“I deserve it!”
“I’ve had a rough day, it’ll cheer me up.”
“It’s a bargain, they’re 50% off!”
“My friend Katy swears that everyone needs one of these.”
“I need the right car and it’ll only be an extra $500 a month, I can afford that.”
“I live a stressful life; a drink at the end of the day helps me wind down.”
If you’re anything like me, you can relate to one or more (maybe all!) of these quotes as things that you’ve heard yourself say to justify your spending. It’s these things that keep us locked into constant debt, in a state of living from paycheque to paycheque. If we want to change things, get out of debt, get out of the cycle of overspending and living from hand-to-mouth (even if it’s a silver-plated hand-to-mouth situation like ours is!), then we need to take three steps:
A few months ago, we decided to finally – finally – take control of our finances. Don’t get me wrong, we thought we were in control of our finances… actually, no, if I’m perfectly honest, we never really have thought we were in control of our finances.
We budgeted… and then promptly ignored the budgets, justifying ourselves with comments like “But it’s on sale! It’s such a bargain!” and “I’ve worked really hard and I deserve this! I’m going to treat myself!” or even “But it’s so nice, I’ve got to have it! It would be a shame to miss out!”
We reconciled the accounts and checked what we’d (over)spent against the budgets… and then went out for a nice drink & high quality meal to make ourselves feel better and drown our sorrows.
We got anxious and depressed whenever a visit to the accountants was coming up because we were ashamed and embarrassed by how we’d managed our finances.
The things is, I know we’re not alone in this. People have rarely had any real financial management education; we’re taught to SPEND, not to manage. We’re taught to buy things now, get another loan, start using that credit card. We’re taught that if we’re feeling sad, we should go out and buy things because that ad on the TV says that we’ll feel better if we do and the magazine said that car is the answer to all my dreams.
I was sitting in a gorgeously green & lush garden café in Byron Bay with my beautiful bestie who was happily tucking into her second glass of Prosecco (I was on another kind of fizzy – water- as I had 5 more hours of driving to do that day) when she said something that jolted me like a cattle prod. “It is so good to owe nothing to no one. To be able to do whatever you like and not have to worry about any debts or upcoming bills or anything like that.” She sighed happily and ordered another glass of wine, while I buried my face in my water, hoping to all hell that she hadn’t picked up on the “oof” that came out of my mouth when her words hit me in the solar plexus or seen the flash of envy that turned my eyes bright green for a second.
I can hand on heart say that this was a defining moment for me. This was the moment when
Ooh! That’s a bit harsh! I can hear the indignant, affronted replies from here: “What do you mean, I am where I am? Do you mean that I’m choosing to have no money and live from pay cheque to pay cheque while I dream about winning the lottery all the time? No way! I want to be rich! I want to win the lottery! I don’t want to work any more! I want to lie on a beach all day, drinking Pina Coladas and doing nothing! Do you think I’d choose to live this way if I didn’t have to?” Well actually, yes; that’s exactly what I mean. I do think you’re choosing to stay poor and not be rich, for sure. Let’s face facts, if you wanted to be wealthy, you’d be wealthy, right?
The ultimate aim in financial freedom is twofold:
- a mindset that allows you to live a life of freedom
- multiple streams of income that you receive without having to put in time or effort.
True financial freedom is about being able to live in such a way that you feel totally free to do whatever you want to do, right? Free to travel, play, have fun, spend time with your family, go places, do things, have whatever you want to have. Total and complete freedom to just live the kind of life you've always dreamed of living.
Take a look at your life right now. The likelihood is that you're exchanging all your time to earn not very much money.
I’ve been asking myself over the last few days, if I had my hugely successful dream business, what would I be doing right now / today / this week? How would my life look different?
I’m pretty good at generating money when I need it, I’m not so crash hot at being consistent. I LOOK as though I’m being consistent and productive and focused, but I know I’m not. I know that if I was focused, I’d achieve way more in a much shorter space of time than I do right now.
And I know that I can because I’ve done it before.
So, if I had my hugely successful dream business right now, what would I be doing each day? And what would I be doing differently?
“If I ask people for money, they won’t like me”
This interesting little gem has just come up for me. And I’m working my way through the massive implications. It’s very, very interesting. I’ve done lots of money exercises before but this one has never come up for me.
The thing is, for all the work I've done, for all the things I've thought I uncovered, it turns out that none of them were the real, true gold. They were all the Fools' Gold, sitting on the surface and looking all shiny and pretty and real. To get to the real nuggets, we have to dig deeper.
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It’s that time of the week!
I get a bit bored with routines but we need to put them in place until things become unconscious for us.
We think we live consciously, thinking about what we’re doing and saying, but for the most part, we live totally UNconsciously. Think about when you learned to drive. At first, you had to think about every single thing you had to do: brake, press the clutch, release the clutch, change gears, check your mirrors, look over your shoulders, brake, accelerate, change gears again, it was all so overwhelming & difficult at first. When we’ve been driving for a few years though, we don’t even think about what we’re doing; we change gears without even thinking about it, we indicate automatically, we brake when necessary.
