I don’t really know who taught me about money, but it was most likely passively learned through observation of my parents and their attitudes towards it.
When you think about it, money is just a piece of fabric or metal in your hand or a number on a screen. More often than not you can’t feel it, it’s almost like it doesn’t exist. So why is it that this mostly intangible thing is the biggest cause for stress and concern for most people?
Growing up, even before I could earn any myself, I think I had anxieties about money. After all, isn’t that part of the reason why we choose “what we want to be” when we grow up? Isn’t that partly why our parents pray for us to want to become doctors, lawyers, vets, surgeons? I remember this being the case for me. I was told in no uncertain terms that I had no choice but to choose between one of three options – lawyer, doctor, or vet. It wasnt because my parents were particularly fans of these professions, but rather the paycheck and social status behind them.
Much to their dismay I was a creative child and had no interest in being any of those three things and that was cause of much conflict between me and them – and the root of this all, this whole argument/conversation/lecture/whatever you want to call it, was money. Why was a 9-year-old child already being filled with anxiety toward something she didn’t even know how to manage yet?
Yet my learnings toward money extended again beyond that when I saw how my parents utilized debt, loans, credit cards. There was no conversation about positively attracting the things you want in life or doing what you love with the money following thereafter. I don’t blame my parents, however, because they never learned from theirs. It’s like a continuous cycle of genetic monetary anxiety that has been passed down through the generations that I seem to have inherited until I caught myself this year and was determined to change.
And yet this isn’t going to be a blog post about how to manage your money or to earn more money, because I’m not an accountant.
I’m merely going to share with you how I have made steps to change my attitude toward money, manifesting what I want, utilizing affirmations and letting intuition guide you toward your true purpose without the fear of money detracting you from what you want in life.
STEP 1:Change your attitude from one of “never enough”, to “more than enough”
Like attracts like. You are a completely energetic being in an energetic world that runs on vibration and believe it or not, your thoughts are the root of how you live your life. We have all heard the saying “your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your life”. Unfortunately 99% of us are hardwired to live a life of small anxieties that amount to a state of living in “never enough” land. I myself have lived the last 10 years in this state. I have been everywhere from jobless, to benefits, to working full time earning a decent amount of money and irrespectively, living in that constant state of feeling like I never had enough money meant that I infact, never ever had enough. I was constantly looking to others that earned the same or less, and wondering why I couldn’t keep a hold of the numbers that were slipping through my quick fingers. I developed a binge-buying habit that saw me spend hundreds on things I don’t even have in my possession anymore because I was trying to convince myself that, “see, Dani? You have things. You are valued. Look at all this stuff…”. This past 12 months I’ve made a habit of catching myself in this negative self talk space and instead of letting my anxiety/”never enough” speech/negativity creep through, I’ve been repeating positive, powerful and self empowering affirmations. Its hard at first as your mind is a running commentary throughout the day and sometimes it runs away from you with a thought train without you realizing, but it does become easier.
STEP 2: Gratitude
This is a bigger section as I believe gratitude is magic and can really change your life.
In the same sense as Step 1, maintaining an “attitude of gratitude” for everything you have (even if you have very little) is crucial as you attract to your life, more of what you’re grateful for. If you think you have nothing, I assure you there is someone out there who has much less (just as there is always someone out there with more). For even if you have a lack of material possessions or items of “status”, you still have your family, you have your health, you can probably walk, sing, dance, be yourself freely without fear of persecution. Numerous pieces of literature, case studies, life experiences have touched on how important it is to maintain gratitude, even for the things you have yet to receive.
A good place to start is by counting your blessings and I like to do this in a journal that I can go back and read whenever I like. List everything you have in your life and phrase them in a way that allows gratitude, and a reason for that gratitude. For example “I am grateful that I have a body that is healthy and strong as it allows me to swim, walk, dance, work and live life to the fullest”. Write down as little or as much as you like first thing in the morning and it puts you in a good mindset for your day ahead.
Since some of this post is about money I can’t stress the importance of feeling gratitude for your money, even if it isn’t much. Even if you have 50 cents to your name. It may be 50 cents more than somebody else has. Maybe you spent all your money on bills and there’s not much left. Expressing gratitude for those services the bills provide that your money was able to pay for (a house to live in, a car to drive you places, electricity to keep the lights on, warm running water for a shower and cold running water to drink to keep you and your family healthy) is imperative to attracting more of this into your life, more than you need, an abundance. Positive will attract positive and negative will attract negative. Fearing or regretting or dreading bill time will ensure that every time bill time rolls around you will always have “just enough” or not enough. Gratitude for all that your money provides will ensure that life will keep providing money for you to be grateful for.
