How do you know when your feelings are lying to you?
Every decision you make is based on your feelings.
Sure, you also weigh the facts and apply a degree of reason and logic as you evaluate what to do, when and how. But at the end of the day, when you dissect the elements of your decisions – both large and small – it all comes back to this: how do you feel.
However, your unexamined feelings can at times lead you astray.
Okay…so maybe that isn’t such an astounding newsflash.
Still, I bet ‘how you feel’ is playing a major role in a decision you are currently contemplating: whether it’s about your money, your career or something else.
In fact, right now you may be wondering if you should use your tax refund to pay off debt.
While choosing to do so may feel good and relieve some financial pressure, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best financial decision.
A satisfying choice has bumped up against a strategic one.
On the surface, it looks like the decision you’re contemplating is simple and straightforward – to pay or not pay off debt with a windfall. Easy, peasy.
In reality, the decision you are considering is a lot more nuanced – do you want to feel personally satisfied, strategic or a bit of both?
To answer this question, you don’t want to manage or control your feelings. You want to capitalize on them! You want your emotions to be a factor, not the factor.
Just because emotions drive your decisions doesn’t mean they should go unchecked.
Instead of letting what feels good blind you, here are several ways to use your feelings to lead you to the “best” financial decision.
Remember, you have a choice
Given that we’re talking about making a decision, it may seem obnoxious to point out that you have a choice. But this is a great time to raise your awareness about patterns; will the choice you’re contemplating be a way to create a new pattern of behavior, or are you continuing to do what you always do? (My suggestion: Go with the choice that makes you feel uncomfortable.)
Ask yourself about your motivation
What’s the feeling you’re looking to have after you’ve made your decision: comfort, certainty, both or something else? More often than not, the “best” decision will initially feel scary and anything but comfortable and certain. (My suggestion: Go with scary; in hindsight, it’ll feel like the smartest decision – evah!)
Accept the invitation to dig deeper and explore
You could quickly answer the question, “Is this the “best” financial decision or one that feels good?” Or, you could use the process to discover the answer as a way to rearrange your priorities and recalibrate your expectations. (My suggestion: Go with the slow answer.)
Going with what feels good and seemingly easy isn’t necessarily bad. But you’re grown enough to know that sometimes there’s a difference between what feels good to you and what is good for you.
If you’re curious about how this all plays out when it comes to your tax refund and paying off debt – and why it even matters, then join me on Wednesday, March 30th at 8pm ET. Click here to learn more and to RSVP.