3 ways to let go of money shame

You’re scared to check your bank account, your credit score is double digits, and you hold your breath every time someone runs your credit card. You’re struggling. Bills are late, cash is short and you feel like you’re at the bottom of a hole you can never climb out of. 

There’s a feeling that goes along with all of that, a feeling of shame. It’s common to feel bad when you’re carrying more debt than you can handle or are struggling to pay bills. Too often, we equate our self-worth with our net worth and when our bank account is low, so are we. 

Money shame can break you down and keep you from making the smart choices you need to pull your life back together. That’s why moving past it is one of the most important steps you can take if you ever want to take back control of your financial life.

The first step to breaking away from your money shame is to acknowledge it. Social media trains us to always put on a happy face no matter how we’re feeling, but you can’t change your feelings if you don’t own them and being honest with yourself is essential if you ever want to let go of the feelings that are holding you down. 

No problem ever went away because you ignored or denied it. The same is true of your negative feelings. 

The next step is to forgive yourself. It’s very common behavior to attack yourself and feel anger when you’re dealing with money shame, but all that does is push you deeper into despair. Instead, acknowledge your mistakes, own them and then be willing to show yourself compassion. You can’t move forward if you can’t let go of the past.

Finally, the most important thing you need to do is also probably the hardest. You have to talk to someone else about the problems you’re facing. It’s common for people to isolate themselves and cut themselves off from other people when they feel shame. But talking through your feelings with a trusted friend or family member will help you process them and it will lift the burden of feeling like you’re alone. 

It’s easy to make money mistakes and fall into spirals of bad decisions that can lead to feelings of hopelessness. If you want a brighter financial future, letting go of your shame is the first and most important step you can take.