Many people see the turn of a new year as a time to make resolutions, whether it's about money or other aspects of their lives. Resolutions are one thing, but popular podcast host and author Suze Orman recently tweeted that if you don't believe you're worthy of wealth, you won't achieve it.
"If you don't feel worthy of financial independence, then the money you are meant to have will be blocked from coming to you because your thoughts, words, and actions will be communicating to the world that you are not deserving of it," she posted. "Don't forget that you are worthy of wealth."
What does it mean to be worthy -- or not worthy -- of wealth?
Self worth impacts many areas of our lives, from our relationships to our work and financial situations. For example, if you don't feel worthy, you may not apply for a promotion you're more than qualified to get. You might have trouble asking for a pay raise, even if you deserve one.
More widely, there are a few ways people who don't believe in themselves may spend cash that could otherwise be used to strengthen their finances. Perhaps they agree to loan money to a friend, even if they're not comfortable with the situation. They might always be the one who picks up the tab or buys rounds of drinks. Or the one to buy the latest fashion or electronics to keep up with their friends.
On the other hand, feeling worthy of wealth can help you to invest for your future. Sometimes building wealth can involve difficult decisions -- and those can take confidence. For example, putting aside money for an emergency fund or your retirement might mean saying no to various other pulls on your wallet. If you need to pay down debt, it will be a lot easier if you believe you can do it.
Is she right?
What's troubling about Suze Orman's message is that it implies you're somehow blocking money from coming your way, and the answer is to change your mindset. It sounds good on social media, but the reality is that there are plenty of people with low self worth who've been able to build solid financial situations for themselves -- as well as over-confident people who struggle financially.
Emotions do play a huge role in how we manage our money, but developing confidence and self worth is neither easy nor will it solve all your problems. There's no one-size-fits-all way to manage your finances and there are many obstacles that can stop people from creating financial security.
Sure, feeling worthy feeds into it. It's hard to buy stocks or build an emergency fund if you don't think you deserve a solid financial future. But a more pertinent question is your ability to earn and save. This is where the gap between your income and spending comes in. The bigger that gap, the more money you have to build wealth and financial independence.
Start by looking at your income versus your spending and try to understand exactly where your money is going. Look for areas where you might be able to cut back, such as subscription services and other non-essential spending. Perhaps most of your paycheck goes on essentials like food, utilities, and rent. If that's the case, what steps can you take to increase your income? Consider why you spend money -- if it's because you don't feel worthy, how can you begin to change those triggers?
Ultimately, self worth isn't going to help much if you're earning minimum wage and don't have enough to cover the essentials. If you are living paycheck to paycheck and have no reserves in your savings account, it's hard to believe that you can change your situation. You can. Other people have broken out of that cycle. As with many things in life, start by making a plan. This might involve accessing free career counseling or additional training. It might mean making short-term sacrifices so you can build up your reserves.
If you struggle to feel worthy, it can impact all areas of your life, including your finances. One study a few years ago found that 85% of Americans struggle with low self worth, so you're not alone. The good news? You don't have to magically build your self-esteem to be able to improve your finances.
Instead, try to focus on the practical steps you can take -- such as making a budget and planning for the future. Set yourself small, achievable goals, and celebrate your achievements. You never know, you may even find your financial confidence improves as you make confidence on that journey.
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