Self-Awareness of Identity Leads to Money Clarity

Money Energy Law #19:

Identity impacts your money clarity. Build more self-awareness to live up to your identity.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve witnessed a rollercoaster ride in the financial markets:

  • 2015 Stock market sell-off
  • 2018 Cryptocurrency crash
  • 2020 Coronavirus crash
  • 2022 Stock market decline

These are the more notable drops in the market overall, but I am betting you may have also experienced investment-specific declines in your personal portfolio, impacted by fluctuating housing values, or wrestling with inflationary pressures driving living expenses higher. When we feel financial stress, and as we reflect on our own identity and our resilience to overcome unexpected challenges, it’s natural to question our reactions and the choices made at that moment.

Perhaps you asked yourself one or more of the following questions:

  • Could I, or would I, have done things differently?
  • Would I have made the same financial decisions with the benefit of hindsight?
  • Did I fall into a mental fog, considering all that was happening worldwide?
  • How can I get back to a sense of financial clarity?
  • What do I need to do to safeguard against unexpected events?

I should have … would have … could have …  

Do you ever hear yourself saying these words? Other relatable phrases are: “Did I do enough?”, “Did I do too much?”, or “If only…”.  In such cases, you may be experiencing regret. It happens when there is a gap between what actually happened versus what might have happened. We often experience greater regret when there was a higher potential for loss or gain in retrospect.

The process can bring emotional pain and it can stunt your ability to make sound financial decisions. It may lead to what is called regret bias. Simply put, it means you may refuse to make future financial decisions out of fear that your choices will turn out to be wrong. It can cloud your money clarity, which is your ability to make coherent and intelligible financial decisions with freedom from indistinctiveness or ambiguity. But what can you do to gain money clarity and reduce the influences of regret bias?

Know thyself.

Becoming aware of one’s own behavioral identity helps to build confidence—and confidence helps to diminish feelings of regret. It’s why DNA Behavior makes identity discovery part of the foundational process that can help increase your Money Energy potential. 

If I may use the analogy of an iceberg… When we reflect on the choices we make about our money, what we see is what lies above the surface. It’s reactive. But it’s below the surface where you will discover your identity. And what drives your individuality, and your unique perspective is a culmination of several factors that include:

  • Core values, cultures, and learned ideas
  • Instinctive biases
  • Communication approach
  • Interpretations and learning style
  • Influences and experiences
  • Risk tolerance

Money is a tool, a helpful tool, but still a tool. Money becomes something more when we forge a strong relationship with it. While money is only one of four of your life energies (the other three are nutrition, psychological, and physical well-being), they are all interconnected. Discovering your robust identity and gaining clarity about the behaviors that drive your character can exponentially strengthen your self-awareness and your success. And just like your identity can be measured through an understanding of your natural DNA hard-wired behavioral style, your relationship with money can also be revealed and measured.

It’s never too late to find your identity. 

Michael Johnson is 50 years old and owns a very successful printing business. He makes $350,000 per year. His DNA style is known as a Community Builder, which reflects his desire to engage, trust, and believe in others. It’s important to him to look good in his community.

Recently, he built his dream home before selling his existing one. In the process, Michael took on too much debt and had difficulty reducing it. He was concerned about his ability to make regularly scheduled payments should any unexpected events occur in his life. With no additional income streams or Money Energy opportunities, he now finds himself financially struggling and sought guidance from a financial professional.
His advisor is certified as a DNA Behavior practitioner and has ascertained Michael’s identity. There are many positive attributes of his financial personality, but there are also behaviors that need to be addressed. Community Builders have the potential to be spenders, not savers. They are also prone to deviating from agreed plans and goals, have difficulty maintaining boundaries, and are more susceptible to others taking advantage of their good nature. This has led to Michael spending money toward activities, items, and people, that has short-changed his Money Energy potential. He is inclined to experience regret bias.

While Michael’s identity means he is talented in forging long-term relationships with others, he needs to shift some of those energies into building a stronger relationship with money through the assistance of a regimented financial plan and budget. It’s not easy, but he needs to allocate more of his discretionary income toward debt and his future financial security. The advisor is confident that if Michael can build self-awareness of both the strengths and pitfalls of his identity, he can reduce the stress and avoid the potential regrets of the financial situation he finds himself in today.

Related: 11 Leadership Styles, Their Pitfalls, and Finding Balance