How Having Your Client Reframe Their Financial Identity Can Lead To Greater Buy-In and More Progress
When a client shows up to their coaching session and has completely fallen off track, this isn’t necessarily a sign that they aren’t committed. Oftentimes this is a sign of disconnect with their financial identity. It’s a lapse between who they see themselves being today and who they want to be.
Paying attention to money, planning ahead, and updating your budget to this type of client is just another “to do” they have to get through. Without a strong connection to the purpose and “why” behind doing those tasks, they can seem daunting.
For a person who sees themselves as “bad” with money, creating and sticking to new habits about their money can feel particularly challenging, overwhelming, and undesirable. Even if they want the results that come from doing them.
If you have a client who repeatedly shows up to coaching sessions admitting they have been in a state of avoidance, have fallen off track, or is vocalizing feelings of shame, regret, or embarrassment from their lack of follow through, use this exercise to help them connect to a new financial identity can be extremely helpful.
Creating a new identity can help your client connect to the tasks that they have been avoiding. They will do the task because it is a part of who they are, not just one more “to do” on their never ending list.
How to Create a New Financial Identity
When introducing the concept of identity and how it shapes our actions, it can be helpful to use an example to illustrate what we mean.
If I see a client doing this, I might share with them that until I shifted my identity to that of an athlete, sticking to my fitness and nutrition goals were a huge challenge. Making it to the gym every day was one more task I had to complete. Planning my meals was something that only happened sporadically and when I had the time to really think it through (which I rarely did).
Once I began to think of myself as an athlete, I could ask myself:
- What would an athlete do in this moment?
- How would an athlete handle this challenge?
- Would X (insert the name of someone I admired or looked up to) skip their workout right now?
Using this framework, it became much easier for me to connect to the actions I knew I needed to complete and see how they were simply the things I needed to do to fully embody the identity of an athlete. Once I started calling myself an athlete, it became so much easier to do the tasks that once felt like a chore.
The same is true when it comes to money.
For your client to connect to doing the tasks and taking the actions of someone who is financially successful, they need to begin to shift their identity.
If the client believes they are lazy and uncommitted in their financial life, those are the actions they will continue to take. They will avoid looking at their finances. They will not follow through with the actions you give them. They will continue to self-sabotage, and they will not achieve the results they want.
Download Our Financial Identity Worksheet
If you want to help you clients see themself in a whole new way, I have an exercise for you. I created a financial identity worksheet for the Financial Coaching Toolkit. But I’m making it available to you (thanks in part to the Financial Coaches Unite Group) because I know so many financial coaches have found this exercise useful. Fill out the form below to get full handout and start helping your clients see their new financial identity.
If you’re interested in more exercises like this, check out the Financial Coaching Toolkit. The Toolkit is a comprehensive collection of resources to help you help your clients and keep them as clients for years to come. Its easy-to-follow, on-demand videos and materials give you the ability to up-level your coaching business and provide better (and long-lasting) service to your clients.