Having personally come from a country where people openly discuss income and the price of objects, it was odd for me to move to the United States and realize that there is no subject people would rather avoid more. This got me thinking: Is money such a sensitive personal matter that we should avoid discussing it? Is it a financially healthy thing to do?
I don't believe it is.
One thing I've examined closely over the years is the process of money coming in and out of our lives. We tend to believe that our financial situation is rather cut and dry. We have income and expenses; they can all be summarized on a sheet of paper. We believe that our financial picture can be understood with a calculator. If we want to have more, we must either spend less or ask for a raise, and it's that simple. But is it?
What I came to realize is that money, like a birdbath, has a self-leveling effect.
No matter what we do, the amount of money we have, as well as the sense we have of our own richness or poorness, remains leveled.
Now you have to ask yourself: Money comes in and goes out in so many little ways. How can it perfectly balance out over time? Who or what levels our money so that it remains the same year after year, with maybe a slight curve up or down? And the bigger question is, what is it using as a reference? Why that amount? Why not more? We want more! The answer to the first question is simple: Your subconscious is the culprit. Your subconscious spends your money and your subconscious limits your income.
Your Role in Your Own Financial Reality
You are only consciously running your life maybe 30-45 minutes every day. Your subconscious has the control the rest of the time. It buys stuff you don't need and tells you that you need it. It makes mistakes at work. It subliminally communicates negativity on your behalf. It uses a myriad of other means to even out your finances.
The second question is what the plan is that the subconscious uses. The blue print your subconscious uses is this: It lets you have as much money as you believe you can have! This statement can be difficult to grasp, bordering on infuriating. But it is the truth.
A Fresh Look at Money
In order to view money from a new perspective we'll have to flip the cause and effect paradigm on its head.
You may believe that your understanding of your financial situation is the result of your observation for so many years, when in fact the opposite is the truth. Your financial situation is actually the result of how you view it, what you believe it is, and how much you feel comfortable having.
Still not ready to accept this? Here's an exercise. Come up with an income amount that is five times what you make. Let's say that you make $4,000 every month. Try thinking this: "I make $20,000 every month." This statement might have given you a rush, but most likely it made you uncomfortable. Right away your ego flooded your head with all of the reasons why that idea is ridiculous and can't really happen.
What you experienced is called resistance. This resistance is not a result of understanding reality. This resistance is the lever that allows money to come in to your life or leaves money out of your life. This resistance is what is shaping your reality.
Money is not a "thing." Money is a digital representation of a number flying between banks' computer systems, and yet it manages to get our stomach tied in knots. Money is not bad. Money is not good. Money can be fun and useful. The sense that we lack money is not the result of not having enough, but rather the cause of that very sense of lack.
The Key to More
To have more money you don't need to be cutting coupons, watching every dollar, and most certainly stop stressing about it. To have more money you need to feel good about having more money. You have to be comfortable with it. You have to love the idea of it. Not in the creepy "I love money" sense, but in a light, fun way.
Don't start with an affirmation five times your current income. Start with double. Say it! "I am making $8,000 every month, and it feels great!" Say it again and again. Your subconscious will catch up and make it happen. Simply put, in order to have more money you don't need more rain or less birds, you just have to make your birdbath larger.
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