A road trip to financial freedom

Become a money magnet with these 7 beliefs

By Lizelle Steyn

8 January 2024

“I can’t take that dream offer in publishing because it’s a career that doesn’t pay.”
“I can’t continue dance classes because I need to study financial planning.”
“I can’t move to the country because all the good jobs are in the city.”
“Being affluent doesn’t run in our family.”
“One needs to work yourself to death/sell your soul to become rich.”
“Being rich will turn me into a horrible person.”

I can recall a 1000 instances where my excuses stood in the way of living my best life sooner. Looking back, none of what I told myself needed to be true for me. It was only true because I believed it to be. Whether positive or negative, these scripts in our heads run our lives.

“Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right” - Henry Ford

Fortunately, I caught sight of my whole menagerie of negative money beliefs early enough to change my subconscious programming in time to avert a lifetime of not being happy at work. This doesn’t mean I don’t still have negative scripts left, but slowly over the years they rise from a subconscious to a conscious room in my mind – this makes it easier to start the work to re-write these scripts. Again and again, because a few decades of negative programming rarely is erased in one fell swoop.

Maybe you don’t have the time to reflect, journal, or speak to someone who can astutely call you out on your negative beliefs. In that case, just “keep on adding the good stuff” until there’s no more room in your subconscious for the bad stuff.

Here are 7 beliefs that can turn your whole life around for the better. Shout this out loudly or quietly roll it over in your mind like a precious stone as often as you can.

1 I have everything I need

This may sound like a contradiction. How can you strive for financial freedom if you're happy with what you have right now? It might help to think of your current situation as your roots and the soil that surround them. Without a happy and healthy root system - appreciating where you come from, it's more difficult to stretch out confidently into a big, beautiful and productive tree.

Gratitude brings even more gifts into our lives and fuels us so we can give something of ourselves to world. Even if we don’t have much material wealth yet, we came to earth with so much life force, and with the DNA, various levels of intelligence and the talents of our ancestors. Potential and plenty of time stretching ahead of us are enormous gifts to treasure and use well. We also came into this world with family and friends who support us in various ways with words of encouragement, their time, good counsel, teachings and possessions.

Practices to help embed this belief:

2 Earth is a big, interesting place and I’m allowed to enjoy it

Without curiosity and a zest for life, we battle to muster the energy to explore, learn, and become skilled at something that will later bring us wealth in its many forms. Society forces us to specialise quite early in life, but it’s worth trying out as many interests possible in quick succession. Then, find a way to synthesise two – or even three – different fields in your skills offering to employers and clients. If it’s a rare combination, that’s where good money can be made. For example, in my case, studying both finance & investments and language & communication, and later client experience design, allowed me to negotiate a higher salary than if I could "sing only one song".

Frugality, one of the secrets to building wealth, is often misunderstood as choosing a miserable, miserly lifestyle. That is not how I understand frugality – to me it’s more about the art of getting the maximum joy out of every unit of time and money spent. So, explore widely, and immerse yourself in that which you enjoy learning more about.

Too much routine and being on repeat can wear one down. Sometimes it takes something as simple as a walk on the beach to perk up and feel a lust for life again. A few other practices to help you switch from a “Life is suffering” to a “Life is a joy” mindset:

Habits to constantly make your world bigger:

3 I continue to learn and work for as long as possible

The word “retirement” triggers an allergic response from me. Take a long holiday, a break, a sabbatical, whatever you want to call it, but please don’t ever stop working. Even if – like me – you’ve reached your financial freedom goal, keep on creating stuff, delivering a service and earning money. It’s the best guarantee that your financial freedom pot won’t run dry 30 or 40 years from now. And it’s good for your brain and your sense of purpose.

Seeking out work you enjoy (ties in with belief #2) does help. So, make that your main pursuit, not saving for retirement. Then set money aside for later in your life nonetheless. It will buy you more lifestyle options one day when you’re older and in need of a break.

Other than a belief that you’ll keep on working and loving your life, there are also a few habits that will give you the energy to just keep on going:

4 I live in balance with other humans, giving and receiving

Without good human relationships, you won’t stay employed or keep your customers very long. But there’s also the risk of overextending to please, which could lead to resentment, which is not a sustainable way to live. When we are honest with others about our limitations, it becomes easier to say No. It’s OK to not always be available but the best we can do is to pay full attention to someone when we are with them.

Books to help you get along with people in a healthy way:

Practices to create more connection and set appropriate boundaries:

5 I am able to create something out of nothing

Creating something beautiful, good and helpful where there previously was nothing might just be the closest humans get to exercise that part of themselves which is Divine.

To strengthen your belief in the importance of your own creativity and how important it is for making a living:

To help shift a creative block:

6 I am responsible for creating my vision of heaven on earth

Let’s be realistic. One woman won’t be able to turn earth into heaven for 8 billion people and all its creatures. But one can start with having a vision for your corner of the world. I neither pity nor envy another human, because both these attitudes are harmful. The first strip people of their equal footing with others and doesn’t acknowledge the power and resourcefulness within them. The second, on a very subtle level, steal others’ pleasure in their achievements and fate. Approach everyone as equals and from there spread your own excess, knowledge and presence. In my vision of heaven on earth everyone will have enough food, community, joy and good health. That’s why I nurture a food garden and share the bounty, make sure I have some free time and emotional energy for family and friends, and always look for more ways to play and dance together. Spreading joy through the right music, conscious dance and meaningful movement, thereby relieving anxiety and mild depression, is where I feel I can make a real difference to my circle of influence.

What is your vision of heaven on earth? Let that steer you towards creating enough for yourself plus something to share.

Practices to create a vision for your life:

7 I am witnessing the many parts of myself and they all have a purpose

The hot-headed warrior, the peace maker, the worker bee, the boss, the miser, the big spender… Sometimes there are so many different personalities living inside you that it might be hard to figure out who’s the real you. Maybe you are all of them – also the parts that may be at war with one another. It’s a lifelong journey to “see” all these characters and accept each and every one. They all have a part to play to help you be fully human.

Recommended reading to help you accept all the characters within yourself:

Money itself can also take on the form of an internal character and I often see people battling to launch their wealth journey because they have not yet made friends with money. What role does money play in your life? And which parts of you are attracting it? Which parts are chasing it off? Remember to stay compassionate with yourself. It takes a lifetime to fully turn your less helpful beliefs around. Start now to become a money magnet.