Back when I was having hard times and money problems, I wished daily for less struggle. More ease. A relationship with money that sustained me, instead of needing to work constantly to sustain it. What I realized—and what changed my relationship –is that the idea of less struggle and more ease starts on the inside, not the outside.
I recently had an incident that reminded me of this. I experienced a setback (business related, but not money related, which is how I console myself that I initially didn’t see the connection) and I found myself thinking, “Why do I have to remain CONSTANTLY vigilant to make sure my business is on track?” I was frustrated, irritated and really feeling my inner Tyrannosaurus Rex (RAWR! I will lay waste to all that I see! RAWR!)
First, I stopped myself and got grounded. We typically have enough basic awareness to TRY and assess what is REALLY happening, but often we forget to get our brains off of the Tilt O’ Whirl of activity and just STOP. For me, I have to walk away from all electronic devices and get some fresh air.
Next, I asked myself, “What attachment did you have to this setback?” For me, success = intelligent, effective business person…but I didn’t have a positive characterization for myself if my experiment wasn’t successful, so I immediately jumped to TOTAL FAILURE, even though that’s probably a bit extreme. When I calmed down, I realized that I am allowed and REQUIRED to make mistakes to continually improve.
Then I asked myself, “What is the personal growth opportunity?” An ongoing “growth opportunity” for me is preventing isolation. I was raised in a family where you worked alone and did everything yourself. My default is “alone,” so my personal growth opportunity is ALWAYS collaboration and expansion. I realized that this setback probably wouldn’t have happened if I had not tried to do it all alone and had asked for more support.
Finally, I asked myself, “What did you learn from this setback?” I learned that I was in “overfunctioning, control freaky mode” trying to accomplish a set of business tasks, and that is NOT the kind of energy I want to bring to my business! And creating any tactics when I was in that head space would not be effective.
Once I was able to reframe the experience, I felt a lot better about it, and I was able to start planning my next experiment to incorporate all of the elements that made this last attempt fail—collaboration, expansion, support and the spirit of possibility—instead of attachment.
So how can this be applied to less struggle with money problems? I see the same dynamics happen when someone is having money problems:
Overwhelm – people are always trying to make money decisions when they ALREADY have 10 different things happening at once! Stop the merry-go-round (or whatever your favorite throwing-up-ride-at-the-amusement-park happens to be).
Attachment – people starting thinking, “If I can’t pay this bill now, the world falls apart.” It actually doesn’t, that is just your projection if things don’t happen perfectly (and they never do). Ask yourself, “Is that REALLY true? How can I know that it’s true?” Ala Byron Katie.
Personal Growth – You are where you are because of WHO you are. Whenever you feel struggle, there is always an opportunity to show up in a different—and ultimately better—way.
Learning – The real world learning is what you can apply from your personal growth lesson. For some, it might be “never carry credit cards in my wallet,” or “ figure out ways to show up in a better way for my family and our money.” You get to decide.
Actions This Week
If you’re in the midst of a struggle over worry over something, consider these steps:
- STOP everything. You can’t get clarity or feel better until you “reset” yourself back to the present moment. Go outside. Walk your dog. Dance to Earth, Wind and Fire (no judgment).
- Reinforce: NOTHING IS WRONG. This current struggle is powerful information, about yourself and how you deal with issues. Lean into it. Be willing to take the lesson.
- Connect with a loved one. I recently read Jenny Lawson’s book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened…first of all, I laughed so hard I cried, but secondly, it reinforced for me the powerful of having someone in your life who loves you NO MATTER WHAT. This is VERY beneficial when you’re in the dregs of money struggles.
P.S. And if you think your thinking and energy is holding you back from a more peaceful relationship with money, you might want to check out my Money Chakra ebook that addresses these issues specifically – you can download your free copy here.