Nothing Bad Is My Fault: Toxic Financial Attitudes

The difference between financial independence and a life of financial frustration comes down to attitude. The way you approach all aspects of your life, not just money, has a significant effect on your long-term financial growth. Personal philosophies dictate how you act and how you react to any situation you face.

It's worth the time to take a look at your personal philosophies to determine how they are helping or hurting you. Think about how you view the world and your place within it. Consider the relationships you have with people and the way you make sense of situations.

I didn't think about this much until I had a boss who encouraged me to take a look at how my own thoughts were preventing me from succeeding. Never being a fan of motivational nonsense, I wasn't always willing to listen. This was more about delivery than it was about the message itself; once I was ready to accept some criticism of myself, much later, I understood more about what he was trying to communicate.

When I was younger, I tended to look for external reasons when any situation did not work out in my favor. I attributed bad results to things outside my control. For example, if I was late to the office, it was because traffic was worse than I expected. If I was going deeper into debt, it was because I wasn't getting paid enough by my employer to cover my basic necessities in addition to my costs to transport myself to the office every day. My approach to life required me to believe that many of the bad things that happened to me were brought on by external events, things which I could not control.

Eventually, I came to realize that I had much more control over my life. I learned to accept every moment as a choice, and that I had no one to blame for any bad circumstances but myself. While there are certainly situations that are affected by uncontrollable external forces, but these make up a very small percent of the factors that affect my life.