Three signs that you have a financial self-saboteur 

Tell me more 

  • Do you opt to buy a new pair of jeans instead of paying your latest phone bill? 
  • Do you take out another credit card when you have maxed out your current one? 
  • Do you take out loans to consolidate credit cards, but end up maxing out your cards again? 

If any of the above points resonate with you, you may have a financial saboteur inside you. Becoming aware of a part of you that unconsciously sabotages can be a profound and life-changing experience that motivates change, growth and healing. We are all aware of the term ‘retail therapy’, the feel-good factor of your endorphins being activated to give you pleasure when you make a purchase. I pose a question, ‘is this pleasure and instant gratification sustainable, or is it a short-term fix to a more serious issue? ‘You may think ‘I am stressed out due to work issues, family issues or life in general; ok, I’ll buy a new watch and that will make me feel better’. Indeed, you may feel better for a short period, but the problems don’t go away. It’s similar to comfort eating, ‘feeding your feelings’ is a short-term fix to paper over a deep-rooted issue. 

Furthermore, the financial saboteur is a part of you that chooses to disrupt things and interrupt you from achieving your financial security/ stability. In very extreme and severe cases, if not managed, it can cause the loss of assets, leading to insolvency, repossession or rental eviction. 

What can help?

The most practical thing you can do (my finance buddies will love this) is complete an income and expenditure exercise; take note of money coming in and money going out, and make a conscious effort to set budgets and limit overspending. By doing this, you are beginning to change your relationship with your finances; you are now managing your money. 

Work with a professional to explore what is playing out psychologically that is causing you to create more and more debt. Have you attached yourself to operating in survival mode? Are you setting yourself up in the survival position because it’s a position you are used to? Is there another position that is healthier for you to develop? 

Sabotaging your situation could be a cry for help, identifying underlying anxiety, depression and self-neglect. Addressing these issues may result in you leading a more secure, healthier and meaningful life. Being supported to initiate a dialogue with your saboteur, to find out what it wants. In some cases, there is a parental part of you that is undeveloped, such as the part of you that protects and initiates security. You may not have learned the benefits of financial security and stability, or your parents may have struggled with debts and you may have bought into this type of financial management. 

You may have also bought into life scripts of ‘I am bad with money; I will always struggle financially’, but you can, with support, change the script to ‘I am good with money; I am secure and bringing financial abundance into my life’. The affirmation and transformative process can help you change your relationship with money.

By reading this article, you have started a process of change. You are making a progressive step into transforming your relationship with money, debt and your financial saboteur.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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