Do You Have Money Dysphoria?

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I love American Eagle jeans and how they fit me. I’ve been buying them for years. As I was searching for the perfect pair recently, something really crazy happened.

Since I invested in my personal trainer and started actually losing weight, I’ve been experiencing a kind of body dysmorphia. And it definitely shows up when I’m jean shopping.

I hold up jeans in the store that I have in the same size at home and think, “There’s no way these can fit me.”

The thought makes no sense because I’ve been buying and wearing this new size for a while now. Yet I still struggle to take that size into the dressing room.

This is because even though the logical part of my brain knows they will fit me, my eyes are deceiving me. I cannot picture being able to button the top button, let alone get them over my hips.

The picture I have of ME in my head is 30 pounds heavier because that’s the body I lived in for so long. Even though I can see my body as it is today in the mirror, it’s not the image I believe.

So what do I do? I grab the size that fits me, but I also grab a pair that is one or even two sizes bigger. I take tons of jeans into the dressing room, but the size of the jeans I have at home (the “small” size that my eyes have convinced me won’t even pull over my hips) fits me perfectly every time.

That is body dysmorphia. It’s when the picture you have in your head does not match real life. Body dysmorphia is a mental roadblock that happens to many people for many reasons.

And here’s the craziest part: IT HAPPENS WITH YOUR MONEY TOO!

What is Money Dysmorphia?

Not believing the numbers in your bank account, or not believing you can be good with money, because of past bank balances or past decisions with money, is how money dysmorphia shows up for my clients.

Grow up with food insecurity? You may find you over-buy groceries today.

People who have money dysmorphia live with the mentality of a broke person, even when they’re not. They feel poor even though they are not. They think they can’t afford anything, even when it’s budgeted for. Their first thought often times is, “You can’t afford this!” even when they actually can.

Money dysmorphia can also mean feeling insecure and unstable despite having plenty of money in savings or being in a stable position because it’s more about how you see yourself than the real life numbers.

Money dysmorphia means you could have everything you’re supposed to have yet still feel insecure about your money.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Money Dysmorphia Can Make You Not Trust Yourself

Let’s say that you couldn’t trust yourself with money for a long time. You overspent or had bad money habits, but through hard work and a lot of effort (or maybe you just grew out of it?), you got out from under it. You’re now financially secure or in the least, doing much better financially.

You now make great financial decisions, or more good decisions than bad ones, and you accomplish your goals. Yet when a big financial decision shows up, you do not trust yourself to make it.

Having one or two years of trusting ourselves with these decisions sometimes doesn’t feel long enough. We haven’t shifted our identity yet. It might take you a while to believe, “Yes, I can trust myself, and I can make these decisions.”

Yes, Kelsa, you really do fit into those jeans.

Money dysmorphia can also mean feeling insecure and unstable despite having plenty of money in savings, a padded emergency fund, and being in a really stable financial position. You might have everything you’re supposed to have and still feel insecure about your money.

That’s money dysmorphia.

Even when you’re doing well financially, you’ve worked hard to get there, and you’re making great decisions, you struggle with a fear of spending money or a fear of ever finding yourself back in those moments.

You Can Shift Your Money Mindset

Money dysmorphia is rarely about the actual numbers. But knowing your numbers and managing your money well consistently play a role.

It isn’t all about the numbers, but it isn’t not about the numbers either.

The best approach to money is one that is equal parts strategy and mindset. It’s equal parts aspirational and practical.

The goal of overcoming money dysmorphia doesn’t involve you becoming money obsessed. The goal is that you trust yourself.

At the heart of money dysmorphia is trust, or a lack thereof. So building trust is the focus in overcoming it.

You can be good with money

To overcome money dysphoria, first decide you can be good with money.

Second, continue to seek out examples of how that is already true. This is where coaching can really help because you’ll be taking action – both strategically with your money, but also with your mindset – and I’ll be pointing out all your progress as we go. I’m going to notice ways you are excelling with money that you fail to see, and then I’ll reflect back to you what I’m seeing.

You can decide today to trust yourself, and I hope you will, and it’s often times more than that. You have to take action. Results come from the changes you make. Then even more confidence comes when you see those results.

The belief that you can be good with money, like really good with money, grows from that continued confidence.

This isn’t where I tell you you’ll become a multimillionaire, working only 4 hours per week, or that you’ll never worry about money ever again. Money dysmorphia, just like my body dysmorphia, doesn’t work that way.

What I can tell you is that we’ll create a positive feedback loop, financially and mentally, where you’re worrying less and less with each passing day. And you’ll feel good because you’ll be in action mode – creating the future where you feel security and peace of mind. And it will all be based on you trusting yourself.

Just like I’ll eventually stop taking four different sizes of jean shorts into the dressing room with me, eventually, you will start to see yourself as the fiscally fit person you are.

It may take time. But decide today it’s possible.

Your Money Masterplan is always personalized and totally unique to you. To get yours, add your name to my coaching waitlist here

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