Our Stuck Place

The “stuckness” of our situation looked a lot like the average American’s. How could we unstick ourselves?

We were drowning in bills, with too much month at the end of our money. About once a month we would come up for air after paying the bills, grateful we would survive another 30 days, only to plunge right back underwater.

We were living paycheck to paycheck and panic to panic. So, survival mode was the only mode we knew.

Settling for Survival Mode

Why do we stay stuck in these financial frameworks? Here are some lies we tell ourselves that have convinced us there’s no way out.

  • “I don’t need money. I’m okay where I am.”
    There are many reasons you may be feeding yourself this line. Wanting to make yourself feel better about your current situation, fear of failure, or even just not believing in the possibility of anything different.
    Are you content, or are you afraid?
  • “Wanting money or success is dangerous.”
    If you hold a Christian worldview like us, this idea is certainly worth pondering. Getting caught up in the pursuit of more can quickly turn into a greedy way of life.
    But consider this: money makes you more of who you already are. If you’re giving now, you’ll be more giving with more money. If you’re greedy now, you’ll be more greedy with more money.
    We trusted Jesus when we had no money. We put him first when there was nothing to give. And when He blessed our situation and turned it around, we gave Him more. More money gave us new opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
  • “This is normal.”
    Maybe you have never known anything but your current situation. Your parents were broke and their parents before them. No one ever showed you a different way to live.
    Broke, unhealthy, lonely – fill in the blank with your flavor of stickiness – is “normal” to you.

Unstick Yourself

It’s time to challenge “normal.” Normal is stuck. Normal is afraid. It’s holding you back. Let go of these “normal” financial mindsets.

1. Give Yourself Permission to Pivot

When we were newlyweds, I packed us up and headed for my “dream job” in Florida, leaving family and all we’d ever known behind. I quickly learned this was not my dream job and felt I had made a mistake, and was too scared to move back home. An honest conversation with my brother helped break down those mindsets. I had tried something – and that was courageous. Just because it didn’t work out exactly as I had planned didn’t mean I had failed. We gave ourselves permission to come back home and try something different. Again.

2. Develop a Growth Mindset.

While it’s true that you only know what you know, but it’s time to be open to different. Your fixed mindset is telling you it’s impossible to change; it has you convinced that what you’ve known is all that is accessible to you. Challenge that lie! It’s time to believe you can grow. You are capable of change and improvement. Tell yourself a new story. And live in a world of possibility.

3. Tell yourself new truths.

Trade “My desire for money is greedy,” for “Good people do great things with money. Money allows me to be the hands and feet of Jesus in new ways.” Then, trade “I have to just do what it takes to make ends meet,” for “I can pursue what I am passionate about.” Finally, trade “This is just the way our family has always lived,” for “My ceiling will be my kids’ floor. I am changing our family legacy.”

4. Dream Toward the Next Level

Start before you know the whole path, or even the final destination. What could just $500 more a month do for your family? How could one decision to invest change your family tree? Just start to unstick yourself from the present and look to the future.

5. Get Yourself in Better Rooms

If you are the best in your circle, it’s time to expand your circle. Fill your life with people who have already leveled up. People who have lost the weight, who have invested the money.

6. Give it Time

We live in a microwave world – simply push a button and get the results you want a few minutes later. Real commitment takes time. Wait it out, keep putting in the work, stay consistent. You’ll see the fruits of your labor and unstick yourself for good.