Here are 5 common ways you might be limiting your prosperity:
1. Limiting prosperity to ‘dosh’ only
It’s amazing how it is possible to be really wealthy, and yet miss out on an experience of prosperity.
In one telephone survey, 275 people in the San Francisco Bay, USA area were asked if they believed that they would be significantly happier and more loving if they had a million dollars. 76% of the respondents replied, ‘Yes, absolutely.’
Then the research company contacted ten millionaires, and asked them, ‘Did making your first million dollars make you a happier or more loving person?’ The response was unanimous: ‘No.’
(from Dan Millman’s Manage Your Money: Sufficiency and Spiritual Practice)
If your definition was primarily about having ‘stuff’, then try adding on to the end the words ’so I can enjoy my life to the fullest.’ Then at least you’ll be emphasizing the whole point of having the stuff in the first place!
2. All about ‘others’
If your definition of prosperity is to the other extreme, in that you are focusing solely on how much you can do for others, or how much money you can give away, or emphasising only how you can be of service, then you may also find yourself limited.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that those with the sole intention of making money for making money’s sake are selfish. But with ‘selfish’ there is the opposite of ‘self-less’ (which tends to be held up as something to aspire to in our world), when in fact neither of them are likely to bring a true sense of prosperity.
However, ‘self-full’ is another idea completely. Just as on an aeroplane you are asked to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, when you take care of your own needs at least at the same time as others, if not before, then you are far more likely to experience a sense of prosperity in its true sense. This will include enough money for you to live comfortably, as well as a sense of well-being and fulfillment when you give to others.
3. Not being good enough
Another limiting definition happens when you get stuck in thinking that you need to change something about yourself before you can feel prosperous. This is prevalent in the self-development industry, where often the whole point is that “I am not good enough as I am in various different ways, therefore I need to change.” Many books and websites focus on this. And it is only when these changes have been made that you will be able to consider yourself truly prosperous, in mind, body and soul.
But a more expanded thought could be “I feel prosperous, no matter the outer conditions of my life.” This may feel like quite a challenge, but it’s not impossible (it’s what I did when I owed hundreds of thousands to the bank with no way of paying it back)!
4. Focusing on the future
Could it be possible that you are already prosperous? Right now, today? When you project your sense of prosperity into the future by saying to yourself “when I have x or when I am y” then you reinforce the gap between where you are now and where you might be in the future. Bring your thinking back to right here, right now, as Eckhart Tolle says, and discover that “it is in the precious moment of now that your true prosperity lies.”
There is nothing to stop you having hope and expectation about the future, but do it coming from a place of acceptance and acknowledgment of this present moment – which is always a moment of true abundance.
5. Coming from lack
When you come from a place of lack, it is impossible to experience prosperity. Lack can show up as many things, including resistance to what is (as in “what you resist, persists”); thinking that you have to be free of debt to feel prosperous; or deciding that not HAVING to work will be when you would be truly prosperous.
If you identify with these statements, turn them around to allow prosperity to include what is currently happening; invite a focus on what you do have in your life rather than what you don’t have.
Now go back to your definition that you jotted down at the beginning and see if you want to add, or amend anything, and do it.
Then read it out loud to yourself. If it makes you feel excited, inspired, empowered, connected, free, loving and abundant, then I suggest you know what true prosperity is about.
Anything less than a set of feelings like these, and you might want to examine your limiting beliefs and ideas about money a bit more.
Finally, true prosperity reaches out into all areas of your life. Business (ie work & income) is just one of them. Make sure your definition also covers your relationships, your creativity, your health of mind, body and soul, your family – and ultimately focuses on ‘being’ rather than ‘having.’