Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told I needed to sacrifice.
Sacrifice hanging out with friends to study for an exam.
Sacrifice time with family to get ahead on a project.
Sacrifice going on vacation to save more money.
Always focusing on what I was sacrificing left me feeling resentful, stressed, and unfulfilled at the moment. In order to combat these emotions, I had to start looking at these sacrifices from a different angle.
One technique used to shift our emotional state is cognitive reframing. Reframing is used to shift your mindset so you're able to look at a situation, person, or relationship from a different perspective*. Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed or distressed – I check on my WOE.
Words: One of my favorite books points out that we should be careful with our words because they carry more power than we realize. Whether it’s the words we say out loud or use internally, intentionally shifting our language in a situation can help us live a more positive life. For example - instead of using the word sacrifice to describe the current expense, use the word investment to focus on the future benefit.
Outlook: Don’t judge the now. We tend to immediately judge whether an event is “good” or “bad” right when it happens. When I would spend months studying for Chartered Financial Analyst exams, I felt like I was sacrificing so much time. Then if I didn’t pass the first time, I immediately thought it was the worst thing ever. Later I realized that the result, even if I thought it was bad at the moment, ended up working out. By acknowledging we have a limited perspective on a situation, we allow ourselves to not get overwhelmed by the moment.
Ego: We have to learn how to practice humility and contentment to enjoy where we’re at in life. During our accumulation phase, we may not be able to buy everything we desire or stunt like we see people do on Instagram. But if we know what we’re working towards, checking our ego allows us to reassess what’s important during this phase and accept it takes time to build sustainable wealth.
Once we check our WOE, we can shift our perspective and mindset to benefit us in the bigger picture.
*Clark, David A. (2013, September 20). Cognitive Restructuring. Wiley Online Library
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