There is a difference between Financial Independence and Financial Freedom. Suze Orman, author and wealth coach, describes it this way: "A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs in life."
In all the years that I’ve been on this path of wealth creation and abundance, learning what I could, doing personal development courses, reading books, attending seminars, everything, heading surely towards financial freedom and a life of abundance and luxury, something that escapes many people (including us) is actual INDEPENDENCE from money. Independence from our money stories. Independence from money worries. Independence from anxieties and concerns. Independence from our fears around money.
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We all dream of winning the lottery or waking up one morning and finding $10m in our bank account or something because if that happened, we'd be happy right?
But, let's be honest here, for most of us, what goes through our mind when we receive money such as our pay cheque is not a mental (or physical) jump for joy.
It's not an overwhelming sense of gratitude that we've received that money.
It's not even a peaceful contentment about having that money in our account.
It's more likely to be something along the lines of a mental (or verbal) groan, accompanied by maybe placing our head in our hands or rubbing our forehead and grimacing, while saying to ourselves, "Oh my god, I can't believe that's all there is, it's nowhere near enough."
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I’m going to go off on a bit of a seemingly random topic here, but it’s absolutely integral to what we talk about in here. Let me ask you something: what do you give yourself permission for?
What do you give yourself permission to do?
What do you give yourself permission to feel?
What do you give yourself permission to have?
What do you give yourself permission to be?
Because until you give yourself permission to be, do or have anything, no matter how much you work towards it, dream about it or wish for it, you’re never going to get it.
Here’s a big tip for you: if you want to work out what’s going on for you, write it down.
You can think and mull it over, analyse it and cogitate about it to your hearts’ content. We’ve done that, we all do that, most of us spend a large portion of our lives doing that. We try to work it out, we try to see what’s underneath, we think and think and think…
And we end up going round and round in circles, getting nowhere.
You know the feeling, right? You think about something, you mull it over, you stew over it a little and you just keep coming back to the same thing, time after time after time. You can’t come to a different conclusion, you can’t see someone else’s viewpoint, you can’t move beyond stuff.
Thinking about it won’t give you the answer.
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One of the things I love about going on a cruise or to a resort, in fact, going on a holiday of any kind, is doing new things.
So far, I've got a series of acupuncture/reiki sessions booked in to take care of my physical & mental well-being. Over the last week or so, I've had more and more fluid retention. I don't know what's going on there but I want to get it sorted now. This is my treat for me.
Actually, no, I need to reframe that: this is me looking after myself. It's something that I need to do if I'm going to function at the level at which I want to function. It's absolutely necessary.
We don't think of it like that, do we? We tend to think of looking after ourselves as something that's way down the list of priorities; we have much more important things to do, right?
Have you noticed that wishing for something doesn’t mean you get it? Or that no matter how many affirmations you do, you still don’t get what you want? Or how dreaming about winning the lottery or coming into an unexpected & huge amount of money doesn’t make it happen? And have you ever wondered why?
It’s really simple: you’re not an energetic or vibrational match for what it is you’re wishing for.
That might sound really woo-woo to you but if you can grasp this concept, you’ll understand what it is you need to do to get everything you want. This is quite possibly the most important thing you can do in your life.
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That sounds like a weird question, but it’s not. Surprisingly, succeeding can be as terrifying as failure, particularly around something like being wealthy, getting rich or having lots of money.
Because going from being a normal, ‘poor’, blue- or white-collar worker to being wealthy will change everything.
It will change everything for you and your life, but it will also change who you are for other people. It will change the way they see you and, quite possibly, it will change their whole attitude towards you.
I’m a bit of a daredevil. At least, I don’t think I am, but other people seem to think I am. We had the opportunity on a cruise recently to do “adrenaline” activities on the ship such as flying fox, rock climbing, standing right in the bow of the ship like Kate Winslett in Titanic, and walking the plank (!). To be honest, it was one of the things I was looking forward to the most about the cruise and the absolute first thing I booked us onto.
I say “us”; John wasn’t at all impressed that I’d booked him in for all these sessions, too. He just wanted to chill and relax and not do much.
There was so much that I got out of doing these activities that I probably have a dozen articles that I can write about it!
I’m not physically brave. I am at a distance, it looks like good fun, but when it comes down to the actual moment where I’m required to do it, I stand there, shaking in my boots. Quite literally if it involves heights.
And pretty much every one of these activities involved heights. What was I thinking when I booked myself on for this stuff?
Take Walking The Plank, for example. It starts on deck 15 – the top deck, a good 50m above sea
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I love that quote from Yoda, "Either do or do not, there is no try". The kids hated it because I used to pull them up about ‘trying’ all the time.
And still do.
“Well, I tried” or “I gave it my best shot” are just excuses - reasons - to give up. Sometimes, we did try and things didn’t work, but if we truly want something, we keep going.
