This article was first seen as a Weekly Letter.
Money is a subject that we tend to shy away from. Maybe it’s because of Britishness, or that we’ve been taught it’s rude to talk about- 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 learn more about our mindset and start living the life we want.
Up until a couple of months ago, I was walking around in full-on victim mode when it came to money. I didn’t think I would ever be able to get through the month without running out of money halfway through and having to sell possessions to pay the rent. I didn’t think I would ever be able to afford to buy my own home or be able to get out of the massive hole of debt I was in.
If you had told me that just simply switching my mindset on money would change everything, I would’ve laughed in your face and told you to piss off. That was until I stumbled across Jen Sincero’s ‘You Are a Badass at Making Money’ book and Denise Duffield Thomas’ Lucky Bitch programme and I realised the immense power our minds have when it comes to creating what we desire. After learning about 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 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. Here are 4 changes you can make to shift your negative money thoughts to a positive, more productive mindset:
B E A W A R E O F Y O U R T H O U G H T S A N D
L A N G U A G E A R O U N D M O N E Y
Being self aware enough to recognise any self-sabotaging thoughts is not easy, but without doing this you won’t be able to improve your mindset and starting earning what you deserve. Sabotaging language tends to go like this:
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 all that money is, 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 payment 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.
A P P R E C I A T E W H A T Y O U H A V E
“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, there.
Being appreciative for what you have is the best way to start to shake your negative thoughts or self-sabotaging behaviors. 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.
F O R G I V E Y O U R S E L F F O R P A S T M I S T A K E S
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 (and am still working) at 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 you move forward from that mistake. Forgiving yourself, without completely forgetting the mistake, can help you appreciate and really learn from past experiences.
G E T S P E C I F I C O N W H A T Y O U R E A L L Y W A N T
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.
Money doesn't have to be a tricky subject. We can find a lot of empowerment and comfort within it by bringing the subject up and talking positively about it. We don't have to be in fear of money, we don't have to let it control us.