The other day I had a hard time falling asleep, so I listened to a podcast of the Jillian Michaels show.
Apparently not too long ago, her Malibu home was burglarized while her and her partner were at home with their two kids. I don’t think the guy took too much inside-an expensive handbag and a few other items, but he did drive away and then crash Jillian’s Bentley.
The police wanted her to come to the station to try and identify the man, and Jillian’s partner said she was too scared and angry, but Jillian had a different perspective. She said she wanted to THANK the guy. The reason why, she said, was because he could have done horrible things to them, like hurt them physically, or kidnap the children.
She said she has really tried to always look at things from a positive perspective instead of a negative one, by simply flipping the scenario upside down.
I realize it’s not always easy to be sunshine and roses, but it’s true that so many things in life are about how you look at them. Yes, even your finances.
Too often I view my own situation as a “struggle” or a “battle.” I think I have it harder than my friends, and that somehow I’m not as successful as they are (oh that old comparison thing rearing its ugly head).
So I decided to try the exercise of taking some of my negative thoughts, and flipping it upside down to a new positive perspective.
“Money is always so tight.”
“It’s not what you spend, it’s what you save, and for the first time since you started freelancing, you have taken control of your finances and have stopped the bleeding. You are taking an honest look at where you’re at, and have taken major steps to moving towards saving for an emergency fund and retirement. And even though you’ve gone over every month since you started a budget, at least you have stuck to having a budget. Something most people don’t do.”
“I never get to travel.”
“You live a half a mile from the fricken beach, in a state with some of the best weather in the country! And you are there just about every single day. Yes your friends have gone to some cool places, but it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. There is travel stress, and don’t even get me started on the cost. Maybe some people feel comfortable going into debt to travel, but you don’t. And that is smart.
Listen self, when you finally get the funds to travel, just think how delicious that moment will be when you board that plane to Europe, because you worked really hard and earned it. Until then, take some free French lessons on an Itunes podcast, Merci!”
“My friends can eat out whenever they feel like it.”
“You know what restaurant food has? More calories! That’s right sister, eat it and weep! You’re at home getting creative with meals that are better for you, and you are learning how to stop wasting so much food. BTW, there is some broccoli in the bottom drawer that you better get to soon! You’re welcome.”
“I hate having to be frugal!”
“Don’t you know frugal is the new black (get it?)? You’re learning new skills that a lot of people envy. Remember the other day when you were telling a couple of people about your budget and how you do it? They were incredibly impressed with how financially savvy you are, and they told you how they wished they could be more like you!
You also value things so much more, and think twice about purchasing things you don’t really need. I mean, remember how you used to carelessly spend? Look how far you’ve come! Now change that poopy diaper!”
“I never go out anymore!”
“First of all you’re full of shit. Let me point out again how much time you’re at the beach. How many people can say they can pretty much spend their entire weekend playing beach volleyball every single week if they wanted to? And remember, you kind of hate the typical nightlife anyway.
And look what’s come out of spending more time at home. You’re reading more, learning about personal finance, and developing relationships out of this lil ol blog. You got a new professional website redone as a result of someone you met on this blog (thanks Andrea), and who knows, maybe someday you’ll learn how to develop a self-hosted wordpress blog from the ground up……….hahahahahahahah I’m kidding. Let’s not get carried away.”
“Everyone else seems to be getting jobs. Why can’t I land that perfect job?”
“Need I remind you how the grass is always greener? Ok I will remind you. The grass is always greener…
Just because someone has a full time job, does not make them richer or happier than you.
Also, I know you get down every time you think you missed what seems like a good opportunity, but remember not getting it might be a blessing in disguise. You have to believe that you are destined for something great, and that there are plenty of other jobs out there…better ones just waiting for you.
And just like traveling, think about how amazing it will feel when you land that job. You won’t ever take it for granted, and you will have developed such solid spending and savings skills from the olden days when money was tighter.
So, those are some of the big negatives I find myself facing daily, and some of the ways I can talk to myself and change my perspective on them. It doesn’t HAVE to be “difficult” and a “struggle,” if you just take time to look at things differently.
What are some ways you can look at your own situation that you consider negative, and turn it into a positive?