For years it was my mantra. “I can’t do that, I’m broke.” If friends wanted me to do things with them, it was assumed they’d pay. I tracked every penny to make sure I had enough money to pay my bills at the beginning of the month. I always did, and yet, I insisted on repeating it: “I’m broke.”
But I wasn’t broke. If I were truly broke, why did I have an apartment? A car? GAS for that car? Food? A computer? Games to play on the computer? A TV? DVDs to watch on the TV?
I wasn’t broke. I was choosing where to put my money.
I didn’t see it that way, though. Money was tight. I had to be careful. I spent so much time worrying about money that I didn’t see how much I really had.
Then, one day (after yoga, incidentally), I had an epiphany. If I keep telling myself I’m broke, how am I ever going to get un-broke?
Worrying about money I don’t have is a waste of worry. If there’s nothing to be done about it, the best thing for my sanity would be to just let it go. I can’t tell you how many miracles have occurred when I give myself permission to not worry about money.
One time, I was fretting about how I would cover the cost of something. I realized there was nothing I could do about it immediately, so I gave myself permission to let go of the worry. Later that day, I got a phone call from a former employer telling me they had an un-cashed payroll check in the system from two years prior, made out to me, for $200, and did I want it?
I never could have predicted that could happen, but the point is, every time I’ve ever let the worry go, something happened (usually un-planned or unexpected) that got me out of whatever pickle I’d been worrying about.
Not worrying is one thing. Breaking out of the lie of “I’m broke” is another. For me, forcing myself out of the habit of saying those two words has been the next step in truly letting go. It seemed contradictory at first, so I needed a new mantra to re-program myself. I can’t remember where I read it, but a blogger suggested that instead of saying “I can’t afford that, I’m broke,” replace it with, “I’m choosing to spend my money elsewhere.”
That takes care of two problems: 1) The implication of lack disappears. It’s not that you don’t have money, you do. 2) Lack of control disappears. It’s no longer a situation out of your hands, you are making an active choice. Money, and how you spend it, is a choice like anything else. Constantly giving your perceived “brokeness” the upper hand is willingly foregoing that choice.
Next time you’re feeling “broke”, try and reverse the feeling. Look around you. What do you have? Do you have clothes on your back? A roof over your head? Food in your belly? Can you read these words? That means you have a computer or a smart phone, and Internet access. How broke can you possibly be if you can log on? The truth is, your life is abundant! Try making a list of all the things you have. You probably have more than you even realize.
I started actively changing my thoughts on this at the beginning of the year, and I feel that I’ve successfully broken the “broke” mantra. Now, hearing someone else say it grates against me, like sandpaper on my skin. It sounds like a lie. Stop feeding into the lie. Give yourself permission to feel abundant! Give yourself permission to not worry about money! Change your mantra. The money always comes. Trust that it will, and it will.