Most of us have a love-hate relationship with money at best. We need it to survive, but it can affect our lives on so many deeper levels, especially when times are tough. A toxic relationship with money could be affecting your ability to succeed, and you might not even realize it.
Your relationship with money could be part of what’s holding you back. Do you associate money with stability and freedom or bills and debt? Do you define yourself by your socioeconomic status? See how a toxic relationship with money can make you feel more powerless than you really are and what you can do to change it.
See How You Probably Have a Toxic Relationship With Money.
Friend or Foe?
When you think about money, what’s the first image to come to mind? Do you imagine stability and freedom, or do you think about bills and debt? Too many of us find the latter to be the case, our association with money having more negative attachments than positive ones. This can lead to an overall negative attitude toward money, which can have repercussions of its own.
When money becomes the enemy, your actions may only reinforce the divide. You might feel hesitant or unwilling to invest, for example, because you’ve been conditioned to fear even greater loss. This can lead to an affinity with poverty rather than success.
It can be easier to self-define as poor, and even to embrace the station, than fight against it and possibly fail. If you’re unfortunate enough to fall into this trap, you understand how profoundly poverty can affect a person’s life — but you may also fail to see what it’s done to your perspective. You could be holding yourself back just as much as the forces beyond your control.
A toxic relationship with money can leave you feeling powerless, even if that feeling is only partially accurate. Few situations are completely black and white, and even people afforded the least control over their lives likely have more power than they realize. It’s easy to become conditioned into the belief, “I can’t,” especially in the face of hardship. This can prompt a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies that only reinforce that negative belief.
You might feel powerless, but that just means you have to be more creative about getting ahead. If higher education is standing in the way of your moving up the ladder, for example, see what types of financial aid you qualify for. Can’t seem to save any money despite having a decent job? Maybe it’s time to consider taking on a side gig. If there’s a will, there’s usually a way.
You can have a healthy relationship with money, but as with all relationships, it might take some work. Define yourself by your merits, not by what you don’t have, and seek out active solutions rather than ruminating over your problems. There will always be factors outside your control; it’s what you do with the cards you currently hold that really matters.
~Here’s to Your Success