Finding your life's balance: Money

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In our regular feature Nina Grunfeld presents a wellbeing series for HR professionals. It's time to focus on yourself

Last month we were looking at family and how they can be the most wonderful and the most difficult thing in our lives. Before you start thinking about money – another huge topic – fill in your Balance Chart again (with ‘10’ being very satisfied) and see how money fits into the grand scheme of things.

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Money can be a very emotive subject. We need money to live, but how important is it to our essential happiness and wellbeing? Some of the richest people in the world have claimed that money doesn’t make them happy and yet many of us act as if it’s the answer to everything.

The reality is that money is just a simple tool – pieces of paper and coins – that we give or receive in exchange for goods or services and it has no intrinsic meaning other than how we choose to perceive it. We give money its power by deciding how it makes us feel; good or bad, safe or anxious, optimistic or pessimistic.

What is your relationship with money? Do you covet it, hoard it, spend it, dream about it, fear the lack of it, feel you never have enough of it, worry how you are going to make it, feel anxious about how to hang onto it, focus on the responsibility of having too much of it? And what do you equate it with – freedom, comfort, prestige, kudos or power? If we don’t have money we often believe that these things are not available to us.

Our assumptions about money are almost always self-limiting and are often deeply rooted. For example, even though we strive to acquire it, unconsciously we may believe that money is the root of all evil. Ambivalence like this can create conflict in us. Or we may assume that we don’t have what it takes to make money and as a result settle for less than we could. These negative beliefs perpetuate the lack of money that we fear.

By becoming more aware about your beliefs about money you can start to develop a more positive relationship with it. Don’t be afraid to challenge your assumptions about money. For example, if you think that you have to hoard money because it’s in short supply ask yourself if that’s really true. What would happen if you saw money as something that you could easily bring into your life?

By considering your attitude to money you will uncover all kinds of beliefs, assumptions and expectations. Once you’ve done that you can start to change these patterns and develop a more confident, expansive and trusting mindset. See how wealthy you feel.

Three tasks for September to enable you to relax around money:

1. Do you tend to avoid thinking about your finances?

It’s so easy to bury our money away and do the minimum to keep ticking over. This month why not work out how much it costs to be you? How much more money do you really need (if any)?

2. What does money mean to you?

Identify what you equate money with – freedom, comfort, prestige, kudos, power or anything else. Once you know ask yourself where else you can get that from.

3. Would you like to save more?

Once you’ve answered question one work out what you buy as a habit. What can you remove from your life? Or even from your regular shopping list?

Nina Grunfeld is a self-help and wellbeing guru, and founder of self-improvement workshops Life Clubs

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