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Avoid These 5 Common Pitfalls: How Ambitious People Sabotage Their Financial Flow (and it's nothing to do with money mindset!)

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Financial flow vs. financial anxiety & money mindset

So you’ve probably come across the idea of money mindset and money blocks; a couple of big concepts that have come to the fore within the entrepreneurial world and online wealth building space over the last few years.  

Many of us these days are familiar with the idea that our preconceptions around money and the way we’ve been raised to think and feel about money, have a huge impact on our ability to make money, to use money, to have a good relationship with money - and to have it support us in the longer term.  

Now I started my therapy practice 7 years ago - and back then, I have to admit I hadn’t even heard of money mindset as a thing! 

But what definitely WAS a thing back then was that whilst working with clients, I could see how helping them unravel their subconscious limiting stories and bringing their anxiety levels down to a healthy minimum really opened up doors for them financially.

  • I had one client who finally felt able to get around to decluttering their home, for example, and made a lot of money selling their unused and unwanted items.

  • Another who was able to shift their thinking away from preoccupying negative thoughts, and choose to go all in on a business idea they’d had - which subsequently became very lucrative and successful.

  • Another who quit her day job, decided life was for living, and jumped in to founding a hugely successful 6 figure plus business which is going from strength to strength, 6 years down the line!  

And there have been many, many examples of people who have finally been able to let go of contractors and expensive subscriptions they don’t need; or have been able to hire staff and let go of the reins - giving them back their time, freedom and bringing more in for their businesses. 

There have been clients who have suddenly been able to generate a lot of money through shedding fears and anxieties around visibility; or who have stopped feeling shame for negative events in the past and have been able to get back out their and explode their incomes as a result!

Most of this is without doing any specific work on their money stories.

So I guess before we dive in today, I just wanted to let you know that if you’re struggling to generate or hold on to the income you want, or  create the financial flow you want to see in your world - it isn’t necessarily about the money at all.  

And whilst working on your money stories and limiting beliefs around money is absolutely worth doing - maybe it’s worth looking at a few more fundamental truths first - in particular around your overall state of mind and day-to-day anxiety levels.  

Because those in themselves can be incredibly powerful, incredibly limiting… we all know we don’t make our best decisions when we’re not on good form, right?! 

And by addressing some of the wider issues FIRST, it becomes a whole lot easier to see where any remaining financial blocks really lie.So today, we’re going to look at 5 of the ways our brains love to limit our financial flow and our capacity to receive and hold money… and I’d love you to let me know if any of these hit home for you!

  1. Overspending and overgiving - paying to please - or to fit in

  2. Avoiding the issue - sticking with the ‘safe’ choice

  3. Focusing too much attention on one area

  4. Boom & bust emotional cycles

  5. Financial anxiety

To find out more, read on!

Abigail Rogers, subconscious success mentor & therapist
5 ways ambitious people sabotage their financial flow

Paying to Please - Overspending

This is high on the list of financial saboteurs for SO many of the people I come across.  And it’s not surprising - we’re a society of people pleasers and we LOVE to show love, appreciation and belonging through our money!  

People pleasing often gets a really bad rap - and often that’s fair - but let’s be honest, there ARE times when it makes sense to fit in socially, to compromise a little for the greater good, and to not dig your heels in and say ‘No’ just for the sake of showing you’re independently minded, thank you very much!

The trouble comes, though, when our internal scales are weighed too heavily in favour of compromising ourselves for others - and this is a MASSIVE issue for many of the business owners and professionals I work with.  

We’re conditioned as a society to be self-sacrificing, to not make a fuss, not offend people and not stand out - all at the cost of what we truly want, think and feel - and these default behaviours can cause havoc in our lives and businesses; not just financially but in terms of our energy levels, time and even health.  Not to mention, they tend to be accompanied by a hefty dose of overthinking, self-criticism and a tendency to try way too hard, which can cause anxiety and even lead to patterns of behaviour which can sabotage those very relationships we’re trying to protect!  

Now money becomes a vehicle for everything else that’s going on in our lives - because we attach our emotions to money, and so we use money as a tool, to carry out the things that feel emotionally rewarding - or sometimes just safe and familiar to us.  

And that might mean that even though we really don’t like someone or want them in our lives or businesses, we keep giving them our time and money because we’re afraid of the fallout.  It can feel more important to please and not rock the boat than it feels to put our own security and financial stability first.

It might mean that because we’re feeling inadequate or inexpert in our work, we feel the need to overcompensate by giving extra time, resources, or putting extra attention and energy into projects that really don’t deserve or need those things.  

