I used to worry about money constantly.
I was gripped by the fear of poverty, and not having enough money.
However, things have changed. My mindset is transforming from scarcity to abundance. From fear to gratitude.
In this article, I’ll share what I’ve discovered, and my journey to overcoming my fear of not having enough money.
Before we begin, remember: This isn’t about how the digits in your bank account line up.
This is about how you relate to money.
What is Worry Anyway?
A worry is a thought that we believe. When we believe a thought, we think we have to do something about it.
If I have a thought that says I don’t have enough money, and I believe it, I will act as if it’s true.
We see life through our thoughts. We feel the thoughts we focus on. That is why a rich man can feel poor, while a poor man can feel rich.
So we’re not dealing with an entity that forces you to feel like you don’t have enough.
We’re dealing with thoughts and beliefs that we identify with, which then lead to feeling the ‘reality’ of those thoughts.
Why Do We Worry About Money?
The mind seeks pleasure and avoids pain. Money is often seen as the ticket to happiness.
The belief is that if we have money, we will be happy. If we don’t, we will be miserable.
So the reason we worry is because we believe it helps us either get more pleasure or avoid pain, or both.
Believe is the key word. Worrying feels like something we have to do. Our whole being tells us that if we don’t worry, we won’t survive.
The key is seeing through this illusion. This is how beliefs work; they make it seem like you have no choice.
If you’ve worried for a long time, then that thought pattern has become a habit. It has become familiar to feel anxious about money.
It can be transformed, but you have to make the choice to do so.
How to Stop Worrying About Money – Video
It may not feel like you have a choice, because the worrying happens so automatically, but you have a choice.
Up until this moment, you’ve kept choosing worry because you thought you didn’t have a choice.
In the video below I share my take on how to stop worrying about money and poverty. After you’re done watching the video, read the rest of the article to dive deeper.
Step #1: Discover How Your Mind Works
As I said above: A rich person can feel poor, while a ‘poor’ person can feel rich.
What’s the difference?
Their thinking, their mindset. They have different habits when it comes to their thinking patterns.
A large chunk of your experience of life is dependent on the thoughts you focus on.
If I have a thought about not having enough money, and I focus on it, I get to feel like I don’t have enough.
However, just because I feel like I don’t have enough doesn’t make it so.
Now, I have a choice. Once that thought comes in, I can give in and entertain it, or I can nip it in the bud. I can be aware of it, but not get pulled into the drama. I can watch it, and let it be.
That gives me a whole different experience. In time, as I give less attention to thoughts of worry, they begin to wither away.
So this first step is about noticing how you create your experience of life. Notice that you get to experience what you think, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that what you think is true.
“But Henri, I have bills to pay,” you might say.
I’m not denying that you have bills. I’m pointing you to how you relate to those bills. You have a choice whether you want to worry yourself to death, or whether you take a more relaxed approach.
Because you see, when you relax, you free up energy and creativity. That’s when you can do something about your bills, if there is something to be done.
Below is a video where I dive deeper into this.
Step #2: Explore Thought Patterns
Next, grab a pen and a piece of paper. Write down what you’re worried about.
When you become aware of your own thought patterns, you start to catch them in the act.
A powerful way to increase awareness of how you worry is through writing down your thoughts. The more you do this, the more you begin to spot patterns.
In time, it becomes like watching a movie for the 100th time. It becomes old. The same story, over and over again.
The fact of the matter is that you are not your thoughts. Thoughts come and go, but what is it that stays? What is aware of the coming and going?
So, the writing exercise goes something like this: Each day, sit down for 10-15 minutes and write down every worrisome thought you have. Explore what’s going on, and put it on paper.
This is similar to Morning Pages from Julia Cameron.
If you want questions, here are a few to get you started:
- What am I worried about?
- What is the cause?
- What is the solution? (if one exists)
- What can I do about this, right now?
- Why do I have to worry or think about this?
- What is the worst that can happen?
- What can I do if that worse case happened?
- If I were on my deathbed, what advice would that future me share now?
Pay attention to how your mind tries to pull you into the same story you’ve fallen into in the past.
Notice how you feel fear because you pay attention to a story, a thought, in the theater of your inner space.
And notice what happens when you witness the story, the thought, instead of getting involved.
Step #3: Dance With Fear
This next step is about emotional acceptance.
One of the reasons why thought patterns persist is because they have an emotional charge. That emotional charge is there because you have a cluster of thoughts that support each other.
They’ve built a small community of scarcity to convince you that you need to feel bad, afraid, and anxious.
To learn how to stop worrying about money, learn to feel your emotions fully.
Feeling your emotions helps you look beyond labels of good and bad. When you let emotions dance in your body, they eventually run out of steam.
How is this done?
Personally, I start by noticing what I’m feeling and where it is. I then open myself to it. I accept it. I let it expand. I welcome it in.
I become aware of the fact that emotions dance in the awareness within. Emotions come and go, but what stays?
If you’re like most people, you’ve learned to resist ‘bad’ emotions. If that’s the case, all you have to do is embrace the resistance. Feel it fully. Welcome wanting to stop the emotion.
It may feel scary at first, but you’ll soon find it exhilarating, because you realize that there is nothing to fear. Fear comes and goes, but you are the space in which fear exists.
