The worst pickup line I’ve ever received was “I make more money here than every guy combined.” Needless to say, on behalf of women everywhere, I was obligated to shut him down. And I did so with great pleasure.

But something about it stuck with me. Yes, he reeked of insecurity and was clearly wrong for me. But I took it as a personal insult. To this day, it still irks and offends me. And so I started to wonder, “Why do issues relating to money evoke emotional responses?”

Whether it’s good, bad, uncomfortable, or arousing, money makes us feel things. And that’s why we never discuss it. Until now.

Each of us has a unique relationship with money. It’s an ingrained blueprint we’ve picked up along the way that shapes our choices in crazy strange ways. For those who’ve grown up with a lack mentality, it’s a constant fear, for others a mild annoyance. And then there are the rare few who truly embrace abundance, and as a result money flows into their lives like a summer breeze. I don’t know many of those people. I assume they’re off doing awesome things on remote islands and have yet to cross my path.

For many years, I viewed money as an indicator of value and self-worth. It’s no different than using a relationship, dress size, or Nutella-filled crepe to seek fulfillment. Like any fear-based mentality, our ego has us in an addictive hold, convincing us that we never have enough. “When I have $X, then I’ll be happy,” we think. And what happens when we attain the amount we want? Nothing. We strive for more, continuing the vicious and cyclical curse.

Imagine, as insane as this may sound, having a healthy relationship with money. Imagine viewing it not as an obstacle, but as a source of creating, giving, and enjoying life.

The difference in how you view money is what’s blocking your financial freedom.
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But before we bust through that roadblock, let’s take a look at the most common abundance obstructers:

1) The “There’s Never Enough” Mentality.

This is the most common financial belief I see with my clients. It’s the fear that convinces you there’s no way you’ll get a new job, that you’ll never be able to afford what you need, or that there’s simply not enough to go around. This fear lives in the land of comparison. It thrives on pointing out the differences between where we are and where we perceive others to be.

2) The “Making Money Is Suffering” Mentality.

If I had been the good Indian girl my parents had hoped for, I would have been a doctor or lawyer. But seeing as how they had two other kids, I decided to say “f*ck it!” It wasn’t that they thought I’d like those careers, they lovingly wanted me to be “secure” in life. While I clearly went my own way, I often struggled with the belief that it’s a mutually exclusive choice: you can either do what you love OR make money. I thought that my creative pursuits were for hobbies and that the “safe route” was the “right route.” Not surprisingly, this caused me to pussyfoot around when I wanted to start my own company. The “I can’t make money doing what I love” is common among those who believe more readily in lack than abundance.

3) The “Get” Rather Than “Give” Mentality.

As a former fundraiser, I’ve dealt with altruistic donors with net worths in the billions and those who struggle to afford their children’s medical expenses. No matter what they had or didn’t have, they all focused on what they had to offer. It’s all about perception. When we’re focusing on “getting more,” giving becomes an afterthought. Ironically, this blocks us from receiving and bringing more into our lives.

4) The “Separation” Mentality.

Our fears like to disconnect us and rank us against other people. Our beliefs around money are no exception. When you’re living with a separation mentality, you believe that having money makes you better than others while not having it makes you worse. It may sound cheesy or cliché to say “we’re all equal,” until you look at the way we treat the ultra-rich vs. those suffering from homelessness. It’s an idea we believe in principle, but not in our everyday fear-driven lives.

5) The “Resources” Not “Resourcefulness” Mentality.

You can focus on how you don’t have money, or you can get creative. Take the blinders off for a sec. What haven’t you tried? I recently coached a health coach who was super anxious about the money it would take to start her business. She stressed the importance of a fancy website, an office space, and swag that she thought would make her seem legit. Here’s my answer: WordPress, Skype, and no one wants another water bottle.

If One (Or More) Of Those Is Your Money Mentality, It’s Time To Witness Your Financial Fears In Action. Here’s How:

  1. Get super cozy and intimate with this shit. When you notice a fear come up, out it. For example, you might delay opening a bill that comes in the mail. You might assign more value to someone who looks super fancy. Or, my personal favorite, you procrastinate taking new action that could bring in more money.
  2. In those moments, notice what you’re focusing on. Are you creating an image of what you’d like or what you’d like to avoid? There’s a huge difference between opening my rent bill thinking “I’m grateful that I live in a place I love” and “ugh, why am I paying so much? I don’t have enough money to do the things I want.” When we’re focused on what we are trying to avoid, we unconsciously bring more of it into our lives. However, if we’re focused on gratitude and what we want to move toward, we bring in more of the good stuff. Are you focused on lack or abundance?
  3. From that space of awareness comes the gift of choice. The choice to self-sabotage and believe in the fears you’ve created, or, the better option: to stop playing small and take new action. Because ultimately, your relationship with money and the meaning you assign to it shapes whether or not money flows in or out.

What will you choose?

Amita is the Owner and Founder of Aligned, a coaching services company founded in January of 2013 to empower individuals to create a life they love from a place of self-love instead of self-discipline. As a coach, writer, and wellness expert, Amita works with individuals to break through their barriers and embrace lifestyle change from the inside-out. Her unique approach combines nutrition, physical activity, relationships, career, and personal philosophy. Amita has been featured on CBS, NBC, and the Huffington Post. You can find more information on her website, or follow her on Twitter or FB.