We often look outside ourselves and blame our financial situation on the economy, politics or some other external force. While these may be totally valid speed bumps to building wealth our focus on them diverts our attention from our internal, more deeply ingrained, unconscious hurdles that are within our control to change.
Take a moment to consider whether any of these are holding you back.
Lack of knowledge:
“An investment in knowledge pays the best Interest”
Having knowledge about personal finance is the first step to financial freedom. Luckily, we live in a time when information is widely available and easily accessible. Read personal finance books, listen to relevant podcasts or attend courses. When it comes to becoming financially educated the only barrier between you and knowledge is your willingness to learn.
“The only limits you have are the limits you believe”
Limiting beliefs are those that grow from a fixed mindset. “I will never have enough money” and “I am bad with numbers, money is too complicated”. The more we listen to our inner dialogues and use this static language the more it becomes our identity.
The easiest path to stepping into an expansionary growth mindset is to change our language. “ I have enough money to sustain me now and am making a plan to earn more” and “I will learn how money works”. The switch from the closed dead end language to a language of possibility immediately flips our brains into the creative, problem solving machines that they are.
Poorly defined Goals
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
Goals are specific, measurable, inspirational but still attainable.
A bold vision drives motivation but simple, measurable action steps drive action and this is what you want your goals to create.
I want to be rich, is a vision, an indeterminate one at that. A statement that I want to retire with £500,000 in 20 years is a goal. The goal can be broken down into what can be achieved this year. If you could invest and earn a return of 8% you would need to invest £10,926 for each year to reach your target. This is £911 per month. You have an actionable goal. It is up to you to make it achievable by ensuring you have that monthly amount to invest.
“Never let your emotions override your intelligence”
Emotions are incredibly powerful and can create our reality by influencing our outer world by the inner responses we are having.
According to Deepak Chopra, a prominent author and alternative medicine advocate, emotions can derail us or inform us depending on how we respond to them.
Envy, jealousy, shame and fear are emotions strongly related to our money mindset. When we allow our emotions to derail us we buy into the stories these emotions create in our heads.
When we choose to rather feel the emotion without reaction or thought we can use that emotion to fuel us in understanding the lesson or wisdom we can derive from it.
Deepak’s suggested approach to intelligently responding to emotions is to pause when we recognise the emotion, take a deep breath to forestall action, observe what this emotion is and the situation that is causing it and choose to proceed based on what we can learn from the situation and how we can positively grow from it. This trains your mind to seek positive meaning rather than succumbing to limiting negative stories.
“To overcome fear, here’s all you have to do. Realise the fear is there and do the action you fear anyway”
We can change our financial situation when we choose to take action. One of the most common obstacles to taking action is fear. We fear failure, embarrassment, rejection, discomfort, pain and death. In the face of this compelling hurdle we freeze and don’t act.
Ironically the only way to overcome fear is to act. The more action we take the more comfortable we become with our fear. Fear isn’t going to go away. It exists to keep us safe. Our challenge is to train ourselves to recognise when our fear is validly protecting us and when it is holding us back. This is a muscle we can continually flex with positive action.
If you recognise any of these wealth building hurdles remember none of these are external and beyond your control, they are there waiting for you to take back your power and push through them to the next level of your wealth building journey.