Do you feel good, positive, excited and empowered about your money and finances? Do you feel like you have more than enough to meet your needs, you have plenty to spend, save and give away? Do you feel like an excellent custodian of your money and that you are in control of it?
Then lucky you!
If, however, you are like most of the people in the world, you are more likely to feel stressed, trapped, scared, unsteady, in lack, panic, living week to week or maybe not even managing that?
Are you feeling overwhelmed by debt and the relentless struggle to make things work? Do you find yourself constantly thinking about money, checking your bank statements and having fights with other people about money? Do you feel like there is never enough or even a sense of impending financial doom and nothing you do will shake that feeling? Do you feel uncomfortable having conversations about money, determining your value, negotiations, sales?
In reality, at it's most basic level, money is simply an energy. It is the way that we as a society have formed to allow us to exchange time, goods and services. And when we have a surplus of it that is more than what we need to live, we can either spend more, save it or give it away.
How we feel about money is based on our belief systems and programming. There are many factors that go into developing these beliefs - how we have internalised our parents attitude and beliefs, our perception of events that happened in our childhood, cultural norms, expectations of society, what the media is telling us etc.
Money is an essential part of the world we live in and being comfortable financially should be a priority for those who want to want a life free from money and financial stress. However, whether we are allowing money or repelling it is as a result of our belief systems, which determine how we think and feel, the language we use and ultimately how we behave and the actions we take.
If we have a victim, lack or poverty mindset (that shows itself in things like - there is not enough to go round, things are looking bleak, money is not easily available to me, I can't afford it, I am always broke, this is always happening to me, people who live in nice houses/drive nice cars etc are greedy, some people have things which means that other people miss out) this will have an impact on every are of our life, including with our finances.
When we have this attitude towards money (recognising that everything that we experience is a reflection of ourselves and the way we think and feel), then everything to do with money is going to feel hard and with no joy.
Can you imagine what it might feel like to feel excited and calm and confident about money, and to start feeling that way right now?
Changing your relationship with money - mastering your money mindset - begins with gratitude and appreciation for everything you have right now. For most of us, the challenge is that we are constantly focusing on what we don't have, rather than looking for and appreciating who we are and the things we do have. It's the glass half full analogy.
Certainly for me, my money mindset has been one of my biggest challenges to overcome. Recognise that this kind of change takes time. And it requires effort. It's shifting a lifetime of stories - and the resulting "evidence" that continues to support those stories. We need to be patient with this, and know that by shifting our focus, we can completely transform the experience of our lives - and this is as true for money as it is true for any element of our lives.
Where is your focus?
The first step to mastering your money mindset is to accept where you are. You are where you are now. Until you can accept it, and until you can accept that you have created your very own reality, and to take responsibility for it - there is no-one else you can blame for it - then nothing will change, because you will be looking for causes outside of yourself as the reason. However, acceptance has unbelievable power. Because if you can fully accept that you got yourself into this situation, that it was nothing to do with anyone else, then you have understood the most basic principle for change - that you have the power within you to create a different reality for yourself. If you got yourself into it, then yay you, you can get yourself out of it.
Forgive yourself for being in this situation. Forgive everyone. Your parents. Your ex. The old boss who never gave you a payrise. Clients who are late paying. The GFC.
Cultivate a mindset of gratitude. Not just sometimes. But ALL THE TIME. When you can start to see through the eyes of appreciation, your are going to find more things to be grateful for. Look around you, look at your life - what are the things that you have or have become that you are thankful for? Start a regular gratitude practice, write a gratitude journal and practice saying thank you to everyone and everything. One of the best things I have implemented is to track money and value that comes my way - this helps me focus on what is coming in. As a business owner, this has been instrumental in helping me keep focused on a daily basis, and really reinforces the feelings of gratitude as I can see myself reach towards and hit my targets. And I am always so grateful for it.
Beyond acceptance, gratitude and forgiveness, there are some really practical strategies that you can start to put in place, today.
Get clear on what you want
Start creating a vision and some goals around money. Wishing and hoping that things will change or improve is not a recommended approach. Get clear on what you want. You know the story of what you don't want back to front and from every angle. So start focusing on what you really want, get clear and start to feel excited. What we focus on is what we get. So start being intentional about what you want. This can be incredibly challenging if you are not a goal setter or you honestly think that things will never change. It's a practice. But what you will find as you start to implement the strategies below is that you are going to start becoming more aware of not only your present circumstances, but also of yourself and your belief systems and you can start to create a new story about your relationship with money.
