And how your relationship to money could be holding you back
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the idea of wealth. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before you’d know that I’m a strong believer that wealth is a feeling, not a number.
There is however a crossover between wealth and money and that’s to do with needs. Some things in life we do actually need money for (well most of us do).
The Need for Stability
If you have heard of Maslow you’ll have seen this diagram before:
Maslow’s theory goes that our basic needs must be satisfied before we can attend to higher-level needs.
I agree and disagree — if you really are in a situation where you don’t know where you will get food, security, and safety it is unlikely that you are in pursuit of self-actualisation (whatever that means to you).
However, I believe there is a strange space that many people are living in right now — where you may not know for sure how you will pay all the bills every month but you are still working on your creative project because you have a passion to make a difference in the world.
Working on your project meets many of your needs, joy, fulfilment, a sense of accomplishment – but you also experience feelings of anxiety and stress because you have an unmet need for stability or balance.
When these feelings kick in, you move into a scarcity mode and your focus moves from your other needs to survival, and often to making money.
I have a theory about money that it’s a bit like sleep – the more that you focus on ‘getting’ it the harder it becomes.
Having stability is the foundation of wealth, because when you have it, it’s so much easier to focus on the needs and values that really light you up.
Stability isn’t a set your world on fire type of need, but without it you will find yourself constantly distracted.
Stability is simply (although it may not seem that simple at times) reaching a financial place where:
Money In = Money Out
Of course, there are other types of stability — do you have enough time for yourself, sleep, love, movement, connection to others? I have found though that lack of money affects our ability to focus on all of these things too.
So how do we go about creating this stability?
Firstly recognise that you are in scarcity mode — usually, it will have activated some sort of fight or flight response. Maybe you hide from the world (or the money) or maybe you find yourself fighting with loved ones. As soon as you learn to recognise your own red flags, it will come in useful.
Talk about it with someone that you trust – as things often seem worse than they are when they are playing out in our heads on repeat.
Get to know your numbers – I know you probably hate this part, but having clarity on what you have and how much you need to get by will help you to be able to make decisions and plans.
Create a plan — maybe you do need to increase your income or maybe you can reduce your expenses. The most important part is the plan aligns with your values.
Create accountability — that someone you trust, tell them your plan and ask them to check in on you regularly.
The world is waiting for your brilliant idea or project to come to life don’t be distracted by money!
To read more of my ideas on wealth you can sign up for my weekly Wealth & Wellbeing newsletter at www.gailbainbridge.co.uk
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