It’s hard to deal with financial hardship. When I first started my business and very little money was coming in, I noticed that no one was as generous with me as I had been with them when I had been making good money during graduate school. A lot of my “friends” disappeared or moved on when I quit paying for everything. I realized that I actually needed relatively little money to survive and got back on the path to prosperity pretty quickly!
I used this period of austerity to decide how I wanted my money to function for me. And even in the midst of financial ebb, I knew that I couldn’t wait to feel better. Money cannot be a barometer for how you feel about yourself and your life if you want to experience prosperity. Here are the steps that helped me move out of struggling with money and into a relationship with prosperity that I trust:
Accept where you’re at. The biggest issue I see working with clients isn’t necessarily that people can’t pay their bills, it’s that they resist their current situation because they feel like it isn’t where they “should” be in terms of their own prosperity. Or with me, I didn’t WANT to curb my lifestyle! Everything became easier once I let go and told myself, “This is where I am at right now. It might not be where I want to be, but this is a temporary situation and I can handle it.” I still had to cut expenses and be extremely careful with my money, but I didn’t resist the process anymore.
Stop worrying. Worrying is a bad habit, and people worry regardless of how much money they have. People who are struggling to make ends meet think they’ll stop worrying when they have more money, but it never happens. You have to choose to cut off the worry habit BEFORE you have prosperity. The best way I found to stop is when I catch myself worrying, ask myself, “Can I do anything about this right now?” If the answer is no, then I move on.
Stick to the present moment. Your perception of reality is an abstract expectation…and your perception of the future is just a story. Keep reminding yourself that everything you tell yourself MAY NOT BE TRUE. And always bring it back to the present moment: “Is it true that in this moment, I don’t have enough money to eat/pay a bill/whatever?” What I found when I struggled to pay bills was that it might be true that I could not pay a bill when I wanted to, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t pay the bill at all—it just tended to be a lot closer to the due date than was typical for me.
Trust the future and yourself. When we’re in the midst of struggle, we tend to think that it’s all our fault and that we’re failures—which is exactly when we need to be gentle with ourselves! If you can always maintain the attitude that “this current state is only temporary,” then you’ll be able to continue to move forward in prosperity with the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Look for the growth. When I would become especially frustrated with my lack of prosperity, I would ask myself, “What growth am I achieving from this current situation?” And the answer would always be something to do with valuing myself more and building healthier relationships with those around me.
Actions This Week
- Get Clear. What are you allowing to be foggy in your financial life? You won’t achieve prosperity until you accept and move forward in clarity based on what reality is NOW.
- Take Stock. What are the situations that cause you to worry or feel like you’re struggling, and how can you respond differently in those moments?
- Identify Alternate Activities. Whenever you start to worry or feel bad, take a timeout to feel better. Dancing, a walk around the block, or a funny website can make all the difference.