The 9 Steps To Financial Freedom
Managing money is more than balancing checkbooks or picking investments. We all now what we should do with our money but often just don't do it. This is book is the first one I have read that gives us then knowledge of how to handle money and the power to break through the barriers that hold us back.
Suse Orman goes beyond the nets and bolts of managing money to explore the psychological and spiritual power money has in our lives. Before we can get control of our finances, we must get control of our attitudes about money. We must let go of anxieties and create new attitudes to replace the old ones. She says financial freedom has nothing to do with how much you have or how little you have. Balancing your checkbook, moving money around and reading investment journals won't do any good until you get beyond the worry and fear: fear of money, fear of not having enough, fear of having too much, fear of taking action or fear of inaction. True financial freedom doesn't depend on how much money you have. Financial freedom is when you have power over your fears and anxieties instead of fears having power over you. Her nine steps will bring you closer towards gaining financial control of your life, but the first two are key to all else.
Step One: Discover why you can't do the things you know you should do so that you can take action.
Step Two-Four: These are the laws of managing money-the must do's. Trusting yourself more, new ways to think about debt, do you need insurance and how much is enough, wills and trusts; how to invest and what to invest in when you have no idea of what to do and whom to listen to.
Step Five-Seven: These last steps take you beyond the realm of your money; to the wealth that money can't buy.
When it comes to money, freedom start to happen when what you do, think and say are one. You'll never be free if you say you have more than enough then think and act as if you don't; or if you think you don't have enough and then act as if and say you do. You will have enough when you believe you will and take the actions to express that belief.
You will have more than enough when you realize you can be rich at any income because you are more than your money, you are more than your job or title, more than the car you drive or the clothes you wear. Your own power and worth are not judged by what money can sell or what money can buy. True freedom cannot be bought or sold at any price. True freedom, true wealth is that which can never be lost.
Suse says the road to financial freedom begins with your thoughts. Those thoughts stem from our past with money. She suggests we step back in time and connect with our early, formative experiences about money. Our attitudes and fears about money today can usually be traced to incidents in our early years when we first learned about money. These incidents may be long buried in your memory. See what those early memories taught you about who you were and whether they are still telling you who you are today. Write down your memories about money at age 3,12 and 17. Write down every thing about these memories that you can remember. Don't censor anything. As children we are powerless. As adults we claim our power by getting jobs, family, commitments and responsibilities. However, we don't grow up to claim our financial power, until we look money directly in the eye, face our fears and claim that power back. Those memories lead us to feeling of self-doubt, unworthiness, insecurities and fear.
This exercise will help you remove your personal blocks about money and help free you of the taboos that forbid you from even talking about money. Start to make the connection between your memories and your fears. Make sure those fears stay far away. They will try to keep coming back. We have to re-train our minds away from thinks that we can't control money, that we don't deserve to do well, that we don't have enough money now, that we won't have enough tomorrow. Believing, really believing other realities, says Suse, make those other realities true. That we can control money, which we do deserve to do well, that there, will be enough.
How do we replace the old fears and the old realities? We replace the old realities with new thoughts and with new truths. Suse says, "Create your truth with affirmations" and positive statements of what you want your truth to be. Replace the message of fear and inadequacies with the message of endless possibilities. You can do that once you pull the fear out from where you've pushed it away to, face it and use the power of your mind to put it behind you.
Suse Orman, author and lecturer, is a former vice president of investments at Prudential-Bache A certified financial planner and registered investment advisor, she has beaded her own financial planning firm for the past ten years. Ms. Orman has a monthly column in Self magazine.