Money is EMOTIONAL. Yep, that’s right. EMOTIONAL. The way you FEEL and THINK about money can have an EXTREME effect on the way you handle your finances. It’s called Mindset.
A bad one? Can severely stunt your monetary growth, and not to mention keep you stuck in a perpetual state of stress and negativity! Whereas a positive one might just be the thing to change your entire financial future for the better!
Today, we’re going to go over what exactly a money mindset is, how you can identify yours, and what you can do to make it work for you!
What is a Money Mindset?!
A mindset, is the attitudes and beliefs that you hold regarding a certain subject. In this case, money. It can drive the decisions you make surrounding your finances, and whether your ‘mindset’ is positive, or negative, can really change the outcome of those decisions.
Let’s talk about some money beliefs that people may hold:
If you have a negative mindset, you might be having some thoughts that are “self sabotaging” Like:
I’m not worthy or deserving of money or financial success.
Money will turn me into a greedy or selfish person.
I’ll never get out of debt.
I don’t make enough to save.
I’ll never be able to afford that.
These thoughts can be extremely detrimental to your decisions. For example, if you truly believe “I’ll never get out of debt” then you won’t. You probably won’t even try because you don’t believe it’s going to happen. Or, if you do try, you’ll always have that subconscious thought pulling you down that will affect how you’re reacting to things.
I’m going to tell you a little personal story that might make all of this easier to understand.
Back when I started dating my partner, Alex, we used to talk about career and money and, all of those things you start talking about in the beginning of a relationship. For me, I grew up in a small town, my parents weren’t rich, but we got by, and that’s kind of how everyone around me was. I wanted to be successful, but I never really aimed at anything above what was around me, because I didn’t think it was possible.
Alex, has a very different understanding of this. He didn’t grow up in extravagant wealth either, but he was really confused about why I was holding myself back.
“You’re intelligent, organized, you do your job WELL. So why aren’t you valuing yourself?”
Now, I didn’t have a negative outlook on myself, I KNEW I was smart, I KNEW I was GOOD at doing what I did.
But, what I really started realizing, was that I didn’t think I was GOOD ENOUGH to be rich. I thought ‘being rich’ was for some secret elite club that I would never be skilled or knowledgeable enough to be a part of.
Because of that belief, I wasn’t even TRYING to make more money. I didn’t ask for raises, because I thought “I’m so lucky to even have this offer”. I didn’t apply for jobs that had a high salary because I thought “I’m not skilled enough to make that much”, “if I even get an interview, they’ll laugh because I’ll say something stupid and show them I’m not smart enough”.
If it wasn’t for Alex challenging those beliefs, I wouldn’t have realized that ‘rich’ isn’t an elite club. There are lots of people making a LOT of money who are just regular normal people. They just ask to be valued.
How to Identify Your Mindset
So. How do you recognize YOUR money mindset?
Ask yourself a few questions:
What do you think about Saving Money?
What do you think about Spending Money?
I grew up thinking ____ about money.
I feel _____ when I talk about money.
People who talk about money are _____.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, but do a big word dump for all of these questions. Once you have brainstormed a few different words or phrases for each question, you will probably get a pretty good idea of what your beliefs around money are and you’ll know if they are negative or positive.
For example, if one of your words for ‘saving money’ is ‘hard’. That’s going to cue you in that you might not be thinking very openly in your ability to save.
If you’re having trouble with this, take a little time. Try and remember, over a week or so, every time you have a thought about money to write it down. After a little while, do this exercise again, and reference your notes. It might spark some better understanding of what to put for each question!
How to Change Your Mindset
Now that you know what your money mindset is, how do you change it? There are a few things you can do.
Forgive yourself for your past.
Don’t dwell on your mistakes because you can’t go back to them. You didn’t know what you didn’t know. Forgive yourself, and move forward. Give yourself permission to make these POSITIVE changes for yourself, instead of staying stuck inside the shame and regret spiral.
Stop comparing yourself.
You are your own person. Someone else’s experiences, goals, or strategies aren’t going to work for you. So remember that. Remember that you don’t NEED to follow anyone else, and you DON’T have to feel guilty about that.
Don’t be afraid to make these changes. If you’re thinking negatively about money, you probably already have fear around changing that mindset. Without letting go of that, you’re not going to have any progress. It’s not going to be easy, but you have to stop hiding behind that fear wall.
Create good habits.
Often times, one of the keys to success is confidence. Have a good plan and create lasting habits for yourself to support the new positive changes you’re making. Often times, when you see a result, it will bring you the confidence to keep going.
Changing your mindset from negative to positive can often be as simple as being grateful. Change the language that you use. Instead of saying “I’m really upset that I messed up on that credit card payment last week” say something like “I’m really grateful that I’ve had the experience because now I have the motivation to fix these mistakes”. Keep doing this OFTEN. The more practice you have, the more natural it will become!
Surround Yourself with Support.
And a bonus: Surround yourself with people who support you. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, if Alex had never supported me in understanding my value, I would have never made the mindset change that I did. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, and who you can count on.