Remembering Your Power 06/20/2011
You have the power to live your dreams.
You have the power to overcome any and all obstacles in your life.
You are a powerful being, infinitely creative, loving and resourceful.
You have your own answers, though you may sometimes need a loving guide to help drawn them out of your heart and into the light...
But overall, you are very powerful and creative. If you do not like what you see it is because you've used your power to create circumstances that other people have conditioned you to believe you should have.
That's simply not true.
There's a voice inside you, a powerful voice that knows when it's time to move on, when to speak up, when to leave, when to go, when to stay.
There's a voice inside you that, when heeded, will produce powerful results.
It lives inside all of us, we just need to trust it.
So how do we trust it?
Good meaning, you can use your power to create joyous, loving, expanding experiences in your life.
Evil meaning, you have the freedom to use your power to create suffering, strife, tension, separation, anxiety, conflict, resistance.
When we find ourselves feeling particularly upset, angry, depressed, fearful or any of those negative feelings, we are being shown through those feelings that we have in some way forgotten our own power.
Negative feelings come from a place of feeling powerless over our circumstances, over others and even over ourselves.
But when we remember that we are all powerful, that we have the inner resources to have power over any situation, we will begin to access our true spirit. And we will begin to feel better again.
Pain is inevitable in this waking life. Suffering is optional. When we remember our power to create beauty from pain, love from conflict, anger and despair, we can transform our lives.
What I want you all to remember is that you are powerful. You have the power to create anything you want. You have been creating your life all along and you will continue to create until your time on Earth is complete.
The question is: Will your use your power to create more good in your life or more of the bad?
Do You Have A Scarcity Mindset? 06/19/2011
From our earliest childhood memories, most of us remember hearing specific messages about money from the adults that took care of us. What did you hear when you were growing up? Was money hard to come by? Was it tight? Did you hear the adults around you arguing about money? Did it feel like there was never enough for everyone to feel good?
Well, if you heard these types of messages, you are not alone. We live in a culture that sensationalizes lack while conveniently ignores the abundance. Joyous stories of growth and abundance do not sell papers or attract millions of viewers on television. Woeful tales of plummeting markets do, though.
Many of us heard from the adults in our lives how hard money is to come by and were shown through their actions how to behave in certain ways that proved that money was tight and scarce.
We may have adopted from our caregivers what’s called a ‘scarcity mentality’ which is the thinking and acting as if there is not enough for everyone to feel good.
This concept is then reinforced in our society through the media and through conventional wisdom.
As you begin to take action towards reaching your financial goals, you may find yourself thinking and acting from a place of lack. You may secretly believe there is not enough.
Here are some symptoms of scarcity mentality. Do any of these sound like you?
You believe life is permanent. Not seeing things as temporary but fixed in some way, believing "that’s just the way it is." Scarcity mentality sees life as fixed and unchangeable. You can’t see new opportunities when you come from a scarcity mentality because you believe that things will never change. Abundance mentality sees life as dynamic, malleable and in constant flux.
You habitually use the language of lack. Do you find yourself using the following phrases often? I can't, I don't have enough, I'm broke, I'll just go without, not enough, etc. Instead, experiment with the language of prosperity. I always have more than enough, my income is always increasing, life is good to me.
You have trouble acknowledging success of others. Jealousy, secret or otherwise. Jealousy implies that someone has achieved something that you think is unattainable for you. Their success must equal your loss, in some way. This is scarcity mentality.
You hoard or hold on to things. Keeping items well past their useful point, food, clothes, shoes. Get rid of things you don't need! This invites life to bring you more!
You have difficulty receiving. Compliments, gifts, someone treating you, downplaying achievements, feeling like you have to even the score immediately. If you cannot graciously receive then you must believe that when someone gives to you they must have “lost” something in return. This is simply not true.
You have stomach or gastrointestinal problems. Our bodies are always communicating with us and sending us messages. If you find that you are constipated or have trouble with bowel movements, you body may be communicating that you are are holding on tightly to something that must be eliminated.
