‘There are two kinds of money: Happy Money and Unhappy Money,’ writes self-help guru Ken Honda in his book Happy Money. ‘Happy Money is the kind that a ten-year-old boy uses to buy flowers for his mom on Mother’s Day. Happy Money is when parents gladly pinch pennies in order to save a few extra dollars each week to be able to send their kids to soccer camp or take piano lessons. There are so many ways regular old money can become Happy Money.’
In Happy Money, Honda offers a Zen path to financial security and happiness. Critical to achieving this is rethinking our own attitudes towards money – shifting our beliefs about money that have been shaped throughout our lives. The book is packed with tips to help us break through the fear and anxiety we have about money, to develop pathways towards prosperity and peace. In the passage below, Honda introduces five emotional blocks to financial success.
So how do we move past our limiting behaviors and beliefs around money? Is there a way to overcome our current status? I think there is, but it requires a bit more understanding of our current blocks that keep us from fully entering the present and being aligned with the abundance that is available to us. Here are some common blocks we all face:
Usually the most readily understood negative emotion is described as anxiety. Anxiety is the discomfort and uneasiness experienced when taking or planning to take an action.
There are two important things at work when it comes to anxiety. The first is a sense of discomfort when standing at the precipice of starting something new. Even though the feeling manifests as a negative emotion, it is also an indication that change is near.
The second thing is that this discomfort can and often does bring up other negative emotions that were more deeply hidden. Anxiety is one of the easiest emotions to be aware of. As we search for the reasons we are anxious, we discover feelings we might have been ignoring. Anxiety is often a sign that we need to pay more attention to our emotional state.
So many of us fear change. We fear losing friendships and love, and we fear loss itself. For this reason we put considerable effort into managing our risk of loss.
Optimistic people fear the idea of feeling fear. If they are seized by fear, they get the overwhelming sense that everything is going to fall apart, and they are naturally averse to thinking about anything that brings about such emotions. But running from fear is not the way to defeat it; only by meeting it head-on can we begin to have control over fear.
When we set out to do something new, an accompanying feeling that we might not be able to handle what is to come is not uncommon. This is doubt. The voice of doubt can also come to us from others. A friend or family member might imply a comparison with ourselves and someone else, causing us to feel uncertain about who we are. With a little extra introspection, we can see that regardless of what seems to be the cause of doubt, it comes from within ourselves.
Doubt is what holds us back from entering a new world. When someone is against us or criticizes us, it is a chance to discover the doubts that we hold within ourselves and come face-to-face with them.
There is a certain type of person who needs everyone around them to agree with them. This is because they feel guilty about leaving anyone out. When we feel guilt, it feels like we have done something wrong. But if we get the approval and agreement of others, then the negative feelings of guilt can be avoided. Yet the disapproval of one person can outweigh the approval of ten others. It is a feeling that can paralyze one’s personal progress.
5. (Self-) Neglect
The last emotion on the spectrum of negative feelings is lack of self-worth or self-esteem. Without self-esteem, a happy and wealthy life is not possible. Even if happiness and wealth were to fall in one’s lap, a lack of self-worth will prevent one from ever truly receiving or experiencing it.
Resolving our negative feelings about ourselves – and money – is the key to opening ourselves to all sorts of possibilities. When we operate in a state of anxiety, fear, doubt, guilt, or self-neglect, we are literally blocking the flow of energy and good fortune in our lives. If our eyes are focused on all that can go wrong, we can’t possibly see the opportunities waiting for us. When we succumb to self-doubt and are down on ourselves, it’s impossible to put ourselves out there and achieve great heights.
The sooner you realize that the only thing limiting you is… well, you, by your negative thinking, the more quickly you can move into a place where you can increase your Money IQ and EQ and your overall sense of peace, prosperity, and abundance.