The Hidden Barrier to Financial Security

Captive behind steel-wire

Do you fear not having enough money?

Most of us do.

Even people who have plenty of money are afraid of losing it or not making enough.

These fears are tied to a very basic need for freedom and security. But they are also tied to a belief that money is a scarce resource. This has been particularly evident in the last few years during the economic crisis. Fear and a scarcity mentality have been the power source for individuals and the world economy — with some devastating results.

But let’s take a look at what happens when fear is your power source for financial and career decision-making. Here are some possible scenarios . . .

You are going to a job interview, and you really want the job. You feel you need the job. You know there are other good candidates, so you want to be on your best game. During the interview, you’re nervous and over-eager, trying to anticipate the answers the employer is looking for. Your need for the job is palpable.

You’re in sales and you have to make quota. It’s getting toward the end of the month and you aren’t there yet. You have a sales call scheduled, and you really need to close the deal. During the meeting, the client begins to feel your desperation and starts to pull back.

You’ve finally gotten the assignment at work you’ve been waiting for. This is a huge opportunity for you, and if you screw it up, you may not get another one. And you may not get that raise you were promised. You are so afraid of messing up that you actually start messing up.

What do these three scenarios have in common?

Fear and desperation.

And the stench of fear and desperation is very off-putting to others. Who wants to hire the nervous “yes-man”? Who wants to buy something from the pushy salesperson? Who is going to reward the anxious screw-up?

Your fear may show up as nervousness, over-eagerness, or bravado, but in any negotiation or power play, the balance of power shifts away from the fear-driven person. But only always.

In the scenarios above, let’s assume for a moment that you wanted the job because you really loved the work. Or that you were making a sale on a product or service you deeply believe¬† in. Or that you were given a project that was exciting and challenging. If you went into any of these scenarios knowing with 100% certainty that you were financially secure for life, how would that change the dynamic? How would you behave differently?

The barrier to financial security isn’t a lack of money. It’s an abundance of fear. Unnecessary, unfounded fear.

Let’s take a good look at your need for money. Now if you are truly dead broke and about to be put out on the street, then you are excused from the conversation. Your fear and need for money is real.

But most of us aren’t at that point. In fact, if I asked you how long you could go without earning any money before being on the street, you would likely say a few months to a few years. And that’s plenty of time to create more wealth in your life.

The truth is that in spite of our fears around not having enough money, most of us have never truly hit bottom. The universe (as well as our family, friends, and our inner resources) has always been there to catch us.

Money can be created just like any other resource, but it must have fertile soil to grow. Fear and desperation poison the soil, but creativity, inspiration, and value offer the perfect nutrients for exchanging your valuable skills for money.

A Financial Security Experiment

Would you be willing to try an experiment with me?

Pick some situation in your business or job in which there is a potential for income. But pick something that you’d be willing to lose.

For this experiment, act “as if” the potential money involved were not part of the work or the deal. With that in mind, examine whether you took this project or situation because you wanted to or because you felt you needed to. As you work on this deal or project, make decisions based on what you want, what you feel is right or best in the situation without concern about the financial consequences.

In other words, approach it without any sense of neediness or desperation. Simply use your best skills, resources, creativity, and personal opinions to manage the situation as you see fit. And do this with a sense of relaxed self-confidence, as though you have nothing to lose.

You may or may not be financially successful in this particular experiment. But you will learn how it feels to detach from fear and desperation. When you are completely yourself, without the barrier of struggle and anxiety, you open the valve to a flood of creative energy and enthusiasm.¬† It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you aren’t afraid.

Your Feelings About Scarcity

In addition to our fears about not making enough money, we also fear that there isn’t enough money to go around. We look at others who have money and feel that we must find a way to pry it from their hands so that we can have some.

That belief also makes us act stupid and needy. It makes us accept bad behavior from our bosses, allow customers to treat us poorly, or stay stuck in relationships where one partner controls the finances.

In any relationship, if one person has the money and the other person wants some of it, the person with the money appears to wield the power.

