From Marvin Schulz, staff writer:
Before I knew what I know now, money was my worst enemy. That’s why today, I’m going to show you how to end financial self-sabotage in your own life.
I grew up in rural Germany. Yet I’d had all the toys I’d ever wanted. I never had to work for anything.
I got used to everything being handed to me. I developed a rich man’s attitude… without a rich man’s bank account. This attitude would lead me to reckless spending later in life.
My father, a salesman, worked hard every day of the week. I overheard my parents arguing about money a lot. We never seemed to have any excess money at the end of the month. Yet I kept getting new stuff.
Seeing the way my parents handled their money caused me to develop mixed feelings about my own money as I got older. My body tensed up whenever money changed hands. But I always wanted the excitement of new products. After having everything handed to me during my teenage years, I felt most comfortable when my bank account balance was around—or below—zero.
So I spent money I didn’t have. I used credit cards to buy brand-name products.
The weight of making important financial decisions paralyzed me.
Yet today, I’m traveling the world, working with a variety of freelance clients, and earning more than I spend almost every month. Two years ago, I never thought this life would be possible.
Here’s how I ended my financial self-sabotage.
How to End Financial Self-Sabotage
Find the Leak in Your Financial Pool… and Fix It
The first step to ending financial self-sabotage is the most important. It helped me redefine my relationship with money. And it taught me to feel comfortable earning and maintaining larger sums. It’s a scary—but crucial—step to taking control of your finances and creating lasting wealth.
Here’s how it works:
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Once you’re there, think about negative financial situations in your life. Create a mental list.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Have I ever borrowed money without paying it back?
- Have I caused someone else financial misfortune without making amends?
- Have I ever stolen money from someone (or somewhere)?
Be honest with yourself. Accept the feelings that may arise.
What you’re thinking about is the leak in your financial pool. Like a hole in a gas tank, this leak will keep your financial life from running full-force. But now that you’re aware of the leak’s existence, you can fix it.
Take a look at everything you’ve written down. Now, think about possible ways to make amends. The best way is to repay any affected people.
If that’s not possible, get creative. You should aim to amend at least one wrongdoing in each category. Commit to your plan by stating a clear deadline. Sign your name at the bottom of the list.
Now, share this list with someone you trust. This will help you commit to fixing the leak in your financial pool.
This process may be difficult. When I completed it, I was drained. Some of my realizations were connected to major shame and guilt.
But by coming to terms with my financial past—and making amends for my transgressions—my attitude toward money changed. I felt comfortable around larger sums of money. My financial life improved almost right away.
Facing issues you want to avoid can lead to breakthroughs in your financial life. After you fix the leak in your financial pool, consider the steps below. I learned them in Napoleon Hill’s best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich. It’s a practical guide on how to end financial self-sabotage.
Imagine Yourself Being Rich
The next step was to picture myself possessing the money I desired.
I was surprised by how difficult it was for me to envision myself being rich. The following exercise helped me:
Sit down in silence, close your eyes, and relax. Envision yourself possessing large sums of money. Start by picturing yourself having $10,000. Are you comfortable with this? If so, increase the amount of money. Imagine having $50,000. How do you feel?
You can play out this scenario with any amount of money, as often as you want. It may help to record any negative feelings and investigate where they may be coming from.
Set Definite Financial Goals
- Decide on the exact amount of money you desire. Be as specific as possible.
- Think of what you intend to give in return for the money. Will you work harder, build a new business, or start an acting career?
- Set a date by when you intend to possess the money you desire.
- Devise a definite plan and get to work now. Even if you tell yourself you’re not ready yet, just get started. You’ll acquire the necessary skills and meet the right people once you get going.
- Write down a clear, concise statement summarizing points one through four. Be specific—details will be helpful when you reread your plan.
- Always carry this statement with you. Read it at least twice a day.