Having worked with clients in a coaching capacity for over 15 years now, I know that Financial Coaching changes people’s lives for the better. Often the reason for someone’s money problems is rooted in their relationship with, and attitudes towards, money rather than their knowledge and understanding of finance.
What I also know is that unfortunately the vast majority of people still don’t know that financial support outside of traditional advice exists.
That’s why I was delighted when ELLE, the world’s best-selling fashion magazine, asked to come and experience a Financial Coaching session.
You can read Alex Holder’s full write-up here: Meet the money doctor who will change your life.
I want to address a few key things that came up in Alex’s session (and her article) that you may find helpful:
Your Financial Vocabulary
Notice the words that Alex uses in her piece and then think about the language you use when talking about money.
What we say has a profound effect on what we feel and the experience we have of the world around us. If, like Alex, you hear yourself saying things like ‘scared’, ‘anxious’ and ‘ashamed’ these are clear signals that your relationship with money might be in need of repair. The question to ask yourself is whether your language helps you feel that you're thriving financially and not just surviving.
I find it interesting how often we hold ourselves back. How often female clients, in particular, voice their concern over feeling like a fraud professionally despite sincere recognition from the outside world and extensive experience within their profession. Yet, despite that external acknowledgment, internally there's something else going on. Are you holding yourself back from financial success?
Mind over Money
Towards the end of the article, Alex discusses some of the techniques we worked on during our session.
Cognitive processes to challenge self limiting beliefs (glass walls that hold us back from believing that what we want is in our reach), and visualisation techniques, are powerful tools that I often use in sessions to help clients shift their finances and their lives.
Here’s an exercise you can do for yourself:
- Notice your internal beliefs about money and decide whether they support you or hold you back.
- If they hold you back, acknowledge the part you play in reinforcing those beliefs. Maybe it’s by not regularly checking your bank balance or shying away from anything to do with your finances.
- Consider what positive belief could replace the negative ones.
- Then decide what you could do to reinforce that message instead. If it helps, think about what someone with that positively framed message about money would do.
- Consciously do things that reinforce the positive money message. Maybe that’s checking bank statements or stretching yourself by asking for a payrise.
I would also suggest Doing Something Different.
It’s good to talk
One of the main focuses of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week was that we all need to talk more about our challenges and concerns. And this doesn’t just mean speaking to a professional. Conversations with friends and loved ones are just as, if not more important, when it comes to dealing with issues.
Alex, like all of my clients, found that simply getting her worries off her chest made her feel much better. My wish is that she takes this with her and encourages others to be more open about their financial worries too.
For more ideas and exercises to help you explore, and challenge, your relationship with money have a listen to my interview with Chris Budd as part of his “Financial Options in Life” series. We discuss emotions of money and self limiting beliefs and lots more.
If you’d like to learn more about financial coaching, there's a range of podcast interviews you could listen to or have a read of my 'How we can help' page. If you’re interested in exploring the idea of becoming a financial coach yourself, check out my recent blog on my journey from financial adviser to coach.