NerdWallet: Want to improve your finances? Pay attention to your inner voice—you might learn something.

by | Jan 3, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments. I can be so mean to myself. My inner critic roasts my actions like a political attack ad, with claims that are cruel, overstated and often inaccurate. My ad would assert that I’m stupid with money, bad at decision-making and a crybaby to boot — all endorsed by yours truly.

I’m not the only one talking trash about myself. Most people face negative self-talk at some point, and it comes up often in the practice of New York City-based financial therapist Aja Evans. Even financial therapists serve themselves harsh burns. “My inner monologue is brutal,” Evans says. Personal finance is a prime topic for inner critics to judge, as it can be emotionally loaded and involve major decisions. Learn how to identify this voice and reframe its message.Why you should acknowledge this voice Internal criticisms can be limiting when they become self-fulfilling prophecies, says Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based financial therapist and author of “The Financial Anxiety Solution.” For example, why try to reel in your shopping if you’ve already labeled yourself as an overspender? Or say your inner voice insists you’ll never understand investing. That statement could queue the following negative thought loop, Bryan-Podvin says: Because you already assume you can’t grasp investing, maybe you’re intimidated by the idea of opening a retirement account. So you don’t set one up or learn to do so. Then, well, you don’t have retirement savings or pick up any knowledge about investing. So you continue feeling like you’ll never understand it. This kind of spiral reinforces the initial unhelpful claim, Bryan-Podvin says. Also read: ‘I had to keep my composure because I didn’t want to derail my success.’ This financi …

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