Finding Financial Freedom

Often we think we gave a positive attitude towards money but somehow we never seem to achieve our goals. Our life reflects our beliefs. The way we treat money and possessions betrays our hidden beliefs.

For instance, if you long for a luxury sports car, say a Porsche, think how you would treat it. Look at your present car. Do you treat it like a Porsche or a rubbish dump? Is It cleaned and polished, or unwashed and unloved?

How do you treat money? Do you shove it into your wallet any old way or throw it into a drawer? When a shop assistant gives you change do you shove it out of sight as quickly as possible? Do you know how much money you have in your wallet? How does this amount make you feel?

The way we treat possessions and the way we dress tells the world what we think about ourselves.

It is extremely difficult to feel and act prosperously if you live in a slum. A slum is not necessarily a derelict neighbourhood; an untidy room can fit the description. Clear away the clutter now, in preparation for the things that you want.

Childhood conditioning

You will also need to clear away the clutter in your mind. You can do this by examining your conditioning – the beliefs and patterns of behaviour established in early childhood. Often we utter phrases heard and repeated as children, without fully comprehending their significance and impact on our lives.

Do these sound familiar? Money doesn’t grow on trees…We can’t afford it…Champagne tastes on a beer income…Money is the root of all evil…You can’t win…The rich get richer, the poor get poorer…You live beyond your means…You’re hopeless with money…Money burns a hole in your pocket…It’s greedy to want more then your share…You can’t trust anyone…Money doesn’t bring you happiness.

How many positive phrases about money can you recall? Usually there are very few. Money may not bring you happiness, but nor do debts of money worries. In fact money worries rate highly on the list of causes for marriage break-up. Literally hundreds of phrases similar to those mentioned above are a part of daily life. If you have a problem with money, chances are that your conditioning has been predominantly negative.

As a child I was told ‘You’re hopeless with money’, because I always spent any change from my lunch or bus money. From the age of eight, I developed a reputation for spending money that was not mine and was continually reminded of it by a well-meaning family. As an adult, I overspent on credit cards and lived beyond my means for many years repeating the pattern of spending learnt as a child.

Negative reinforcement from parents, teaches, and friends makes our weaknesses worse. It’s easy to start blaming others for what we are, but we are also part of the process. Listen to what you say to your children, friend, husband and associates: all of us have negative programs that, unwittingly, we pass on to others.

The mind is the most incredible tool but it can work for, or against us. The subconscious mind has no reasoning power and will accept anything – especially emotions – as fact, if it is repeated often enough. Everything that has ever happened to you is remembered.

Negative subconscious beliefs and memories create havoc with our financial affairs. If, as a child, you were told ‘we can’t afford it’, there is a strong likelihood that you have carried the belief with you into adult life, whether or not it holds any truth. This belief needs to be changed at the subconscious level.

One client whose financial position was very secure said, “Things cannot get much worse”. Her family always lived a hand to mouth existence and although her situation was now entirely different, she was still acting out that old belief.

Conditioning comes not only from the phrases we hear but also from the actions of others, particularly those close to us. My mother belonged to a generation of women who stayed at home and looked after the children. I chose to work, to provide my children and I with a better lifestyle that I found acceptable. Because my mother did not approve, she did not want to hear about my business and my success brought rejection. During tough times, however, she had been incredibly supportive. She would listen, offer money and babysit. Poverty was acceptable; independence was not. Some husbands perpetuate the problem. There are still working men who actively discourage their wives from working, because they find the idea of independent women hard to cope with.

Women born prior to the 1960s come from an era where a woman’s role was the dependant homemaker. Then came the radical changes of the 60s and women’s struggle for equality: suddenly women were expected to contribute financially or to provide for themselves. This pre-60s generation has been caught between two worlds and inner conflict often manifests itself in financial difficulties.

The problem for women is not so much fear of failure but fear of success. Success means throwing away dependency. Although women may appear to be liberated, deep down some are not sure what they want to be.

The real issue in this instance is not money but fear. Fear of change. Fear of success. Fear that you will cease to be loved if you are no longer dependent. My mother said ‘No man will ever love you if you are too independent’ and, for years I chose the wrong type of man for me, thereby fulfilling her prophecy.

We all have patterns of behaviour and beliefs that have been shaped by our earliest influences. Don’t waste time on blame and recrimination, as it serves no purpose. Simply accept that the beliefs are part of your past.

Self-talk

When we are not talking to others, we talk constantly to ourselves. Psychologists estimate that we have 30 000 thoughts a day.

This is such a natural process that we generally do not notice the phrases that circulate in our minds. This self-talk is vitally important. When business started booming for me, I was excited and astounded at how easily it happened and kept repeating “I don’t believe it”, until one day I heard myself saying it.

Have you ever said ‘It’s too good to be true’ or ‘You can’t have it all’? We all use negative phrases and it is essential to be aware of those expressions and, where appropriate, to replace them with more positive ones.

One friend of mine constantly called her daughter ‘poor little thing’ and did not realise it until I pointed it out. Another always said ‘Money goes out faster than it comes in’ and almost everyone I know, myself included, has at some stage said ‘We can’t afford it’.

Some people say these negative expressions are true, that they really can’t afford it, but I challenge this. Nine times out of ten, you choose to spend money or something else. If you pay a bill instead of going out to dinner, that’s a choice. Often parents tell children they can’t afford something, but they wouldn’t have given them what they asked for anyway. Think carefully before you utter this excuse.

Successful people talk positively to themselves. Instead of saying ‘stupid!’ when something goes wrong, they say ‘I’ll do better next time’.

Our subconscious mind acts like a sponge, soaking up everything it hears without judgement. No wonder so many people experience financial difficulties. Often the throwaway remarks made in casual conversation will betray our real thoughts. For years I simply let these comments wash over me until I decided that my silence did not change anything. Now I usually respond with ‘You can win’, or, ‘You can have it all’. Why not try it?

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