Your relationship with money started forming as a child, and it affects your current decisions about money in a very real way—a scarcity mentality can prevent you from seeing all of the good that currently comes into your life. The daily story you tell yourself about money will either keep you bound and afraid, or it can free you to make better, deliberate decisions. We’re not ignoring the challenges that come into your life, but dwelling on an empty account or comparing yourself to others creates negative mind patterns that can be difficult to overcome.
Identify Your Money Mindset
In an age of greater technology and ease, we take for granted luxuries that our ancestors would have thought were amazing (indoor plumbing. . .need we say more?). Yet, The Fiscal Times says that adults over 30 are becoing more miserable over time (http://www.livescience.com/52771-why-teens-are-happy-adults-miserable.html ). Tons of factors contribute to why this could be. The economy, politics, uncertianty of future, immediate access to worldwide negative news, unmet expectations—the list goes on. more importantly, what can you do about it? Yes, you. The first step is to peek inside of your own mind.
What do you think about your personal abundance and happiness? Do you have negative thoughts and beliefs about money? Many of them may be unconcious (until now). How many of these phrases describe you?
• I feel like I’m not in control of how much money I make
• I avoid risk when it involves money
• I can’t be economically successful and spiritual too
• I don’t have time to learn new strategies
• People who have money are lucky
• If I had more money my problems would be solved
If you’ve agreed with several or even one, your money mindset may be holding you back from your full potential. The great news is, when you get a grip on the reality of your money mindset, it puts you in a position to change those thoughts if you want to.
Look at the Bigger Picture
The ability to control our thoughts has been debated for centuries by philosophers and scientists. We can agree that a vast portion of your thoughts are bouncing around in your unconcious. However, consistent, even fleeting, negative thoughts create pathways that become easy to walk again and again. But “trying hard” not to think about something almost guarantees you’ll dwell on it, so what can you do? You need to retrain your neuropathways—step back and find a new technique.You can take control of your abundance and happiness.
Reshaping the way you think about money can build financial freedom. Learn more about mindfulness and how to use it daily to improve your life. Mindfulness is not meditation, rather, meditation is one way to achieve consistent mindfulness. We’re suggesting that you deliberately and permenantly shift your thoughts—exercising your mental muscles to direct your brain’s attention and focus. Your thoughts have everything to do with the way you view, acquire, and manage money.
Develop Your Strategy
Mindfulness and money don’t just happen without effort. You need specific activities that pull you out of a negative mindset (nothing we’re suggesting should take the place of any needed professional care, of course):
• Books and audiobooks— get online or go the the library. Research and find your own mentors and gurus. Learn something new and positive every day.
• Meditate—sit and feel gratitude for what you already have. This is where your beliefs and ideas about money are free to shift.
• Motion—get up and get going; whether it’s exercise or just getting your energy in motion, it’s vital to literally keep moving.
• Perspective—focus on the now. You are likely safe and content just as you are; sitting and reading this article. Your basic survival needs are met (you’re warm and dry and fed, right?).
Each time you do a mindful exercise or activity, your positive mental muscle will get stronger. Here’s a short exercise to get you into the right head space.
Sit where you are or if you prefer, take a walk.
Observe your thoughts. Just notice them. You may be frustrated, impatient, or anxious.
Take a few deep breaths. Label each breath as it goes in as “inhale,” and out as “exhale.” Labeling your breaths will focus your mind and make room for deliberate thought.
Think carefully about how money comes into your life and where it goes. Examine the way you think about money generally, do you believe it’s hard to obtain? How does your past and childhood primary caregivers influence those beliefs? Is it time to rewrite your thinking?
Create a new awareness about money. Some examples are, “I’m worthy of money,” “Money is a force for good in my life,” “I use money to help others,” “When I work hard I am rewarded,” or “My ideas are lucrative.” You need to replace those old thoughts and beliefs about money with something positive.
If this seems boring or hokey, remember your mind is very singular and likes to think the same thing over and over. In fact, the majority of today’s conscious thoughts actually mimic the thoughts we had yesterday! If you really want to change your thinking, it’s important to sit in the present moment for just a few minutes each day. Your thought patterns about money will shift in a way that lets you focus on generating new and useful ideas—and those ideas are what will change your life. All inventions, technology, and business opportunities start out as thoughts.
Regardless of your current financial situation, mindfulness improves your relationships, immune system, and ability to generate ideas. It reduces stress and opens your mind to realistic possibilities. Integrating even small amounts of mindfulness daily can make profound, positive changes happen in your relationship with money.
To help inspire you on new ways of thinking about money and positive strategies for managing and building wealth, we have developed an eCourse called Perpetual Wealth 101®. In this course you’ll receive access to video tutorials, articles, and podcasts that will help you think positively about money.