Our thinking can have a large impact on the way we handle money, which directly affects our financial success. There two phrases I hear a lot from folks all over. These phrases are two sides of the same coin. They are:
- “I can’t …”
- “I have to …”
Somehow in our society the idea has crept in that we aren’t in control of our lives – that external forces dictate what we do. I think a part of this is that we get to go through life guilt free when we approach life this way. The underlying thinking is “It’s not my fault becuase …”
Well I’m here to burst your bubble. It’s your fault. If you don’t have job, it’s your fault. If you’re being foreclosed on, it’s your fault. I admit this is a bit extreme, but I’m making a point here. Before you close this window in anger and frustation, hear me out.
This is not about blame and shame. Assigning blame and shame is a horrible practice is most sitations. There is no shame in being out of work. There is no sense blaming yourself if you’re being forelosed on. Yet, it’s good know that it’s your fault becuase…
If it’s your fault, you can fix it.
If it’s always someone else’s fault, then you’re always depending on others to fix the problem. If you’re blaming the economy for your loss of job, then you end up believing that the economy must recover before you can get another job. If this is your underlying belief, how hard will you look for a job if you believe that effort will fail until the economy recovers? Probably you won’t put in a full effort.
If you blame the ecconomy or that mean ol’ bank for your foreclosure, what will you learn about home buying so your next home owning experience will be different?
You are in control over your life. You can do something about your foreclosure. You can short sell the house. You can get a second/part time job to earn extra money. Next time you can avoid foreclosure by keeping your payments low and having an emergency fund.
When you’ve lost your job, you can temporarily take a job that’s not on your career path. You can take odd jobs mowing lawns and raking leaves for the neighbors. You can start volunteering, which will boost your crushed self-esteem. You can start networking with other job seekers and offer to do small tasks for small business owners. You can read books on job seeking (48 Days To the Work You Love – Dan Miller). And next time you’re in a job or career, you can work to make yourself indispensible to your industry (Linchpin – Seth Godin). If your company lets you go, a competitor will scoop you up quickly.
Next time you hear yourself thinking or saying, “I can’t …” or “I had to …”, stop and tell yourself “I choose to ..” And if you don’t like your situation, ask yourself, “I chose to …, but this sucks, what else can I choose?”