I can almost bet that you came to this post thinking that the amount of your income dictates your ability to pay off debt and save. Don’t worry, I did too.
It’s a learned belief, and although more money will certainly help, it’s not the deciding factor between you accomplishing what you set out to do or failing.
So, if not money, then what is? …
Your money mindset!
What is “money mindset?”
Your money mindset encompasses your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about money that ultimately influence your actions and results. It is when you say you’re going to get out of credit card debt but you truly feel it’s impossible so you half-ass your way through the process and tap out when things get hard.
Many of us have experienced this, and we nearly run ourselves into the ground trying to figure out why this cycle continues repeating itself.
Our upbringing and the people we surround ourselves with all have a hand in molding our relationship with money. Think about it. If you grew up in poverty and had to go without a few basic necessities then you may believe that if you could just make or receive a certain amount of cash then you’d be set for life. If your parents argued frequently over their lack of money then you may believe that money causes stress and is hard to come by. The list goes on and on.
You may be surprised to find out that your beliefs about money are not truly your own, but rather what you’ve learned from someone else.
Scarcity vs Abundance
When it comes to money, there are two different types of mindsets you can have: abundance or scarcity. Let’s take a look at each one:
With this mindset, you believe that no matter how much you make or how hard you try there will never be enough money. To you, money is very hard to come by. There’s just not enough to go around so you either cling to your coins or you spend them all because you’re afraid that later your needs won’t be met if you don’t hurry and get what you need. Right?
You’re plagued with a victim mentality, believing that your financial situation is the cause of someone else’s doing and not your own. It’s the government’s fault you’re drowning in student loan debt. It’s the marketing team at Target’s fault for luring you into the beauty section. And so on.
Either way it goes, you base your decisions around fear and wallow in all of the what-ifs. You’re in constant competition for resources although there are more than enough to go around. It’s kind of like fist fighting with water. There’s no winning but yet you keep pushing your fists against the waves. You think you’re doing yourself a favor but in reality, you’re just wearing yourself down. Those waves will continue rippling while you tire out and sink to the bottom.
This mindset also manifests itself into jealousy and spite. If someone else is successful then you believe there is no more room for you to be so you get salty and attract all these negative things into your life.
Let’s say Betty Joe just got promoted to a position that you wanted but you never applied because you were too afraid you wouldn’t get it. When you find out she got the job it kills you to congratulate her. You believe that since she just got promoted she took away your only chance to advance and now you’ll be stuck with the crappy job you have. The audacity of Betty Joe!
With this mindset, you believe that there is more than enough of everything to go around. More money. More jobs. More homes. More whatever.
You base your decisions around the bigger picture, which frees you to step away from your comfort zone and take risks that allow you to grow. Positivity is your middle name so you attract the right people and opportunities at the right time.
To think abundantly is to choose faith over fear. And not just any faith, but gorilla glue strong faith. You have a positive expectation of the future and are confident in your ability to support yourself with what the universe provides.
You’re not slowly plucking yourself bald over stress, but instead, believe that there is more money and better opportunities to come.
If you want to improve your financial situation, this way of thinking is vital. Paying off debt and saving money are no easy feats, but when you set your intention to do both you are anticipating a positive outcome. You’re expecting a continuous flow of money to you to help you reach your goals, which cannot be done when you’re swearing to the Gods that you’re going to run out.
How to change your mindset for financial success
You may not have realized it yet, but you hold the power to create the reality you want. Not the bill collector or your Great-Aunt Bertha, just good ol’ you.
Don’t believe me? If your reality right now is being a “broke” mom of three working a grueling desk job, no one created that reality for you but you. It is our feelings that create our thoughts and those thoughts create our actions.
So maybe you’re recently divorced and the thought of never being able to afford all of your new expenses created feelings of desperation and concern. Your gal pal recommended you apply for a job at her uncle’s tech company and because of how you were feeling from those thoughts you applied. That action created the reality of you working at a grueling desk job.
The “broke” part? It’s all fun and games to say that you’re broke, but when you really think about what you’re putting out into the universe the joke is on you.
To be “broke” is to have no money or to be extremely low on money, right? If you have no money then that means you have no money to reach your financial goals, right? So if you have no money to reach your financial goals then you won’t set any, right? You won’t set any goals because you’ve declared that there won’t be enough to do what you need to do, right? This means that because you have it in your head that you won’t ever have enough you won’t do enough to make sure that you do.
Rip the word “broke” from your vocabulary and you’ve just removed the chain keeping you in the same spot.
Clear as mud? If needed, read that again!
Live through your fears
No, don’t literally jump into the lion’s den, but instead envision yourself living through what scares you. Is the thought of some unforeseen financial emergency (i.e. car breaks down, medical expenses) backing you into a corner? Are you afraid of losing your job and then getting evicted? Whatever it is, envision yourself in that scenario and feeling all those emotions you’ve been running from.
Now, what’s going on? Do you feel like you’re in the middle of a horror movie? Are you in a corner screaming that your life is completely over? Did you get a bald spot?
When we allow ourselves to face our fears we’re taking back the power that they had over us. Whether you realize it or not, your mind is now at working thinking of Plan A and Plan B if these things should ever happen.
Rewrite your money script
Your money script is your beliefs about money that are typically learned in childhood. It’s like those money doesn’t grow on trees! lines that your parents repeated to you so you grew up repeating them to your children. *Guilty*
To change your money script is to ask yourself those tough questions about your relationship with money. It is to recognize how you treat your money and do some digging to figure out why.
Like a curious 4-year-old, you must drill yourself with the question why?! so that you can find the how.
Trust that what you need will be provided
You’re probably thinking by who?!, but just hear me out.
Have you ever felt like you were one bill away from sleeping under the nearest bridge? Like, you literally have nothing but tumbleweeds in your bank account and your stress over money is dying your hair grey? We’ve all been there multiple times, and we’ve all made it through. How do I know? Because you’re scrolling through this post right now and I’m pretty sure it’s not from being stretched out under a bridge.
Living in constant worry and fear is not doing a thing for you. It’s not changing your situation. The only thing it’s doing is poisoning you and dragging you by the hand into the deep dark pits of misery. How in the world can you make anything happen for yourself like that?
Put a bit, or a lot, more faith in yourself! Trust and believe in your ability to take care of your wants and needs with what the universe provides. What you need is already out there, you just haven’t allowed yourself to get it yet.