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I’m not married, I don’t have kids nor a proper job; I’m still at university figuring out how to make a proper omelette (help).Yet I still suffer from financial pressure. I have that feeling of ‘I can do better’: earn more money, work more hours, save more money. Where is the limit? How am I supposed to find it? It’s a ball of stress at the back of your mind, reminding you of money. But I’m not the only one. In fact, 72% of Americans and one third of Britons blame their stresses on money. If you consider yourself to be part of those percentages, I’ve written out a few steps on how you can ease those stresses and learn to deal with financial pressure.
1. Understand the what
Take a moment to identify exactly what pressure you are feeling. Grab a notepad and a pencil and spit it all out. It could be as simple as ‘I feel the pressure of not having enough money’ or ‘I feel the pressure of having to be sure of my financial future’. Be brutally honest with yourself. Is your happiness being impacted by finances? Does the stress ball come crawling over to you at night and make you twist and turn in your sleep? Is money constantly on your mind? Think of your fears, why are you feeling them? Think of what scares you most: could I quit my job? Quit my studies? Work abroad?
To give you a bit of an idea, I will be using my ‘financial pressures’ as examples and show you how I learn to deal with them. Ready to go deep? Here are 4 pressures I experience pretty often:
- Pressure to get a job
- Pressure to earn money online
- Pressure to work very hard
- Pressure to do it all on my own
Now it’s your turn! Write down what pressure you feel because of money.
2. Where did it come from?
You’ve now written them down and have a scary list of brutally honest thoughts next to you. You’ve just deconstructed the origins of the stress ball. Now it’s time to understand: Why do you feel those pressures? Where do they come from? When did you start feeling them?
Once again, here’s what I think is the root of my pressure, where it got started:
- I feel I can’t complain about having low income – I could always get a job.
- It’s my dream. It’s my ultimate goal – Pressure on myself to be successful
- I feel I need to do what all other successful bloggers did/do: work 60-hour weeks online for 6 months – But I want a social life, I want to travel and I want to explore.
- I feel I need to get it all done by myself. It’s my dream and I want to do the hard work so I can reap the rewards.
Over to you: What are the roots of your financial pressures?
You have identified the pressure, you understand where it came from, what’s next? depressurizing. You don’t want to remove all pressure (a bit of it will keep you going), you just want to learn how to manage it and not let it control your happiness or state of mind.
ake a deep breath and look at all you’ve written. You’ve done the difficult part – analysing your thoughts. Now it’s time to look at them objectively and figure out how to not let them become a problem. Your mind has all the answers, you just have to get started: How can you improve your situation? How can you make yourself a better person? How can you not let the financial pressure get to you?
Here’s my take on it:
- I need to accept I will never get a regular job – I would rather work 80 hour weeks online than a 20 hour part time job.
- Step by step. What is my plan to achieve this dream? How will I do everything in my power to make it happen? I need make a plan and believe in it.
- Accept that I am doing my best, and I have my limits. If I follow my plan, I will achieve what I want in my own way.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out. People are willing to help, you just have to ask.
Now write out what you think could solve your problem. Again, be brutally honest.
From my little ‘financial pressure’ analysis I’ve discovered that my biggest issue is simply accepting that everything takes time. I need to have faith and confidence that as long as I keep going, everything will turn out alright. Of course, easier said than done, but I’m working on it.
What are your takeaways? From taking these 5 minute steps you’ve hopefully begun to understand a bit better what you are feeling and why. Remember, it’s ok to feel those pressures. It’s completely normal, and it means you are aware of what’s happening to you. You’re learning from mistakes and you will improve with time, because you’re constantly trying. Small steps are key.