The First Step to Financial Independence
5 min read

The First Step to Financial Independence

Why are there people who win the lottery or find themselves with some sort of windfall and end up broke not long after? Why does this happen so frequently, or even at all?
The First Step to Financial Independence

Why are there people who win the lottery or find themselves with some sort of windfall and end up broke not long after? Why does this happen so frequently, or even at all?

What about individuals who are able to come from nothing and build massive amounts of wealth? The ones that started with no leg up whatsoever and were still able to somehow accrue millions or billions of dollars?

What is the difference between these two groups? What is the secret ingredient that the second group has that the first group does not?

The Secret Ingredient

The secret ingredient is their mindset.

Not just any part of their mindset. Their mindset regarding themselves and their own abilities. Their mental picture of who they are in the world, their strengths, weaknesses and what they are capable of. It’s their beliefs about who they are as a person.

Whatever you believe about yourself, is likely to come true. If you believe that you are bad at math, you will most likely perform poorly in math. If you believe you are a good friend, you will probably be a good friend.

If you believe that you don’t handle money well, you will find ways to lose any money that you get.

If you truly believe that you are good at attracting money, you will find ways to do so and have plenty.

The Comfort Zone

Most people have a very set mental picture of who they are, and they live within that image. This is your comfort zone. Your actions, thoughts, beliefs, mental self talk and decisions all make up your comfort zone.

Ask yourself this:

How many of you have had something wonderful come into your life, whether it be a romantic partner, a career opportunity, a windfall, or whatever…

and completely screwed it up?

You aren’t even sure why you did it. Maybe you could even see yourself sabotaging the situation as it was happening, but were powerless to stop it?

Not to mention, after that awesome thing was gone for good, a flood of self talk followed: “I’m such an idiot”, “why do I always mess things up?”, “everyone hates me”, “I’ll never be happy”…

The reason this happens is because you don’t really believe that this new, good thing is a part of your identity and who you are as a person. You don’t believe, deep down, that you deserve to be in a happy healthy relationship. You don’t believe that you are qualified enough for that job of your dreams. You don’t believe that you are a wealthy person.

Those aren’t a part of your comfort zone.

You would rather be unhappy, but at least it’s what you know right? It’s familiar?

Stretching Yourself

When something comes along that stretches you past your view of who you are, you can handle it for a short period of time. But soon, you’ll start to have doubts, feel anxious, second guess everything and start to act out in weird and unexplainable ways. The longer and further you get out of your established comfort zone, the faster and more violently your mind will pull you back into it.

It’s tempting to look outwards for something else to blame. There’s always some excuse, whether it be another person or something else external and completely out of your control.

But the truth is that you are ultimately the one who has to live with your situation. It’ll be far better if you take responsibility, acknowledge your part and realize that there are steps you can take to change your reality.

Changing Your Reality

So how do you do that? How can you start to believe that you are a person who is wealthy, who is surrounded by abundance, that you are a person with good habits, who keeps their word, who is worthy of being in a healthy relationship or running a wildly successful business?

You start by changing your beliefs. You start by crafting a self image that is in line with your goals and what you want your future self to look like, act like, feel like, and BE like.

Now you need to be prepared for your mind to fight back because, by definition, it is comfortable in the comfort zone. I doesn’t want you to stretch yourself, to grow and to change. Change is scary and there are so many unknowns! Whenever you start to feel uncomfortable or have doubts when doing the following, step back and realize this is growth. Maybe start with something smaller. It’s even ok to take a small break.

Creating New Beliefs

How to create new beliefs:

  • Repeat these steps frequently throughout the day (at least 2 x times).
  • Use positive self talk (“You look great today!”) and avoid being negative (“What is wrong with you?”)
  • Get a journal and write down the things you are grateful for.
  • Write down affirmations. These should be written in the first person (“I”), in the present tense (“I am”, “I do”) and have some sort of reward/motivation attached to them. Including a reward brings in positive emotions, will really motivate you to follow through and make these an extremely powerful tool. Make your affirmations very specific and real (“I write one page of content first thing in the morning everyday. By doing so I clarify my thinking, become more creative, and write at least a book’s worth of content each year.”)
  • Realize you wont change overnight, stick with it.
  • Take actions that your new improved self would do.
  • Visualize your ideal picture of yourself, as if it is you right now. Focus on the emotions you will feel when you are living that ideal life.
  • Choose realistic, incremental steps you can take to improve and reach you goals. It’s important to have as many “wins” as possible so you start believing you are someone who sticks with things and reaches their goals. (The Kaizen Philosophy is great for this)
  • Don’t dwell on mistakes of the past. Think of what you learned from them and the things you have done well, no matter how small.
  • Meditate (If you don’t know how I recommend the Headspace app).

Do these steps consistently, multiple times a day, everyday and you will be legitimately shocked at the positive change that comes into your life after a short time (I would commit to 3 weeks at first).

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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