Last week, Vibrant Nation reprinted my article on Outsmarting the Money Dragon.   Not surprisingly, it generated a number of comments.

The article begins this way:

Every so often I am asked some variation of the question, “Do you ever worry about money?” The truthful answer to that is, “Not anymore,” but getting free of the Money Dragon had little to do with earning more money and everything to do with challenging my belief system about money.

Allowing the Money Dragon to rule your world is a surefire invitation to sleepless nights and perpetual poverty. Banishing that monster starts by answering some important questions.

Do you live in a world of scarcity or abundance?

Many people create scarcity by focusing on everything they don’t have. Author Sondra Ray points out that if you have any money anywhere — even a few coins — you actually have a surplus. How many people give themselves credit for that?

Thinking abundantly comes from a healthy self-image, knowing you have options, and an understanding of the role that attitude plays in creating wealth.

Most of us arrive at that state through conscious work, eliminating thoughts and words of poverty. Books such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Creating Money can help us get rid of our own blocks and limiting thoughts.

You may have to work more diligently than ever these days. In case the Money Dragon hasn’t been scaring you lately, the media is quick to remind us that it lurks behind every corner, in the alley and may turn its fiery breath on us all at any moment.

It matters not that Warren Buffet, who long ago tamed his own Money Dragons, offers a cautiously optimistic forecast. Plenty of people have a vested interest in keeping the Money Dragon hovering in the shadows. After all, money has been one of the most effective ways of controlling others for centuries.

As long as we participate and allow ourselves to be controlled by money fears (whether imposed by others or generated by our own thinking) the Money Dragon will continue to breathe over our shoulders.

As I have frequently said, “Self-employment is where we go to examine our relationship to money.” If we aren’t willing to honestly examine our limited scarcity thinking, we can’t expect to prosper in our businesses.

For many of us, this has been an uncomfortable part of the curriculum. When I first realized that my own belief system about money was hindering, not helping, me, I got busy doing something about it.

I read books, attended seminars, created projects that stretched my thinking and, ultimately, my bank account. I stopped avoiding people who had a reality of abundance and began to seek them out.

In one seminar I attended, the leader challenged us by asking, “Who has a problem that they had five years ago?” It  was a genuine wake-up call as I realized that any problem that becomes a regular part of our lives turns into an excuse for not living boldly.

So why, I’ve been wondering, do so many people insist on keeping the Money Dragon around as a pet? They feed it, nurture it, haul it out to show others why they can’t do wonderful things.

“Can’t you see I have this Dragon to feed? How could I possibly go to the Joyfully Jobless Jamboree…even though I see More Money is one of the themes?”

If you’ve got one of those Money Dragons hanging around, here’s a way to start releasing it back into the wild. Define the problem and avoid blaming yourself, your parents, your previous choices.

Take personal responsibility for changing your attitudes and, ultimately, your situation. Explore the connection between setting goals and generating cash flow—and take responsibility for that as well.

A great way to build your goal-setting muscle is to invent a small project — one that really excites you — and create the funding for it in a totally new way. Then work up to a slightly larger project. Not only will you realize more of your dreams, you’ll build a larger Option Bank for yourself in the process.

You might even decide to acquire a new pet—one that’s worthy of sharing your joyfully jobless life.