Here, RD&T contributor Noah St. John highlights four dangerous assumptions people make about money and how to avoid them.
Telling someone, “Don’t let money affect the rest of your life,” is kind of like saying, “Don’t let oxygen affect your breathing.” One is most definitely going to affect the other!
For most of my life, I was constantly worried about money. Every time I looked at my bank account (or even thought about it), I’d get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Now, when my coaching clients come to me with money worries, I tell them:
Money doesn’t CHANGE anything; it REVEALS everything.
Money is a magnifying glass.
If you’re a poor jerk, you’ll be a rich jerk – only jerkier. If you’re a broke nice person, you’ll be a rich nice person – only nicer.
And if there are problems simmering beneath the surface in your relationship, those problems will only be exacerbated when money’s tight.
So, in these tough financial times, how can we make sure our relationships stay healthy (even if our 401K doesn’t)?
Assumptions to Avoid When Money is Tight:
1. A change in your money situation won’t affect the relationship.
When you experience a significant change in your money situation, your relationship’s about to change in one way or another.
But, the irony is, your relationship will become more of what it already is. If you’re close, you’ll tend to get closer. If there’s a distance, it will become more noticeable.
The key is to communicate openly and honestly about what’s happening and what you can do about it.
2. Things will turn around by themselves.
This is also known as The Ostrich Syndrome. We’ve all been there: believing that “someone out there” will fix our problems.
As FDR said:
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
It’s good to assume that things will be better in the future. The problem comes when we think they’ll get better without us having to do anything.
$20 bills tend not to walk down the street, knock on your door and say, “Hey, can I come in?” If they do where you live, I’m moving there!
Because on planet Earth, we have to do this annoying thing called work to get the things we want, like, oh I don’t know… money.
If you know what to do, but just aren’t doing it: enlisting support, creating an action plan, and taking one step at a time toward what you want – start! That’s fastest way to overcome the Ostrich Syndrome.
3. You and your partner look at money the same way.
No assumption causes more arguments than this one. People tend to fall into four behavioral styles with regards to money: The Spender, The Saver, The Avoider, and The Monk.
The Spender spends, the Saver saves, the Avoider avoids, and the Monk believes money is “not spiritual” and somehow “beneath” them.
(Which money style are you? Share it in the Comments section below!)
Imagine a Spender and a Saver living together. Now imagine their income just got cut in half. Insert argument here.
There’s no “right or wrong” with regards to how you relate to money, and each style has its pros and cons. Just know what you are and what your partner is, and adjust accordingly.
4. Things will be this way forever.
This is the “Why Bother?” Syndrome, the flip side of the Ostrich Syndrome. When you assume “why bother?” your actions will be half-hearted (or some other part of your anatomy), which will naturally lead to half-success, or less.
The key is to find the middle ground between the Ostrich Syndrome and the Why Bother Syndrome. This is where Afformations®, or empowering questions, have helped many people make better assumptions about life and their relationship to it.
Asking Afformations® like “Why are things getting better?” and “Why did everything work out better than I thought it could?” focuses your mind on positive assumptions rather than negative ones.
When you “assume,” you know what happens. Make a commitment to confront your assumptions about money – especially when money’s tight – and you’ll make better decisions for you and your family.
I believe in you!
Noah St. John is the Creator of Freedom Lifestyle Experience.