When Cassie* came to see me, she said money was practically everything to her and money was driving her crazy.
Through my talking with her, I found out she mostly determined the importance of people based on the money they made, the financial savings they had, event the type of food they ordered in restaurants. Defensively, she added she also paid a close watch to her own bank account. When hungry for her favourite food in a restaurant, if the price was not right according to her (meaning, the item could be found cheaper elsewhere), she refrained from ordering it, choosing instead to deprive herself of happiness from eating her favourite dish.
Have you ever been in a situation where you deprived yourself of happiness?
Though she and her life partner were professionals who made good salaries, she dressed simply, barely any make-up or jewelry on, saying she did Not like paying ‘too high’ a price for clothes or accessories. She drove a used car and bagged all her lunches, stating she preferred saving money to buy condos rather than spend a bit of money engaging her work colleagues over lunch outside the office.
Can you imagine what it feels like to live constantly thinking about money?
Listening to her saying how important the price of everything was to her, how she was prepared to do anything to save the most amount of money, I asked,
Why is money driving you crazy?
Cassie talked about her parents blackmailing her to receive more money from her (they never seemed to have enough) to buy a new condo. She also mentioned her colleagues at work were staying mostly clear of her and barely spoke to her when she entered the lunch room.
It was clear to me Cassie was running her life from a place of price rather than value – she let money decide her level her happiness – and this is why she was coming to see me, she was tired of letting money drive her crazy.
What would it feel like to stop feeling crazy about money?
Cassie’s face beamed a giant smile. She giggled and laughed. She said she would put her parents back in their place with boundaries based her happiness rather than forking money over to them constantly. She also said she would buy herself her favourite food and stuff.
That day, Cassie went home with homework to do. She was to go buy herself something she had deeply wanted as a child and never got because her parents had said they could not afford it. And if she rebelled at the purchase price, she was to buy 2, 3, 4… until her mindset started ‘willingly’ to think in terms of value.
What do you believe happens when money constantly rules our life?
At our next coaching session, Cassie sat down, smiling. She had bought herself a toy over the weekend and she showed me a picture of the toy in its original box. When asked how she had felt playing with it, Cassie said she had Not opened the box yet because she was planning on returning it. Asked why, she said she found out it was coming on sale a few days later and would be able to buy the same toy… a few dollars cheaper.
What happened to the value of your happiness?
Cassie looked away and mumbled she was an adult and therefore could always wait for things to go on sale.
Like so many, Cassie was caught living her life mainly from a place of self-sacrifice (Price) rather than happiness (Value).
She looked at me with watery eyes,
“I want to be happy! Help me! I don’t know how to see value.”
Let me ask you…
Why do we let money dictate the terms of our happiness?
Why do we trade our happiness for money?
I believe the answer is, because we think money will make us happier.
Is it though? How was Cassie’s constant focus on saving money (depriving herself) ever going to advance her dream of stopping feeling crazy about money?
Clearly, trading money for happiness does Not work.
With this in mind…
How does our life become better?
I believe, our life becomes better when we focus on
becoming aware of what makes us happy. ‘What do I truly want right now?’
becoming intentional. ‘What can I do right now to become happier?’
becoming accountable. ‘What can I do to hold myself accountable for my happiness?’
I could certainly relate to Cassie. I used to be a woman deeply focused on the number of digits lined up in the bank account and it wasn’t until I learned to become clearly focused on my happiness that I stopped letting money drive me crazy and became truly abundant.
Here are some rock solid tips to assist you who may suffer from Money Chasing Syndrome:
Identify all areas where you lack generosity in life … whether it is with your money, your time, your expertise, your affection, your encouragements, etc. To get perhaps a truer picture of your situation, also ask your loved ones, ‘Where do you see me lacking generosity in life?’
Focus on one specific area for 21 consecutive days. If it is encouragements that you need to be more generous of, with your child for example, then every time you speak to your child for the next 21 days, make sure you say at least one good thing about them every time.
Have an accountability system/person in place. Though many of us say we ‘know’ what we need to do to become happier and stop letting money drive us crazy, however, what we believe and what we do do Not always match. This is why having an accountability system is crucial: it removes illusions and excuses.
Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?
Before she came to see me, Cassie had all the best intentions in the world to be happy, BUT she lacked a solid accountability system. This is why as soon as the next ‘bargain’ idea came along, Cassie relapsed in her familiar stinginess which, like she said, drove her crazy and away from her happiness.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who holds her clients highly accountable so they get to put their actions where their true desire is, and like Cassie, get to finally enjoy money and be happy.
For coaching inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,