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Why do you hold on to false beliefs?

Every day I go outside to buy food, I am afraid that my bank card may no longer work. I have a lot of outstanding taxes to pay, but I can not and want not. Fuck that mafia. I have no energy to work. No, rather, I want to focus on healing. I have enough money to survive for another five months and maybe I can sell some stuff. I will be in trouble with the tax office and likely have to file bankruptcy. My secondary bank account is already frozen.

But I know that I will survive long enough to finish my healing. I know that even if I can not pay anymore, my house owner will likely let me live here for another three months or so. I know that even if I lose the flat and all my stuff, I will still have the energy to regain all that has been lost once my mind is healthy again – if I will care to. And besides, it is just stuff.

So why do I care? Why do I feel this intense anxiety about it all?

Why do I have no abundance mindset? I already wrote about the problems of adapting new mindsets.

I meditated about this fear. About my doubts. About not being productive. About being a loser and all that shit. Why do I care?

A memory came up. Rather innocuous, I thought at first.

Another boy at the afternoon childcare center had promised to sell me his action figure for 1 German mark. Yeah, that was before 2002, for fucks sake. Eat that.

A German mark is abbreviated with DEM – Deutsche Mark – and was worth around half a Euro during the transition period.

My mother had promised me to give me 1 DEM to buy his action figure, but when she left in the morning, she had forgotten about it.

I knew that she was keeping a few 100 DEM banknotes in her secret stash, so I took one out and went to school. After school, I was always expected by a paid Taxi driver to drive me to the afternoon childcare center. I asked the driver to exchange the money for me, into smaller parts.

Anyway, the boy did no longer want to sell his action figure. Likely, he had been fooling me. I was sad.

Later that day, my mother came fetch me with her own car.

I took out the money to give it to her and hoped she would empathize with my disappointment. I did not think it was too big a deal, although I had felt slightly uncomfortable walking around with the money.

I do not remember whether she even gave me time to say anything. I only know that she became fucking pissed at me. I thought the world was going under. I felt like I was Satan himself. Guilt, shame, fear of consequences, you name it.

I did not understand what the problem was, but I learned that money is something very delicate, very scarce. Something you have to be very careful handling. Something you must be terribly afraid about handling the wrong way.

And that is one major memory that affected my money mindset. This one memory made sure that I would be anxious about money until today, taking it as extremely serious stuff that I dare not even really touch. And god forbid I even talk about large sums or feel competent enough to do the right things with it.

Now, the point is: I could have done a million mindset exercises towards abundance mindset. But without remembering this important event, I would never have gotten to the core of those troubling and anxious emotions I felt about money.

And this applies to all kinds of mindsets and beliefs. About money, about girls, about friends, about fighting, about love, about your personality and shortcomings.

The belief is often not even important. The belief is just a sentence. A semantical composition of words. But underneath that sentence, there is an emotion. And that emotion is linked towards some experience from your past.

These insights make me believe that we often do not really fear a future event. Rather, we fear a repetition of a past event that we never reprocessed from a mature perspective.

So next time you think that you are being irrational, realize that your mind has reasons to do what it does. When there is some strong emotion involved, there is likely something your mind is trying to tell you and you should find a way to listen to it. There is a reason why you are holding on to things – and no, it is not just your crazy subconscious.

I could have done a million mindset exercises and forced myself to be less careful with money. And yet, I would always have done so in pain and anguish. And likely ended up being too reckless in overcompensation. But now that I understand the source of holding on to that mindset, the fear is simply gone and I see money as just another thing to be handled more confidently and boldly.

Meditating on these things has helped me greatly reduce my fears and increase my confidence in all areas of my life. I am still in the beginning of the process, but my world literally looks brighter and clearer and no longer haunted by so many dark vague shadows of the past.

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  • Smokingjacket

    Good advice. I had an issue with money for years. I always believed that I was never ever going to have enough. It was a very powerful anxiety that haunted me. I likewise thought and mediated on this fact and most of it related back to my own father’s fears that he’d never have a enough money to meet the daily bills when rising his own large family. This fear was instilled into my own upbringing, however, it took me a long time to realize the source of of this insecurity in myself, so yes, there’s no point in doing good positive exercises with you mind to address such issues until you’ve stripped the anxiety back to the experience which generated it in the first place.

    • Ha, that is also a very interesting insight. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have to agree with smoking jacket and with Tom as well when it comes to money. I also grew up with parents who also felt that they never had enough money. My mother would never splurge on things that they wanted as she would always said it was too expensive to buy.

    I never thought about this until this article. The other day I used my credit to buy something since I do not like to use credit I tend to deal in cash most of the time and because of this like my parents I tended to do without for a long time until I purchased something the other day and it felt good. I actually felt like I was free and can do anything!

    I do not know if this feeling had to do with my view of money and being a hoarder of it. But from this event and after reading this post I feel that I may have come to the end of feeling scared of not having enough.

    Thanks Tom!

    • Hey Jose, glad you liked it and thanks for sharing your experience.

      Just one tip: If the issue comes back up – which this stuff always tends to do – accept it and welcome it and just quietly ask it what it is trying to teach you and whether you have already fully understood the lesson.

      Intellectual understanding often gives us a sense of relief, but it is typically emotional understanding that makes it permanent.