Recently I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a long time and during conversation I asked if she was still planning on venturing out on her own by starting her own business. Her response was “Not anymore, I’ve put those thoughts to the side and I don’t think about them anymore – you know how it is… you start making money and then you feel trapped by the income and next thing you know, you stop thinking about your dreams”. She then said,“Do you know what I mean?”
Hell ya! I knew exactly what she meant.
It’s called the affluence trap – and it’s a multifaceted trap which includes: 1) Getting used to what you have and either wanting more or not willing to give up what you have and 2) becoming addicted to material trappings and more often than not having financial obligations to large monthly payments for said trappings which results in becoming trapped in a job.
And, indeed, once upon a time I was in the affluence trap until I realized the price I was paying was too high.
I distinctly remember coming home to my husband a few years ago and saying that I didn’t care if I had to downsize and live in a garden shed, I just could not do corporate life anymore. It sounds mellow dramatic, I know, but I had officially hit bottom – I wasn’t willing to trade my precious time for stuff anymore.
Now to be clear, I am not saying it is easy to get out of the affluence trap – it’s not, and the vast majority of us were not born with a silver spoon in our mouth – meaning, we have to work and earn a living. But what we can do is become cognizant of the affluence trap and pursue our dreams behind the scene, until it is possible to fully commit to our dream(s).
In my own case, I went back to school whilst still employed in corporate life and although I didn’t know what life would look like without my corporate career – I had faith in the not yet seen. Meaning, I believed that my dreams and goals would come to fruition – I didn’t know how or in what capacity, but I believed in the unseen.
Becoming an entrepreneur has required hard work, grit and determination and many ups and down’s, including feeling like my goals are moving easily and steadily along – to times when my goals feel they are stagnating and not making any progress at all. And it’s a time’s like these that I remember to Believe in the not yet seen.
My lesson? You are not trapped in any situation you may be in – be it a career, finances, relationships, your weight etc. You can make changes – Believe in the not yet seen and take steps each day (no matter how big or small) towards realizing your dreams.