STEP 3: Positive self-talk
This flows on from the last step in terms of your mindset, what you put out there, and ultimately what you say to yourself. You should be your own biggest fan, your #1 backer, and your own best friend. Talk to yourself and really be truthful in what you want in life and how you picture your life turning out – regardless of your current circumstances. It isn’t easy but you need to start shushing that negative inner voice that is criticizing your every move, because HE (yes I gave it a gender haha) is what is ultimately holding you back from your full potential. This is probably one of the hardest things I have done as he is stubborn and relentless and so, yes, I’m still battling with this part as much as everyone else is. A way that I have found overcoming his nagging, stubborn commentary is to replace every negative thought that I catch running through my brain and instead replace it with an affirmation (I’ve done a full blog post on affirmations this past week but I’ll touch on it again). They are little self-empowering statements that are the exact opposite of “his” (lets call him ‘Bob’) commentary. For example, Bob may say to you, “holy crap what have I done, I’ve just quit my job how am I going to pay for…”. This is something that I’ve personally experienced a lot of and I’ve found that when I catch these trains of thought, I stop them immediately and instead repeat an affirmation that corks Bob’s voice such as;
- Money flows abundantly to me from multiple sources
- Money comes easily and abundantly to me
- I am open and ready to receive all that I desire in life
- My life is full of abundance in all areas
- I am completely, 100% myself in all situations
- I am valued
- I am loved
As someone that suffers from a form of panicky anxiety every time Bob comes sneaking back into my brain, saying these affirmations immediately calms me, puts me back in control and allows me to deal with situations confidently and with a clear head.
There is no limit to how many affirmations you can say to yourself, the range of topics the affirmations are about or how many times you can say them to yourself throughout the day. The catch is that you have to really feel the sentences and believe in them. There is no point robotically repeating something to yourself if you only half believe it, or if you don’t believe it at all. The mind is powerful and unimaginably intelligent, so if you think that what you’re saying to yourself is horseshit, it will be horseshit.
The final, and hardest part of affirmations and gratitude is to believe in something that has not happened yet or be grateful for something that is yet to arrive. It is easy to get impatient and think its silly to tell yourself you have abundance in life when you think you don’t have it yet, or wonder when that money is going to arrive you keep telling yourself that you get. As humans we want to be able to control everything and plan everything to a tee, to see immediate results. Know that it is only up to you to decide where you want to be, it is not up to you to decide how you will arrive there. The moment you start believing your life is already a certain way (i.e. abundant), an irresistible gravitational energy pulls abundance to you in answer. If you only believe that “one day” you will have abundance, you will always be waiting for that day to arrive because the universe is also granting you that wish – waiting for a day that will never arrive.
STEP 4: Let your intuition guide you
Our gut instinct is a lot more intelligent than what we give it credit for. If you don’t feel right about any decision, situation, relationship or event in life it’s most likely for a reason. In hindsight, accepting a job just for the money was against the intuition I had at the time and I only realized this fact after 6 months of depression, constant sickness and isolation (although it was a great life lesson and experience). Ultimately if we lay the brickwork in terms of gratitude and affirmations for what we want in life, our intuition will guide us in the right direction.
STEP 5: Find your passion, and the money will come
I believe that way too many potential creatives, artists, luminaries, inventors or inspirational leaders in life are stuck in jobs that pay well but keep their creativity stemmed for fear of losing their income source. Knowing the risks but doing it anyway, wholeheartedly believing in yourself and your ability to succeed, taking any kind of tiny step toward your dream destiny is exceptionally hard, but as the saying goes, “if it has been done before, it can most certainly be done by you”. Belief is the steadfast foundation that any successful person (for example, think of someone in your dream field) was able to succeed on. Maybe 1% of successful people had complete and utter security & confidence in their monetary situation before they took the leap to follow their passion. That isn’t to say just leave your job tomorrow without any plan, but if you fearlessly pursue your passion without worrying about where the money will come from, it will come. Passion and passionate energy is irresistible.
