Feel Safe and at Peace with Money
If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that not many people feel safe or at peace when it comes to money. It is an extremely stressful experience for the majority not the minority.
The consequences of this stressful experience are numerous! A lack of sleep and worry can lead to a multitude of health problems, irritability with a partner, children, family, friends and work colleagues can lead to relationship breakdowns and then there’s the regret of never having lived the life you desired.
What is interesting is that if you asked most people what they wanted out of life and they would probably say, to have plenty of money so they can live a full, happy life. Why is what we want and what we get so far apart?
There are several reasons why this occurs. For this article though I’ll explore one the easier reasons- change.
Something has to change
While we may feel that external forces are to blame for the circumstances we find ourselves in, the truth is that we have a limited ability to change other people and external events. That leaves us in the position of working with the only person we can, ourselves!
We have been brought up on a culture of blame, shame and guilt. The message we are sent is if we struggle then it is our fault and we should pull up our socks and do something about it. What I find fascinating about this advice is that it is quite common for people who are no better off than ourselves to give it. A do as I say not as I do approach.
I would like to take the time here to let you know that just because this approach is still popular today, it does not make it the right approach. If you are struggling with your finances or not achieving success then you are not alone and it is not your fault. As I said there are several reasons this is happening. Some you may never have thought about but more on that in later articles.
The intent in this culture of blame, shame and guilt is to motivate you into pushing for a better result. The reality is that this shuts you down and makes you want to protect yourselves from criticism and the feeling of failure.
Human beings are motivated by essentially 2 things – avoidance of pain and the gaining of pleasure. Most of us will do just about anything to avoid what we deem to be painful. We are much less motivated by gaining pleasure Unfortunately, the above messaging and life experiences has caused many to associate pain and fear with dealing with our finances.
Do any of these money fears resonate with you?
These fears lead to avoidance to look at money, talk about money or even think about money. The saddest part of this pattern is that avoidance and resistance ultimately cause more pain and suffering not the pleasure hoped for. All options and opportunities for growth are cut off.
You find yourself trapped in a never ending loop that eventually erodes your confidence and self esteem. This pain loop will not help you find any sort of peace with money.
How can you create the change you want?
The first step may sound simple but feels the scariest. Stop and take a breathe especially if you’re feeling really busy and overwhelmed. All this movement is used to distract. It helps us avoid looking at what is bothering us and creates plausible excuses for not dealing with what we’re avoiding. Allow yourself to be open to possibilities.
Opportunities will not show up while you are shutdown and resisting. A small action like be willing to admit you are unhappy with your current reality and that you are fearful of what to do about it, can change your future outcome. You never know what co-incidences will show up when you are open to seeing them. Even a simple conversation can give you an idea that you didn’t see before.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein
I can’t afford it
I wanted to address this belief/fear separately because I believe it is the biggest block of them all. This one stops you from moving beyond being stuck! Living with this belief chops off your options before you even determine whether the opportunity presented could be just what you needed. Many a golden opportunity is lost from this standpoint .
WAIT! Let me explain.
I understand that you may not have the money to purchase a product or service right now. That does not mean there aren’t other ways to come by these things. There may be a coach who is just starting out, needs to work with practice clients and would be happy to take you on, someone may be willing to barter with you because they need what you have to offer and vice versa, you may come across a supplier that is happy to offer reasonable payment plans or someone my have an item you want that they consider clutter.
When you allow yourself to see past “I can’t afford” you never know what will show up. It takes a little faith and a shift in language. Using the open ended question “How could I have this?” instead of using the closed statement “I can not afford it” puts you in a much better position to create the change you wish to see in your life.
Feeling safe and at peace with money is a process of small steps that build on each other. The first step is to break free from what binds you to the fear of taking action.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Chinese proverb
About Amira MacCue Founder of Your Money Habit
Award Winning Spending Planner
Dedicated to teaching people how to overcome financial stress long term and be confident about their future using improved money management techniques and habit change.