Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Are You Spooked by Financial Success?

The approach of Halloween, with thoughts of ghosts and goblins, is a good time to think about what really frightens you.  Get past the images of spiders and snakes and think about what really scares you in life.  Losing a loved one.  Cancer.  Dementia.  Financial success. 

Wait a minute!  Financial success?  Yes, financial success.  If you are like many people, struggling to reach the lifestyle and savings goals you’ve set for yourself, and finding yourself failing to stick to your own plans, fear of financial success could be at play.  The unconscious belief that “rich” people are not good people could be de-railing your efforts. 

Children who grow up in families where there is never enough money, whether due to lack of adequate income or poor financial management, may hear adults bad-mouthing “rich” people as being selfish, dishonest, or devious.  Without exposure to people with more financial resources to counter these claims, the children may well grow up believing the accusations to be true.  Adults who grew up with this belief and then do well financially – even through their own hard work – sometimes deliberately (if unconsciously) make decisions that will ensure that they can never be labeled “rich.”  Even if the childhood message was not that rich people are bad, finding yourself in a better financial position than your family and friends can be uncomfortable, and some people unconsciously strive to eliminate any differences with those around them.  
Whatever the reason they unconsciously avoid financial abundance, they may overspend, gamble, or give their money away.  

If you find yourself making decisions that frequently leave you short of your money goals, ask yourself if being financially successful is scary enough to avoid at all costs. 

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