How do you recognize and overcome self-sabotage with money? What is self-sabotage with money?
The lottery winners who suddenly have a million dollars one day and then nothing in just a year or two are the best example. The winners received more money than their consciousness was ready for, and instead of expanding their thinking to fit the money, they squander it.
(The opposite happens with folks like Donald Trump. He goes bankrupt, but he knows he’ll have the same amount of money or more again. His consciousness has expanded and doesn’t contract just because of a little thing like bankruptcy).
Other examples come from people who’ve inherited money or who suddenly find themselves in a job that pays considerably more than they’re used to. This can happen when you get your first job out of university or graduate school: You’ve been working at internships that pay little, and suddenly you have a real salary and benefits.
Self-sabotage with money happens in other ways, too.
So how do you keep from sabotaging yourself?
1. If you receive a big increase in pay or other jump in the amount of money coming in, be aware that you might be out of sync with your new-found wealth. Awareness is a great first step in avoiding trouble.
2. Seek professional advice from lawyers, accountants, and financial planners. Yes, I know: You can do it yourself. But will you?
If you’ve received a lot of money all at once from a lottery or inheritance, consider putting some of it in trust. Yes, you’re protecting your money from yourself, but you might be very grateful you did in five or ten years when the rest is gone.
3. Don’t ignore day-to-day sabotage. Even if you’re just coasting along with about the same salary you’ve had for years, you can still be sabotaging yourself.
Do you feel like you don’t have extra money for special things, like vacations? Pay close attention to your day-to-day choices and your entertainment expenses. When I was in college and soon thereafter, I’d forgo concerts and dining out to save up to travel, and I managed to see a great deal of Europe while in London for a study abroad program. Each individual decision was small, but cumulatively, those choices paid for planes, trains, and automobiles (or at least tickets on them).
If you spend $5 a day on coffee during the workweek, that’s $100 a month. In 3 – 6 months you could easily have enough for a plane ticket. If clothes are more your thing, that’s a pair of new shoes a month (or one new pair a year if you’ll only wear Jimmy Choo’s).
4. Jimmy Choo’s brings me to: Be careful about emotional spending. Some people eat when they’re upset or need a boost (any chocolate will do for me under those circumstances) while others turn to shopping.
If you look at your shopping habits and realize that you shop for emotional comfort, stay away from stores when you’re feeling down or vulnerable. Don’t tempt yourself. Find some other way to feel better: call a friend and have coffee ($5 is better than $50 or $500!). Go to the gym. Go for a long walk. Read a book. Go see a movie (again: less expensive). Do something to break the habit.
Emotional spending can also take the form of buying stuff to look good to other people. Do you really need to refurnish your living room because your neighbors did? Do you really need a new car because your co-worker just bought one?
5. Monitor your thoughts and feelings about money. We touched on this when we talked about identifying your money blocks, but it bears repeating here. Pay attention to what you think about money, and if you’re feeling any negative emotions — anxiety, worry, jealousy, anger, frustration — about it then work on changing those thoughts into something more positive.
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Your thoughts can sabotage you in a number ways, leading you to sabotage yourself unconsciously. Deflect your thoughts to something more positive and you’ll prevent problems before they occur.
How do you sabotage yourself and what one thing will you do this week to stop it?