It’s time to admit another fear of mine. I’m scared of being poor, of not having enough money to support myself. And oddly enough, that’s exactly the situation I find myself in now…and I’m not panicking! I’ve been shifting my perspective with a lot of sweat and tears, but it’s working!
I grew up with a firmly established “scarcity perspective.” The Great Depression of the thirties had taken its toll on my parents, who suffered real deprivation and never forgot it. They were wonderful and loving parents and raised us with everything we needed. But they could not escape from the general feeling that it could all be taken away in an instant.
We were a solid middle-class family and we learned not ask for what we didn’t need. We picked up the “vibe” that our parents naturally (or unnaturally!) expressed as they recounted stories of their youth, or discussed groceries bills, vacation plans, or going to Jordan’s Basement for bargains.
The upside was that we kids were not and are not materialistic. We also learned to become self-sufficient. I became adept at fixing broken objects and mending clothes in order to forestall buying new ones. Indeed I have beautiful sweaters and coats that are almost 30 years old and in great condition (I’m told that’s a male thing by my female friends).
It was an easy transition into the priesthood for me, where, after all, one does not become rich unless by hitting the lottery. After 32 years I was grossing about $30,000 a year but still had to pay 14.5% social security tax, federal and state taxes, as well as upkeep on my car, gas, clothing, books, vacations, etc. When I left ministry I knew I would be doing so without a vested pension, so I was grateful for my frugality in saving a little nest-egg.
For many months after leaving and trying to find a job the fear of not making it financially haunted me. When I chose to become a life coach I knew it would not be the path to riches. So I continue to tap into my nest egg in order to pay my living expenses. I’m also careful about indulging my wants. In this moment I am happy. I have, though the help of my coaches, moved from the perspective of scarcity to that of abundance.
In my abundance perspective I see myself each day as whole, complete, loved and valued. I resist the temptation to worry about future bills until they actually arrive. I am grateful that I never learned to live on credit and that I’m debt-free.
It is through my abundance perspective I also invite people to become my coaching clients. Whoever comes forward usually is self-aware, desiring change, and motivated. Some clients have stayed with me long-term, some for just three months. Some bring up a new topic each session. Others continue to deal with the same issues, but move incrementally forward and experience wonderful shifts in their lives.
The abundance perspective gives me confidence to invite people to coach with me. I’m actually a darned good coach, a source of wisdom which I’ve built on decades of a broad education and experience working with people and their real issues. I take the attitude that both I and my clients are fortunate to meet, because my interaction with them constantly teaches and changes me in ways I could never have imagined.
Do you operate out of a “scarcity perspective”? Do you worry and fret about the future? Are you afraid of losing everything and being without? Are you struggling with the distinction between needs and wants? I’ve found co-active life coaching has helped me and can help you too! I have promised myself never to go back to that perspective of scarcity!
Contact the Man’s Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org