Do you ever feel like you’re not where you’d like to be financially? What if I told you that the reason for that was the way you were thinking – would you think I was a crackpot? Ten years ago I would have said the same thing, and fobbed it off as some woo-woo mumbo jumbo (I was open-minded like that, ha!) But, over time I have seen tangible changes in my financial situation with a change in my money mindset. And, believe it or not, it’s actually more science and common sense than what it seems like on the surface.
When you were a kid, did you ever get told that “Money doesn’t grow on trees!”? If it wasn’t that particular message, I am sure that there were other spoken and unspoken messages that you received that influence the way you think and feel about money today. During your childhood, your subconscious brain is soaking up information, which is being imprinted or recorded like a videotape. That videotape then continues to replay throughout your lifetime, affecting not only the way you think but the way you feel and how you act. Up to 95% of an adult’s brain activity occurs subconsciously, as a result a lot of what we do every day happens on a sort of autopilot.
Your money mindset is essentially all the imprinted, subconscious thoughts that you have about what money is, its value, your identity in relation to money and what it means to earn, have and spend it.
There are a lot of people who are unhappy with where they are financially. Many are struggling to reach the level of income and assets that they thought they would have by now or feel that they don’t have what they need to live the life they want. Unfortunately, not everyone is taught about how to manage their finances when growing up. The most many of us got was a Dollarmite account, a bit of pocket money and sent off on our way. But the financial know-how is only one piece of the puzzle. Even people who know what they need to do to build wealth often struggle to follow through in taking the action required to do it – and this is ALL about their mindset.
How can this be the case, you ask? I promise you, I’m not going to try and convince you it’s the law of attraction and the power of the universe (although if that brings you comfort, all power to you). The truth is that the thoughts, beliefs and stories we have playing in our minds (you know that little voice I’m talking about) influence the way that we feel. And we humans are very much driven towards action (and inaction) because of how we are feeling, or how we want to avoid feeling. Do you want an example?
As women, we receive a lot of messages, as we are growing up, relating to money that don’t necessarily serve us.
Thankfully a lot of this is changing, but it’s a big ship to turn around. If I was told (or it was just implied) when I was younger, that women are bad with money, then that subconscious thought may make me feel disempowered, this feeling of disempowerment may then drive me to avoid thinking about or managing my money properly, hence creating a situation where I spend more than I have, get into debt, don’t do my research or ever learn more about finances.
The problem is that because so many of these thoughts are occurring in our subconscious we barely even know why we act the way we do. In order to change our behaviour we need to work backwards and get to the root cause – or more specifically, the thought. Once we do that, we can ask ourselves “Is this really true?” “Is this serving me?” “What thought would help drive me towards the action I need to take?” This process is much easier when there is someone objective to work through it with you, but I also find journaling to be a very effective way to tap into and identify those feelings and thoughts.
Be aware, improving your money mindset will not happen overnight, and even when you do uncover and clear unhelpful thoughts, there will be others that float to the surface.
I have been working on mine for years and I’m still uncovering limiting thoughts and beliefs. But every time you clear one set of limiting money beliefs, you take a step up in your financial life, it positively affects not only the way you feel, but your bank balance too. So, stay the course and keep working through each limiting belief as they come up.