This post is based on the advice of my good friend Rashaun Williams, a VC and former investment banker who has a passion for financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
Why is money one of our greatest fears in life? A 2018 survey of what Americans fear the most found that “not having enough money for the future” ranked higher than a fear of “people I love dying.”
I don’t care how much money you have – you can still fear it. The more money you make, the more the fear can turn into anxiety. For some, the anxiety they feel is so great, they avoid talking about or dealing with their finances. Unfortunately, this only postpones the inevitable and compounds the problem.
Today, I want to explore this financial fear, pinpoint where it comes from and provide a few suggestions on ways to overcome it.
In my experience talking to psychologists, wealth management professionals and everyday people, I have found that the number one cause of financial fear is your foundation. In other words, how you were raised to perceive money.
When you’re raised with a scarcity mindset – perhaps money was tight in your household – you internalize the belief that there’s never enough money, and that if you do have money, you could lose it at any moment. This “lack of” mindset affects how you approach finances as an adult, keeping you in a state of fear and anxiety about money because you believe there’s just not “enough.”
To overcome financial fears, the ultimate goal is to move from a scarcity mindset to a mindset of abundance. With an abundance mindset, you believe the more money you put out there, the more returns to you. You view money from the perspective of God’s kingdom and how He meant for us to utilize it: to grow our wealth, keep it circulating, pour it back into our communities and churches and become a blessing in the lives of others.
Someone with an abundance mindset believes in their own value and worth, and doesn’t apologize for asking for and earning what they deserve. Your mentality becomes very different. You become a risk taker, an investor. You want to learn more about money and how it works, because you view money from a joyous perspective.
So, how do we make this important mindset shift?
Step 1: Financial literacy
Educate yourself! Choose one financial subject you could learn more about, create an action plan and delve into it. Without financial literacy, it’s almost impossible to change your behavior.
Step 2: Understand your foundation
How does your background affect your perspective on finances? Is it holding you back from building a legacy?
Step 3: Audit your financial posture
Complete a personal financial statement for a complete picture of your income, assets, savings, debts and investments.
Step 4: Create a strategy
Once you have a clear idea of where you are currently, then it’s time to build a strategy to move forward – not just for yourself, but for your family and your legacy when you’re gone.
Step 5: Reassess
Repeat a financial audit of yourself in six months. What progress have you made? Are you still operating from a scarcity mentality, or are you viewing money from a place of abundance?
Think about all the opportunities you would have to bless others if you shift to a mindset of abundance. Start today and don’t run from it! Make a commitment. Challenge yourself to make changes to improve your financial position, look at money from a perspective of joy and become a joyful giver.
Join the NewVIEW NewCHALLENGE to change your perspective on life and ultimately bless the lives of others.