Escaping the Financial Trap
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Being stuck on the financial treadmill is often the biggest and most overwhelming obstacle when people are looking to make a significant change in their lives. It was definitely one of my biggest blockers.
We are pre-disposed to think of the worst case scenario, it’s innate and ultimately, it allows us to survive. It’s not so easy at first, but we can just as easily explore the best case scenario too. Both are in the future and neither are set in stone. Each makes you think and feel very differently though.
The financial trap that many people find themselves in is one that we have all contributed to creating and maintaining. The faster we run on that treadmill, the faster we build stress, pressure, anxiety, a feeling of getting nowhere fast and feeling more unfulfilled than ever. It’s pretty soul destroying!
In my view, it’s all connected to the institutionalised society we’ve created. We’ve created a series of boxes and we move from one box to another. It starts early with nursery followed by school, college, university and then the traditional workplace. Within that structure we’ve built in social ‘boxes’ too, find someone to settle down with, buy a house, get married, have kids, buy a nice car or 2, go on holiday a couple of times a year, all get together at Christmas. We feel relatively safe and know we can survive this way pretty well.
This institution works well for many people and they live very contented, happy lives.
What if you don’t fit into any of the boxes though? What if you’ve played along and successfully moved through some of the boxes and bought into the illusion of happiness only to find you’re trapped in a box you never wanted to fit into in the first place?
Many people who find themselves feeling stuck in the institution are asking themselves, “Is this all there is to my life?”, “What’s the point of it?”, “I get a mortgage, I go to work for 10 hours a day, I have a nice car to get to work in, I go on holiday sometimes, I socialise at weekends…so what?”
More and more people are realising that there is more to life than the treadmill and that to live a fulfilling life, with purpose, is more of a priority. Like I did, they get all excited when they know they’ve found something else more rewarding to do, maybe even their soul purpose. Then the negativity and practicalities of the financial trap come pouring in and they’re very real. How do I pay to put a roof over my head and cover the bills etc etc?!
And before you know it, you’ve talked yourself right back into your institutionalised box where it feels safer and you know where you’re at. Very rarely does that feeling of wanting to escape go away though. It might take 6 months, it might take 2 years, like it did for me, but it will come back.
So how do you break free?! It’s partly about learning to think more positively, building on existing strengths and taking it one small step at a time. It’s also about spending time thinking about the best case scenario. If you want something you’ve never had before, you need to do something you’ve never done before. And that includes how you think. Thinking positively and focusing on all the fantastic possible outcomes builds strength, optimism, self-belief and motivation. When you’re in this place, then you can work out how you can escape your financial trap. One step at a time.
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