We’ve all been told to “act as if” in order to make what we want most in our lives come true. Act as if you already have the career you want, the success you want, even the relationship you want, and it will start to affect how you think/act/feel/dress/behave now. And when you start to change your behaviour to that of the version of you who’s already living her best life, it’s magical: what you envision starts to come true and create itself.
But what about when this advice goes terribly wrong, as it often does? What if “acting as if” sends you on a spending spree or cycle that is wildly disproportionate to what you currently earn? What if the lifestyle you’re creating for yourself is perfect for a future version of you … but is amassing thousands in debt for the current version of you?
We live in the highly over-memed world of social media; while it’s great to have access to endless inspiration and advice, who knows who it is doling out that advice, and where it’s coming from? While the inspiration of best-self and possibility is a good tool for our subconscious mind, we have to understand and deeply appreciate that we’re only witnessing a part of the conversation.
What we’re reading in “act as if” is creating a reality for ourselves that teaches us, at that deep subconscious level, that what we want exists, and it’s ok for us to have what we want. Again, that is really good for us, psychologically. It teaches us to feel comfortable with receiving, feeling good, and having access to places and attitudes that too many of us feel “we don’t deserve,” and shows us on a visceral level that it’s safe for us to create our dreams.
What that conversation is not telling us, is that part of “acting as if” also includes more of the adult-y, responsible aspects of having that dream life: it means making cogent choices like saving, investing, hoping for the best while planning for the worst. We’re talking short and long term saving plans, insurance, wills, and other “boring” but incredibly necessary aspects of building our financial health and wealth.
So do that. Act as if you are the person who has it figured out, for whom insurance doesn’t feel like a scam. Act as if you are the person who not only likes – and invests in – high quality items / relationships, and also loves the feeling of having money in her bank account, and an emergency fund. Act as if the person who likes weekend getaways, and works travel insurance into the vacation budget as well.
So many of these seemingly un-sexy financial habits are easier to implement than you think: set up automatic debits into a high interest savings account or TFSA so that before you’ve even seen your paycheque hit your account, you’ve invested your future. Talk to an insurance provider about what you need now to feel secure for the future. Work on your attitudes towards spending and saving money, so that you can teach yourself to enjoy the best of both worlds. Create a list/journal/vision board of short and long term goals, and reverse engineer what it takes to act now, in preparation for receiving that future later.
Life is supposed to be joyful and pleasurable. You are absolutely worthy of manifesting your desires and creating a truly wonderful life for yourself. Part of creating that lifestyle of freedom and joy is to be very clear on the other side of the coin too: not just making the money, but caring for it responsibly as well.
Leisse Wilcox is a professional human and real-life adult who helps women find clarity in what they want, confidence in who they are, and the courage to stay true to both. A passionate speaker, writer, coach, podcast host, taco enthusiast, and mom of three, her entire experience has been about coming home to her truest self, and to call herself “beloved.”
Through lots of life lessons learned, Leisse taught herself to turn the difficult and ugly into something purposeful and beautiful, using a process she calls “Emotional Alchemy.” Leisse genuinely believes that changing the world starts by making the changes we want to see within ourselves, first. When we find true clarity, confidence, and courage, we start a ripple effect that makes huge waves in the world around us.
Through writing, speaking, private / group coaching, and her 5-star rated podcast (all rooted in NLP mindset practices), her intention is to guide people to come home to themselves, giving them permission to live, authentically. Leisse’s first book To Call Myself Beloved will be available in the fall of 2020, and you can watch her on Season 2 of “The Social Movement,” available on Amazon Prime.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Equitable Bank. Any information provided is for information purposes only and Equitable Bank makes no representations as to the validity, accuracy, completeness or suitability of any content. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional or undertake your own research before making financial decisions.