How to Separate Your Identity from Your Money
The title of this post might throw you off, if you didn’t read my previous post. I am not talking about separating yourself from your money. This is easy to do. What I want to cover is how to separate your identity, how you view yourself, from the amount of money you have.
The roots of the “identifying with your money as your life” problem generally begin at a young age. Parents indoctrinate their kids, either directly, verbally or indirectly, through actions which lead to lifelong habits and money patterns. If you think back to your childhood, you will be able to recall different things that your parents said or did that you can see reflected in how you handle money as an adult.
Was it wrong to count your money? Or were you considered a bad person if you didn’t save, or if you spent too liberally? All of this experience early in your life left a mark on how you deal with money now.
Another big factor is your social circle. Do you have to have a certain amount of money to be among your friends? Do you have to have a big house? Or drive a certain car? Do you feel you need to appear as if you are not wealthy even if you’re making good money? All of these forces can influence how you think about yourself and eventually may drive you to make decisions that might not be in your best interest.
The first step you should take is admitting to yourself that other people have influenced how you view money and how you deal with money. By doing this, you are acknowledging that up until this point you have given up control over how you handle money and that you have allowed other influences to make these decisions for you.
The second step is to accept responsibility for making decisions about money. By doing this, you will take full control over how you handle your money. It might seem scary at first, because you will have nobody to blame, but soon you will discover that it is very liberating to be making your own decisions about money without external influences.
In my next post, I’ll continue the discussion of how to separate your identify from how you view money.
Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 6:10 am