If you’re harboring negative thoughts, you need to understand what they really mean. For example, if you tell yourself “I can’t stop working and start my own business—I have a mortgage and a family to think about,” you might really be saying “I don’t have time, and I’m too tired to learn anything new.”
It’s time to dig deep down and unearth your personal truths. Jot down the negative statements you whisper to yourself and, after some honest soul searching, record the personal truth that lies beneath each:
Sometimes we let negative statements play over and over in our minds like endless mantras. Once you know the truth beneath your negative statements, talk back to them. Start an argument with yourself! Think of ways to counter each one.
If you’re having trouble identifying what’s holding you back, keep a daily journal. Once your negative ways of thinking become clear, then repeat this exercise. Don’t let buried thoughts sap your energy and motivation. Unearth them, and free yourself to move forward.
Nurture Your Better Self
Now that you’ve removed the mines blocking your path, consider the positive traits that will propel you forward on your quest for financial freedom. Here are some strengths that are common to people who succeed in business and investing:
- Vision—the ability to see what others do not see
- Courage—the ability to act despite fear
- Creativity—the ability to think outside the box
- Self-confidence—the ability to withstand criticism
- Self-control—the ability to delay gratification
Look at people around you who demonstrate these strengths. Try to emulate them. And don’t forget to look within. Are there areas in your life where you’ve exhibited such traits? Nurture them and allow them to spread into your financial life.
Prepare for Opportunity
So far, you’ve been focusing on internal things that you have the power to change. What happens when your internal self meets the external world over which you have so little control? In truth, you have more control over that world than you think. It has been said that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparedness.
Imagine two men walking down the street on a windy day. A piece of paper blows along the sidewalk in front of one man, then the other. The first man ignores the litter, keeping his eyes on the block up ahead; the second man peers at the scrap, realizes it’s a twenty dollar bill, and picks it up. Is that person luckier? No. The same opportunity crossed the path of both men, but only one of them was prepared to take action.
When it comes to financial matters, it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open—and to know where you are. Only then will you spot opportunity when it crosses your path.