Where are you now?
To become empowered about your money and finances, you need to become aware of your present circumstances. Get your head out of the sand so to speak. As Albert Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But for things to change, things need to be shown the light of day, to be exposed. This can be very challenging. What are your thoughts around money? How does money make you feel? What do you spend your money on? Do you have savings?
If you do have debt, start appreciating it, rather than seeing it as a negative, focus on what it has provided, or will provide or has taught you.
What is your plan?
I highly recommend checking out Scott Pape and The Barefoot Investor for an incredibly simple and straightforward way to understand a new approach and set up a really practical and workable financial system. I have also implemented this with my kids, and it has been incredibly successful for them, and it is teaching me even more about the gaps in my own money mindset.
Start becoming aware of what you spend money on and where. I've been using a paid app called You Need A Budget (YNAB), but there are free apps on the market or you could use a simple spreadsheet. The reason I do this is is to help keep myself accountable to spending consciously - I have to really think if I want it or need it. It's not from a place of lack, but for me it is about being an excellent custodian of my money, about spending and saving wisely.
Educate yourself - read books, magazines, listen to podcasts, talk to people who you admire. When you start seeking, you will find.
Create new story habits
As you become more aware of what you are currently thinking about money, you can start to create new affirmations that will begin to build new neural pathways in your brain. This is really where a lot of the effort and the focus needs to be applied. At a conscious level, we are constantly telling ourselves stories that we believe to be true, for example - I am terrible with money, I can't save, money burns a hole in my pocket, I never have any money, I always get ripped off, no-one ever pays their bills on time. If this is what we are thinking, and telling our then this is what we will attract and what we are training our minds to see. But as with gratitude and forgiveness, when we start to adopt that attitude we start to become more grateful and more forgiving as our default setting. We are literally rewiring our brain.
Affirmations are a great way to centre yourself in the new and desired belief system you want to create. When you first start, you are going to feel like a fraud because your new affirmations are so foreign to what you currently believe and how you feel. But with repetition, you will start to deepen and strengthen that new neural pathway until eventually it becomes your dominant belief system. So much better than focusing on the undesired reality that is currently being experienced. Remember, you are the master of your creativity! The great thing about affirmations and cresting new belief systems is that they help show up all the ways that you currently believe that they are not true, which gives you the clues as to what aspects of your belief system you need to take a closer look at.
Here are some examples of affirmations - new stories - that I tell myself.
- I am a force for great abundance
- I am an excellent custodian of my money
- I am so lucky!
- Great things are always happening for me
- It is safe for me to have more than enough
- I can easily afford the things that are important to me
How will you keep yourself accountable?
We all know how easy it is to have the best of intentions to create change in our lives and then things very quickly fall by the wayside. Change is hard, it requires constant vigilance. How will you keep yourself accountable to mastering your money mindset and carrying through on the changes you want to make? You can find yourself an accountability buddy, get a coach, join a group or a network that is focused on expanding your mindset. Share what you are doing with people, build a support network around you.
Mastering your money mindset is important
When you master your money mindset, you stop focusing on fear and debt and lack, and you start focusing on abundance, ease and flow. And when you master your money mindset, you start to open up to new opportunities, to create new income streams and to learn how to become an excellent custodian of your money.
As you learn to practice discernment, it no longer becomes about not affording it, but about what you are choosing to spend your money on. And as you do this, you will start to feel more and more comfortable and empowered about your money and finances, which in turn will create the right environment for your changing circumstances to flourish.
Hello! I'm Fiona Redding, founder of The Happiness Hunter, mindset coach, speaker and facilitator. I am passionate about helping you get clear on your vision and providing practical and grounded guidance and support to help you achieve your goals.
Please get in touch to take the next step in mastering your mindset and transforming your life and business.
Rather than work-life balance, our philosophy is about Life Integration, which is the process of seamlessly integrating wellbeing into every element of your life. Your work is not separate to your life: your work is part of the living whole of your life.
The Happiness Hunter is based in Melbourne, with a team of coaches and consultants available across Australia.