I spend a lot of time helping people work out a plan for overcoming a financial challenge. Quite often the bulk of my work is in getting them into the right frame of mind. Financial problems are so stressful it is completely reasonable to feel anxious or depressed. But the first step in working your way out of a financial fix is to convince yourself you control your future and you have the ability to make it a great future.
My best advice for anyone facing a financial challenge is to give yourself the gift of a positive point of view. Commit to these three beliefs and you can achieve anything:
- I Can. Lasting wealth is built on a foundation of confidence that empowers you to control your financial destiny. It may be natural to feel defeated when you’re staring at a statement showing all the credit card debt you owe, or when you realize how much it will take to save up for a 20 percent home down payment. That’s where framing your challenge with “I Can” will empower you. Instead of thinking “How will I ever get my credit card bills paid off,” switch your inner dialogue to “I can make progress every month by spending only on needs, not wants.” And “I can make progress by paying more than the minimum balance due each month.”
- I Am. Power attracts money and powerlessness repels money. A big step in setting your mind to build lasting wealth is to embrace the power that is within you to create the future you deserve. “I am drowning in student loan debt” is not a sign of power. “I am going to make timely payments and be out of debt in 10 years” is your power move.
- I Do. Catch yourself every time there is a financial issue and you find yourself thinking “I don’t understand” or “I don’t think I will ever be able to do that.” When those negative thoughts invade, identify what the problem is. For example, if you are confused by the investment options in your retirement plan, rather than be anxious that you “don’t” understand, commit to spending an hour a week for two or three weeks reading up on the basics of retirement saving. I guarantee you will soon be saying “I do understand what I need to do to.” And you will be on the road to building lasting wealth.