Which comes first: Confidence or Cash?

A picture of a wallet.
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Do you believe you’d be a more confident person if you had a million dollars? Have you ever had so much money in your wallet that it’s scared you? It takes a surprising amount of confidence to hold higher amounts of cash than you’re used to, as I discovered when one of the ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad‘ groups I was in challenged us to leave $200 in our wallets as ‘just in case’ money. That was 4 times more than I was used to carrying (at most) back then.

Now, of course, I wouldn’t find that hard at all – except the part about not spending it. I’ve grown, am earning more, and my confidence levels around cash are higher.  Of course, you’re thinking: as you earn more, your confidence grows, but that’s not necessarily true.  I did it in the reverse order.  I built my confidence first, and the cash flowed in afterwards.

It’s a suspicion of mine that this may be part of why so many lotto winners end up back where they started – the new expanded bank balance doesn’t mean a thing unless the mindset follows suit.  Someone with more money than they find comfortable WILL self-sabotage and find ways – without even thinking about it – to get back to their comfort zone.  I’ve seen it time and time again, in business, among colleagues and yes, in lotto winners.  They don’t even realise what’s happening, until they find themselves back where they were and that little niggling discomfort goes away.  So while the cash can come first, the confidence doesn’t necessarily grow to meet it.  Not unless you work on it.

Changing your mindset, though, seems to work differently – it’s almost inevitable that the end result is the bank balance comes too.  It’s especially important for bigger jumps outside your comfort zone.  Three times now I’ve doubled my salary, or come close, by spending time working on the level  of my self esteem and confidence.  I changed what I believed I was worth, and somehow reality changed to match.  For honesty’s sake I should note that each time I did this, I set the target higher than I eventually achieved – up to 3 times what I was currently earning – but I suspect that somewhere there’s a little belief telling me that you never earn the full amount of what you’re worth, and I was quite happy with the jumps in income I got.  I chose to accept them even though they FELT like less than I could potentially go for – until the next time I did the experiment and jumped level again.

Have you ever found yourself outside your comfort zone with cash?  What did you do?

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