You overspend or overeat. When you truly believe there is not enough for everyone to feel good, some people who have a scarcity mentality eat and spend as if it’s their last bit of money to spend or their last meal before death. When we hold a scarcity mentality we have trouble trusting that more is coming or on its way. So we treat every morsel like it’s our last.
You make small gestures of lack. Undertipping,pilfering, skimming off the Top. When you make small demonstrations of lack that may not be noticeable to others, you are keeping you from receiving more in life. Life will mirror your beliefs. If you believe in lack, not matter how small your actions may be, life will mirror those same beliefs back to you.
If you find that you have a scarcity mentality, it’s okay! Many of us do. The best way to turn a scarcity mentality into one of abundance and expansion is by thinking abundant thoughts, speaking prosperity and wealth into your experience and acting from a place of abundance.
Start thinking, speaking and acting as if you have more than enough money to feel good and eventually that will become your reality!
What Game Are Your Playing? 06/14/2011
Let's play a game. Let's pretend that an unbiased stranger followed you around for a week to observe your money habits.
You were unaware that this stranger was watching you and therefore could not change your behavior around money during the observation.
Okay now let's further pretend that at the end of seven days your observer was asked to look at her notes and answer the following questions about you, based solely on your patterns:
For me, when I was running up my credit cards unconsciously, an outsider would have determined pretty clearly that I was playing some sort of “spending game.” The rules of the game were clear: “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.” Meaning, if there was money available to spend on either credit or cash, it was there to be spent. Not some of it: ALL OF IT. You win when you find more money because then you can continue to play the game, which is to spend spend spend.
Hopefully you’re starting to see what I mean.
Let’s take another example.
After I begin to change my money habits pretty dramatically I stopped playing the spending game. If someone in a lab coat were to follow me around, that would conclude that I was playing a different game. It was an extreme game, to be sure, and it was called “Skimp then Pay.” Basically the rules were, spend as little as possible on pretty much everything and pay down debt. You win when you find more money and pay down the most about of debt possible. Bonus points if you close out a store charge :)
Now that I live debt free and have begun to amass savings, I find myself playing a different game. It’s something called the “Spend on What You Love, Save the Rest” game. You win this game not simply when money becomes available to you. You win this game when you’ve spend money on something that you truly enjoy and putting the rest in the savings account. This differs from the Skimp and pay game because if someone were shadowing me for a week they’d see I pay top dollar for a few key things that matter most to me and then I spend less on some other things in order to be able to save.
So now it’s your turn:
If you can identify the game you’re playing, you can then begin to change the rules a bit and even transform the game entirely.
If you find a more sustainable game to play that sets you up for financial independence in the future, (the Wealth accumulation game), you will find that your habits around money change dramatically, too.
How to Get Out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt 06/12/2011
Four years ago, I was totally clueless and felt completely powerless when it came to my finances. I was in nearly $30,000 worth of credit card debt. Creditors were calling and my self-esteem was at an all time low. However, I did eventually dig myself out of credit debt and go on to amass an abundant savings account!
Then I achieved what I once thought was impossible for me: I had a stock portfolio with growing investments!
Here are the steps I took to make debt-free living a reality in my life. I share these with you to let you know that IS POSSIBLE to get out debt, stay out of debt and amass abundant savings!
1. Recognize that change is a process. Look back on things you changed before in the past. How did you get through it? If you believe in the beginning that you cannot do it, you will fail. If you understand that change is a process and that willpower alone is not enough, you will be able to succeed.
2. Get crystal clear on where you are. Before you can figure out where you are going, you must know exactly where you are. Pull out all of your bills, and I mean all of them. If they’re stashed in drawers, if you’ve thrown them away, open up your accounts online, if you don’t have access, call the number on the back of your cards.
You see, when you start asking yourself these questions, your mind will begin to create a freedom date for you. An estimated time frame for how long it will take you to ultimately live debt free. Now look at your date. Does it feel possible? Does it feel like too long? Sooner than you expected? How does this make you feel?
