NOTE: This is a guest post from Glen Allsopp. I have never accepted guest posts on Upgradereality and Glen had the same policy on his blog, but he made an exception for me once, so I am returning the favor. (and because Glen is a great writer).
Did you know that most lottery winners end up in back in the same financial situation within a few years of their win? There are a few reasons for this such as spending money carelessly and not knowing how to deal with such big change, but there’s another reason for this surprising fact that I want to talk about today.
Based on our upbringing, our environment, and the people we spend time with, many of us have an idea of what we can expect to get out of life and the types of achievements we can make. As these things can and do have a huge influence on us, they unconsciously stop us from advancing past this conditioning.
Whenever we come into a large sum of money, there’s a good chance that we’ll spend it on the things we need or want. That’s not inherently a bad thing. However, wants and needs are not the only reasons. There’s a good chance that the conditioning of your past and those around you makes you believe that you aren’t “supposed” to have such wealth, so you spend it on things in order to go back to normal and return to your comfort zone.
It’s not just the area of money where this happens. Think about times where you may have been on the verge of success in sports or academics, only for things to unexpectedly go wrong at the last minute. You may even find that despite your gains in the areas of skill and knowledge, you haven’t moved that far up the career ladder in recent years.
Of course, there are times when life genuinely does get in the way and things are out of your control, but if you’re like a lot of people, you may notice your financial situation has been very similar for a number of years, and that can’t just be down to external factors.
The main reason psychologists believe that most lottery winners fall back into their previous wealth levels is because they have an ingrained belief about the value they’re worth, so they unconsciously fall back into their prior life situation. It’s not instant, but it does happen.
Now that you’re aware that you may have ingrained beliefs about your true worth that are holding you back, you can do something about them. This should help you when you finally do win the lottery and help to ensure that you don’t blow all of your cash, but more realistically it should help you climb the corporate ladder, keep more of the money you do make, and help you find limiting beliefs in other areas of your life that may be holding you back.
Become Aware of Your Success Limits
A good way to move past your current success limits is to identify them. As of this moment, you may not be sure whether you actually have any. After all, if I asked if you wanted me to give you a million dollars, I’m sure you would say yes.
I encourage you to think back to your financial situation over the past few years and see if it has remained at a similar level. Sure, there will be ups and downs along the way, but there’s probably a constant where you end up.
Look at how your parents handled money and see if you can see yourself taking similar actions with yours.
How do your friends deal with money? Their actions have a huge influence on where you expect yourself to be financially. Research has shown time and time again that we’re never far from the wealth levels of our closest friends.
Find Logical Reasons to Eliminate Limiting Beliefs
While awareness is the first and perhaps most important step to getting past your success limits, you also need to look at any limiting beliefs you may have about money or other areas of your life. If I did really give you that million dollars, would you feel like you deserve it. Would you feel worthy of having so much wealth?
Why? Why not?
Realise that you’re not cut from a different cloth to the thousands of people that find themselves as new millionaires each year. Read autobiographies and interviews of successful people to find that many of them didn’t come from the greatest background. You’ll also find most rich people are not obnoxious jerks which is a common view many people have, which is also probably holding you back financially.
Follow stories from people who started out with a poor or typical background and worked their way up to financial success. You’ll see that this has enabled them to become more giving in their day to day lives.
Once you’re aware of your success limits which are probably fueled by limiting beliefs then it’s your job to find logical reasons why they don’t deserve to exist, so you can move past them.
Surround Yourself with Successful People
Although a lot of people are happy with their current social circle, you may have to broaden your horizons if you want to take your life situation to the next level. I know this isn’t a very nice thing to read, and it feels a little uncomfortable typing it out, but it’s very true.
To put truth to this statement, consider whether you’re in the same financial league as the people you spend most time with. There’s a good chance that you’re not far from them. Coincidentally, since I’ve started making a lot more money, I’ve found that the people I associate and spend more time with are also very successful in this area of their lives.
I’m not telling you to ditch your social circle, but definitely look to expand your network. It can be hard to see how much influence the people in your life have until you spend time with those who are doing well financially and see that they just “rub off on you”.
I’ve you’ve made it to the end of the post, then I take back what I said in the title. Just donate some of that million to charities for me.
Glen Allsopp recently sold a popular personal development blog and now writes for ViperChill, a site which covers viral marketing and helps people to make money online.