What are 3 reasons it's expensive to be poor? I have to go back into time to explain this. When I was first working as an office worker in the Central Valley of California in the 70s, I made $10.00 - $12.00 per hour. That's about what starting office workers make today. Shocking? Thirty years have gone by and the cost of living? Well, you know. I wouldn’t have considered myself poor at that time, but today, at those wages I would be.Read More
Your brain on money. We women in business love to believe that our logical brain is in charge when it comes to making decisions about money. If we're not in stress or fight or flight, this is true. But, when stressed, it's the emotional brain that's running the show. The research of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, shows that even people with no trauma history, but who are undergoingespecially strong emotional stimulation, we shift into the right-brain (emotional) processing which shuts off logic.Read More
How does your money talk to you? Bob Dylan says: "Money doesn't talk - it screams." Like sex in the 50s or family abuse secrets in the 70s, the subject of money is taboo. Sshh... Don't talk about your money!!
We don't talk about how much money we make, whether we can pay our bills or not, about the financial stress or hardship we're experiencing. It's embarrassing and we think we're alone, but we're not. There's a saying from the field of psychology, that we're only as sick as the secrets we keep. Money is the last taboo and we need to share our money truths to feel better and move forward.
See if you relate to any of these thoughts or beliefs about money that Louse Hay discusses in her article, "Are You Friends With Your Money?"
* I can't save money
* I don't earn enough
* My credit rating is bad
* Why does everyone else have money?
* Bankruptcy is around the corner
Notice these are all fear based thoughts about money. Because of the economy there's been a considerable fear and negativity around our money. This is actually good if we take steps and not let the fear overwhelm our ability to take action, work diligently to be real about what's going on and take our power back.
The first step out of money fear is to break denial and tell the truth to yourself and your spouse. Make a list of all the money you owe and the money coming in. Create an action plan and look at your list every day while taking daily small incremental steps - pay $10.00 on PGE, talk to the bank, again, send out 10 resumes. Staying on track with an action plan will help you feel more in control.
Financial freedom takes work. You start where you are. It's ok. You're not alone. Tell the truth, make a list, create a plan, take daily small steps, stay conscious of your spending, and don't forget to dream and envision what you want. We need to focus more on where we're going than where we've been or what we've lost. The American Dream isn't dead, but it's been tarnished. It's up to us to shine it up again.
Psychology Today contributor Joan DiFuria, who writes a column called Affluence Intelligence, states that in 2000 Silicon Valley was birthing 64 millionaires a day. Today? Not many. A decade ago, we were so affluent that a new term “Sudden Wealth Syndrome” was coined. Yet, we also realized that wealth doesn’t necessarily make one happy. But as Woody Allen says, “It’s better than poverty.”
We’re just as obsessed with money these days, but it’s fear and anxiety about not having enough money. We have fear about losing our job, fear about ever finding a job again. Fear about paying the bills, and for some, fear about having enough to eat. And, of course this month, anxiety about Christmas!!
Fear is as much a contagion as the flu. It spreads through the air getting absorbed through the pores of the skin and inhaled into the lungs. Before you know it, the anxiety of those around you has permeated your world. Their worry becomes your worry. Every time the news broadcasts a new financial disturbance in the world, it adds to your sense of pending doom. You may feel disoriented, off-center, unsure of yourself. What can you do?
First, realize that fear is an emotion fueled by our thoughts. It’s not necessarily the truth. We either increase the power fear has over us by focusing on it and following the awful spiral downward or we use strategies to break the cycle and support more neutral or positive thinking. Rick Hanson, author of The Buddha Brain states that the brain is Velcro for negative thoughts and Teflon for positive. By its very nature, the way we think tends to be negative and critical. So, let’s give ourselves a break and take action to feel better.
Here are 4 Strategies I use and teach to shift to quickly feel better. 1) First, just acknowledge the feeling briefly. “I’m angry, sad, depressed, etc.” 2) Breathe INTO the feeling with an attitude of “Come on in,” for about 90 seconds. Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, a neuroscientest who rebuilt her brain after a stroke, "says it takes only 90 seconds of feeling the emotion caused by a negative event before the body finishes processing its stress.” 3) Re-focus your thoughts onto more positive events and this is where the old “What are you grateful for comes in.” List 3 things you’re grateful for. And, this is my favorite: 4) Laugh – for 90 seconds. Come on – In the car or when you get up in the morning. You’ll probably start off feeling like a dork, but try it, you’ll be amazed. None of these strategies change the situation you’re facing, but they change how you feel and think so you can cope better!!