I chat with a lot of people who want to be Financially Independent. They know that it would feel amazing never to have to worry about money again.
To be able to walk out on the job that they hate and go travelling round the world.
To finally be in a position to cut up that credit card.
But – there's a problem.
Most people don’t believe it is possible. They feel like Financial Independence is something that only happens to special people, not to mere mortals like them. This limiting self-belief creates a self fulfilling prophesy. It means people stay trapped. If you don’t believe that you can achieve something then it is very unlikely that you can.
This is true in all walks of life. When an Olympian is sat at the starting blocks, they have to believe that they have what it takes to win the race. Science has shown that achievement is as much about mindset as it is about physical or technical skill.
This ‘self talk’ cuts both ways. If you have negative voices in your head telling you that you can’t do something or you are not good enough or not deserving, then there is a good chance that your negative self-talk will come true.
The same is true for positive self-talk. If you believe that you can do something, that you are good enough and that you do deserve it, then the chances of you achieving it go up substantially.
Now of course, self-belief is not enough on its own to help you achieve great things.
You will need a good dose of persistence, good habits and hard work. But, if you believe that something is possible and you are willing to put in the work, I think that the sky’s the limit. Why shouldn’t you be able to reach your goals too?
When it comes to money, there are a number of things you can do to get yourself in the right headspace.
As I wrote last week, Financial Independence is a pretty big deal. If you are currently struggling with credit card debt, or student loans it can seem like a real challenge to make ends meet at the end of the month, let alone to reach Financial Independence.
As with all massive challenges, it can help to break it down into smaller steps so that you can measure your progress and celebrate success along the way.
You should treat working towards Financial Independence like training for a marathon. If you are new to running, you don’t go out and run 26 miles on your very first training session. That would be mad and would almost certainly result in a serious injury or worse!
A running newbie will probably just try to run 1 mile, or perhaps ½ mile on their first training session, but that is a massive achievement for someone who has never run before. The next session, 1 mile could become 2 miles and then 3 and so on. This is how progress is made towards all meaningful goals.
There is always going to be someone richer than you, period. Unless you are Jeff Bezos, which I’m guessing you’re not (If you are – then welcome Jeff – please help us spread the word).
Comparison is the killer of contentment. A great quote and very true.
If you spend your life comparing yourself to others, you are probably not going to be very happy.
The problem with social media is that we spend our days looking at people’s perfect lives and listening to them telling us how great and happy and successful they are. The issue with this is that we spend our time comparing other people’s ‘front stage’ with our ‘back stage’.
What I mean by this is that people tend to post the best parts of their lives on social media.
You might see pictures of the 6* 2 week holiday or the business class flights, but you don’t get the same level of insight into the 14 hour work days or the heart-attack-inducing job that goes into paying for it the remaining 50 weeks of the year.
People generally post stuff when they have interesting stuff to post.
If they are going out to the city to see a show or have cocktails – that usually gets a mention.
If they are sitting there in the dark worrying about how to pay the rent on their apartment (which is a total mess and really needs cleaning) at the end of the month, this tends not to go in their latest status update.
But, this doesn’t mean that we should stop looking at other people altogether.
We just need to change the lens through which we look at them. Rather than seeing someone who is successful and making yourself feel bad about the fact that you don’t have the life they have, why not ask – how did they get there? What did they do to achieve that? How could I do the same?
By using other people as case studies, as learning resources, you can channel all that negative energy into something really positive.
When I see someone who is better than me at something or who has a bigger following on their blog or who makes more money from their online course, I don’t get jealous, I ask myself how I could do the same. What could I do to emulate that success? What ideas could I use or adapt to create the same success for me?
When I ask people why they don’t try and achieve something big like Financial Independence, most often they will say something like “it’s impossible, so why even bother” or “things like that don’t happen to me”.
There is a simple antidote to this problem. Other people.
Although other people can be a cause for discontent and feelings of failure if we compare ourselves to them, they can also be a source of great inspiration.
I use other people as examples for what is possible. If someone else can grow their blog to 10 million readers or sell $1 million in online courses, then surely I can do it as well?
Don’t get me wrong, it will take a ton of hard work and perseverance (and maybe a tiny bit of luck), but if someone else can do it, then by definition it is not impossible.
It is the opposite – it is possible.
Whenever I dream up a crazy goal or have a new idea, I often find my mind very quickly figures out all the reasons why it won’t work or why it is a bad idea.
At this point, I go looking for someone else who has already done something similar. This puts my self-doubt back in its box and shows me what is possible. That person usually becomes my mentor in some way.
Whether through their free content, paid courses or just by asking them, the biggest growth I have experienced in my life is when I am learning from someone who is ahead of me on the same path I am following.
Use other’s success and experience as a learning tool and you too can achieve almost anything!
If you would like to begin your own journey to Financial Freedom, sign up to my Free 7 Day Fast Track Financial Freedom course - it breaks the whole process down step-by-step so you can go at your own pace. Just enter your name and email in the box below.