Money – an unhealthy relationship

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Now seems to be the time when we have to dig even deeper than before, and cut back on luxuries in order to ride through the current though economic times. Most of us are lucky enough to still have our health, and be surrounded by loved ones and support, and still go about things as normally as possible. The only difference is, we are spending less. If you look at that: ‘Going about things normally, spending less’ – then why does this make us feel crap, and why are we stressing more? Why is a reduced budget / smaller pay-check / lost job basically like a death-sentence in how it makes us feel? I don’t plan to answer that question, as I don’t know the answer – but I’d like to explore some of my thoughts and questions to this, in the hope that it will get some of you thinking too – and even provide a little glimmer to someone having a tough time with all of this.

Smaller pay-check makes us feel smaller – Somehow it can feel like we’re shrinking as people when our spending power is reduced or removed. It’s a scary thing when you start looking at your shopping list that keeps growing even without those luxuries included anymore. Why is this? We don’t become invisible when we spend less. In fact, when things get better, we’ll have learnt a valuable lesson and will be able to manage much more comfortably. That smaller paycheck is not a reflection on your value, don’t forget that.

Always operate from a place of abundance vs a place of scarcity and fear – When budgets are smaller, and you see a lot of expenses coming up, or have to buy something unexpected – or there’s load of birthdays all clustered in one month, one tends to feel a bit anxious and want to hold off buying anything. I’m a firm believer that ‘like attracts like’, and if every purchase or thought of money makes you hang on, you will fall into a place of scarcity and attract similar energy. Try feeling abundant – you don’t need to go crazy and forget to budget and buy 17 pairs of shoes, but keep your mind and energy abundant without resentment, and you’ll be surprised that things keep coming to fill your plate somehow. That doesn’t mean you have to stop working hard to find new opportunities to meet your needs – but just be positive and relax a bit.

What if someone said you’d always have enough? Gosh, wouldn’t that be fabulous! Well, you CAN think this, and use this as an affirmation each time you start worrying. It certainly doesn’t take away the fact that you may need to work harder and smarter than ever before, but keep your thoughts positive. There is enough. When you stop worrying about things you can’t control, you’ll feel better, and be more productive too.

Why do we feel like we’re being punished? This is a big one, when we lose  a job / get rejected for a new job / have to take a pay-cut why do we feel like we’ve done something wrong? I don’t think I have the answer, this is more a rhetorical question to get you to question your feelings. Most of the time these things can’t be helped, and are not a result of anything to do with you as a person. Unfortunately, times are tough and business owners have to do what they can to keep their businesses running. Just keep your chin up, try and find ways to boost yourself in these situations, and remember that with the law of averages, things can only get better.

Why is rejection by employer like a breakup? It’s actually worse. When you lose your job by no fault of your own it’s a knock that sucks the air out of you. There’s no-one to blame, there’s no ‘other person’, it just sucks. I think it’s human nature to feel like you need to fit, and when you get rejected, it’s not nice. Add to this the fact that we (wrongly) associate monetary worth with self-worth. All one can do is think about this a lot and see how wrong it is on so many levels to feel like less of a good person and a valuable asset. Just keep affirming your own value to yourself and ride the storm.

Do people really care about our job title? The genuine people in your life, your real cheerleaders just want you to be happy. There definitely is a place for soaring careers, ambition and titles, but don’t let it define you. Whether you’re chief bottle-washer, tea-lady or CTO, if you do it with flair, attention to detail and passion it really does not matter. It’s who YOU are and WHAT you contribute that counts. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve taken a fall. Learning, and sharing from that fall takes pride and guts and integrity, more than it does to trample and scrape your way to the top.

Final thoughts. Things need to change. These days with the economy resulting in companies having to offer smaller salaries than before – employers really should start thinking differently about how they use their employees time. What would be wrong with offering that smaller salary as a part-time position? What is so significant about having someone keep a chair warm for 45 hours a week? If we could change this trend, we would breed a new bunch of smart workers. Workers not sitting there demotivated at long hours and low pay, possibly just trying to look busy when they finished their work hours ago – but workers who now have the same job-spec but less time to do it in. Workers who then also have free time to increase their income in other places too. If you give them the same KPI’s, how can changing a full-time role to a part-time one hurt? As long as the KPI’s are realistic, you’ll find driven, motivated, results-orientated employees who now have the proverbial firecracker of less time to do things. You’ll probably find your internet bandwidth used on Facebook will drop too! I really think things need to shift (and I think they are) to where we all have multiple jobs, and sources of income in order to sustain ourselves. (and I’m not meaning the scenario where you leave your 9-hour-office-job to go and waitress for the rest of the night.)….

Well, I hope I’ve given you some food for thought here. And… When next someone asks that famous question ‘so what do you do?’ I hope your answer will be ‘I do whatever it takes.’

I’m ending with the same image I opened with. Remember this affirmation.

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