Tag: finances

Are Your Beliefs About Money Keeping You Poor?

_1647Before money was in the form of paper or coins, people traded goods of value such as cows, fish, rice, salt, weapons, and clothing. The value of money is what we put on it. While our government has decided the amount a piece of paper or coin is worth, individuals place an additional, intangible value on it based on upbringing and experience.

For many people, money has emotion attached to it. As children, we observe how our families react and interact with money, and we receive messages about how they perceive it, which forms our money “beliefs”. See if any of these sound familiar: Money is the root of all evil, troublesome, difficult to get, hard to keep. Having money equals power, control, happiness, security, and solves problems. Are any of these your beliefs?

Money is neither good nor bad; it’s neutral, simply a tool that we use for the exchange of goods and services. However, that is not how most of us perceive it.

Do you have an emotional charge about money? What are your feelings about wealth or lack of it? Does your perception of money change in different circumstances? Do you feel that your self worth fluctuates according to your bank account?

Here is an exercise that might clarify your perception of money and its potential for change:

  • Visualize a pile of cash in front of you. How big is the pile? How does it make you feel?
  • Substitute the cash with one of the examples of ancestral trade before money, like exotic spices or shells. Do you still have the same reaction to your alternate pile of wealth? Now, how do you feel about having more, giving some of it away, or saving it?
  • If you feel more comfortable or less comfortable that your wealth isn’t money as we currently know it, examine why that is.
  • Do your feelings about money support you? If not, ask yourself are you willing to examine those feelings about money and adjust your perspective to a more supportive position.

Consider what adjustments around money you could make in both the long and short term. Perhaps it is focusing more on where your money goes each month (budgeting, consulting a financial advisor) or perhaps focusing less (if you feel you control it too much). Maybe you could adopt a positive mantra on money and wealth to say throughout the day, such as: Money flows freely, easily, and abundantly to me.

While changes toward your desired view on money may not occur overnight, clarifying what your current views are is a significant step.


Life Balance

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Balance is an essential part of life. When elements in nature become unbalanced, they eventually correct themselves. The more out of synch the elements in nature are, the more intense the correction—what we call “natural disasters.”

If a houseplant is completely ignored, or only taken care of sporadically, the plant will not do well and might even die. If you give it too little attention—keep it away from sunlight, deny it water, or fail to plant it in the right soil—you can’t expect it to flourish. This is analogous to not taking care of an area of your life. By the same token, spending too much time and effort in a particular area of life is not healthy either. It’s like over-pruning the plant or providing it with too much water or sun.

As in nature, when we experience imbalance in areas of our lives—working too much, ignoring our finances, not taking time for self-love—there will be subsequent results.

There are 4 main areas of life most of us can identify with as being significant:

  • Relationships – Our interactions with and connections to family, friends, and community.
  • Finances – The money we earn, save, invest, and spend.
  • Career – What we do (for pay or not) that contributes to our profession or career goals.
  • Self – Our spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs and desires.

Every life area is important and needs attention to foster balance. When we spend most of our focus in one area—say, putting all our attention on our career—then another area will most likely suffer—for example, relationships or self-care.

Take a few minutes to determine what percentage of time and energy you spend in each of these areas. Are any of them lacking? Is there a way you can bring those areas into greater balance? What is one step you could take to do so? Perhaps it’s consolidating one or two workdays each week in order to spend that time with family. Or maybe it’s scheduling a monthly massage or earmarking 10 minutes each morning to journal. If your finances need attention, maybe consulting a financial advisor or a friend who excels in budgeting is in order. Commit to taking at least one action step in any life area that is out of balance, no matter how small it seems.

The amount of attention each life area needs may be different. Determine the amount of focus and energy that feels right for you. It may initially take a bit of focus, discipline, and effort to keep our life in balance, but like anything else we keep practicing, it will soon become second nature.