It took a lot for Cliff Townsend to admit to himself that the sister he adored had a mindset that was holding him back. But changing it has made all the difference.
My mindset kept me poor for the majority of my life. Not only financially, emotionally, socially, and mentally, but also in regards to my relationships. Some of these poor beliefs I developed myself based on my experiences which gave me a perspective that did not serve me well.
Once I became aware of my poor mindset, and I started to evaluate my beliefs, I started to realize to realize that I had actually adopted other people’s beliefs and claimed them as my own. What I also realized was that a majority of them were limiting beliefs not empowering ones.
For the majority of my life I had been living my life based on other people’s beliefs. Beliefs about money, health, spirituality, and even my beliefs about relationships with women.
I realized that the beliefs that had the most effect on me did not come from the media or the music that I listened to. They came from the people that were closest to me. The people I was raised to listen to and respect. My mother, my brothers, my sisters, uncles, aunts, the church members, and the pastors.
I did as I was told. I listened to them, and digested their beliefs, and over the years their beliefs became my beliefs. Their mindset became my mindset. Their limits became my limits. I saw the world through my physical eyes, but the way I saw it was based on their beliefs.
One of the most limiting beliefs that kept me poor in my relationships with women came from my older sister.
I had been in the United States for just a few months. My sister had been here for a few years, and she and my mother were the only people I knew. Everything my sister did, I wanted to do. Everywhere she went, I wanted to go.
On one occasion I went with her to the supermarket where she ran into a male friend. They exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes, and then went their separate ways. As we continued shopping, she expressed to me that there was no way that she could be interested in a man like that because he did not have any money. She went on to inform me that he was not a real man, because he did not even have three thousand dollars.
Being someone that I looked up to it was easy for her to educate me on the fact that no good woman wants a man who does not have any money, and if I wanted a good woman in America I had to make sure that I had money. At the time I had no idea how much of an influence my sisters words would have on my relationships with women, and how my lack of finances affected the way I viewed women.
For years following that conversation I felt inadequate approaching or talking to most women if I did not have a minimum of three thousand dollars in my bank account.
My sisters words led me to believe that if I did not have a substantial amount of money, I was not worthy of having a good woman. A good woman would not want me, because money was their measuring stick of a good man, and I was not up to par. In some respects my sister was correct. Most women are interested in a man who is a good provider, and one who makes them feel secure. However my sister only focused on the financial aspect of security.
What I have learned over the years as I have evaluated my beliefs, and the beliefs that I have adopted and claimed as my own, is that most women do not use finances as their only measuring stick as to what defines a good man. The women who define a man based solely on his money and absolutely no other attribute, they are what most people would define as gold diggers. I simply think of it as a “gold-digger mentality,” and it affects women and men both.
This is not the nineteen thirties, forties or fifties where most women stayed home, washed, cooked, and cleaned, and depended on their husband, because in most cases he was the only bread winner and women did not have many opportunities to earn a decent living.
Most women today are able to make their own income. Women today are heads of households, C.E.O’s of major corporations, and are quite capable of taking care of themselves financially.
What I know today that I did not recognize then was that my sister, and many of the people I was close to and looked up to, had that gold-digger mentality. My sister’s definition of a good man was solely dependent upon the size of his bank account. For years I lived my life out of that gold-digger mentality as far as women and relationships were concerned.
Today I know that most women are looking for a partner who can make them feel secure, be a good provider, partly because they are looking for someone who is ambitious has drive and desire to be more in life. Pretty much the same things that I’m looking for in a woman.
Today I no longer feel like I am less or more of a man because of my finances. I have had good women in my life, and my beliefs about women and finances are not the same.
Maybe I changed because I met good women that changed my perspective, or maybe it was because my perspective changed why I met good women.
Photo: Flickr/Steven Depolo