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.
- Become irresistibly attractive by staying positive, enthusiastic, and real.
- 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.