I am no stranger to my money "being funny," being "broke as a joke," and struggling to survive until my next paycheck.
I have been through it all: the negative checking account, having to beg for some money to eat, losing my entire retirement savings, trying to pay rent with no income, which had me almost homeless, and creditors trying to bust down my door every chance they got.
There I was in a new city, feeling the crappiest I've ever felt about myself. I had hit a rock bottom that shook my core forever (both good and bad). My financial situation had me believing that I was worth nothing; my self-esteem and confidence were at an all-time low. It impacted me so much that I had to go seek professional help and talk to a therapist, only to be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. All I did during that time was eat, sleep, and cry.
Looking back on that time, I've realized how my self-worth and the way I viewed myself had a direct impact on the way that I managed my coins (as well as income potential). Because I was so down, I had no desire to take control of my finances and ultimately, I allowed things to spiral out of control. I was ducking and dodging phone calls from bill collectors, scared to open my mail, and just in complete denial about the state I was in.
I was a MESS. The messiest of messes, if you ask me.
The way that we manage our money, as well as how much we make, can be directly tied to how we view and value ourselves.
Your self-worth plays a major role in your financial wellness; your thoughts, feelings, and emotions dictate how you behave with money whether positive or negative. Those individuals who think highly of themselves usually have no problem going out there and securing the bag because they know how to capitalize on opportunities. It's inevitable for them to be successful because they believe in themselves to make it happen.
When you struggle with low self-esteem, it's hard to believe in your abilities to obtain financial success.
That stinkin' thinkin' creeps in and shuts everything down! The reality here is this: the more you see yourself as worthy and really value yourself, then the more you'll be able to manage your coins with ease and turn your financial situation around. Things turned around for me once I gained clarity and changed the way that I thought about myself and money…
My poor spending habits changed.
I stopped living paycheck to paycheck.
I started saving.
I made wiser decisions.
My life literally changed forever as a result of a simple mindset shift. Here's a few ways that I personally built my self-esteem and started valuing myself more so that I could become a better steward over my finances. You have the power to do it too.
Get to know yourself.
Do you have a good sense of self awareness? When you have a better understanding of yourself, you are empowered to make those necessary changes that you desire, as well as build on your strengths. You have to understand that your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors have an impact on your quality of life. Take some time to understand what your needs and desires are, your habits, and everything else that makes you tick. Journaling is a good tool for this!
Write a list of good things about yourself daily.
Each day, you should be taking out a few moments to reflect on the positive in your life. This list can be anything from a recent achievement, something you admire about yourself, or anything else that you've noticed about yourself. You should be looking back on these lists often, especially when you're not feeling the greatest.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
I've been guilty of this, but what I've come to realize is that I am who I am for a reason, and my journey is mine and mine alone. If you often compare yourself to others, it'll have you feeling less than. We're all great at something; determine what your strengths are and stop focusing on what Keisha and them on Instagram are doing.
Make sure your support system is on fleek.
Nothing will keep you down more than hanging out with a group of old negative Nancys. Some people fail to realize how much of an impact our close family and friends have on us personally. You need to surround yourself with people that speak positively and uplift and encourage you. Only hang out with those that give off positive vibes!
Redefine failure and stop aiming for perfection.
Setbacks, obstacles, and failures along the way are bound to happen. You have to be able to acknowledge these failures, learn from them, and keep moving forward. You can't let these setbacks cripple you. No one is perfect, so stop making yourself sick trying to reach this certain level that you never will.
More positive thoughts and self-talk.
There is great power in the tongue. We can speak life or death over our lives. Those negative thoughts and self-talk will have you believing in something that's not true. These things hold you back because you are placing limitations on what you can be and your abilities. You have to challenge these thoughts when they pop up into your head. Each morning when you wake up, say at least one positive thing about yourself. You'll be able to make this a habit over time, which will decrease those negative thoughts that you have.
Focus on those things that you can change and accept those that you can't.
If there are some things that you don't like about yourself that you have control over changing, put your energy into making those changes happen. It's pointless for you to continually dwell on those things that you can't change.
It's important that you take out the time to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they are. Don't wait for anyone to validate you; you validate yourself! You should be doing taking out the time to do this at least once a month. Do something that you enjoy. Treat yourself to that slice of cheesecake. Take yourself out.
It's going to truly be hard to get your finances in order if you don't take the time to love and value yourself more. The beauty of it all is this: making a decision to take back control over your life and remembering that you can determine the quality of it is the easy part.
Once you make up your mind, you'll be unstoppable.