I’ve been broke my whole life. Whether I was making great money or no money, it didn’t matter. I’ve always been broke. Everything has been a struggle. I could never afford health care. I could never afford to pay my taxes. I could never afford to pay my mortgage. I lost a house to foreclosure and I almost lost my second. I had to file for bankruptcy because it go so bad. I didn’t know what else to do.
When I filed for bankruptcy, I was making close to $60K a year with no dependents. Also, I would track all my money in and out. I knew exactly where I was spending my money. I knew exactly what I was bringing in. I had a budget every month.
What?! Why was I always broke?
I got to the point of almost losing my mind. I constantly felt like a failure. I couldn’t claim ignorance because I’ve read all the books about what you’re suppose to do with money. I knew what to do.
I couldn’t claim low income because I was making really good money with no child support or alimony or other common excuses men use for financial woes.
The truth is I had only myself to blame and my problem was two-fold.
I was spending too much money on my addictions.
I believed I would always be broke.
I really felt like it was impossible for me to get ahead in life. Especially as a working musician. No, I was just meant to live the life of a suffering, poor musician. So that’s exactly what I was.
As you might guess, nothing changed until I did. I had to face these two issues or I would never accomplish the things I wanted and I would never live the life I dreamed about.
First up was my addictions. My first concern with these behaviors was health based. I was dying. I weighed over 500 pounds and could barely move. That had to change. But the other part was the money. I was spending $2-$3K a month on my addictions. Yep, you read that right. $30,000 or more on alcohol and food per year. That is what we call “unsustainable.” And that is what addiction does. It blinds you to reality so you can keep living in your little comforts.
“Just one more day and I’ll change.” I said that for years.
I had to quit drinking. And I had to get my eating under control. If you want to hear more about how I did that, you can check out My Recovery Story. It was not an easy path, but one I knew I had to take. I am still a work in progress, but by the grace of God I’m sober and abstinent from compulsive overeating today.
Now the second problem. This one was even harder to conquer. It was my mindset. I truly believed that I was just meant to be poor. It was too hard to get ahead. The world was out to get me. Murphy kept showing up at my front door. Just when I thought I was getting ahead, something bad would happen and take me right back to zero. I was drowning and saw no rescue in sight.
The truth was no one was going to come save me. I had to stop looking for a rescue boat and start swimming.
Are these water analogies landing?
It was up to me. And if anything was going to change, I had to start believing in what was truly possible again. When I really thought about it, things went south when I stopped believing in myself and the possibilities of life. I had to get that back. And I had to start believing that good things could happen to me. Even more, that I DESERVED good things to happen to me.
It took a lot of counseling, late night conversations, reading, studying and praying to finally start to get it.
I was created to be successful. I am meant to be happy and healthy. I am a creation of God and I matter. There is a plan for my life. All I have to do is start believing again.
So I chose to believe. I started telling myself every day that I live in abundance. I am not poor, I am rich. I am surrounded by love, opportunity and money. Everywhere I look, these things are in my life. And you know what, they always have been I just couldn’t see them until I chose to see them.
Once I made that choice, things started to happen. Money started showing up. Gigs started rolling in. I got a bunch of piano students and my record company started to get its wings. God was working and my reality became one of true abundance.
I still have to get up and choose abundance every day. But when I do, it makes all the difference. I use to always be broke but now I am rich beyond my wildest dreams. Even if I don’t have the bank account to back that up yet, I have no doubt I will soon. And more than that, I have the friends, family and love to remind me all along the way just how rich I am.
“If you see yourself as broke, then you’re gonna be broke. If you see yourself as doomed, then you’re gonna be doomed. But if you see yourself as rich, surrounded by love, surrounded by money, surrounded by opportunity, then you’re gonna live abundantly.”
Abundance - The New Single From Chris Swan - Coming January 1st, 2019!