Hey, you. I see you, turning down opportunities because you're afraid.
I see you, stuck in a cycle of paying less for things you know you'll have to replace quickly instead of investing in quality.
I see you, deciding not to take out insurance because you probably won't need it.
I see you, putting off your bookkeeping because you feel incapable of dealing with numbers.
I see you, sick of being broke, going on a shopping spree each payday which leaves you struggling until you get paid again.
I see you, telling people you meet that you "just run this little sort-of business thing" instead of bigging yourself up as the amazing, capable businesswoman you are.
I see you, holding back from going after what you want because you don't want to try and fail.
You are sabotaging yourself financially.
Every single one of us has habits which cause us to sabotage ourselves. It's only by doing a bit of introspection we can work out what those habits are and break the cycle.
I have my own self-sabotaging habits. When someone asks to work with me I still freeze, thoughts like "Can I really do that?" "What if I mess up?" "I'm not worthy of working with that person." running through my mind. I'm at a point now where I still feel that fear, but I know I'm capable and that I need to push through my self-doubt to move forward. And you know what? Every time I do it, I gain a bit more confidence in myself and those thoughts get quieter.
I've worked with women who were afraid to charge their worth, who got themselves in a mess because they were afraid to look at their business finances, who were scared to ask their customers for the money they were owed. Together, we worked to overcome those self-sabotaging habits.
So, how do you overcome financial self-sabotage?
First, you have to find out how you're sabotaging yourself. Did you recognise yourself in any of my opening questions? If so, go from there. If not, you might need to do a bit of soul-searching. Write down how you deal with money. Track your spending. Make sure you aren't saying no to opportunities because you're afraid. Being afraid is good. I find journalling and meditation helpful, but it might not be your cup of tea. I've also found working with a coach helpful, as they can be objective and see things you can't.
Now you know how you're sabotaging yourself, the rest is simple. Take action. Self-sabotage is based on fear - fear that you aren't good enough, that you aren't smart enough, that your money will run out and will never come back. Whatever it is that's scaring you, you just have to take a breath and do it.
Grab that business opportunity by the horns and give it your best shot.
Pay a little extra for quality so you don't have to keep buying the same things over and over again.
Insure the things that are important to you - seriously. If your laptop breaks, it's going to be a whole lot more expensive to replace it yourself than the £100 a year you pay to insure it.
Get on top of your numbers, and keep it that way. Managing your finances is easier than you think, honest!
Break the feast and famine cycle. Don't blow your money every time you get paid. Try to space out any unnecessary purchases and wait until all your bills have been paid before buying, so you know how much money you have until you get paid again. If you can, have your earnings from self-employment paid into a bank account which is reserved solely for business transactions and pay yourself a "salary" every month.
Talk about your business with confidence, perfect your elevator pitch and don't belittle yourself.
Go after what you want. It's better to give your all and fail than hold yourself back out of fear.
Are you ready to swap money stress for financial empowerment?
The Independent Girls Collective is a members-only platform to help smart women like you to take control of their finances and feel good about money.
As a member, you’ll get monthly courses, resources, live masterclasses and 1:1 coaching to help you manage your finances and provide the support you need to build a successful, fulfilling business that allows you to live the life you desire, as well as access to our supportive community of creative female entrepreneurs.