Friday, July 19, 2013

What Holds You Back?

I have been a long time teacher and practitioner of yoga.  In yoga the term Samskara is defined as generalized patterns as well as individual impressions, ideas or actions.  Repeating the actions mentally, emotionally and physically reinforces them, creating a “groove” so to speak that is difficult to change.  Think of the groove running water creates through a landscape.  It can take the power of an earthquake to change its course. 

Samskaras, or patterns can be both good and bad.  What does this have to do with you and your money?

There are many deeply embedded habits developed around issues with money that can be difficult to change.  Believing that you deserve to go out and spend everything you earn without saving for your future, spending money you don’t have, and charging on a credit card to “feel better” are examples of money “Samskaras.”  Not spending or hoarding money, chastising a partner or monitoring every penny spent by your partner, “just because,” is another destructive behavior that can put a great strain on a relationship. 

The first step to changing destructive habits or creating new ones is recognition.  Any behavior around money that you’re either ashamed of later or that causes major problems in your relationship is worth exploring and making an effort to change.

What you believe becomes your reality.  This conclusion has been found in multiple psychological studies performed on the topic.  If you believe you deserve to spend money you can’t afford to spend or that you don’t have enough money to save for your future, you will continue to create a future that may cause regret.  Mahatma Gandhi said “a man is but a product of his thoughts – what he thinks…he becomes.”

If you recognize any negative or destructive behavior, commit to change. Discuss and make a plan with your partner, seek outside advice – do whatever it takes.  You can change these patterns and create a new positive future. Start the discussion today.

”The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”

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