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3 Steps to Financial Gratitude in Your Life

When I mention the topic of financial gratitude to people, sometimes I get the blank stare like “Huh? What the heck is that?”

To me, financial gratitude is when you’re grateful for the resources that you already have, instead of always focusing on what you don’t have. If you’re always focused on what you don’t have, you’re focusing on the negative instead of being appreciative of what you already do have.

Let me offer an example. If a loved one heard you complaining about what you didn’t get for Christmas when they just gave you a beautiful scarf that they took time to pick out specifically just for you, how do you think they would feel about getting you something next year? Probably not very good, right? They might not put much effort into it next year. It works like this in a universal sense as well – if you focus on what you’re not getting, you’re sending out bad energy and you block positive things from showing up in your life.

I’m going to get real here for a minute about my own life. One year ago I took the brave step to open my own business, and let me tell you building a business is challenging sometimes. There’s no guaranteed paycheck, and I’ve been investing in myself and my business heavily. I have less money in my accounts now than when I started, and I have some additional debt now too from some business investments that I’ve made. Yet despite the decrease in my financial net worth, my personal self worth has increased exponentially and I’m grateful to know I’m on the right path and living my purpose. I choose each and every day to focus on the many resources I do have. I have supportive family, friends, colleagues, and a life that I love – can you ask for much more than that really?

At this point, you may be saying “Well Beth, how do you find financial gratitude, especially during the challenging moments?” I’m glad that you asked.

Step #1 – Reflect more on what’s working, and less on what’s not working!

When was the last time you complained about something? I know several years ago that I complained….sadly I did it a LOT. I was miserable at work and in my life, and I whined to others about it. My friends were unhappy too – it was like a big old complaint-fest and we fed off each other’s energy about how crappy we felt (yuck). And if I’m being really raw here, I was jealous of other people who were happy. (Sorry, it’s ugly but it’s true.)

Then I learned to focus more on what was working and the resources that I did have instead of whining and complaining. Slowly but surely I felt a shift start to happen…more good things and good people showed up in my life.

Try for yourself and schedule some time to reflect on what’s working. If you’re having trouble with getting the complaining under control, check out this great resource I learned about a few years ago – http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/.

Step #2 – Write down what’s working

Once you’ve found some positive resources in your life, it’s time to write them down (i.e. journal, gratitude jar, etc.). Because when we’re trying to shift our habits, sometimes we forget the positive things in the harder moments. Shifting takes time, so it’s always good to have something written down to refer back to when you’re struggling and having a tough day.

Step #3 – ASK for what you need

During Step #1, inevitably things that you need and don’t yet have will come up. We can’t help it, we’re human.

Select one item from the list of what you need to ask for help with. What specifically do you need help with (details are important)? Who can help you? How will you ask for help?

Don’t be afraid to simply ask. It’s an often forgotten art form, especially for us women. Be brave and ask as you may just be surprised how positively others respond to your request. When the resource that you need appears, you can be grateful for it and reflect on what you have (and thus, the circle begins again).

3 simple steps to begin building financial gratitude in your own life – it’s that simple to get started. And for a bonus step (because some of you are over-achievers like me), if you want to take it up a notch you can ask the loved ones in your life how you can help them. You may just spark something in them to help spread a ripple effect of financial gratitude!

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Kicking Financial Clutter to the Curb

Every year when we turn the page of the calendar for the New Year to start I am struck with an overwhelming “urge to purge” any clutter in my life and organize.  I’m happy to say that I’ve already tackled my closet and also some of my kitchen drawers (where I found about 1,000 random pens, pencils and paper clips strewn about amongst other random things!).

But what about financial clutter? How do you start to de-clutter your financial life?

Simply decide to start somewhere.  Yup, that’s it – just decide and start doing things little bit by little bit.

Here are a few questions that I ask my clients to help them start to decrease the amount of financial clutter in their lives:

Do you have financial clutter in your mind?