I know for me, it was a very exciting feeling to begin to see the end of the tunnel. I thought: well if I put aside an extra amount per month, I can be debt free in 18 months. The fact that there was an end in sight made me motivated to begin the journey.
4. Make a commitment to yourself to make financial health your #1 priority. No personal finance blog, book or expert will advise you to try to get out of debt while still using your credit cards. Unfortunately, when you use your credit cards while you are trying to get out debt it’s like taking the dirt you’ve shoveled out of the ground and placing it right back into the hole you’re trying to dig. You will not get anywhere. For some, this is the toughest step to master, the commitment to live on all cash (also known as living within your means) while you’re getting yourself out of debt.
The good news is, as you begin to pay down your debt using cash only, you will learn a valuable life skill that will prevent you from going into debt again. Think about it. If takes you two years to pay down all of your debt, that’s two years that you’ve learned the habit of living within you means. It will be difficult to go back to your old ways after living credit free for so long.
In fact, you may find yourself very cautious or even turned off by the credit industry as I did, once you find yourself living debt free. Learning more about the nature of money, turned my beliefs about credit around dramatically.
5. Create a spending plan and use it before you get paid consistently.
Once you’ve completed the first four steps, you are now ready to begin creating a spending plan. Notice I didn’t use the word budget. That’s because budgets are evil, even for me, someone who lives within her means and is total control of her finances. So I try not to use the dreaded B word from my vocabulary unless I’m talking to a newbie who hasn’t learned a better term for it yet :)
Creating a spending plan that looks forward instead of backward is one of the most powerful tools you can used to get out of debt and ensure that you stay of debt.
Here’s what I mean. Before you get paid (this works especially well if you are paid on a regular schedule with a set amount every paycheck), sit down and plan out how you’re going to distribute those funds so that you can pay off your debts and still have some money left over to play with.
Planning your finances this way allows you to make revised your plan as many times as it takes until you find a plan you can realistically stick to -- before the first dollar is even spent! Remember, the past is over. Look forward not backwards when you’re creating your spending plan.
Changes Happen When You Take Action
When you take these five steps, you will begin to see what was once out of reach: the possibility that you too can get out of debt and stay out of debt! Not all of these steps are easy or comfortable, but if you understand first that change is a process and be patient with yourself as you change your money habits, victory will be yours!
You can do this!
What Did You Learn? 06/08/2011
As you go about about making changes in your financial life, you are bound to make mistakes. It’s all part of the process! No big deal. The gift is in the fact that we can always make corrections.
In the illuminating book, Change Anything, the authors advocate an approach to breaking unwanted habits hat helps take the guilt out of the mistakes that we will inevitably make along the way. Their advice? Be both the scientist and the subject as you go along making changes in your life. Watch yourself closely. Take notes. And when mistakes happen, treat bad days as good data.
As I look back at how I’ve been able to radically change my financial life, I realize the course was filled with mistakes. I’d over-spend or I’d blow my budget, I’d over-save and put way too much into savings without thinking it through. Sometimes I would forgot a bill and be surprised at the end of the month. Can you relate?
But through it all I asked myself one powerful question which I share with you.
The best question to ask yourself after you’ve made an oopsy is: What did I learn from this?
I challenge you to ask yourself that question constantly. Daily even! Recognize mistakes for what they are: an opportunity to learn about yourself, what motivates you and what your potential weaknesses are.
You blew your budget! So what! What did you learn in the process? And most importantly, how can you make corrections so that you can stay on course in the future?
As I reflect on how I’ve radically changed my finances from being nearly $30,000 in debt to living debt free and amassing abundant savings, I realize that one of the biggest tools in my kit was the ability to figure out what I could learn from the experience and then make immediate corrections.
So I share that tool with you.
