Do you ever have those days when you’re sitting with your family or loved one and you just question – how the hell am I 50 already?!
Inevitably this can lead to discussions about hopes, dreams, maybe even retirement and what you’d like to do with it.
You probably try to gloss over the fact that the ‘R’ word is actually approaching faster than you ever thought possible, and that getting your finances in order so you can actually afford to retire, let alone ENJOY your retirement, is something that is harder and harder to ignore. Maybe you’ve sought the services of a Financial Advisor (if you haven’t, let this be your first urgent action to take), you’re putting more money into a pension or approaching the time when the mortgage will be paid off. But at this time in life, you may have University fees to cover, are trying to help your kids get on the property ladder – it never ends and you probably feel anxious just reading this!
Tensions may be heightened, you might even be feeling frustrated – with yourself, your partner and the situation. The chances are, you’ve probably just been hijacked by your Amygdala!
What is the Amygdala?
The amygdala is the part of our reptilian brain that handles our emotions and when it perceives a threat to those emotions, it shuts down reasoning and rational, logical functioning from your pre-frontal cortex goes out the window. Your body responds accordingly, and goes in to the commonly known fight or flight response. Or, as I like to call it nowadays, the ‘freeze’ response. Let’s face it, we generally can’t throw a punch or take flight nowadays – so we stay stuck to the spot while our emotions continue to do the fighting or flighting for us!
So why oh why does our body seem to act against us when we need our wits about us the most?
This powerful Mind-Body response actually kept us alive in years gone by – keeping us safe from Wholly Mammoths and Sabre Toothed Tigers. Now we aren’t often met with those kinds of dangers, but our body reacts in exactly the same was as it would have done all those years ago.
Having a rational, calm conversation around highly emotional subjects like your finances requires you to take a huge step outside of your comfort zone. When you do this, the chances of your Amygdala becoming ‘hijacked’ will increase ten fold and very often ‘triggers’ you to go into fight, flight or freeze..!
Helping my clients to step out side of their comfort zones in a way that AVOID’s this triggering cascade is something I regularly need to address in order to help them get the results they desire. Although I normally do this with a business perspective – the more I do this work the more I am reminded that this stuff is present in EVERYONE – not just those starting out in the business world.
So how is it helpful to know this? Because enlightenment is the first step towards sorting things out. Acknowledge HOW you REALLY feel about money and your finances, find a way to address these feelings (I run courses and events on this – more information can be found on my website), and you’ll be in a totally different place to get informed and empowered to take control of your finances, rather than them controlling you.
So, step outside of your comfort zone and address all things Finance! Get clear on where you are and what issues exist. Make a plan to get OUT of the mire and into the light. Cancel the memberships you never use and stop buying things you don’t need. Make sure your insurances are in place. If you have it, switch crippling credit card debt to a 0% one but make sure you actually pay it off this time! Get help if you need it – and you will! Speak to at least three Financial Advisors and pick one to help you – they will ensure you have everything in place and be able to advise on investments and how to manage your money according to your goals and plan around retirement.
Be open to the frustration you and your partner may feel – but also open to the fact that you’re finally sorting this out once and for all.
by Elizabeth Hancock
Elizabeth Mary Hancock is the UK’s Money Mindset Expert and runs regular courses and events to transform her clients. Find out more at www.elizabethmaryhancock.com