Last week, I hosted a Live Coaching event through Facebook on the topic of personal finance. My expertise on this topic has nothing to do with my formal education, but comes from an on-the-job training program that I have been attending for the past 59 years… a program from the curriculum from the School of Life.
If you would rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, on how satisfied you are with your personal financial situation (1 being extremely dissatisfied to 10 being extremely satisfied), where would you be sitting at today?
If you rated yourself at somewhere between an 8 and 10 on this scale, it means you can honestly say that you basically have no concerns about your financial situation at this time, and that is AWESOME! Unfortunately, I would bet the majority of people who are asked this question would assess themselves somewhere in the middle or lower end of the financial satisfaction scale.
Many of us do worry about our financial situations – we live in fear that we do not have enough money to see us comfortably through to the end of our days on this earth.
Where does this financial fear come from? I believe that it is a combination of learned behavior, a lack of trust in ourselves, and not having a good understanding of what financial satisfaction and security means for each of us. The following are some key areas that I believe impact how we feel about money:
Our Parents: Many of us were taught to have a “fear of lack”. Our parents were taught by their parents. My mother was a young child who grew up with parents who lived during the Great Depression. My mother’s mother (my Grandmother), had such a “fear of lack”, that she would not buy herself bananas if the price was over $ .39 a pound. Here was a woman who lived off of her social security and interest from her savings account, never allowing herself to touch the principle of her savings. She died with the money from the sale of the farm still sitting in her savings account. My grandmother lived with twenty years of denying herself bananas because the fear of lack was deeply imbedded into her psyche.
Our Society: We are bombarded daily with commercials telling us we need insurance for our health, our homes, our cars, and our lives. Insuring against illness, accidents, and death, can create fear of something that has not, or may never happen.
Ourselves: Many of us have a lack of trust in ourselves and our abilities to create financial abundance in our lives. How may of you have been laid off from a job? Instead of embracing a lay-off as a great opportunity to do something new and exciting, many of us go directly to fear… fear that we will not be able to pay our bills. I am not saying that financial issues do not happen, but I also know that they don’t HAVE to happen.
Lack of Understanding: Many of us are not sure how much is enough. How much money is enough to live the life we dream of? Some people want to enjoy pursuing their hobbies. Some people want to travel and explore the world. Some people want to have vacation homes. Some people want to live simply… to have a modest home, adequate food on the table, a reliable form of transportation, and the ability to take care of day-to- day expenses.
So how do we find out what our best financial scenario is? What does a “10” in financial satisfaction look like for you?
If I use myself as an example, a “10” in financial satisfaction means that we have no debt. No outstanding loans, no credit card debt, no house payments or car payments. It means that our income pays our living expenses and there is plenty left over to travel, make enhancements to our home, donate to charities that are important to us, and to help out our family and friends, if they should need it.
A “10” to me, means waking up and not thinking about how much money is in the bank account. It means I do not think about money at all during a normal day, and I fall asleep easily, with no financial fear lurking in my subconscious.
How can we move from financial FEAR to financial FAITH? Below are 6 ways to move from living in a perception of lack, to one of abundance:
- Reframe: Reframing can be changing up your words to ones that are positive and powerful. Instead of saying “I cannot afford it”, reframe it by saying something like “I am choosing to not spend the money at this time.” Making a decision of choice is much more empowering versus feeling like a victim of circumstance. Another way to reframe is to think about a time when you successfully were able to find the financial ability to do something you really wanted to do. Think about how you could use that prior experience for a situation you are currently facing to create a powerful outcome.
- Visioning: Create a vision board or write a visioning statement. Cut out pictures of what you want in your life and paste them onto a poster board. Draw a picture of what you would like to see as your future. Write up a story of how you want your life to look. Visioning is a very powerful tool in creating what you want to see in your life.
- Declutter: Clear out clutter from your physical environment and in your mind (meditation works wonders at de-cluttering the mind). De-cluttering allows you to make room for abundance!
- Awareness: Create awareness of what is important to you. When are you feeling at your best? What environment are you in when you feel happy and content? Do you love to travel, or do you like to stay at home, enjoying your own personal space? How much money in your retirement or savings account, will give you a sense of peace? Once you have an awareness of what brings you contentment and joy, it is much easier to create the vision of your future.
- Remove judgement: Erase the old judgement “tapes” that have been residing in your mind. Having a life of abundance is perfectly okay. It is not a “sin” to be prosperous. Get rid of the negative judgements about having a “rich” life – know that you are worthy, and wealth can take many forms.
- Act Abundantly: Act abundantly with confidence that financial abundance is coming your way… it is not a question of “if”, but truly a question of “when”. Fake it until you make it. You can dress with confidence and abundance on a shoe-string budget. Allow yourself to have a night out with family or friends (using Groupons and coupons are a great way to act abundantly without spending a lot of money). I am not advocating taking your credit cards and spending with total abandon because that will only create more financial stress in your life.
After I had finished my Live Coaching segment the other day, a friend reached out to me about her financial concerns. After a brief conversation, another important way to move from financial fear to faith showed up during that conversation:
7. Forgive and Remove Shame: If you feel shame or blame about your financial situation, it is time to let it go. Whatever happened in the past is in the past, and you cannot change something that has already happened. What you can do is reframe the story by acknowledging what you learned from past financial experiences, and take that knowledge into creating your future. Most of us have made choices that we may have done differently after looking in the rear-view mirror. Be gentle with yourself and others…
If you would like to talk about how coaching could help you create a “10” for your financial future, please contact me to set up a no-cost, no-obligation call. I look forward to meeting you!