How You May Be Sabotaging Your Own Efforts at Financial Security
Have you ever heard the saying, “Money is the root of all evil?” Did you know it’s actually a Bible verse that says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil?” It’s an important distinction because I think that this little saying stands in the way of countless smart, savvy and disciplined women and their ability to achieve a feeling of financial security. There’s a belief that if they pay attention to their money, or spend too much energy taking care of it, or place boundaries on how they’re willing to use it, it also means they’re evil. I’ve watched friends apologize for prosperity in their lives, like if they actually enjoy the reward of their hard work or good fortune, they’re somehow lesser humans.
But it’s simply not true. Money is not evil and those who are good stewards of their money are not embracing evil. It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, but money issues can certainly stand in the way of happiness. Ignoring money and pretending it doesn’t affect you is an idealistic view that leads to tons of money stress. If you want to feel financially secure, you need to respect your money. Just don’t worship it.
How do you know if you have negative money beliefs that are standing in the way of your financial security? Let’s take a look at your deep-seated attitudes about money. Take a minute and think about the little money messages you have floating around in your head. Have you been told before that rich people are greedy? Or that thinking too much about money makes you a “bad Christian?” To uncover some of your deeper money attitudes, try this exercise originally developed by my friend Ellen Rogin, co-author of Great with Money: 6 Steps to Lifetime Success & Prosperity.
MONEY ATTITUDES INVENTORY
With the following list, write down the first uncensored, unexamined thought that comes to your mind when you see each word or phrase:
- A person who drives a Bentley
- A woman paying with food stamps
- A friend with credit card debt
- People who give to charity
- Someone who gives money to panhandlers
- My relationship with money
Now take a minute to ponder your answers. Do you see a pattern? For example, many people who do this exercise realize that they harbor resentment or even disdain for wealthy people. But at the same time, their theme song seems to be “I Wanna Be Rich,” by Calloway. How are you ever going to get there if you think that rich people are bad? Is it possible that you might be sabotaging your own efforts because you hold onto an old money belief that isn’t serving you well anymore?
Once you recognize your unwanted ideas about money, it’s important to start to eradicate them. When you notice yourself thinking a thought that is not in line with how you want your financial situation to be, make a conscious effort to clear the thought and replace it with a positive money mantra. For example, the next time you see someone who is clearly in a higher tax bracket than you, try to replace any negative thought you might have with something like, “I will also enjoy the finer things as I continue to work toward my financial goals and the life I desire.”
Money isn’t evil. It’s the love of money that sometimes causes people to do evil things. If you simply take care of your money in a way that aligns with your personal values while also working to eliminate your own limiting beliefs about it, you’ll be well on your way to financial security.