Tool: Turn Bad Days into Good Data. When you find that you’ve made a mistake, recognized that you are human and that it’s all part of the change process. Review your mistake and ask yourself: What did I learn? Then create a plan to make corrections in the future.
When you treat bad days as good data you can finally rid yourself of the negative feelings of guilt, anger and disappointment. You can let the past stay in the past freeing you to move on to more exciting possibilities in the future!
How to Make A Radical Change In Your Life 06/05/2011
If you are struggling with your finances, you're probably asking yourself: How can I begin a radical life change that I know I will realistically stick to for a lifetime? How can I change my habits around money? How on earth can I live on what I earn? How on earth can I live without credit? How can I discipline myself to make lasting changes that will stick?
When I first faced the terrifying number of $28,000 worth of credit card debt, I thought I was truly doomed. I belived nothing would ever change. I didn't think it was possible to make such a dramatic change in my finances. I felt this way because I didn't have a PLAN.
Conventional wisdom didn't help either. After I added up the total amount of debt that I owed, the room started to spin. My breathing became short. I rushed to my computer and typed in "get out of debt." Internet, save me!
Here's what I found:
Notice anything similar about these options? All of them require you to depend on purchasing someone else's answer. (Bancruptcy attorneys, debt consolidation firms, get out debt programs and get-rich quick schemes.) None of them require you to do the inner work of creating a powerful plan to change your money habits. And that's precisely the first step to get of debt. Know your destructive money habits and then begin to put a plan in place to change them.
I'm here to say that change is absolutely possible in your life. I know because I live it every day and I've seen others change their financial habits. But true, lasting, deep change comes from within, not some outsider who can (for a fee) swoop in an make all your problems go away.
The first step to making being getting out of debt is to understand that while resources and guidance exist in abundance, the change is going to have to come from YOU. You are the expert in your own life. You know what motivates you, what your weaknesses are, who you hang out with and what your personal blueprint of success will look like.
That's why you may have tried and failed in the past. Because you were using someone else's system, something that may have worked for them and may have even helped you to a point.
Eventually, though, you will be challenged to do the work of creating unique and creative ways to make change stick in your life. No program, book, or expert will get you 100% of the way there. They might get you 20% or even 50% of the way there. But eventually, there will come a point when you will have to use your own brilliant, talent and creative brain to come up with new ways of changing your habits based on your own quirks as a human being. :)
The first step to begin to get out of debt is recognzing the following three concepts:
So back to the Internet search. None of those options seemed like viable options for me. But I did find a few tools that I liked.
Then, I got busy creating some tools of my own that matched my lifestyle.
The first step to making a radical life change is to recognize that you're going to need a powerful plan. Your plan will be most powerful if it mixes techniques, resources or tools from others with tricks and tips that are unique to your own personal rhythm and idiosyncrasies.
You are the expert in your own life. Learn from others who have done it first, THEN make it your own. Only then will you have a powerful plan that will help you create deep inner changes that will last you a lifetime.
Get Crystal Clear On Your Goal 06/04/2011
Let me ask you a question: What is your #1 money concern at the moment?
When I ask people this question either in class or privately over the phone, inevitably, they will say one of the following four phrases, or some variation....
"Well Jill, I need to get my finances in order." Or they'll say: "I have to get out of debt." Another common response: "I just need to start saving."
Or my personal favorite: "I gotta stop spending so much."
Perhaps you can relate? Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Was your answer similar to any of the four above?
Well, one of the reasons we do not take action in the direction of our financial goals is because we've chosen vague language to describe what we want. Our challenge as we begin to get out of debt, stay out of debt and amass savings is to get crystal clear. We must be really, REALLY specific with the language we're using.
To get clear on your goal, use this tool...
Tool: Crystallize Your Destination. Transform vague language into clear and simple action steps that your mind can process. Use this tool when you find yourself using fuzzy descriptions for your goals. If you get clear, your rational mind will be on your side. If you’re vague, your mind will actually work against you and you’ll never reach your goals.