Financial clutter isn’t just stuff that you can physically see.  It can also show up in how you think about money.  When it comes to money, what does your energy feel like? Is it full of upset, resentment, anger, guilt, fear or tightness or is it full of happiness, gratitude, positivity and abundance?  Most people I meet live a life where their energy and attitudes about money aren’t all that helpful (i.e. guilt, fear, etc.) instead of living a life where they have more positive attitudes about money.  The Law of Attraction essentially says that you’ll attract more of whatever you’re currently feeling – so if you’re feeling negatively about money you’ll get more of that and if you’re feeling positively about money you’ll get more of that.  Which would you rather feel right now? Decide to think (and act) positively regarding money and you’ll likely see improvements in your financial life pretty quickly.

Do you have financial clutter in your day-to-day living?

Day-to-day financial clutter takes many forms such as bills and receipt clutter, loose money or change, or my personal favorite “Ugly Wallet Syndrome.”  You know, where you can barely close your wallet there’s so much jammed in it?!?  If you’ve got financial receipts and change all over the place, how much respect are you showing your money?  Pick yourself up a clean new wallet or a small zip-top bag to keep your receipts organized, and you’re well on your way to cutting through this type of clutter.

Do you have financial clutter in your personal relationships?

Ask yourself, does anyone owe you money that you haven’t followed up on in a while?  Do you have any uncomfortable situations regarding someone else around money (hint: most people do)?  Many people are afraid to confront financial situations such as this because it has the potential to create conflict with loved ones.  However, if you don’t take the step to empower yourself and be proactive, you’re potentially sending the message that money doesn’t matter to you (even if it does).

These 3 areas of financial clutter are a great place to begin to determine where financial clutter might be holding you back.  With a few simple questions you can start kicking your financial clutter to the curb one step at a time.  As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day and clearing financial clutter takes time too!

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Welcome to Financially Authentic!

Hello, and welcome to the world of Financially Authentic!  I’m so glad that you’re here, and I’m really looking forward to sharing more about myself and my views on making finances friendly and fun (and quite frankly, less scary).  Too many people are living paycheck to paycheck (approximately 70 %!!) and people are suffering silently because people are too embarrassed to say they need help with their money (seriously, people would rather talk about politics, religion or sex….but ask them to talk about their money and it’s like you just uttered the newest five-letter swear word…..M-O-N-E-Y).  My stance is that people shouldn’t be embarrassed because unless I missed a class somewhere, we were never formally taught how to manage our money, were we?  I was very lucky to have parents that had been taught how money worked and they then taught me and my sister how to manage our own money.

So basically I’ve had enough with people being in financial pain – it’s time for me to get to helping people move from being financially stressed to financially successful!  You can check out the other pages on this site to learn more about me, my background, and my approach in working with women and couples to transition them out of financial overwhelm on to the path of financial independence.  I’m walking this same path of financial independence along with all of my clients, with the ultimate goal of increasing the amount of financial peace I have in my life so that I can ultimately be part of the solution to the financial crisis going on in our world.  I’m here to serve you and others that need my skills to solve your financial “puzzles.”

Some of you may be wondering why I named my company “Financially Authentic,” so let me answer that for you.  My company name was very purposefully chosen, and it is very personal to me.  I think that the “Financially” piece of the name is obvious, so I won’t elaborate much there 😉 however the “Authentic” piece might not be so obvious.  To make a long story short, I’ve spent countless hours in the last 3-4 years trying to find out who I wanted to be in the world and what I was really here to do.  Essentially, it was a journey to come back and find my “authentic” self, if you will…..and man, what an unbelievably transformational journey it was.  With respect to my clients, I see so many of them trying to keep up with the Joneses next door instead of consciously deciding for themselves what they want their lives to be like.  A quick newsflash for everyone – the Joneses are often my clients, and they’re not very happy so why are we trying to keep up with them?!?!?!?  Craziness!  In my humble opinion, it’s time for all of us (myself included) to take the time to understand what we truly want in our lives, and then use our financial resources as an opportunity to underwrite the life we want….both now and in the future.

When I work with my clients I want to help them learn how to make proactive and powerful financial decisions to support their desired lifestyle, even if their desired lifestyle requires some temporary adjustments to get things under control financially.  Let’s purposefully shift the financial dynamic that’s keeping people awake at night because they’re spending more than they make or they can’t figure out how to tackle their debt….it’s time to start a revolution of people who are financially powerful!

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