Asking about a financial tantrum isn’t as bizarre as it may seem. But let me provide some context.
Many years ago, a friend recounted a story of what happened when, as a toddler, she had a tantrum in the grocery store: In the middle of the aisle, she collapsed to the floor and started screaming and flailing about. Why? Because her father said, “no.”
To her horror, instead of him giving her what she wanted or even chastising her, he joined her on the floor and started mimicking her behavior. Stunned, she looked at her father and got up – bringing her tantrum to an immediate halt. His unexpected reaction not only foiled her plan for attention, but it still left her without the treat she wanted.
Each time I think of this story, I chuckle at what a sight it must have been to see a six foot, plus sized man on the floor along side his toddler daughter whom is in the midst of a tantrum.
I also chuckle at the truth of that moment…
We don’t like being told, “no.”
When it comes to your money, do you ever feel like “it” is the parent telling you what you can and cannot do or have? Do you feel like you’re flailing about – having an adult-version of a tantrum when money doesn’t bring you the results you want?
I know I feel this way sometimes when it comes to my business. When I want a particular outcome and it doesn’t materialize, I get frustrated and mad; I pout; and I have a mini self-pity party. Eventually, I snap out of it. Emphasis on “eventually.”
Sometimes, I am able to snap out of it on my own; other times, I need help from my coach (@TaraGentile), members of my mastermind groups, and/or a few friends. But whether on my own or with my “team,” snapping out of it is a process.
In no particular order, here’s what that looks like. Feel free to adopt some or all of the steps that will help you recalibrate when one of your biggest wishes is that your money would just act like an obedient, well-behaved child:
- Remember who is the boss
You are the boss…not your money. But your money needs you to take the lead and be the navigator – it needs you to provide direction.
- Remember your vision
Be clear about what you want money to do for you – even if the path to the end result still looks fuzzy.
- Revisit your boundaries
To achieve anything, you need a) structure, b) guidelines that frame what you will do and won’t do – most of the time, and c) discipline. Make sure the commitments you’re making are helping you rather than hindering you.
- Be consistent
After revisiting your boundaries, revise or create the systems that will help you remain consistent with your follow-thru – but with little thought.
If you take a walk down memory lane, I bet you’ll discover that a lot of jockeying goes on between you and your money. At times, it may feel like money has a mind of its own – that it can just hop out of your wallet and make choices all by itself. (Are you smiling right now because as far-fetched as this may seem, you can relate?)
I may not be a parent, but I suspect that the seeds for most tantrums can be found in the need for attention, feeling frustrated, and wanting to be in control. And, children aren’t the only ones familiar with these feelings – especially when they go unmet.
When money has you feeling frustrated and anything but in control; when the things you want money to do for you don’t materialize, get mad. It doesn’t help to suppress your feelings. But don’t stay mad when money doesn’t behave the way you want. Get a financial plan of action instead.
That’s what you do when you’re being the financial leader of your life.
p.s. Want to join me on a new financial adventure? Find Your Financial Sweet Spot launches soon. It is an invitation-only program designed to help you feel in control of your money under all circumstances, and I am now accepting applications! To learn more about why discovering your money strengths, money style and money personality are critical for being an effective leader, click here.