Does money… the lack of it… the fear of losing it… or the dread of not having enough keep you up at night?
If so, you’re not alone!
Money fears are especially common among aspiring self-bossers.
After all, without that steady paycheck you’re going to have to create your own money.
For most people that’s terrifying.
But do you know what scares the heck out of ME?
Relying on some employer to decide my worth!
Before I became my own boss I was at the mercy of whether I got an annual raise and if so, how much.
Other than trying to consistently do a good job… how much I earned was largely out of my hands.
But when you work for yourself – you can give yourself a raise!
The thing is, there’s a direct connection between your ability to create money and your financial attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
Are Your Attitudes About Money Sabotaging You?
Which of these common attitudes sound most like you?
YES OR NO: I Don’t Care About Money
This attitude is held by people making minimum wage and millionaires alike.
It can have its origin in religious beliefs, political beliefs or guilt at inherited privilege.
Pam grew up middle class. But being a child of the 60’s shaped her adult attitudes about money.
She loves having her own cake decorating business… but insists she doesn’t really care about money.
One way this attitude shows up is by always buying the cheapest version of any product.
Not because she’s frugal… but because Pam would feel too guilty allowing herself to have what she truly wants.
This attitude also shows up in a tendency to undervalue her skills. As a result, Pam charges far less for her cakes she could and is reluctant to spend money on marketing.
A classic under-earner, Pam sometimes relies on credit cards for basic expenses such as rent.
YES OR NO: I’m Clueless about Money
Doug rarely balances his bank statements, doesn’t know how much money he has or spends and, as a result, finds himself saddled with late fees and bounced check charges.
People like Doug often believe they’re not skilled enough to handle their money or that it’s just too much of a hassle.
When it comes to creating a budget or a retirement plan, he puts his head in the sand.
Doug makes a good income. That’s not the problem.
The problem is his unwillingness to pay attention to it also makes Doug vulnerable to theft, fraud, debt he can’t afford, not having enough to retire, even bankruptcy.
YES OR NO: I just don’t have enough money
Sarah often worries about money.
Not because she’s struggling.
To the contrary, Sarah makes twice as much as her friends.
But that doesn’t stop her from fretting to them about how hard it is to pay the bills.
At the root of Sarah’s fear may be a belief that she can’t take care of herself or that the world is a harsh place with scarce resources – or both.
People like Sarah sometimes fear that they will lose everything and end up homeless.
As a result, Sarah is highly risk averse.
YES OR NO: I’ll never have enough money
Mike also feels that he doesn’t have enough money.
But rather than seeing the world is a harsh place for everyone, he believes it is especially hard for him.
Other people will do just fine, but somehow he’s decided that he’ll always be poor.
If you try to encourage him, he’ll list the many strikes against him.
People like Mike are often under-earners, blind to the opportunities that are available to ensure that he does indeed have enough money.
What Does It All Mean?
If any of these attitudes resonate, the first step is to step back and examine them.
Not out of self-criticism. To the contrary. Your pattern exists for a reason.
As with all unhelpful patterns, they are there to serve you in some way.
So as you explore your attitudes and behaviors around money, do it with self-compassion.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Where did these attitudes originate?
How were your adult attitudes influenced by your family, religious upbringing, or childhood circumstances?
How are your attitudes different or the same as other family members?
What do your money behaviors help you get or avoid?
Again, all unhelpful patterns are there to serve you in some way.
For example, creating and maintaining a budget or creating a financial or retirement plan takes time and effort.
So by avoiding dealing with these things you get you more time for things you’d rather be doing.
If your friends or family believe that money is the source of all evil, then you echoing that belief wins you approval.
If you’re a small business owner who insists you don’t care about money, then you a built-in excuse to avoid marketing, sales, and other necessary tasks of entrepreneurship that you either don’t know how to do or don’t like doing.
What price will you pay if you never change your money pattern?
You never get something for nothing.
Your pattern does help you get or avoid something.
But this protection always comes at a cost.
The most obvious answer cost is a financial one.
Go deeper though and you may find the price includes things like unnecessary stress which can lead to health issues.
You’ll never get the things you want and deserve. It may be the source of relationship squabbles.
What opportunities and experiences might you miss out on?
If you never pursue promotions or you stay in a job you’ve long outgrown, you missed out on the chance to grow and learn.
You may miss out on valuable connections, cherished memories that might have emerged had you made different choices, being paid fairly for your work, the chance to make a difference in the lives of your family, community, clients/customers, and indeed, the world.
The Choice is Yours
Once you’ve explored what you get out of your pattern and what cost, you can make an informed decision. Keep your current money patterns – or make a change.
If you decide the price is too high, then it’s time to make a change.
Not all at once, but one small step at a time.
What’s one small change you can make this very day to develop a healthier relationship with money?
As you bring awareness to self-limiting beliefs and adopt a more empowering stance, you expand into a larger sense of personal freedom.
Healing your personal relationship with money helps build a solid foundation for weathering any future economic storms.
As importantly, once you develop a healthy relationship with money, you’re that much closer to being able to live life on purpose, work at what you love, and follow your own road.
Article license © Claire Communications. Revised by Valerie Young, Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com since 1995