How’s your bank account balances right now? Have you looked at your 401k lately? Are your clients freaking out, scrambling for help with loan options?
Right now many people are understandably experiencing a lot of fear around money. The economy is going up, down and all around, like a vomit-inducing roller coaster that we never asked to get on.
We are all looking at our 401k’s, investment accounts and bank balances and experiencing a range of emotions from low level concern to full-blown panic. For most of us, life was moving along relatively smoothly before this worldwide pandemic came sweeping in, like a cold fog covering everything in sight.
The issue with times like these is that no matter what your money beliefs were before the pandemic, the volume is being turned up. If you felt a lot of fear and scarcity around money before, then you will experience those feelings now more than ever.
Even those who felt fine around the subject of money may be triggered with money insecurity with the current economic climate. Depending on what you read, who you speak to and how you handle the challenges you’re being faced with, no one is immune to money insecurity at this moment in time.
Basically your thoughts about any subject before you ever heard of Covid-19 are still your thought patterns, especially when it comes to money. If you saw the glass half empty before, then you will probably see a giant hole in the bottom, emptying the glass now.
The strange thing is that money insecurity has nothing to do with how much money you have. As an accountant, maybe you’ve also had this experience – you have worked with clients or know people who had millions of dollars, yet still had a lot of anxiety around money.
It’s as if there is no amount of money that would be “enough” to quell their fears. Now in the midst of Covid-19 more people than ever are experiencing the “not enough” belief around money, no matter how much they have.
If you have been experiencing money insecurity, then this is the perfect time to address it. Once this pandemic has ended and you go back to your “new normal”, you will be able to experience a different sense of security and foundation around money from now on.
This week I’m going to discuss the cause of money insecurity and what to do about it.
The cause of money insecurity
Insecurity of any kind is the idea of not “enough”. Just like you may experience insecurity in a romantic relationship or at your job, money insecurity comes from the belief that you don’t have enough or you aren’t good enough to have more.
Unfortunately if insecurities aren’t addressed, they persist. It won’t matter how much your partner loves you or how much your net worth is, when the feeling of insecurity is allowed to fester, it spreads like an unwanted virus into many areas of your life.
The reason money insecurity is so common is because, during challenging times like these, everything that was a concern in the past will be triggered and come to the forefront of your mind. If you were worried before, you are going to look for all the reasons to be worried now.
This happens because your brain is a pattern seeking machine and will always look to prove what you believe to be true. If you believe in lack and scarcity, your brain will filter out anything that supports abundance.
Just like when you are in the market to buy a red car and all of a sudden all you see are red cars on the road, your brain has a filtering system that shows you what’s important to you. If your default way of thinking creates worry and insecurity, that’s exactly what your brain’s filtering system will show you more of.
There’s nothing wrong with the filtering system showing you more of what you want, unless what you really want is abundance and you’ve inadvertently programmed it to show you scarcity instead. Until you change the default setting on your brain, it will continue to show you more and more proof of what you believe, whether it helps you or not.
The impetus for your concerns about money may have begun many years ago. It may have come from your childhood, from when you became an adult earning your own money, or may have been the cause of some relationship issues in the past; thankfully, it doesn’t have to continue to be an issue any longer.
This pandemic is the perfect time to address money insecurity, especially while the whole world is being challenged together in various ways. Taking the time to address it while it’s front and center, will give you the opportunity to make some lasting changes.
Don’t forget that your children are going to be directly and indirectly affected by your money insecurities. What they learn to believe about money from you, will become how they handle money in the future.
Take a minute to stop and consider whether you want to pass your money insecurity to your children, or whether you want to do something about it now to stop the cycle. It’s never too late to change the legacy you pass down to future generations.
What to do about it
No matter how strong your money insecurities are or have become, you can always change them. With the awareness of how it’s affecting you, your future and your children’s future, you can create a compelling enough reason to address this issue now, so that it stops being an issue for you long-term.
Before I explain what to do, I want you to consider this – is there something that you saw as terrible two months ago at the start of the pandemic, but now you’re able to see it differently? For example, maybe you saw your work schedule being completely hijacked by children being home from school, but now you’re able to find creative ways to make it work and possibly even prefer the reassurance that your children are safe at home.
The reason it’s possible to see something as terrible two months ago and to now see the exact same thing differently, is because you chose to think differently about it. If your opinion has changed, it’s because you changed your mind; you literally changed the programming in your brain.
