I love Halloween; how we collectively suspend disbelief, embrace being jumped at in haunted houses and let ourselves be subjected to the scary, gross and silliness that abounds on this day. None of it is truly fearful, its, as the saying goes, “False Evidence Appearing Real.”
Everyone knows fear. It’s a natural response to physical danger. But it is also a manufactured response to the “what-if’s” that our minds create around future worries. When it comes to money, it can be what if I run out of money, what if I have no where to live, what if I my car breaks down, what if they won’t pay me what I’m worth, what if they cheat me out of money, what if I’m never able to get out of debt. This self-generated fear doesn’t spark the same kind of immediate fight-or-flight response that true danger does, but our bodies experience the same chemical reaction. It’s not as immediate; its more constant and taxing, and it impacts our ability to make good decisions where money is concerned.
Most of our money worries, though, are simply F.E.A.R, False Evidence Appearing Real. I have countless examples culled from my years of financial coaching.
FEAR example #1: If I lose that big client my business will fail.
FEAR example #2: If I leave my spouse who I’ve been unhappy with, I’ll not have enough money to live on my own.
FEAR example #3: If I don’t keep up on my overwhelming credit card payments, I’ll never be able to buy anything again.
We get so stuck in the worry and the future outcomes that we shut down and don’t take action. But for all of these examples, and so many more, the what-if’s aren’t real. They’re false. There is no way you know the future outcome of any worry, and when it comes to monetary worries, we tend to just dig ourselves into inaction.
What if your money fears were like Halloween? What if you knew that that vampire on your doorstep just wanted some candy? What if you knew that whatever happened to you, it would be alright? That there was no reason to allow your brain to go into the flight-or-fight response that it does when we worry?
What if for FEAR #1 you lost that big client and you immediately got three better ones?
What if for FEAR #2 you left your spouse, moved into a friend’s spare room and sparked a new passion for a hugely profitable career?
What if for FEAR #3 you stopped paying your credit card debt, because it was truly so overwhelming you would never be able overcome it, drew a line the sand and committed to never borrowing again, allowing you to live worry free and eventually paid off all of your old debt?
Over and over I’ve seen people’s money fears turn into money wins. Often, it’s the thing someone is the most worried about that is the thing that sets them free. What in your life could you suspend disbelief about, and trust that something wonderful will happen, rather than something scary?
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