At a time when our nation is feeling the burden of financial crisis, it may seem ludicrous to talk about pursuing prosperity. What’s the point when it’s a struggle just to make ends meet? But prosperity amounts to so much more than a paycheck. By definition, it is a state of flourishing. And what you might not know is that a woman’s money mindset resonates through her life in profound ways, deeply affecting her self esteem, her relationships and, ultimately, her health. That’s why it’s the perfect time, right now, to work on shifting your perspective from “poor me” to limitless possibility.
Were You Taught to Prosper?
A woman’s financial literacy (her money management know-how) is shaped by her upbringing. If her parents’ finances were handled competently and with a sense of security, then she likely has a good sense of how to manage her own money as well as an innate faith in her capability to seek out all that life offers.
But all too often, girls are brought up in households where money is a source of stress. Maybe there never seemed to be enough, or perhaps poverty was equated with piety. Today, many girls are still inundated with the archaic notion that they must marry into money! Whatever the case, women can grow up with feelings of fear, disdain or hopelessness in terms of their financial abilities, perpetuating cycles of poverty. The great news is that even if you were raised without a solid foundation in financial literacy, you can build your own, starting today.
At the heart of your money mindset, you’ll find the spring from which your dreams and aspirations flow. This is not to say that money is the driving force behind your dreams, but that the way in which you regard money is intertwined with your propensity to hope and feel worthy of fruitful experiences. Obviously, changing a lifelong belief system isn’t going to happen overnight, but practicing a few basic prosperity-building techniques can actually begin to pay off in every aspect of your life. Here are four fundamental steps toward creating a solid base from which you will be prepared to launch your wildest ambitions:
1. Commit to Keeping Track
Keeping tabs on your cash flow is critical to keeping your head above water. If you don’t know how much you’re spending, it’s too easy to dive into debt. Use a computer spreadsheet or a handwritten notebook to keep track of every penny you make. Seeing your spending habits on paper will illuminate expenditures that you can revise. Even if your income is barely enough to pay the bills, you’re almost certainly spending in ways that don’t help you achieve long-term prosperity.
2. Dare to Dream
No matter how grounded you are, allow yourself to dream. What are your innermost passions? As a child, what did you hope to become? Is there a business venture or hobby that has gone unfulfilled? Dreaming and its inherent possibility are the stuff prosperity is made of. So often, it matters more what you believe you can achieve than what you actually have within your grasp. The trick to dreaming your way to prosperity is not sitting around wishing to win the lottery. Take action by delving into your soul and identifying the direction that you want your life to go.
3. Start Moving
In order to give momentum to your aspirations, take a moment each day to work toward your goal. Jot down plans, read a how-to guide, research on the Internet, and determine the costs of getting started. Don’t be intimidated by pairing dollar signs with your dreams. Few people have the kind of cash needed to achieve success in one fell swoop. But as soon as you start to pencil out solid steps, you’ll find that you can allot resources bit by bit as you go.
4. Give a Little, Get a Lot
Of all the ways to achieve a more prosperous lifestyle, giving may be the most underrated and also one of the most valuable. Particularly when times are tight, people tend to hold onto money with an iron grip, but this habit has a way of freezing chances of future success. If you let nothing go, then how can you open your arms to receive new blessings?
Donating even a small amount to a cherished cause can create magic. The satisfaction of generosity alone will open your heart to possibility. Dr. Christiane Northrup, renowned for her work to empower wellness in women, recommends tithing 10 percent of your income. If you can’t give that much, give what you can. “I have learned to give financial gifts when I am worried about money,” she writes. “Though it’s scary, it always starts the flow in my direction once again.”
Copyright 2011, MaryJane Butters.
Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.