THE FIRST STEP
The only way to eradicate your fear is to replace it with positive thoughts. Think about what your goals are. Then think about what your deepest financial fear is. Do you want to retire early, but are afraid that if you do you will run out of money before you die? Or perhaps you want to have a second home, but feel that if you buy one you are being selfish and that you don’t deserve it. No matter what your goals are, your fears can override them to the point that you become too paralyzed to try and achieve your goals. Ultimately, you need to overcome your fears to realize your dreams.
Money is also deeply tied to our emotions and is a prime motiva- tor of our behavior. Our self-images are directly affected by the amount of money we have or don’t have. Try to become aware of your attitudes toward money. Once you have ascertained how you react to money, and what drives you, you will be able to increase your chances of becoming rich. Your personal money management style will dictate the way you handle money now and in the future. You need to realize what your style is so that you may better harness and use it.
Ask yourself some questions about your actions and feelings. Is money important to you? How important? Do you feel guilty when you spend money? Do you find that you spend money until your credit card is rejected, or until you have no more money in your wal- let? Are you a risk taker? When you look at your bank account bal- ance, how do you feel? How much money do you think you need to feel secure? How much money do you spend on a monthly basis? By asking yourself these questions, you will be on the way to achieving your goals.
However, the next step is to answer the questions honestly. That’s where our fears come back into play. Take the last question, for instance. I ask all my clients to prepare a cash flow statement for me. (This is discussed more in depth in Chapter 2.) If you were to esti- mate how much money you spend monthly, and then compare it to the actual amount, which number would be bigger? You may find that you are spending more money each month than you thought. How does that make you feel? Are you afraid that you won’t be able to cover your bills? Or, do you feel relieved that you now know what you are truly spending?