I struggle with the idea of money. Growing up, I never wanted the desire for money to control my decisions. Now, the dangerous thought is that I no longer have a "desire" for money but a "need" for money. I need to pay my bills, to pay off student loans, to buy food. It is this feeling of need for money that has begun to influence my decisions.
"I hate my job but will stay for the paycheck."
"I want a healthy meal, but that is so much more expensive than fast food."
"The doctor visit can wait, I don't want to pay for that right now."
In these situations, I am sacrificing my quality of life for my quantity of money. The underlying message is the fear that there will not be enough money. If I spend the money now, there is no guarantee there will be more in the future.
When I give in to the idea that the money is always running out, like sand in an hourglass, I become what my younger, idealistic self swore I would never be: someone always concerned with making more money. If there is never enough, I must always need more! Does that sound like a healthy cycle to you?
In the process of trying to break out of this mental money pit, I have uncovered 3 subconscious beliefs that are sabotaging my ability to have a positive relationship with money. I have also come up with 3 counter-attacks to begin to fight back.
Belief #1: I am not able to make more money.
Especially now that I have quit my full-time, regular-income job, I doubt my ability to make money. Even when I had a steady paycheck job, though, I doubted my ability to make more. This belief tells me that my abilities are literally not worth a whole heck of a lot. I have a Master's degree, taught myself web coding, and started my own business. Yet somehow I believe that I am not capable of earning a bit of cash!
When I see it in writing, the idea that I am not capable of making more money is ludicrous. When I hear it whispered by the gremlins in my mind, though, it is devastating. It eats away at my pride in what I have already accomplished and my confidence in what I will accomplish in the future. It is time for this belief to take a hike!
Counter-attack: Think of everything you have already achieved. You are amazing! Your accomplishments are impressive because you worked hard and are passionate about what you do, not because of how much money you made.
Belief #2: I am solely responsible for making money to support myself, my family, and my business.
This is a very recent and eye-opening revelation for me. I realized I believe that the success of my family and my business is dependent upon my ability to make money. Not only does this put an unhealthy amount of pressure on me, but also I am completely discounting the abilities of the other people in my life. I have a husband who works incredibly hard to make money. I have a business partner who is dedicated to our success and is actually in charge of managing our accounts. It is not entirely up to me at all!
If and when I fall behind, there are other people in my life who are able to pick up the slack. That is how partnership works, in life and in business. I am grateful for this support system, and I am consciously trying to nurture my trust in others and give them the gratitude they deserve.
Counter-attack: Focus on gratitude for what you already have and for the support system in your life. Reach out to your life and business partners, and let them know you appreciate everything they do, and show that you trust and support them in return.
Belief #3: Something unforseen will happen to keep me from having more money.
I expect bad things to happen to take my money or get in the way of me receiving it. Maybe the car will break down, we will have to find a new place to live, or a man in a suit will show up and remind me I owe him one million dollars! These are all situations that run through my head and help to justify my mindset of scarcity.
The more I let this belief inform my decisions, the more it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if nothing bad ever happens, I have wasted my time and energy worrying that it will. To help break down this belief, I try to think about everything I already survived. When I couldn't find work for three months after college, and it turned out okay. When my husband was out of work for two months, and it turned out okay. When we had hospital bills to pay for, and it turned out okay. Things may have been hard for a while, but they got better. I can choose to let go of this destructive belief because no matter what happens, I will be okay.
Counter-attack: Think of all the money trials and tribulations you have already survived. Remember the same thing will happen every time - you will survive and everything will inevitably get better.
There is no way to avoid having a relationship with money, at least in my life. There are things I absolutely need money for; but, I can work on creating a more positive belief system around money, which in turn will help me see the abundance I already possess. I am armed with my counter-attacks whenever the unhealthy beliefs show up for another round in the ring.