This is important because there are so many things happening right now in the world that are abundant and good, but unfortunately unless you make yourself think about them, you naturally won’t. If you follow this blog/podcast you are one of the fortunate ones who have been taught how to purposefully go after thinking and feeling in a way that allows you to feel better and works for you.
However, most of the accountants and moms around you aren’t being taught this, which is why you can’t wait for other people to feel better in order for you to feel better. Someone has to start the domino effect on how we are going to start looking and thinking about things, especially when it comes to money.
I encourage you to see that you can not only change your money insecurity, but you can also show others how to reduce their money insecurity as well. By showing yourself how to change your mind about things that are going on, you are going to be able to help others in more ways than you may realize.
To start, I suggest you get a lined piece of paper or two and begin to fill the page with all the things you currently have. Look around you, take an inventory of everything tangible and intangible that you have in your life right now and write it all down until you’ve covered everything.
I want you to start with this exercise because when you are experiencing money insecurity, you are coming from a place of scarcity. That’s why it’s important to first switch the focus of your brain from scarcity to abundance, so that the thoughts available to you aren’t coming from the deep end of the pool of a scarcity mindset.
The next step is to read the following sentence a few times – Money is a neutral circumstance. Repeating this phrase enough to realize it’s true, will change your life and change your relationship with money.
The reason this step is so important is because money doesn’t cause you to feel happy, fulfilled, scared or insecure. Security and insecurity are feelings that you have about money, but they can only come from how you think about money; money doesn’t create feelings.
In other words, there’s money, then there’s your thoughts about money, which then creates how you feel about money, which fuels what you do or don’t do with money, which ultimately creates your results with money. Your money results will always prove your most predominant thoughts about money.
Up until now, you might have thought that money causes your feelings; that you see your bank account balance and have a feeling about it. You also might have thought that having money means you are secure, and not having it means you are insecure about money.
The truth is that you are just having a sentence in your brain about the numbers you are seeing. This is important to understand because you could see a low balance in your account and still feel secure or you could see a high balance and feel insecure.
As I said before, you may have come across people who have millions yet feel insecure about money and maybe you’ve also come across people that have very little, yet feel secure. The reason this is possible is because of the choices each person makes about what they think about money and what they make the numbers mean.
Many years ago I was in Jamaica on vacation and met a man who worked at the resort; he handed out towels to the vacationers of this resort. He made very little money, he and his family lived in a cardboard hut in the hills of Jamaica, but he was literally the happiest person I had ever met.
How much money you have and how much money you owe is completely neutral until you have a thought about the numbers. For example, you could have a high credit card balance and think “I’ve paid off debt like this before; it’s not a problem”; you could also have a low balance in your checking account and think “I have everything I need right now in this moment”.
How is it possible to feel fine with a high credit card balance or low bank balance? Because it’s your thoughts about the credit and bank balance that create your feelings, not the numbers.
The final step is to start experimenting with your own power around money. Did you know that you get to believe that it’s coming to you, that it’s on its way, that what you have is always enough? You can choose to believe you’ve already created it, and it just hasn’t arrived yet.
Believing that you have enough in this moment doesn’t mean you can’t make or have more in the future, it just means right now as you read/listen to this, in this exact moment you have what you need. “It’s not enough” is a thought you can choose to think, or not.
It’s just that when you argue with the reality of what you currently have, you feel disempowered. Thoughts like “This shouldn’t be happening” or “This should be different” create powerlessness, especially at a time when there are so many things happening that none of us have the power to change.
All of your power lies in your ability to decide what to believe about anything, even money. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, or what you owe and whom you owe it to, because you always get to decide what to believe, in a way that serves you and the future you’d like to create.
If there’s anything that you get from this, I really want you to know this truth about money – money doesn’t cause your feelings, your thoughts do. This simplistic message will change everything for you around money.
- Even those who felt fine around the subject of money may be triggered with money insecurity with the current economic climate.
- Depending on what you read, who you speak to and how you handle the challenges you’re being faced with, no one is immune to money insecurity at this moment in time.
- The reason money insecurity is so common is because, during challenging times like these, everything that was a concern in the past will be triggered and come to the forefront of your mind.
- Take a minute to stop and consider whether you want to pass your money insecurity to your children, or whether you want to do something about it now to stop the cycle.
- All of your power lies in your ability to decide what to believe about anything, even money.