If you have money issues that go unaddressed, you'll never build wealth.

The psychology of money is like the psychology of anything: when it’s dysfunctional it’s not productive.

If we have a fear of spiders, or a fear of abandonment, and we do not address it, it impacts our lives in negative ways.

The same goes for money. If we have issues that go unaddressed, they can reap serious havoc on our lives, despite our best intentions.

The only way to resolve this and move forward is to confront our psychology and reflect on it. Otherwise we will never be able to grow wealth.

Step 1: Look For Patterns

People who have a fear of going outside know that they have an issue in a society that’s not agoraphobic. It’s obvious. With money it’s not so obvious.

We all have a psychology around money. But because we don’t openly talk about it, we don’t realize that we have hangups — hangups that keep us from being able to earn enough, save, invest, and know our value in the market place.

The first step is to look at your spending behaviors. What do you spend your money on? How often? Why? Look for patterns in your spending that might help you figure out why you struggle to build wealth.

Step 2: Identify the Source

Most of what we know about money, we learn from example, in our culture and in our families.

But our culture has money issues. Look at a lot of our parents and grandparents. They’re not in a good situation.

Once you’ve recognized patterns in your spending, try to think about why they’re there. How did you learn about money? Did you learn about money? Understanding why you might have certain spending habits will help you to make important changes.

Step 3: Seek Help

Money hangups are real. But ignoring them won’t make them go away, or make them get better.

I’ve had many great therapists in my life that have helped me conquer many demons inherited from a very rough childhood. Because I tackled those and got great help, talked about it, learned new coping skills, I’m happy, I’m healthy, and I have very close, healthy relationships that wouldn’t have been possible had I not had help to work through it. No shame.

Enlist the help of a money mentor. Take money courses. Read books. Attend workshops. Whatever route you choose, get help. Address it. Talk about it. Because if you have money issues that go unaddressed, you’ll never build wealth. Period.