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Life Is About Choices - The Pink Chair

ilana jankowitz money matters the workroom Nov 16, 2020

By Ilana Jankowitz

Life is about choices – it may not always appear that way but nevertheless it’s true. 

Eleanor Roosevelt expressed it beautifully when she said...“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

Our choices shape our entire life – who we are, what we do, where we go – every decision and step we take starts with a choice.


How often do you actually ask yourself what you want, need or even like? Who did you dream of becoming when you were all grown up? What did you want to do with your life? 

Interestingly, when we’re young we often have far more clarity around our answers to these questions. Have you ever noticed that about children? They know exactly what they want and when they want it and have no qualms about owning their choice. And they’re also not afraid to change their minds and choose something completely different! This freedom to instinctively know what we want is all too often squashed in childhood. By adulthood our instinctive choices have been replaced by other people’s wants, needs, opinions and expectations. 

Growing up I was never asked for my opinion and had no voice in my family. Instead I was told what to do and how to act. Over time this meant I lost connection with my innate ability to make conscious choices for myself. In fact, even worse than that, I felt like I didn’t even deserve to make choices at all. 

Let me share a little example of how this showed up in my life recently...


A few months ago, I went to Ikea to buy an office chair. Of all the chairs available I fell in love with a pink one because it looked so pretty. As I gazed longingly at the chair, I caught myself thinking, ‘No! I should really get the grey chair in case I need to hand it down or give it to someone else.’ Before these thoughts took hold in my mind and informed my purchasing decision, I consciously stopped and asked myself, ‘Why? Why must I hand it down and why am I even thinking these thoughts?’

In a split second I was back in my childhood and I realised that there was no pink anywhere in my life. I was the only girl with four brothers, and everything I was given was either blue, grey, bottle green, red or fawn. I can’t tell you how ugly I still find the colour fawn! My childhood colour palette was practical and masculine because everything I had (clothes, bedding, etc) were all hand-me-downs from my older brother. And then after me they were passed down to my younger brother.

When you look at colour psychology, blue, navy and grey all signify seriousness. In that moment, standing in Ikea, I realised that if I’m always in a place of choice, which I am, that I wanted to choose fun, exciting colours instead of serious ones! So, I made a choice then and there that was completely for me. I went all in with the pink and bought the pink chair, along with an equally pretty pink canvas of pink peonies - which my daughter later told me is her favourite flower.

Because my choices were taken away from me as a child and I never had favourite things, I grew up believing I wasn’t enough or deserving enough. Right there in Ikea I had a transformational moment and realised that I am enough, I deserve the best and there’s plenty to go around for everyone – it was OK for the chair to be for me and only me. 


Growing up, the actions and choices of our parents and grandparents define how we feel, think and value ourselves. It’s a delicate time when we’re forming a picture of who we think we are based on a set of behaviours, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, beliefs and perceptions. 

When I explore this with my clients in coaching, they transform as they realise that they can let go and make new choices. They begin to see that they deserve abundance and the very best that life and business has to offer. Personal transformation doesn’t happen all at once - it’s a process - but it’s so worth the investment of time required. I’ve had massive transformation in my life and money story, and have gone from a poor mindset to a healthy and wealthy one. 

From my own experiences, I understand that a poverty mindset requires a lot of work to change. With 60-70,000 thoughts running through our minds every day, it’s no surprise that thoughts of a lack of choice will raise their head every so often. But, it’s helpful to know that I’m always in a place of choice as to whether I hold and believe them, or not. Now, I make a conscious choice to hold and experience thoughts that are focused on joy, wealth, abundance and prosperity. What thoughts are you choosing to hold onto when it comes to money and abundance? Are they helping to move you in a positive direction? 

Money is not only about numbers, Excel spreadsheets and investments. It’s a deeply emotional and personal journey. Money is about choice and creating opportunities for a beautiful and vibrant life. 

If you find it hard to make choices that are for you and you alone, there’s healing that needs to be done with your money relationship. Take my FREE Money Quiz and then book a call with me (you’ll see my pink peonies if you do) – together we can help you understand how to start making choices that fill you with joy.


Ilana Jankowitz is a certified Money Coach born and raised in South Africa and currently residing in Zurich. Her work is all about identifying behavioural patterns around money, transforming negative thinking and moving from a self destructive mindset to one that is positive and inspiring.

She is passionate about helping women to break free from self doubt, low self esteem and lack of self confidence and move towards financial liberation and she can help you too with her free money quiz.  You can read all about Ilana and her work here or on any of my social pages Facebook | LikedIn | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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