“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy.” ~Proverb
The back to school rush is on! It has been a few years since I had to get Belinda back to school but I still remember the struggles. I was a single mom who struggled to make ends meet.
Are your kids going back to school? Have you just lost your job? Have you left a job to start your own business? Or are you unemployed and receiving assistance.
Think about YOUR bad money situation. The time when you had to carefully watch your spending. You weren’t able to afford simple luxuries like McDonald’s or a Starbucks coffee. You worried about how to make ends meet. Maybe you have a dream that you thought was impossible. The kind that scares you to the core, makes your palms sweat, and your heart beat faster? Yep, that’s the one.
I have been there, done that and still sometimes manage to live paycheck to paycheck. The reality is that we need to look at those times as blessings with LOTS of valuable lessons in them. I know it is hard when you are struggling and you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel BUT believe me there is a light. You just need to focus on the end and enjoy the ride in between EVEN when it is bumpy.
When money was tight, I learned some lessons that I wanted to share with you:
1. You connect with people.
When we lack money, we become more dependent on others. It can be a painful experience, but it can actually help you strengthen your connections. Allowing others to be there in moments of difficulty isn’t always easy (hello, pride). When you share your vulnerability with others, you give them permission to do the same and you make deeper connections. Build stronger relationships.
2. You realize your fears were overblown.
Let’s test your fears. List all of the worst things that could happen if you don’t have enough money (or whatever your fear is). Write them all down in detail. It may look like this:
FEAR told me that I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent, so I’d end up on the street. I’d lose all my friends, I couldn’t afford to go out, so I’m at risk of starvation and potential death.
Has any of that happened? Is it really going to happen? Our minds imagine everything that can go wrong, and builds up our negative expectations. The reality is rarely as bad as we imagine it will be. Most of the scenarios exist in one place only: our imagination.
3. You tap into your inner strength.
When things around you are uncertain and unstable and life isn’t easy, you simply have to tap into your inner strength. The only thing that you can control is YOU! It is inside YOU that you can draw true and lasting strength.
4. You become more grateful.
When was the last time you were grateful for the little things – the ability to go for a walk, watching the sunrise/sunset, or playing in the park with the kids. Maybe you can’t afford material things or things that others take for granted, BUT you are blessed.
Happiness isn’t derived from what we can buy, but from the gratitude and appreciation we gain from our own experiences. Each day is a gift. Good or bad, each day is a blessing.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!