And it can mean that we seek out and make status purchases to FEEL as though we’ve made it and are part of a successful crowd - when deep down we don’t really want, need or value the things we’re buying and they don’t really do anything to reduce the imposter feelings we’re experiencing.  

So if you’ve noticed that you’re spending more than you’d like in one area of your life or business - it’s definitely worth asking why you’re feeling that need to spend and whether it’s actually to do with some deeper issues you haven’t yet acknowledged or resolved.

Staying Safe - Underspending/Underinvesting!

It’s fair to say that not everyone’s idea of safe is the same!  As we touched on in the last section, our brains LOVE to stick with what’s safe and familiar.And just as this can cause us to spend way too much on the wrong things - it can also stop us from making the leaps, taking the decisions and embracing the rational risks that deep down we know would benefit us in the longer term.Everyone’s heard the tales of granny keeping her mattress stuffed full of bank notes because she doesn’t trust the bank - well, many of us do the same on a slightly more sophisticated level, without even realising it!  

And just as granny’s actually LOSING money in real terms, by keeping it in her mattress and not earning interest on savings or investments, or benefitting from any tax relief - plenty of us are losing money by sticking with what we perceive to be ‘low risk’ and ‘familiar’ options - or by not investing at all.  

Most of us can think of a financial move we would love to make, but we just don’t feel quite brave enough or quite ready for it. 

That might be investing in a coach, working on yourself in some way, going on that trip you’ve always fancied, spending on renovating your house or moving. 

Or maybe it IS something a bit more removed from your usual frame of reference - like making an investment for the first time in something that doesn’t familiar.

The thing is, risk is like a muscle.  If we don’t take risks, we never use that muscle and it can waste away… but if we work on it, our risk muscle gets bigger and stronger and better at coping with challenges, both the short, sharp ones and the longer-term endurance type stuff. 

In other words, by staying super-safe, what tends to happen is that our view of the world alters so everything starts to feel like a massive, threatening leap up. 

Whereas by regularly challenging ourselves, we start to not only believe we can cope with the ups and downs - but we learn to manage them better, as well.

Not only that, but when we do invest in ourselves for GOOD reasons (that aren’t just about making ourselves feel better) - then we reinforce to our subconscious minds that we’re worthy of and worth the investment. 

It’s a great confidence boost, as well.  And because it feels good, it encourages us to come up with strategies and ideas to make sure we maintain that level of investment as our new baseline! 

The more you grow, the more you grow.

So - where are you holding back on flexing your muscles at the moment? 

And if you DID start to step up, go a little bolder and trust yourself to deal with the consequences - I wonder what awesome doors might you open that are currently slammed shut?  

Wearing Blinkers - Financial Hyperfocus

I have almost lost count of the number of times that I’ve worked with somebody who’s been SO focused on making more money through their business, or their career, or through one particular channel, that they’ve completely taken their eye off any alternative means of making and receiving money.  

Our brains are brilliant filters - you may have heard it many times - we get more of what we focus on.  

But if ALL we’re focused on is making money through one income stream, then we’re closing ourselves off to SO many other possible paths for money to enter and share our lives - not to mention, we’re putting all our eggs in one basket and we know how that strategy tends to pan out! 

So I would definitely recommend you take some time regularly to check in with your bigger picture overview, especially if you’re trying to manifest money through one particular channel and it isn’t feeling like it’s working. 

What have you missed? 

What have you forgotten that’s ALREADY working for you and might provide incredible opportunities if you gave it a little more time and attention?

Personally I have one semi-passive income stream that regularly brings in a great level of income, and is very reliable with a pretty low level of work on my part. 

But even I have noticed that when I’m really focused on my business, for instance, unless I check in with myself I can tend to almost forget it exists and start to think of the business as the be-all-and-end-all - which in turn would lead to more pressure on me to perform, more potential anxiety and stress - and in all likelihood, less good results in the business because I’d be in a negative state of overfocus and doing all the hard things, rather than a relaxed, easy, creative place. 

It’s a constant work in progress for me and it’s definitely one to check in with if ever you feel your thoughts slipping in to that place that feels like a desperate need to make things work! 


Boom & Bust - How Sabotaging Emotional Cycles Can Affect Your Finances

One of the most common issues I see in my therapy practice?  Otherwise successful entrepreneurs, professionals and performers who go through ‘boom and bust’ cycles. 

In other words, they have a great week, month or quarter - followed by a looooong dry spell.

Is it just the nature of the beast?  Is that not how life works?  Well it can… but it also doesn’t have to.

