Love Your Self, Love Your Money
Sharon DemarteLOVING MY SELF MEANS TAKING EXCELLENT CARE OF EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE.
We develop our beliefs about money as early as five years old. They become "underlying beliefs" meaning that we may not even be aware of them, but they are there, in the background, having an impact on us as adults.
One Child's Perspective on Money:
"Money must be bad,
It makes big people mad.
They buy lots of stuff,
And it's never enough.
It's gone in a blink,
So, they have to drink.
They yell and scream,
No, it's not a dream.
Money must be bad,
It makes little people sad."
I did not value money. In fact, I didn't even like it much. As a child, I developed the attitude that "money makes people unhappy". Until I became aware of this attitude and changed it, I sabotaged the financial aspect of my life in many ways. I didn't love my money.
Today, I have a much different view of money. I now see money as an exchange of energy. I exchange my precious life energy for money when I do my work. I also exchange my life energy when I spend that money. This view of money has made me much more aware of what I do to make money and how I choose to spend it. It's no longer a matter of whether I can afford something; it's a matter of whether I want to spend my life energy on something.
When I waste my money, I am in effect, wasting my life energy. This view has made me much more cognizant of conserving. And, I have found that conserving is fun.
If I'm putting out more money than I'm bringing in, I'm living in a financial and energetic deficit. When I save money, I'm saving my life energy. Equating money with life energy has helped me learn to love my money - take excellent care of it.
Erroneous underlying beliefs determine how we manage our money. The following are three levels of financial management. Take a look and see where your financial foundation fits.
1. Survival Level
At the Survival Level, our financial foundation is built on sand, meaning that the least little storm can blow us away. We live in constant fear, which drains our life energy and keeps us from being our best selves. Money is a big issue in our lives, we spend a lot of our precious time and life energy worrying about it. We have less money coming in than we have going out, so we constantly "rob Peter to pay Paul". We may dread answering the phone and picking up our mail. We cannot afford to be as generous as we would like to be.
2. Maintenance Level
At the Maintenance Level, our financial foundation is built on gravel. We have a stronger foundation than at the Survival Level, but could slide down to that level when faced with a crisis. We are able to maintain our present lifestyle, to get by, but have very little left over. We live in a constant state of unease, and experience a consistent low level of stress. We are able to be generous, but still not as generous as we might like to be. Though money is not as big an issue as it is in the Survival Mode, it still takes up a lot of our mind space.
3. Abundance Level
At the Abundance Level, our financial foundation is built on rock. We easily pay all of our lifestyle expenses and have plenty left over. We have a reserve of money in the form of savings accounts and investments. We have more than enough to ride out any crisis or emergency. Money is not an issue in our lives. Because of this absence of financial stress, we are free to be our best selves. We are able to be abundantly generous to others without depleting ourselves. We have achieved financial independence.
At what level does your financial situation most fit? If you see yourself in level one, it's likely that you have some erroneous underlying beliefs about money that are sabotaging your financial success. If you fit more into level two, and want to be in level three, taking a look at possible underlying beliefs could also be helpful.
Here are some questions to reflect on:
1. What were your early learnings about money?
2. How did your caregivers handle money?
3. What is your earliest memory about money?
4. What beliefs did you adopt as a child that are impacting your relationship with money as an adult? In a positive way? In a negative way?
If your financial foundation is at a lower level than you would like it to be, know that you can change that. With the willingness to uncover and change your underlying beliefs and taking consistent steps in the right direction, you can take your money and your life to a higher level.
Your Money or Your Life, Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.
This is by the far the most personally impactful book I have read about money. I strongly recommend it. Check it out by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140286780/oneofakindcoa-20