Blog | Personal Finance

Your Financial Freedom Goals Begin with an Attitude of Gratitude

A thankful mindset is your secret weapon in business — if you’re coming up short, it’s time to make some life changes

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A thankful mindset is your secret weapon in business — if you’re coming up short, it’s time to make some life changes

In America, we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving. And while many may think it’s just about eating a big meal, it’s really a time to enjoy being with family and friends while thinking about the things we are thankful for. But with pandemic dragging on and the uncertain state of the economy, it may have been difficult for you to enjoy this holiday. It can be easy to have a bitter attitude — but don’t fall into this trap!

I’ve talked about how important a positive attitude can be in reaching your goals. But another important part of your financial freedom journey is developing resiliency, or a way to recover from setbacks. In addition to your support structure, it’s important to create your own system that allows you to deal with all of the stumbling blocks and inevitable setbacks you’ll face in life.

And believe me. I know what I’m talking about when it comes to setbacks! In 1985, I was broke and homeless, living in my car for a short period. I’ve had to deal with lawsuits, bad partners and press, people stealing from me, people cheating me, and of course, the hundreds of mistakes and mishaps I’ve experienced along the way. But guess what? I’m still standing… and you will too.

As I say in my book, “It’s Rising Time! ”, there are two things I tell myself when disaster strikes. First, I remind myself, “This too shall pass.” The next thing I say is, “Something good will come from this.” And I cannot say I’m always smiling when I repeat these words, but I say them until I actually believe them. Both statements are true because here I am today, still standing and happy. And my setbacks have made me, my marriage and our company stronger and better because of them.

When mistakes happen, stay positive

A setback may be a small mistake, a disappointment, a problem, or a failure. A mistake points out something you don’t know so the key is figuring out what you need to learn from your mistakes, so they don’t occur again.

If you sit around and feel sorry for yourself, blame others and have a negative attitude, then you don’t learn, you make no money and your dreams of financial freedom get farther and farther away. You need to change your mindset so that you look at your mistakes as opportunities to learn, grow and be more successful in all areas of your life.

When you do that, you’ll get the lesson and be able to move forward. Of course, this may be easier said than done. For help, turn to your support structure, write in your journal, increase your financial education, and seek out information and answers. Take action!

Even though the Thanksgiving holiday is now behind us, it’s still the perfect time to reflect and change a negative attitude into an attitude of gratitude. Make a list of all the things you are thankful for, including people, places, things, health, lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes, and anything else you can think of. Soon, you’ll have a list that will help give you the drive to move forward. Most important, your list is something you can use each day as a positive reinforcement to make your journey to financial freedom a little smoother.

3 things that need to change if you want change

If you’re struggling to harness your attitude of gratitude or focus on the things you are grateful, it may be a sign that you need to make some changes in your life.

I meet a lot of women who want to change what they have in life. Often, however, they haven't counted the cost of what it means to achieve this change.

Change is tough for anyone because it requires us to move from what is comfortable to what is not. Even if change means something healthy, it still feels uncomfortable.

For instance, if you are overweight and want to get healthy, you have to stop eating bad foods and start exercising. As you know, this is much easier said than done. Eating healthy foods is hard mentally (if you don’t know how to shop for and prepare healthy foods) and physically (if you're used to feeling fuller than you need to be), and exercising has real physical pain associated with it. It's much easier to stay in your routine than to change it.

But the reality is that if you want to really change what you have in life, you have to change who you are and what you do.

What does this mean in practice?

  1. Redefine your identity

    If you are someone who watches television every night, that can become a part of who you are. You don't realize it, but your habits start to become, not just something that you do, but a part of your identity. That is why when you try to change, you run into resistance. Your mind is revolting against an attack on what it sees as your core self.

    It becomes imperative to recognize this, to call it out, and to take back control of your identity. You must consciously choose who you want to be and redefine yourself rather than let your subconscious decide.

    So, for instance, rather than waste hours each night watching TV, you must redefine yourself as a person who studies and learns about money and investments. By making this conscious shift in your identity, you win half the battle in achieving change.

  2. Redefine your friendships

    Another thing that can hold you back is your friendships. The old phrase, "Birds of a feather flock together," is very accurate. If you're having a hard time achieving the change you're looking for in life, take a look at your friends. Are they encouraging you to get better or are they tempting you to fall back into old ways? If it's the latter, it's time to move on and find new friends who can travel to the next level with you, not drag you down.

  3. Redefine your routine

    Once you've changed your identity and relationships, it's imperative that you create new routines that lead to success.

    If you want to be healthier, you have to actually diet and exercise, not just talk about it. This might require you putting some money where your mouth is, going to a gym, and hiring a personal trainer. The money and the accountability will motivate you to keep at it.

    If you want to be financially free, you have to learn how money works and begin investing. This might require you to find a partner who will learn and invest with you to keep you accountable, and finding a mentor who will challenge you on how you spend your time and resources.

Disruption leads to prosperity

In the tech world, the buzzword "disruption" is often used. Disruption is an idea or product that comes in and profits off of an industry that is comfortable and no longer innovative. Uber is an example of a company that disrupted the taxi industry to great effect. They are now worth billions of dollars because they didn't accept the status quo.

In our own personal lives, disruption is essential — in our identity, friendships, and routines — if we want to change. Today, take a look at your life and see how you can disrupt it for the better.

Original publish date: November 22, 2012

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