Boom and bust can happen for several reasons, here are my top 3:

  • We decide that it’s a foregone conclusion and so our subconscious buys into that and lives up (or down) to it

  • We exhaust ourselves creating the boom because we work way too hard… and have to have a long recovery period before we can do the same again (hello burnout)

  • We become overly influenced by cyclical or hormonal events - or other external factors - and give them WAY more power than they deserve

Yes, hormones definitely influence our feelings and energy levels.  And yes, it’s great to pay attention to, work with and respect your body’s needs.  Your body is often your best early warning system.  

But - the flipside of that is that I’ve seen many driven people fall into the trap of becoming convinced that because they’re in a certain time, stage of life - or even planetary alignment - they should expect things to feel more difficult, to feel emotionally volatile and to be less productive for a while.

The key there is expectation - in believing that the influencing factor is more powerful than their own influence and ability to manage their wellbeing and emotional state, people tend to decide it’s a foregone conclusion and look for evidence that the bust cycle is HAPPENING - rather than focusing on their skills, resources and power to create more boom.


I often say to clients that we’re not machines - all of us go through emotional ups and downs and that’s quite normal.  But we do have the ability to shift and rebaseline our thoughts and feelings at almost any given moment - assuming we’re not experiencing acute trauma or in the grip of more serious psychological conditions.  

Realising that we can decide to take back control, clear out the emotional crap and believe in our ability to create ever more of the good stuff, can help us avoid the constant ups and downs that giving away that power can bring.  

And whilst it may not always feel like the easy option in the moment, training your brain to learn to look for solutions and more positive, productive ways of thinking can help you manage those energy levels, allocate your time more effectively - and pay dividends in the long run.

Financial Anxiety

Ahhh… sweet F.A.

Who hasn’t felt some form of financial stress at some point in their lives?  Yes, even the people who you would assume never have to worry about money… they still worry about money.  

Even the people who’ve ‘made it’ still worry about making it. 

Even those who have success - still feel like imposters.  

Our human minds are negativity machines.  They are FAR more naturally predisposed to think about what we don’t have than what we do have.  

Add to that a lot of pressure to provide security, and a whole heap of unhelpful societal narratives around achievement - and money, understandably, becomes a massive preoccupation for many of us. 

  • We need to keep an eye on it, because we rely on it. 

  • We need to make sure it doesn’t suddenly do anything we’re not expecting. 

  • We don’t know what might happen with it round the corner. 

  • We know where it’s caused us grief in the past. 

  • It may have been blamed for plenty of traumatic events and relationship struggles in our lives, too.  

All these things add up to making money feel pretty negative, in our mind’s eye - even when we KNOW it’s a positive, supportive and helpful thing.  And when things feel negative - to our subconscious brain, they’re associated with threat.  

We view threats negatively.  We obsess about them.  We become overly vigilant around them.

Any of this sound familiar? 

The trouble is, while we’re doing all that negative obsessing and ruminating - we’re NOT able to focus on the good stuff in our lives - and on the opportunities that are already there, just waiting to bring more money our way! 

A common example? 

We’ll spend sleepless nights stressing about our spending, or about whether we’ll hit our income target this month… and then feel too tired the next day to actually face the world and generate any new business, or read that article on investing that we keep meaning to read.  

Self-sabotage at its finest. 

When Covid hit, most of the world went straight in to financial anxiety, panic and ‘freeze’ mode - rather than sitting down and rationally assessing what could be done next.

That isn’t surprising and it’s not a criticism - it’s just the way most of us are wired to react to anything changing around money. 

But we CAN learn to lean into positive expectation around our finances instead. 

It’s one of the things I work on, on an identity level with my clients - helping them shift their thinking from ‘What if’ and ‘It couldn’t happen because…’ to ‘I can absolutely see that happening and here’s how I’m going to MAKE it happen’! 

And if you’ve noticed that your thoughts around money tend to sway to the negative, perhaps that’s something you’d like to try as well? 

Rather than letting those ‘What if’s and worries take over… just try asking what would change if you were able to focus on trusting things would work out and take action on that basis of trust instead.

I’m just guessing here… but I’m thinking good things.  Am I right?  

Of course, if you struggle with general anxiety and overthinking you may find that hard - please don’t give yourself a hard time if so - but feel free to reach out any time for a chat, or for some support to shift those thought cycles to a better place so you can take back your power. 

I hope you’ve found today’s episode helpful and I would LOVE to take any questions you have! 

You can find me at and if you want to dive a little deeper into understanding your own sabotaging behaviours and identity-level blocks, check out the free Imposter Identities profiling tool below.

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