If you feel especially daring, go to the worst case scenario. For example, if you’re afraid of being homeless, imagine that, and try to amplify it. Then notice where the emotion is, and feel it fully.
As resistance and thoughts pop up, include them, and keep feeling everything.
If you want more detail, below is a video on how I do this.
Step #4: Live in the Present Moment
So you’ve learned how your mind works, to identify your thought patterns, and to feel your emotions fully.
Now it’s time to live in the present moment.
What does it mean to live in the now? It means being in touch with the awareness within. This awareness is often called the Self, consciousness, being, or presence.
You access it by becoming aware of the background of experience. You notice what is constant within you.
Thoughts come and go. Emotions appear and disappear. What is it that allows thoughts and emotions to exist? What is always present?
As you do this, you begin to catch worry in the act. You notice when your mind starts telling you the same old story about why you must worry.
As that happens, you can be present with it. You welcome it in the moment. The worry doesn’t stick.
This doesn’t mean worry will disappear forever. Worry may still knock on the door, but the knocks go unanswered.
Below is a video where I go deeper into how to live in the present moment.
We get caught up in the experience of life.
We lose touch with the presence that we are, the awareness in which everything exists.
When thoughts pop up, and you identify with them, you feel them. You live in a virtual reality of your own making.
You don’t have to run away from your worry. Instead, feel it fully. Welcome it.
This may not happen right away. If you begin to want to be perfect, feel that, too, and let it go. Progress will happen at its own pace.
As you take action, life brings you what you need.
This is the beginning of a new way of relating to money. Are you willing to experiment with this and see how it works?
All the best,
P.S. If you’d like to take the next step and start living your passion, I invite you to check out my popular book, Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself.
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Great article, Henri. You explain with such simplicity and clarity. Resistance is the issue, right! Letting go, acknowledging confuses people, because they believe they have to accept the situation. It is a type of Mindfulness, which I teach.
You are a gift!
You’re right on. Thanks, Christina 🙂
Antonella Dagostino says
Dear Henri, thank you for the precious help. In my case I did happen to find myself without money in London for a series of unfortunate events. However, I did manage to survive and find my way home slowly. It’s been years since then and I’m still travelling around the world with very little money because I treasure every little thing I can have such as a healthy vegan meal. The security of a life of routine was killing my spontaneous joy and I decided to hit the road again because despite all of our fears, I feel alive again. Sometimes, I do have doubts and fears but this happens when I feel weak, I mean physically tired. After a good rest everything starts to shine again to my eyes. Life is a reflection of what we are, thank you for reminding me of accepting who we are for what we are with the entire package. I’m in Cambodia at the moment and as they say here “Good luck to you!”, and they really mean it. So good luck to you and your family. I’ve downloaded your ebook and I’m going to read it as soon as I can!
Thanks for sharing that, Antonella. There are hidden gems even in unfortunate events, if we are open to them. Good luck to you on your travels and adventures!
I have a job where I work an early shift that doesn’t pay much. I’m barely getting by paying rent, buying healthy food and gas for my car to get to work never mind having any money to do things with family and friends. The positive that I get from this is having time off after work in the afternoons and having 2 full days off during the week. I really value my free time. It’s almost like it’s choosing one or the other, work more to make more money or choose time. I worry a lot about not having what I need. I don’t want a ton of money I just want to have money to do the things that keep me happy and healthy like affording healthy food,
a yoga membership, traveling and most importantly affording to have my own independent life. I can’t afford my own place and my Dad does the maintenance on and buys the parts for my vehicle. This makes me feel like such a looser! I also feel that I won’t find any one that would want to have a real relationship with me because of what I do for work and barely having enough money. I don’t want to have anyone else have to pay my way. This creates thoughts and feelings of being a looser and embarrassment! I want to thank Henri for this information on how to work with thoughts about scarcity.
I have a lot of work to do.
Thank you for your time reading my story!
Thanks for reading, and sharing your story, Lori. I appreciate it, and I’m sure many others do, too.
Larry Lewis says
As always Henri your writing is right on the money, literally. You are showing people how to stand guard over their thoughts, and importantly how to get themselves out of negativity, stopping it spiralling out of control. The concept of living in the Now is so important too.
Here was my former dynamic, I broke free once I recognized it.If I got fearful because I wasn’t making enough money or anything, what was really going on was that I was angry about the situation then I got fearful that my anger might get me in trouble..I don’t need that dynamic anymore.If I notice I am getting anxious I immediately suspect I am starting to get angry and I realize whats going on and I trust myself not to act on anger. .Anxiety ends.Another example I used to be fearful of public speaking about topics I wasn’t interested in,in school.I was really angry about being put in a position where others could judge me negatively, then I got scared of what trouble my anger could get me in.I used to believe I needed to be angry sometimes to take care of myself,now I know that’s not an accurate belief.
That’s extremely insightful, Phil. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure your words will help many.
Thank you for sharing this. It made me aware of my crippling worries, which I really have no reason to have.
Great content as usual Henri, thanks.
David Papa says
Hi Henri! I first found your blog years ago and liked it even back then. I don’t know how I stumbled back upon it, but I was very glad to because this is a great article. I’m constantly teaching people the power of letting the emotions move through the body and how to do this, because it’s so powerful. Great to see someone like you teaching it as well. I’ve been through this same journey with money, and this is really valuable information for people. Thank you! – David