain a positive outlook.

The ultimate goal of financial planning is not just to accumulate wealth, but to create a life that is rich in purpose, meaning, and fulfilment. By learning to silence our inner critic and approach our financial lives with greater self-compassion, we open ourselves up to a more joyful, abundant existence.

Remember, the journey to financial and emotional well-being is not always a straight line. There will be ups and downs, successes and setbacks. What matters most is how we choose to relate to ourselves along the way. By cultivating a kinder, more compassionate inner dialogue, we create the foundation for a financial life that is truly aligned with our deepest values and aspirations.

Posted in Blog, LIFESTYLE.