3 changes you can make to your money mindset
Money is a subject that we tend to shy away from. Maybe it’s because of Britishness or because we’ve grown up being taught it’s rude to talk about it- I don’t really know. What I do know is that it’s more than healthy to talk about money. In fact, it’s vital that we open up a dialogue about it so we can earn more and start living the life we want.
Up until last Summer, I was walking around in full-on victim mode when it came to money. I didn’t think I would ever be able to earn enough without running out of money halfway through the month, selling possessions to pay the rent. I didn’t think I could ever be able to afford to buy my own home or be able to get out of the massive hole of debt I was surrounded by. If you had told me that just simply switching my mindset on money would change everything, I would’ve laughed in your face. That was until I stumbled across Jen Sincero’s ‘You Are a Badass at Making Money’ book and Denise Duffield Thomas’ Lucky Bitch, and I realised the immense power our minds have when it comes to creating what we desire. Yes, it all sounds incredibly woo-woo and I was definitely cynical -- but after learning and researching the concept of a ‘money mindset,’ I’ve realised that this really is an integral part of the equation to lead a happy financial life.
Your money mindset is essentially the feelings and thoughts you subconsciously develop towards money from your life experiences. Because our thoughts often control our actions, developing a negative money mindset can create a barrier between you and financial health. It can keep you in a state of lack, as well as stress and anxiety, and it can keep you from achieving your deserved financial goals.
But just because you’ve developed a negative money mindset, or negative thought patterns around money, doesn’t mean this is how you’ll always feel. At the beginning of my ‘mindset journey’, I truly believed I was going to be stuck eating baked beans and selling my beloved possessions for the rest of my life. We can change it around. You are more than capable of achieving the income goals you desire and deserve.
Here are some tips on how to shift your negative money thoughts to a positive, more productive mindset:
Be aware of your thoughts and language around money.
Being self aware enough to recognise any self-sabotaging thoughts is not easy but without doing this, it’ll be tricky to improve your mindset and starting earning what you deserve. Sabotaging language tends to go like:
“I’ll never get out of debt”
“I don’t make enough to save”
“I’ll never be able to afford that”
“I’ll never make as much as so-and-so”
“I hate money/money is evil/the rich are evil”
When we’re in a negative money mindset, we blame money for everything. We blame it for all of the bad things in the world; for not being able to hang out with pals because we’re too broke; for not being able to follow our dreams because we just can’t take the risk. The key thing to remember here is that money is energy. Money is currency and currency is energy. It is not to blame for our lack of things or for evil things happening in the world. The evil things are down to the evil people who just so happen to have money. It’s like saying ‘Urgh, I hate the sky. The sky is the reason why my business is failing, it’s why I need to move back in with my parents’. We can’t blame the sky for our problems because it’s done nothing wrong! And neither has money. If you keep insulting money, it ain’t going to come anywhere near you. We need to shift the negative narrative if we really want to get earning what deserve.
Take time to reflect on things you’ve thought or said in the past. If nothing comes to mind, make a conscious effort to keep track of how you feel or what you say when the topic of money comes up. What happens when an unexpected bill comes in or when an invoice that you were expecting hasn’t been paid? Make a note of it, even if it feels like the truth and not a self-sabotaging thought, and reflect on how that thought is affecting your actions. Interrogate that thought and switch it. Ask yourself why it is that you think that and turn that negative thought into an empowering one. Change the story and switch the narrative.
Negative thought: Money can’t buy happiness.
Q: What makes me happy?
A: Hanging out with friends, buying gifts, giving to charity, pizza, travelling, listening to music, having my own business, doughnuts, freedom.
Q: Does having money help me do those things?
New empowering thought: Money supports my happiness.
Try this exercise with any thoughts that are popping up right now.
Appreciate what you have.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah saving the day and being the queen as per usual, here.
Being appreciative for what you have is the best way to start to shake your negative thoughts or self-sabotaging behaviours. We all have so much to be thankful for and while we may sometimes recognise this, when it comes to money and budgeting many of us tend to take a restrictive view that can bring us down. By being thankful for our student loan debt because it gave us the chance to learn and grow our minds, or to car finance debt because it allows us to travel and it fixed a solution at some point, we bring a lot more positivity to the narrative.
Forgive yourself for past mistakes.
We tend to be our own worst critic and for many people, making a financial mistake is something that we hold onto forever. But holding on to that negativity and beating yourself up for mistakes you’ve made in the past will stop you from moving forward. Maybe you’ve made some bad choices, spent too much money, or landed yourself in a pile of debt. I know that I have definitely done all of those things over the years but I’ve worked at, and am still working at (forever a work-in-progress, me) forgiving myself. Give yourself the permission to forgive yourself and try to look at these mistakes as learning opportunities. No one is perfect- what matters most is how your move forward from that mistake. Forgiving yourself, without completely forgetting the mistake, can help you appreciate and really learn from past experiences.
Get specific on what you really want.
Desire is an important principle when it comes to your money mindset. Taking the time to really reflect on what you specifically desire, what you will do to reach that desire, and when you will reach it by can help you create a plan or budget that’ll get that cash coming in. If you desire more money, try writing down exactly how much you desire, how you are going to get to that amount, and by when. You may have heard me talk about it before but the Chalkboard Method is great for doing this. It’s a visual manifestation tool first talked about on the Being Boss podcast, and it involves you getting really specific on what you need in your business- whether that’s attracting new clients, growing your following or making space for new projects by creating a visual ‘check list’. This method is all about setting big goals and seeing them through. It holds you accountable and at the same time it’s literally creating space for what you want and asking for it. Then, it’s about trust in the Universe and doing the work.
It’s a simple strategy, but most people don’t take the time to really reflect on their wants/desires and create a plan to get there. Since writing down exactly what I want, I’ve found myself working harder than ever to get there.
“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” - Jen Sincero
When I first read this quote, I was all “DAAAAaaaang, that’s mean’ but then I asked myself why I thought that. Why did I feel uncomfortable? It was because that’s exactly what I was doing. I was just making excuses when it came to changing my life. ‘Oh I can’t do that, I’m broke’ was what I thought when someone suggested I hire a coach. When I needed to start delegating and hire a VA, I thought ‘I can just do it myself, it’s expensive’. Making excuses is a sure way of keeping ourselves small.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you broken free from a scarcity mentality around money? If so, how exactly did you do it? Leave a comment below and let me know.
As always, I’m cheering you on!
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