In the past, I was very conscious and controlled about how I spent my money.
Initially, for the first few days, I enjoyed the feeling of living a simple, minimalistic lifestyle. I felt proud of my disciplined frugality. However, after a while, I found that this initial contentment evolved into frustration and guilt.
Within a few weeks of spending minimal amounts of money, I would finally spend my money on a few things to treat myself. But instead of feeling joy and bliss from this experience, I would feel guilt.
Does this sound familiar? Today, I will be writing about the topic of how I released my negative thoughts around money. It is still something that I am working on today, but this is a glimpse of my first steps on this journey.
By "trying" to live simply, by "trying" to live a minimalist lifestyle, I was "trying" to control the situation so that I could get closer to this ideal of who I wanted to be. In the end, I found myself moving through my day with such discipline and control that it depleted my joy. It prevented me from fully living in the moment.
In hindsight, living simply isn't about controlling things in every situation. It is about living with intention and experiencing the moment. By releasing our hold on what we want things to be, we are able to redefine this notion of perfection, so that it is aligned with where we are at in each moment.
Feeling Guilty and Undeserving
The majority of the things I bought were not impulse purchases, but the guilt I felt from spending my money was always present. And, whenever I became aware that I was having too much fun shopping, I would tell myself to stop.
The negative self-talk in my head was telling me that I didn't deserve this.
Knowing that we deserve to receive more is so powerfully expansive, yet it is something that we often deprive ourselves of.
I needed to realise that there wasn't anything wrong with spending money on things or experiences that would bring me joy.
Filling A Void
On the other end of the spectrum, we also need to ask ourselves whether we are merely purchasing on impulse, to make ourselves feel better in the moment.
Is the purchase just filling up a void or providing momentary relief for something else. Sit with your thoughts for few minutes and ask yourself what you really need in this moment. If you find that you are desperately seeking material things just because you want to feel different in the moment, ask yourself whether you really need to buy it.
For a long time, I was always so conscious of how much I had versus someone else. I measured my worth by the amount of money I had to spend and the amount of money I earned. I hold onto the money I had out of fear of losing it (hence feeling guilty when I did spend money). And whenever I got something for free or scored a discount, I would secretly congratulate myself for "winning" against the system.
In order to overcome my lack mentality, I found that the simple act of giving was the key to unlocking this for me.
Each time I felt constricted by the thought that I didn't have enough, I would give something of value away. It could be as simple as buying someone a cup of coffee or doing someone a favour. This helped me redefine the value I put on money on my self-worth.
This has definitely been a topic that I have struggled with for a long time. But nowadays, I feel like I am a little further along on this journey.
I no longer feel guilty constantly about spending money on things I know I deserve. And I no longer hold on to money feeling like I need to control it. Instead, I simply live, trusting that the decisions I make with how I spend my money and how it comes into my life will be right for me.
It's actually so liberating and expansive to be in this space, feeling like it no longer has a hold over me.