Blog | Entrepreneurship

From Fear To Financial Comfort

Three tips to recognize and overcome the fear that could be holding you back from your own financial independence.

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Approximately 25 million women in the U.S. live below the poverty line. And if you are living from paycheck to paycheck, you are not that far away from losing your house, all your possessions and your dignity.

It just takes an unexpected job loss, extensive medical bills or another emergency to wipe out your savings and everything you have.

So now, ladies, it’s time to be honest, even if you don’t like the answer. Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • I will find a rich man to take care of me.

  • I don’t want to deal with numbers and finances, so I’ll just ignore it.

  • I’ll take the easy road today and deal with the consequences in the future.

If so, you are not alone. These are common choices women make. But if you don’t take financial matters into your own hands, you won’t have any control over the outcome you want — essentially, poverty is knocking at your door, and you can probably kiss your dreams of a secure financial future goodbye.

The good news is that achieving financial freedom is not rocket science: You can take control of your situation, no matter what it is, and enjoy the many perks of financial freedom. Whether you decide to follow your passion and build your own business , get involved in real estate investing , or invest in commodities like gold and silver , the world is your oyster!

What is the meaning of financial freedom?

Financial freedom is about much more than just having money. It’s the freedom to be who you really are and do what you really want in life. It’s about following your passion, making choices that aren’t influenced by your bank account, and living life on your terms.

Many of us, especially women, lose sight of who we once wanted to become, because we are so busy putting others first. As we play the various roles of parent, spouse, employee, friend, and more, we watch our dreams slip away. Even if you find these roles rewarding, there may still be an underlying foundation of resentment that leaves you wondering, “what if?”

If you want to be financially free, you need to become a different person than you are today and let go of whatever has held you back in the past. It’s a process of growth, improvement and gaining spiritual and emotional strength. In other words, whatever has held you back in the past or kept you less than who you really are will have to vanish. And in return, the powerful, happy, playful, brilliant you will emerge — like a butterfly shedding its cocoon.

Why do some women take action and others don’t?

In talking with women all over the world, there seems to be four categories that women fall into when it comes to them and their money. They are:

  1. Comfortable and Dependent

  2. Comfortable and Not Dependent

  3. Uncomfortable and Dependent

  4. Uncomfortable and Not Dependent

If this were set up as a quadrant, The Rich Woman quadrant, it would look like this:

Comfortable = When your financial life is working. When you can sleep through the night without worrying about bills to pay.

Uncomfortable = When you are stressed out, a lot, about your money situation. You lose sleep over it. You fight with your partner about it. You are not where you want to be.

Dependent = When someone other than you is providing for you financially. This may be your husband or partner, your parents, the government through social and medical programs or the company you work for. Here’s the litmus test - if this person or organization disappeared would find yourself in a financial struggle?

Independent = You are in total control of your financial life. It doesn’t matter, financially (emotionally is a whole other thing), if your partner, family, government programs, or your job or business disappeared, you would be financially fine.

“To overcome your fears and chase your dreams, you need to move beyond your comfort zone.”

Overcome fear with a shift in your mindset

From my point of view, there are three key functions fear plays in a woman's path to success:

When you realize that you are at a decision point, and that you, not the fear, are in control, you can choose to walk into your fear and discover what is on the other side.

If you want to grow to be more than you are, you need a little fear to shake things up and set you on a different path. Thankfully, it's exhilarating when this happens — if you're willing to embrace it. The best part? The more you grow, the broader your horizons get and the less likely you are to return to old ruts.

  • Fear creates a decision point. Because fear is uncomfortable, no one wants to stay stuck in it. When you feel fear, you know you must make a decision. Either you’ll push through the fear and accomplish more than you ever expected, or you'll back down and return to what is comfortable. In either case, it forces you into a decision. The good news is that if you understand the dynamic of fear, you have power over it.
  • Fear stretches you further than you thought you could go.

    By nature, we’re creatures of comfort. The old adage, “stuck in a rut,” refers to how deer will take the same path to water from the woods over and over again, creating a rut over years. They don’t ever take a different way because the rut works just fine for them. But if they come to believe that path is now dangerous, they will find a new path. In the same way, we often get stuck in the rut of safety and security. When this happens, we don’t change, and we don’t grow. Rather, we atrophy.

  • Fear makes you feel alive. Thea Jourdan, writing for “Netdoctor,” shares some of the benefits of fear: “Fear actually does have a profound physiological effect on the body, which evolved to help us in a 'fight or flight' situation. In the first few seconds, adrenaline levels soar — leading to a state of heightened alertness and the muscles are primed for immediate action, explains Dr. Louise Selby, a GP based in Guildford, Surrey. The heartbeat quickens and the rate of breathing accelerates. As soon as the fear diminishes, I’'s replaced by a sense of powerfulness and euphoria, which can be addictive.” Under the right conditions, fear makes you feel more alive. The sense of accomplishment that comes after facing down your fear is irreplaceable, and it makes you all the more ready to take down your next challenge. It really is addicting!

3 Tips for Overcoming Fear

  • Create a plan. While some people fly by the seat of their pants, most others need to have a detailed plan in place in order to make a major life change. Start by setting clear goals and then create a detailed strategy for how you will achieve those goals. Then, and here’s the kicker, you must take action.

    Start with an easy step — perhaps that’s signing up for a free investing class if owning rental property is your dream but you don’t know how to go about achieving it. Once you cross something — anything! — off your overwhelming to-do list, you’ll feel relieved. You’ll gain some traction, and that momentum will make you excited to tackle the next item on your list.

    If you’re truly working on something you’re passionate about, you’ll be invigorated by the progress you’re making each day.

  • Look fear in the eyes. If you’ve been living life smack dab in the center of your comfort zone, then you’re missing out on a whole world of opportunities. Whether it’s taking a hot air balloon ride, making a five-course dinner, or simply taking a different route to the office, it’s exhilarating to break out of the box you’re stuck in. Once you’ve conquered tasks along those lines, it’ll be easier to tackle other fears. Being just a little uncomfortable is OK, and the courage you gain from the experience will help you break down future barriers.

  • Adopt a mantra. If you find yourself backing down from your dreams because your inner critic is constantly planting seeds of negativity and doubt, it’s helpful to find ways to block out that noise. Read inspiring books or blogs from successful entrepreneurs who came from nothing, practice guided meditations that deliver powerfully positive messages, repeat mantras or affirmations throughout the day (or write them on sticky notes and put them in various places around your home and office), or check out these inspiring quotes to help you overcome the fear of failure. Your mind is powerful.

Opportunities Abound

Everywhere I look, I see countless opportunities available for aspiring investors and entrepreneurs, and you, yes YOU, deserve to capitalize on them. Remember, it’s OK to fail— as long as you fail forward. Take charge, today, by working on the three steps outlined above for overcoming fear or embracing fear (feel free to experiment with both and see which one works best for you — it might also depend on the situation) and see where it takes you over the next few months.

Original publish date: December 06, 2018

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