Studies have shown that our rational minds need clear and simple directions to get us from where we are to where we want to go. That's because if given too many options our minds become exhausted with the endless possibilities for action.
Then it just poops out on us and we end up taking no action at all.
For example, let’s take the first answer: “I need to get my finances in order.”
Your mind can’t handle this type of direction because it’s not specific enough. There are simply too many ways to interpret this phrase and infinite actions you could take to fulfill this request.
In order to get moving, you’ll need to create highly specific instructions that your mind can follow. Only then will you start to see results in your financial life.
To transform “I need to get my finances in order” into a workable plan, ask yourself the following questions:
See how this works? Asking yourself these types of questions yield very specific answers that will help you get crystal clear on what the destination looks like. When you get crystal clear, simple action steps will emerge, action steps that will ultimately help you reach your financial goals!
Find Your Bright Spots 06/03/2011
When we're going through a difficult period and we want to make changes, our analytical mind can sometimes run us around in circles, exhausting us without ever effecting lasting change.
We go over our bills endlessly, we agonize over how we're going to make more money to pay off our debts. We blame ourselves thinking back to all the poor decisions we've made. We worry that, at our very core, we are incapable of change. I know I felt that way when I reached one of the lowest points in my financial life. Does this sound familiar to you?
But fear not! There is a a tool at your disposal to turn this around. It will help you focus on what’s working, not what’s lacking.
Here it is: Find Your Bright Spots. Add this to your toolkit when your belief in yourself is waning and you feel you can't do anything right.
Tool: Find your Bright Spots. Find and acknowledge those aspects of your situation that are working in your favor. List them out and create a plan to incorporate more of the good. In doing so, you will capitalize on what you are already doing well naturally.
Here's what I mean. Even though my financial situation was dire, (creditors were calling, my credit score was plummeting) there were a few good things going for me that helped me get out of debt. For example:
After all, if you’re able to read this you’re not destitute. At the very least you have Internet access. :)
Know Before You Go 05/31/2011
Hope you had a wonderful relaxing weekend!
I wanted to share a personal story with you, today. Hope you find this tool helpful as you take daily action towards reaching your financial goals.
This weekend I made a mistake. I went food shopping for dinner and while at the store, I realized I forgot my shopping list at home. How frustrating!
Well, I figured, no big deal right? I'll just buy from memory. So I made my purchases and went home. When I compared what I bought to what was actually on the list, guess what I found?
That's right. I bought four extra items that were not on the original list. Four extra purchases that I'm pretty sure I didn't need; I just scooped them up in the moment. Can you relate?
So, here's the tool: Know Before You Go. You can add this tool to your "Big Ass Toolkit", since this is yet another action you can take to ensure your success in reaching your financial goals.
TOOL: Know Before You Go: Before you even think of setting foot into a store, (this could be a department store, grocery store, or even a restaurant), make a list of what you are specifically there to buy. Make an agreement with yourself: "If it ain't on the list, it's not coming home with me."
Research tells us that we're far more responsible when we're planning out future choices than when we are actually faced with tempting choices. Meaning, when you make your shopping list, you most likely won't add: 2 packages of Snickers from the register aisle plus 1 copy of US Weekly. Your pre-planned lists tend to be much more responsible and conservative.
Therefore, if you create a list beforehand, you are much better equipped to handle temptation in the store.
This tool keeps you focused in the face of endless alluring options. (And trust me, the stores are meticulously designed for you to lose yourself and spend mindlessly. We can all be influenced if we're not paying attention.)
How Can I Make More Money? 03/17/2010
“Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.” - Henry Ford
Perhaps in the past few weeks you have been asking yourself, “How can I make more money?” Fair question. Nothin’ wrong with that. However, if you are not getting the results you desire, I challenge you to ask yourself a different question.
And that question is: “How can I create something of VALUE that serves others?”
See, it's is only when we seek to create something of true value in this world that the money (and wealth) follows. Money is just a convenient way for others to express their gratitude for the valuable goods or services you provide.
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