A natural part of a forest ecosystem is the forest fire. Deadwood and brush accumulate on the forest floor which can stunt the growth of the rest of the forest. Fire clears the forest of the deadwood and brush, returns the nutrients to the soil, and allows the forest to reach its full potential. We collect financial deadwood through the misguided ideas and stories we tell ourselves about wealth building and financial success. Financial deadwood hinders your financial growth. Once you let go of these ideas though, the best of you and your wealth building potential can thrive.
So let’s take a look at the financial deadwood ideas that we often allow to accumulate.
Common Financial Deadwood
I won’t ever be able to retire.
This story removes the responsibility of planning for retirement. If you don’t aim for it, then you can’t be held accountable when you miss it. I get it. Retirement planning is overwhelming. It is a burden that must be shouldered if you ever want to achieve financial freedom.
Wealthy people inherited their wealth.
This story, once again, is used to abdicate responsibility. If you believe that you can’t achieve wealth because your family isn’t going to be passing you on any, then you’re right. But only because you aren’t taking the actions to build it yourself. Dr. Tom Stanley proved this as a myth in his book The Millionaire Next Door. 80% of millionaires are first generation—that could be you.
I don’t earn enough income to build wealth.
Earning a high income does not equal wealth. Just ask any of the former professional athletes that end up going broke. Does earning a good income make it easier—yes—but it still takes disciplined action over years to reach financial freedom. It doesn’t matter how much you make, what matters is the actions you take. So create a plan to pay down your debts and start consistently saving. Multiply good behavior by a long period of time and you’ll end up with a pile of money to enjoy in retirement.
Learn to reframe your stories.
Taking responsibility for your financial future is a heavy burden to bear. But so is being broke and unsure of how you’ll survive in retirement. Don’t allow the deadwood you carry around to keep you from building wealth and finding financial freedom. Take note of the times you start to tell yourself a negative story about how you handle your finances and reframe it to find the positive.
Negative Story: I am never going to be able to retire.
Reframed Positively: I am not taking the appropriate actions to meet my retirement goal right now so I have lots of room for improvement.
Start telling yourself the types of stories that move you towards the ultimate good and you will begin to take responsibility for your well-being. This pertains to your family, your finances, your fitness; almost everything. Allow the best of you to grow into its potential by removing the resentful ideas you have let hang around for too long.
So let your financial deadwood burn and take responsibility for your financial freedom and if you need an accountability partner, Forward Focus Financial Planning is here to help.
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