The minute we stop, we fail.
What's your theme for this week? What if you could choose one overall theme that you will experience this week? Just one. One overriding theme that will define your week and that you'll use to describe this week when you look back on it.
Here's the thing: you really can do this, this is what actually happens. Unfortunately, most of us don't know that we can do this and so we don't take the time to CONSCIOUSLY define our weeks, we just kind of mosey along with what's "always" happened and we allow our subconscious to choose for us. But if we want our life to go in a different direction, if we want something different to what we have now, it's time to actively, consciously choose what we want our life to look like. This is how we turn our week from banal to brilliant.
So in that case, what will it be? What will your life look like? It could be...
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I was talking to someone yesterday. She'd done a lot of mindset work, read a lots of books, done seminars and programs, but she was stuck in the same place, unable to move forwards, not knowing what the block is that's stopping her from moving forward. She couldn't understand it, why was nothing sinking in? Why was nothing making a difference? She could see that there was SOMETHING going on but she couldn't work out what, and no matter how much gratitude she reminded herself to feel, no matter how many affirmations she said, no matter what good things happened in her life, she still kept falling back into the old patterns, feeling stifled and trapped.
Here's the thing: our minds are like these big empty rooms. Over the years, as we live, as things happen, we gradually fill them up with more and more 'stuff': experiences, both bad and good, emotions, memories, decisions, meanings, understandings, responsibilities, obligations, duties, expectations.
I’ve spent almost 2 years now, working on trying to build a business, trying to put myself out there, trying to win people’s trust and make a difference, but I was doing all this, putting all my effort into doing this, on a medium that I basically don’t trust and wondering why things weren’t going as I expected them to.
A few months ago, with all the hoo-haw about privacy and Facebook selling its users details and everything, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. But, to be honest, if you’re trying to do livestreams, it’s a bloody nuisance not having the app on your phone, so I reinstalled it. Today, I’m scrolling through my homepage and what do I see? An ad for sleep apnoea. I’d been discussing that with John this morning. So Facebook is still listening in to conversations even when I’m not using the app.
I’ve spent 2 years learning how to build a business on Facebook, how to advertise on Facebook, how to best utilise Facebook, how to keep Facebook happy and stay out of Facebook jail,
We can budget, we can manage, we can learn how to make extra money, we can work two, three or four jobs, we can scrimp & scrape, count the pennies, work smarter not harder...
But until we take control of the thoughts that are running around in our heads, we are NEVER going to be wealthy or financially independent. Never.
Getting to financial independence, financial freedom, wealth, rich, living a life of freedom and choice...
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"I can't do this myself"
I was in a weekend mastermind, listening to a mindset coach, doing the exercises she’d given us, and that comment came out.
“Like, really?” I thought (yes, I do talk like a teenager in the not-so-quiet recesses of my mind… sometimes I do, anyway), “What’s that about?” The trouble was, it really rang true. If I look at everything I’ve done in business or in life in general, I have this underlying belief that I need someone else in order to make it work, the reason being, I’m not good enough. At least, I’m not at EVERYTHING. That’s not a negative belief, it’s a fact. While I’m good at some things and great at others, I’m not good at EVERYTHING, therefore, I MUST need other people to supplement that and make things work, right? It’s LOGICAL. It’s common sense.
It’s simply the truth.
I just went for a massage with an amazing, intuitive lady. Man, it hurt. She suggested that I take a little time out to do NOTHING. Umm, that’s a little outside my field of expertise. Doing things, I’m very good at. Doing NOTHING… Nope. Never done that. I am a serial expert. I’ve never specialised in anything. I’ve tried, oh my word, how I’ve tried. I’ve tried to focus, to be a master of something, to be top of my field in something. I can’t stay interested for long enough. Over my life, I’ve learned how to be a swimming coach, a synchronised swimming judge
Your job is okay, but you’re left feeling a little ‘meh’ about the way your boss treats their staff.
Your health is okay, but you know you really ought to cut out the chips and the cake and quite possibly all the wine that you seem to go through. And maybe exercise a little more.
Your relationship with your partner is fine, and I don’t mean ‘fine’ in an amazing sense, I mean it’s only ‘fine’.
Your money situation… how’s that going? Do you ‘get by’? ‘Struggle through’? ‘Do your best’?
I am so triggered right now
This is not funny, I am supposed to be transformed, goddammit. I am not supposed to get jealous and crabby when I see someone doing well for themselves financially.
But I do.
And I am.
Man, it’s annoying when you think you’ve got a grip on things and suddenly the same old stuff floats to the surface and grabs you by the throat again.
Comparison is a B***H. An absolute B***H.
I was feeling quite good about myself and my life, about what I’m doing and creating. And then I
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, Along with my husband, John, and my brother, Alan, we are the YouTube channel, Stop Being So Poor - The hows, the whys and the fun in making money.
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