Psychology affects your financial landscape
“Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world.” – T. Harv Eker
I’ve always been interested in human behavior, and psychology is a subject that has intrigued me since High School. Over the past few years, I’ve become acutely aware of how important psychological factors are when it comes to finances and how strongly they influence our ability to earn, hold and grow money.
Author, T. Harv Eker claims in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” that any money issues we have in the physical world are just symptoms of deeper issues that are rooted in either our emotional, mental or spiritual selves. This is something that I’ve spent a lot of time exploring over the past few years and so, in this week’s post, I thought I’d share five strategies that have helped me reshape my financial life in the hope that you might find them useful too.
I’m very much an optimist but I’ve discovered that there’s a very fine line between optimism and delusion! It’s one thing to take a positive view on life and a whole other thing to deny the reality of your situation, especially when it comes to money. Whether you’re exactly where you want to be financially or 180 degrees away doesn’t matter; what’s important is that you clearly understand your situation. You can’t accurately gauge how far you have to go, or what it will take to get there if you’re not honest about where you’re starting from.
Own your choices
While life throws curves, in the end, it’s our own choices and decisions that have the strongest influence on where we end up. Denying our own role in our present circumstances might let us off the hook but it also prevents us from being able to step up and make a change. If we want our future to be different than our past then it makes sense that we need to do things differently. That means deciding on the person we need to become and doing what it takes to grow into that person. Asserting yourself as the captain of your ship rather than just a passenger is essential if you truly want to make a change.
Related article: Making success a habit
We live in a world where so much information is available to us at the touch of a button. Online resources, books, audio, and video can provide the answers to almost every question we have. If you want to know more about money, there’s an abundance of information available. If you want to make a change to your financial health then commit to educating yourself, and to learn from people who have already achieved what you’re working towards. Study their successes and their failures, their challenges and their strengths and apply what you learn to your own journey. While each one of us navigates our path according to our own compass, there is a lot to learn from other people’s journeys and a certain amount of comfort to be found in knowing that others have overcome similar obstacles and found success.
Related article: The ABCs of Financial Success
Learn to relish the fear
Doing something new is often scary. More often than not, the fear is rooted in the fact that so much about the journey is unknown. When I look back at some of my biggest growing experiences and some of my biggest successes I am really glad that, at the time where I started the journey, I had no idea of what challenges lay in store! Had I known at age 24 that my 12 month trip to Canada would actually last more than 15 years, I’m not sure I would have got on the plane. Had I known on my wedding day that my marriage would only last 6 years, I don’t think I would have walked down the aisle and, while not doing so would have saved me a lot of heartbreak, it would also have deprived me of some of the biggest learning experiences of my life.
Related article: Is fear holding you back?
Being afraid when faced with the unknown is natural but there’s a world of difference between growth and recklessness and just because your brain can’t tell the difference doesn’t mean that you can’t! If you choose to see fear as a sign that you’re growing you can let it be a reason to move forward rather than a reason to stay put.
Build a tribe
Any journey is easier when you’re accompanied by positive people. Whenever you set out to make a change there will be plenty of people who will tell you why it’s not a good idea and plenty who’ll be waiting for you to fail. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your dreams; if you believe in what you’re doing, others will believe in it too. It’s said that we’re the sum of the people we spend the most time with, which makes it especially important to choose our friends and mentors wisely.
Related article: The sum of 5 people
While it’s true that life is unpredictable, it is also true that, in life, it’s less about what happens to you and more about what you do with it. When we give something other than ourselves credit for anything in our life we take the responsibility for it off our shoulders but we also surrender the power to change it. Taking an honest look at where our challenges are rooted and making the decision to take action and create a better outcome is where success starts. No matter what your financial situation, if you want to change it for the better, the journey starts on the inside.
I loved T. Harv Eker’s book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”. It taught me to stop complainig, pull my sleves up and deal with situations. I stopped hanging around with complainers. This totally affects my mood…. in a good way. I can’t remember exactly the process but T. Harv Eker outlines something like your thoughts affect your feelings, which affect your actions and your actions produce your results in life. It all starts with us! Very good book.
I have always been a strong saver (I wonder what this says about me from a psychology standpoint??) – and I would always pick an amount to save from each paycheque rather randomly. Once I started reading personal finance blogs, I discovered the fun of choosing an aggressive savings rate. Once I did this, it changed everything. Every raise, my savings were adjusted based on my rate.