STEP 6: Let belief be your new gravity
Total and utter belief in yourself and your capabilities regardless of what anyone thinks is crucial. It needs to be the gravity in which you ground yourself, especially in times of doubt or concern. Knowing, affirming, and being grateful for complete and utter abundance in your life is so powerful. I like to think of it this way – nature in action.
A glistening, sparkling, deep blue pool that great thundering masses of water spill into from a rocky outcrop above, no matter the outer climate or temperature conditions. You are the deep pool, the rocky outcrop is the universe, and the thundering cascade of water is all of the abundance the universe has to offer. The pool never questions where the abundance comes from or how it arrived by which way, stream, river or fork – it just is. It knows the thundering mass of water will be there and will continue to be there. Be the pool.
STEP 7: Stop placing your value in things and start placing your value in yourself and your relationships
One of the most empowering things I’ve ever done when I was in a world of fast fashion, “things” as objects of status, and surrounded by people buying more, more, never enough … was to remove myself from that world, those people, and take a good look at all the “stuff” I had accumulated in a fortress around me. I started asking questions about why I felt the need to accumulate so much. The short answer was that I felt like I was lacking in life, and so to avoid the painful process of looking inwardly I spent money outwardly and falsely idolised and made friends with people that only had interest in objects. Without sounding harsh a lot of those people were spiritually shallow and thus, I don’t keep in contact with them much to this day. In actual fact I was lacking proper, real human connection and interaction and spirituality. I wanted to belong somewhere and so I thought by accumulating stuff, I’d look better to others and therefore “fit in”. This is how the cycle went;
Get paid > buy unnecessary stuff > compare with someone else’s stuff > get used to purchased objects > buy more > wait until next pay day to do it all over again.
I was a bottomless pit of consumption and nothing could satiate me because the emptiness I felt couldn’t be satisfied with physical objects. I accumulated $6000 of credit card debt, was living paycheck to paycheck, I had a rotating pile of 10 items on hold for me to purchase in the backroom of my work, and I still felt like it wasn’t good enough. I can tell you at this moment of writing, I own probably 5 or less of these items still.
I cant tell you what triggered me into changing this mindset but at one point I started looking inwardly, and realized this person I was, wasn’t me at all – it was a façade. I didn’t like any of the things I had bought for myself. I had purchased things that my peers had purchased in the hope that they liked me and thus, put myself in unimaginable debt without strengthening any of those “friendships”. The figures I idolized were those that my “friends” idolized and once I took a long hard look at myself, my situation and sought change, the types of people that I looked up to changed as well. I moved house and asked myself of all my belongings, do these things really bring me true joy and happiness? I donated 20 large bags of clothing and unnecessary objects, sold a lot and cleared my life ready to receive new things. I realized I had bought a lot of black clothing during this time of consumerism and I think that sums it up perfectly – it wasn’t me at all and I wasn’t happy. I threw out 3 bags of makeup and skincare and haircare that were full of chemicals and did nothing for me (I hadn’t touched them in months). All the clothes I have now I absolutely love and it’s all colourful.
Once you stop valuing stuff and remove all that is clogging up your life you make way for new things to come and take their place – be it a new job, new friendships, a new relationship, a new life, abundance in general. Your mind becomes clearer once it stops having to worry about, clean, care for, look after, count, store so many objects. Two books helped me sort out what I valued vs. what I was merely holding on to, and funnily enough one of them is a finance book. The Barefoot Investor & The Japanese Art of Tidying Up.
Once my life was clearer, I stopped binge eating. I had money coming into my life and staying in the form of savings. I no longer felt the need to continuously consume because I was being satiated spiritually and started having meaningful conversations with people on similar trajectories to mine, conversations that revolved around ideas, psychology, life, beauty, philosophy, art, music, rather than “things”. This practice has brought me so much peace.
Finally I want to share with you two people that have inspired me to continue my journey, to live life exactly the way I want it to be and to be fearless in pursuit of my freedom.
- Jinti Fell &
- Ellen Fisher (you can search them on YouTube).
Both of whom are living lives that they constructed, that many people scoffed at, that they whole heartedly believed in and pursued and are now living a free life without the self-constrained worries of jobs, money, debts, careers, consumerism that our modern society loves to place on top of our shoulders. Both of these women are living proof that you make your life not the other way around, that you deserve abundance and all that you desire, and that regardless of your circumstance you can and should follow your life’s desires.
If you have any other steps toward abundance, how to live a life of freedom, or a personal story you’d like to share regarding this I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
– Dani Sophia