But here’s the truth of it. You have something valuable to offer. What you are offering has monetary value. It is a relationship in which an exchange is made. You provide the valuable thing or service, and the other person gives you money for it. This isn’t a character or personal worth scenario. It is a value for value exchange — one that should never require you to compromise your integrity or put up with crap.

Of course, if you believe money is a scarce resource and that you are a common resource, it’s easy to fall into the fear mentality that puts you in the needy position. If you don’t cow-tow and put up with bad behavior, then you can easily be replaced by a more compliant person.

If you truly want to create financial security, make yourself a scarce resource. Make yourself into someone others would pay dearly for. How do you do that? By constantly improving yourself, your products, your services, and your overall attitude and well-being.

  • Find out exactly what your boss, clients, and customers need, and create solutions for that.
  • Become the best at whatever it is you do. Advance your knowledge base.
  • Find where there is a void and fill it.
  • Find a way to serve others so that you find meaning in what you do.
  • Find a way to do what you love, as a passion ignites your creativity and energy.
  • Continue to act “as if” you didn’t need any money so that your choices, actions, and decisions are not based on fear and desperation but on self-confidence and know-how.

Your mental, physical, and emotional well-being doesn’t come from money. It comes from being yourself, doing good work, making a fair exchange of value for income, serving others, and feeling satisfied with the work you are doing. There is enough money available for everyone, and as you increase your value, you will find more and more of it coming your way.

Comments

  1. Great timing on this post. Just set to leave a well paying job next month. Your post reminds me to enter the future with my creative eyes rather than the ones filled with fear. Thanks!

  2. Hey Barrie,

    Please allow me to state the obvious (again, because I’m so good at it)!

    We love the age we live in, with all the high tech conveniences, instant
    communications, and my goodness, all the neat stuff we can buy…if only
    we had enough money we could really complicate our lives, and impress
    the heck out of everyone around us.

    It seems to me that we could just about eliminate all the angst and stress over
    not having enough money by learning to live simpler lives. We just don’t
    need all the goodies that commercial interests would have us believe we do.

    All the best,

    Jon

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Yes, that is so true Jon. That is a great place to start. But even simple lives require some amount of financial security. And most of us want to have some level of fun and adventure in life. We want to feel like we can afford to do more than just “get by.” Money should be a natural by-product of offering something valuable to the world. As long as we have something of value to offer, we can find a way to make money.

  3. This was really nice,have liked it so much.

    Doreen

  4. this was a really great read. thanks for sharing, the myriad of ways that fear can creep in and cripple even the most well intentioned is unbelievable sometimes

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Yes it is Kola. We must be in constant awareness around our fears and do our best to dis-empower them.

  5. Hi Barrie – good, helpful post. It is so true that we need to realise that we have something of value to offer and focus on the value NOT on the money, whether we are giving or receiving. Money may be the currency, but value is what makes everything worthwhile, especially when we share our value to make the world a more ‘valuable’ place.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Beautifully stated Kathy. And we really don’t need all that much money to live a happy and fulfilling life — especially if our time is filled by offering value!

  6. Once again Barrie, you hit the nail on the head with this post. I’ve been struggling with this for a few months now. I even wrote a post on my blog about the downside of being debt free. Most people wouldn’t think there’s a downside to being out of debt, but for me it’s the fear. The fear of getting back into debt and not thinking I’ll have enough money.

    This of course flows over into my freelance business. And even though I don’t need the money to survive (since my FT job fills that need) I’m still not viewing my freelance gigs as a scarce resource. Just this past week I learned a valuable lesson about how “you’re worth what you say you’re worth”. And this confirms it even more!

    Now, the next step is taking action. Now that I’ve come to this realization, it’s time to do as you suggest and make myself into someone that people would pay dearly for. To keep improving, growing and learning. Your words (as usual) have given me another “ah ha” moment. I truly appreciate it.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      I am so glad Carrie. My sister said to me one time, “just fall back and let the universe catch you.” We have to just trust in our on abilities to survive and do what needs to be done to create income. A willingness to improve, grow, and learn should give you plenty of reason to trust yourself. :)

  7. Brilliant blog!!

    The best piece of advice- make yourself worth buying, and for top dollar!!

    The world is truly full of abundance. People are just afraid to grab it.

    Thanks

    sw

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