Have you ever wondered why some people are successful with money, but others struggle with it? There can be many reasons, but it all boils down to this: Money Mindset.
You probably already know what you’re supposed to do when it comes to managing your finances – spend less money than you earn, save for retirement, create an emergency fund, and so on. These are the basics, but establishing good habits and sticking with them can be easier said than done. This is especially true if you’re harboring any guilt or shame over your current situation or past mistakes.
Creating a positive money mindset is much like creating any mindset. It requires self-discipline, and focus. What you focus your mind on is crucial, because whatever you focus your mind on will become your script, or self-talk, which is how your mindset is formed. Basically, there are two different ways in which you can direct your focus. One is toward scarcity, the other abundance. If you find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck, or afraid to spend money on things you need, you may have developed a scarcity mindset. The script for a scarcity mindset will read something like this:
“I can’t afford that.”
“I’ll never be financially independent.”
“I’ll never make enough money for that.”
That’s just a few examples, but you get the idea. There are a number of ways in which a scarcity mindset can be developed. You may have experienced something in the past that dictates how you behave when it comes to money, or you never had anyone in your life to help you. Whatever the reason, you can rewire your brain and create a positive money mindset that will lead you to a more abundant way of life.
Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance.
Self-talk is the internal dialogue that’s influenced by your subconscious mind. If you want to shift your mindset, then you’ll need to change how your subconscious mind thinks. The key to doing that is self-awareness and using your conscious mind. Through practice, you can become increasingly aware when you’re reading from the negative script. When you notice that happening, you can consciously choose to create a different thought. If you notice yourself saying, “I can’t afford that,” you can switch things around and instead say something like, “What must I do to be able to afford that?” It may seem like a small thing, but it’s a powerful technique that is similar to using affirmations. Some people discount affirmations, saying that they’re just a way to lie to yourself, but that isn’t the case at all. Affirmations work, because they employ the conscious mind to create new thoughts. When you do that often enough it becomes second nature, which is another way of saying that you’ve reprogrammed your subconscious mind. And since your subconscious mind is what influences your self-talk, using positive phrases instead of negative ones is a sure-fire way to create a positive money mindset.
Create Boundaries That Set You Free
If it seems like that phrase contradicts itself, allow me to explain. When it comes to your money, creating some boundaries will empower you. The way you make financial boundaries is to create a budget. There’s a reason why nearly every financial article you’ve ever read talks about creating a budget. When you know exactly where your money is going, as opposed to having no idea whatsoever, you’re able to make necessary adjustments or changes in spending habits that will enable you to fund what matters to you the most. How much of what you’re spending is going toward your goals? If you don’t know the answer to that question, then it’s time for you to create a budget. You deserve to reach your goals and live your dreams. A few financial boundaries will help you make it possible.
If It’s in the Past, Let It Go
Few people, if any, can say that they haven’t made a few financial mistakes in the past. Most everyone has spent too much money on something they didn’t need, forgot to pay a bill, dipped into their savings account, or over-charged on a credit card. Any financial mistakes you may have made in the past don’t have to define you today. What’s done is done, so forgive yourself, learn the lessons, and move on. Forgiving yourself frees you from being a prisoner of your past, as well as helps you to not repeat the same mistakes in the future. It also helps you shift your focus from negative behaviors and thoughts, to positive ones – resulting in a shift in mindset and habits. You are not your past mistakes, and now that you know better, you can do better. Let it go and keep moving forward.
Avoid the Comparison Trap
We’ve all done it. We’ve compared our progress, life-status, and our financial situation to someone else. Thanks to the modern world of social media and the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find an endless number of people to whom we can compare ourselves. This is a trap that will never yield something positive in your life, and can even lead to financial ruin. If you see someone living in an expensive house or driving a luxurious car that costs a small fortune, you may be be tempted to spend your way to their level. Remember, looks can be deceiving and what you see on the surface seldom tells the whole story. The person you see driving that expensive sports car may struggle with scraping together the money to pay the monthly payment. The person you see living in the mansion may be living beyond their means and suffering under a mountain of stress as a result. When you compare yourself to others, you’re taking your focus off of your own dreams and aspirations. Avoid the pitfalls of comparison, and keep your attention on your own life. Create goals that are attainable and meaningful to you, because that’s where the joy will be found.
You’ve heard it before, but it cannot be overstated. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude is one of the best ways to increase contentment, and improve your mood by creating feelings of optimism, pleasure, and joy. It also decreases depression and anxiety. Gratitude is about feeling and expressing appreciation for all that you have, even if it seems like little to others. It’s a disposition that will change your perspective, strengthen your relationships, and even improve your health. Life will always have its ups and downs, but if you make gratitude the foundation upon which you build a positive money mindset, it will soon spread to every other area of your life and result in a life characterized by happiness.
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