I am watching my older child interacting on social media and have noticed that some decisions are made by the amount of likes and popularity that it can gain. I have to say it causes me a bit of a worry, as I would really like him to make his own decisions based on who he is and what is important to him instead of based on peer pressure.

Whilst I have a hope that he may grow out of this phase, I have to say that there are plenty of adults around that are still making their decisions based on what others may think. They make financial decisions and major life decisions based on others values instead of their own. This can cause great trouble in our lives.

When we start making financial decisions based on what others may think or expect from us we start losing who we are, what our own goals are and what our values are and we end up on the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ cycle.

The solution is simple, yet very hard to implement – STOP WORRYING about what others think or expect from you.

Why is it so hard to implement? Firstly because we are trained to adjust our behavior based on how others reacted to our actions. Just think about what happened when you were little. You learnt what was right and wrong based on the reception to it from the grown ups around you.

Secondly, you have been doing it so long, that unless you sat down to figure out what it is you want for yourself or what you are about you may not even know. So you will have to take time and figure out why you do certain things or why you spend money the way you do.

Many times when people are pushed I find that the reason is based on someone else’s expectation. This can be hard to identify so here is an exercise for you.

Set some time aside, take out some paper and a pen. Make sure that you are not being disturbed and write down all the things that are important to you. Separate financial, relationship, life and career.

Then look at why you haven’t yet achieved them? Is it because what you have on the list is not really important to you? If so, take it off the list! It’s not based on what matters most to you.

Once the list truly reflects you, look at actions that you will need to take to make things happen. This may feel uncomfortable at first because we are not used to putting ourselves first. The more you do things for you, the easier it will become and the better you will feel about your finances and your life.

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