by Judy M McCutcheon
A lot of us seemingly move through life always wondering or worrying about what others think about what we do with our lives. Our societies in the Caribbean are small and we seem to be forever consumed with what other people do with their lives.
Sometimes I think that we have nothing to do and lots of time to do it. But, wouldn’t that time be put to better use if we concentrated on expanding and making our lives much better? I know people who have lived their entire lives wondering what others think of them, so they stay in unfulfilling and unhealthy relationships. Why are we putting ourselves through such emotional turmoil? Is it to keep up with the Joneses, is it to keep our place among our friends and in society? Or is it simply an act, and we secretly hope that no one finds out? I have a friend who said to me that she’s not even aware that others are looking at her, she’s just about doing what matters to her. And I rather like that concept, because we sometimes tend to think that our lives only truly matter based on what others think, say or feel about us. We also have the notion that we only have self-worth, if we have money. It’s a very peculiar and dangerous thing when we equate our self-worth to our bank accounts. When it comes to your life, the only thing that should matter is what you think of you, not in relation to others, but in relation to what you want your life to be.
I also have a very good friend who consistently says he’s broke, it does not matter what you ask him to do, he always says he’s broke. The thing about our words is that they are extremely powerful and causes us to make decisions to ensure that what we say is manifested. In my younger days, I would look at TV shows and magazines, and wished to have the life that these celebrities had. I would daydream about being free to roam and travel the world without a care, having more than enough money to do all the things I wanted to do. What I’ve since realised is that I can give myself everything I need and more, all it takes is consistent deliberate actions on my part. The thing about life is that we all have different versions of success and we don’t all want BMW’s. Your version of success could be being able to pay for your child’s education without having to borrow, or it could mean travelling to a different country every year. Your life should be about you and the things you want to accomplish for you and your loved ones. So many times, we to do things to please others and live unhappily ever after.
One important thing for us to consider is how we want to live in every area of our life. What do you want your spiritual life to look like, what do you want your love life to look like, what do you want your financial life to look like? In taking an introspective look at your life, I want you to understand one fundamental truth – to shift your life and make the changes you want to see, you have to change your mindset. It’s like food, dieting, and weight loss. To really lose the weight and keep it off, you have to make a shift in the way you think about and interact with food. It’s the same way with other aspects of your life, especially your money. What I’ve realised is that once you can successfully make that mental shift as it relates to how you interact with your finances, then it becomes much easier to make the shift in other areas. That’s because we tend to tie everything we do, have, or don’t have, to money. There is strong psychology behind the way we do the things we do with our money. We have a money script that we tell ourselves and most times it’s unhealthy and causes us to develop unhealthy behaviours as it relates to money. It becomes very important for us to understand this psychology and become very aware of our money script because it has a profound effect on other areas of our lives. An unhealthy relationship with money leaves us emotionally and financially broke. Having to constantly stress about paying bills and making ends meet leaves us in a health deficit.
What’s your narrative surrounding money? Most likely you are your biggest stumbling block, you have to get out of your way so that you can start creating the life you want. You have to first start by valuing who you are, not by the amount of money you have or don’t have, but by who you are as a person – your self-worth. Start being grateful for where you are right now and the things you already have. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way. I’ve had to wean myself off social media so that I could get a better perspective. As you look at people’s posts on Facebook, you sometimes wonder when your ship will come in, and this can make you bitter and resentful. What I’ve had to remember is that on social media we all have perfect lives. Sometimes, you have to step back and re-evaluate your life. If you took a good look, you would realise that there are so many things you should be grateful for, right where you are, and that’s your turning point. Look at all the things you are good at. You’ve got to own your skills and find ways to monetise them. Abundance isn’t all about money, it’s also about love, joy, happiness, peace of mind, family and friends that truly care. If you pay close attention you would realise that the only place you are really broke is in your mindset – adjust it and experience true abundance.
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Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net
Please join us on 28 March 2019 at the Radisson Beach Resort, as we explore ways to help you secure your financial future. Register at www.goblueinc.net or call 473 405 6672.