I wrote last time about financial stress and how it can limit your enjoyment of life so that you feel there is always more you should be doing even when there is no obvious financial problem and no particular reason for the pressure you feel under.
At the moment there are clearly specific reasons to feel anxious, both on a personal and a financial level.
The Coronavirus is unsettling because we don’t really understand what it is, what will happen next and how we should respond to all the confusing messages we receive. Add to this the sight of investment values falling dramatically and it’s perfectly reasonable to experience uncertainty and fear.
We can give you many carefully worded academic explanations as to why we expect such events to happen, that history shows us that falls are always followed by rebounds and that the inexorable trend is upwards.
Unfortunately, we just don’t know how far markets will fall or how long it will be before they recoup the ground lost. However, what we can say with certainty is that the only thing which really matters is whether you are still on track, financially, to live the life you want. If it is, the rest is just noise albeit extremely loud and disconcerting noise.
But we also understand these fears are perfectly normal. We all have them and that emotion is much more powerful than logic in powering our thoughts and actions. The challenge is how to deal with it so that we don’t make panicky decisions which may make matters worse.
So, the question is whether any particular feeling is real or just in your thoughts? Are the current fears and those beliefs you learned so many years ago true, or have they been there for so long you just accept they must be?
If, despite investment falls, any feelings of letting down our families or shame of having too much debt, guilt about having too much or too little money or a lack of understanding around money, it were possible to just accept ourselves and our financial situation as they are without worry, frustration and judgement.
We know that with greater understanding and confidence around money comes security and feeling in control of life on your own terms, rather than on someone or something else’s. It frees up time and provides a sense of ease enabling you to focus on all the things that are important to you, offering the opportunity to reach your full potential as an individual, partner, parent and member of your wider community.
That got me wondering…..
What would it be like for you if you never felt this fear?
- What would your life look like?
- Would it change what you are going to do today?
- Would it change your plans for tomorrow?
- What would you be doing?
- What would you not be doing?
- Where would you be?
- How would you feel?
What do we need to do to make that vision become your everyday reality?
Ian Kemp – Financial Life Planner