The other day I was talking with my mother's doctor about the upcoming Super Bowl game. I was telling him about a party I would be attending at a friend's home. My friend lives in what some might call a mansion. It's a beautiful home with the most breathtaking landscaping.
At one point he said, "Doesn't it make you wonder what you did wrong?" I commented, "Yes, I guess I could marry rich though."
When I got home and started to think about it, I realized my comment was so off base for me and said in haste in an effort to end the discussion and get my mom home.
I'm not an under earner and I'm not a victim! I make plenty of money and my business and income continues to increase each year. Only under earners or those who see themselves as victims would view someone else's wealth in this manner.
Do you find yourself wishing for something different? Do you wish you could turn your financial situation around? Here are my three best tips to help you increase your income, stop acting like a victim and start taking control of your financial destiny!
1. Get Out of The Dark
It's time to turn on the lights ladies! It's time to start looking at your situation with crystal clear vision and a big spotlight.
If you're going to make any changes to your money situation, you are going to have to be honest with yourself and start telling the truth. You're going to have to stop denying and dodging your responsibilities.
Honesty and truth pave the way. Here's why:
When you're honest you share your thoughts, feelings, emotions, judgments and even how it made your feel in your body. For example, if I say, "When I saw all that I had purchased at the store today I was thinking, you fool, you did it again. I was literally sick to my stomach." That's an honest statement.
The truth would sound something like this, "I purchased four blouses at a total cost of $200, two pairs of pants for $120, and two pairs of shoes for $175. It was $400 more than I said I would pay."
No emotions, no judgments, just the plain and simple truth.
Honesty is a very necessary step; it clears the way for the truth to be revealed. But honesty in and of itself isn't enough to change your ways.
Our first reaction is to reveal the honesty -- to spew out all the emotions, the feelings and thoughts, the rationalizations and justifications. They come pouring out when we are honest; it's human nature. The situation is emotionally charged and that's why we behave this way.
But peel back the honesty and what's left is the truth of our behavior. The truth is our responsibility in the mess we have created. And that, my female friend, is much harder to disclose.
You need to get truthful. But a word of caution -- do it with a big dose of compassion.
2. Get Support
It's tough to make long lasting and permanent change if you don't have the right support.
Most of us wrongly think that just having a mentor will ensure success. But what I've come to realize is you need different kinds of support if you're going to be permanently successful in changing your financial situation.
Support can come from many places but we need these four types of support to really make the difference.
- The Fan Club: These are the people in your life who believe in you and your abilities. They cheer you on, encourage you and celebrate your success.
- The Confidante: These are the people you bear your soul to. They're the ones with whom you share your attitudes about money, struggles and efforts to change.
- The Role Model: We all need people who show us the way and let us know we can do it, too.
- The Messenger: These are the people who send you a lead, a message, give you information or ideas that propel you forward. They are the ones who help you along the way.
Unfortunately, under earners and victims tend to operate in isolation or hang out with other victims and naysayers. So it's safe to say the people you associate with on a regular basis significantly impact your ability to succeed.
Make sure you're getting the right kind of support and stay away from people who will bring you down.
3. Respect the Dollar
I once saw this great quote by Roger Babson. It said, "More people should learn to tell their dollars where to go instead of asking them where they went."
The problem with most people is that they don't have respect for money. If you want to break free of the under earning cycle or want to finally rid yourself of that victim mentality with money then you need to learn to respect money.
You demonstrate respect for money by paying attention to it and treating it like you would any other relationship or item you value. When you don't pay attention to money, it always gets your attention in ways that are typically not good -- like late payment notices, your lights being shut off, overdraft or foreclosure notices just to name a few.
Learning to respect money, to make thoughtful and deliberate choices about what you do with your money is often overlooked but is the most important step.