Financial freedom is the goal we all have, in whatever form that may take. However in my personal experience and observations one of the biggest hurdles to achieving this goal is financial sabotage. Caused by a lack of personal responsibility.
It may surprise you to know that I have seen examples of people who have been making good money from their investments only to lose it all when they reach a certain amount. This amount is normally a number that to them is significant.
Time and again they reach this milestone that they created, and then boom, it’s all gone again…
What would possibility make someone do this?
It’s what I’m going to call financial sabotage, blaming someone or something else for your results.
You are your own worst enemy when it comes to your financial goals, and let me explain why.
If you are committed to achieving the results you seek in life, the single most important thing you must do is take personal responsibility for all that you do.
And the problem is, that whenever things go wrong, we have developed the habit of shifting the responsibility to some outside source. It could be your job, the economy, your spouse, the market or any other of the myriad of possibilities.
In all the research that I have done, the wealthy, the super successful, all take complete responsibility for their success or otherwise.
A great example of this is Warren Buffett. His annual report to shareholders has become legendary and could almost be classed a financial course in itself.
In his annual report he includes what he calls his ‘mistake du jour’, and outlines with absolute candour the biggest money management mistake he made in the year.
This level of honesty, personal responsibility, combined with his extraordinary results, has made Warren Buffett one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Do you think this is coincidence?
Personal Responsibility – Cause and Effect
Another reasonably successful person, Oprah Winfrey, has a similar way of looking at this…
She uses the cause and effect mantra, believing that she is responsible for everything that happens to her.
She is quoted as saying ‘I take full responsibility for my success or failures, from what happens on my talk show to losing my luggage on a trip’.
I believe I am the cause for everything that happens in my world…
Now that is a fairly big statement, and one that you may find hard to comprehend.
But think about it. Start now and take full responsibility for everything that happens to you. Believe you are the cause for everything that happens in your world. Whether through the things you do or fail to do, your circumstances will change dramatically.
You need to believe that taking personal responsibility for your results will lead to better outcomes.
If you change your beliefs by taking personal responsibility for your financial success, your actions and behaviour will change to match your beliefs and your results will therefore follow. It’s a fact that your thoughts lead to your feelings, which lead to your actions which lead to your results.
You have the power to change your outcomes by taking personal responsibility.
Personal Responsibility in Action
So if we return to the example of people who suffer from financial sabotage, it is clear to see how this occurs.
By blaming others or having excuses for not getting the results you want, you are the cause of your outcomes, you are suffering from financial sabotage.
You are the reason for not being as successful as you want to be, not any external influence or circumstance.
This is particularly prevalent to stock market investing. You regularly hear people talking about the conditions of the market and how they may or may not be conducive to making a fortune.
However there are always opportunities in the markets for those prepared to take financial responsibility and learn how to take advantage of all market conditions.
Warren Buffett has another great saying when it comes to the markets. It relates to how it is easy to make money when the market is consistently going up, but what happens when it stops or starts going down? “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.”
So get on the cause side of the equation and believe that you have personal responsibility for your financial success.
Financial sabotage occurs when you seek to blame others or external circumstances. Believe that you can change your thoughts and therefore behaviours and actions, and start making it happen.
Personal Responsibility Method
To assist you to get started with this lesson, let me give you a method that can assist you to develop the beliefs.
You will no doubt have heard the saying ‘fake it till you make it’…
Well you can apply this to your wealth creation goals.
You may not currently have everything that you want and you may just be starting out.
So in order to achieve the results that the wealthy and successful do when they act, start believing that you are already wealthy… fake it till you make it.
The power of this belief is that it will help you take the actions required to be successful.
It is the feeling, the doing, and eventually the being that becomes so powerful to you.
The more you believe the more likely you will do what is required and the results will then follow.
Let me know how you can apply this to your life with one simple change you make this week in the comments below.