What’s Holding You Back From Financial Freedom?
Vol 2: Negative Self-Talk
When I was growing up, my parents had a lot of books. There was a bookshelf above the piano where I spent many reluctant hours practicing. In between scales, I would look at the titles. Two in particular stood out to me: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill along with The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale – both were best sellers of their time. I’m not sure my parents ever read those books and don’t remember having conversations about them. But their presence on the bookshelf in my childhood home, and the extreme popularity of these books, demonstrates the mainstream nature of the notion that our thoughts create our reality.
When we engage in negative self-talk about our abilities or outcomes, we are reinforcing beliefs that create a pathway to more negative outcomes. The old “self-fulfilling prophesy” isn’t really a prophesy at all. It’s a natural outcome of the energy we consume, creating more of the same.
When I think back on all of the people I’ve interacted with as a financial advisor, it’s evident that those who have faith in the process and believe in great outcomes actually achieve their goals. It’s easy (and perhaps habitual) to focus on things that are wrong rather than those that are right – to focus on investments that lost money rather than the ones that increased in value. We make decisions from the place of thinking the worst rather than anticipating the best. What’s the matter with all of us?
Negativity comes from fear – fear of the unknown. I’ve long wondered why we always plan for the worst rather than anticipating the best. Typical financial planning focuses on protecting against death or disability (i.e., insurance) or on mitigating the downside of investment risk. Adequate insurance coverage and mitigating investment risk are both important. But from my perspective, there is much more effort spent on anticipating some potential negative outcome, rather than embracing the future we want, planning for, working toward, and expecting the best.
Focusing on the “worst” can create an energy that actually draws such outcomes our way. Einstein said, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way.” So if you believe you will never be financially secure, there is a greater chance of that outcome. If instead you believe that you can move forward to better and more lucrative work, there is a greater chance your dream will be fulfilled. This is true no matter your personal circumstance.
The most important question I ask new clients is “what are your goals?” In this moment, we begin to move toward the future in an empowered, almost magnetic way.
We all set goals to do things like lose weight, exercise more, or work harder. But it is rare that we apply our goal-setting practice to specific milestones toward improving our financial health. Why is that, when our financial health affects every aspect of our lives?
At some point each year, most of us probably consider questions like, “How much would I like to be earning in one year?” “How much money would I like to have saved in six months?” “When would I like to be debt-free?” These may be common questions, but actually writing down our goals with specific timeframes and commitments attached to them is much less common. Setting clear, specific goals, writing them down, and focusing on them in a systematic way become the measuring sticks – and actual evidence – of your progress. Just like stepping on the scale daily and seeing your weight loss, your goal becomes a motivator to keep going. And it is in fact, your actual progress toward your goal! It means you’re doing it!
So, how and when are you going to take charge of your financial life and believe that the future will be better than anything you could have ever imagined? It might be good to start with reading about how our minds create our reality. There are thousands of books and articles which focus on tools and techniques to change the course of our lives through controlling our negative thoughts. Two of my favorites are The Power of Positive Energy by Tanaaz Chubb and The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. It’s also important to recognize that having help to achieve your goals is one of the better choices you can make and worth the investment.
It’s time to take care of you, and it’s never too late to start.
Give yourself permission to stop waiting. Schedule an appointment with me and let’s get you moving toward the best life you imagine!
With you at every stage,
Founder & Senior Investment Advisor