What is your relationship with money like? Do you believe that financial opportunities are abundant and that given enough time and energy you’ll get what you deserve? Or do you think that only certain people can become rich, and for whatever that person is not you?
It’s important to understand that thoughts like these can make or break how you’ll interact with money throughout your life. Especially when you think negatively, you’ll engage in a phenomenon known as self-handicapping – essentially self-sabotaging your motivation and performance. This in turn will hinder your ability to earn more and find the financial success you’re looking to achieve.
For these reasons, it’s important not to let negative thinking get in the way of your financial goals. That’s why in this post we’ll talk explore seven ways you can work on creating a more positive money mindset.
1. Let It Go
What have your experiences with money been like in the past? Have you struggled living paycheck to paycheck or even gotten yourself into debt? Did you witness a parent or other family member who might have had similar issues while you were growing up?
Most people don’t realize this, but those early struggles or problems you saw others deal with can stick with you for the rest of your life. Ed Combs, a couple’s therapist who specializes in financial therapy, explains, that many people falsely believe their earning abilities as an adult are limited to whatever their parents made.
This is, of course, not true at all. There are no rules that say you can’t make more money than your parents did or even do better financially. We have to believe as individuals our potential is limitless, and this starts by earning up to the level of our own abilities – not what the past dictates.
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
When you go to work or talk with friends, do you start to feel inadequate about how much money you have or the things you own? What about when you see people that you don’t even know on social media? Does it make you feel like you’re missing out to see them traveling to exotic locations, wearing designer clothes, and seemingly living their best lives?
When you feel this way, just stop. Comparing yourself to others will always be a losing game. There will always be someone who has more, looks better, or appears happier. And especially when it comes to social media, what you see is most likely not even real!
Only you know the best way to spend your money. While other people might have big homes or luxury vehicles, perhaps those things aren’t a priority for you or hold any meaning. You’re in control of how you spend your money, so don’t let other people’s spending habits prevent you from doing what makes you happy with your money.
3. Set Small Goals
You might want to pay off your entire mortgage or have millions of dollars in your nest egg someday. These are great goals! But they’re also so huge – so much that they can quickly make you feel overwhelmed and like you just want to give up.
If you find this happens, why not try setting smaller goals instead? Smaller goals are bite-sized and easier to achieve, so that makes the chances of success more likely. Even though these tiny accomplishments may just be milestones on your way to the bigger picture, seeing them as “victories” can do wonders for your money mindset. According to “The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, seeing regular progress is one of the most motivating and inspiring things you can do for yourself.
4. Recognize That Good Opportunities Do Exist
When someone says all of the good jobs are taken or there’s nothing they can do to change their position in life, they’re unfortunately suffering from what’s called a scarcity mindset. This is when people believe resources are limited and competitive. It can leave them feeling like their situation is hopeless and that there’s no use in even trying.
Thinking this way is just another roadblock that doesn’t need to be there. How do you know that there aren’t any good jobs or opportunities to seize?
Amazingly, when people start to look for these things, they find them! They learn that opportunities are actually abundant, and all you have to do is just open your eyes.
Don’t fall into the trap of seeing others’ good fortunes as your loss. Instead, choose to believe that there’s more than enough for everyone. Once you do, have a much easier time finding them.
5. Focus on Your Habits, Not the Money
A lot of people believe that the path to building riches lies in knowing which stocks to pick or watching every little penny they spend. But the truth is that simple, practical habits are actually what can get you there the fastest.
When it comes to investing, you don’t need to know the details of every stock or ETF. All you need to do is contribute to your retirement plans consistently and work towards maxing them out every year.
To do a better job budgeting, don’t waste your time scrutinizing each purchase. Instead, use a budgeting app like Buxfer to collect all of those transactions so that you’ll have a clear snapshot of how you’re doing at all times. This will build the habit of being aware of your money as opposed to just restricting it which will let you enjoy it more freely.
6. Challenge Yourself
Sometimes a little friendly competition is good for building a positive mindset. So when it comes to your money, why not give this a try?
A simple challenge would be to read a book about money. It could be anything related to investing, retirement planning, real estate, etc. The goal would be to learn something new (as you often do when you read a book) and then figure out how you can apply that to your life in some meaningful way.
Another example could be buying your first stock on a trading app. Many people are pleasantly surprised to find out that buying and selling stocks or ETFs isn’t as terrifying as they may have first thought. However, you won’t overcome this fear and have the confidence you seek until you take that first step.
7. Surround Yourself with Support
Could the reason you don’t already have a positive money mindset stem from the people you associate with? Have you ever said you were going to try investing or wanted to start a business, but then that idea got laughed at and shot down? If so, then you may be allowing the negativity of others to hinder your personal success.
Nearly anyone who’s ever found financial freedom will tell you that they didn’t get there alone. Even self-made billionaires will often say that they were encouraged by their parents, spouses, mentors, etc.
Perhaps you don’t have these people in your life, or maybe they’re the ones who are actually holding you back from your financial pursuits. Either way, make it a goal to find people who believe in good possibilities and who can help you to seize them. Once you see their good fortunes or hear them say that they believe in you, you’ll begin to believe that it’s true, and this is what’s going to help you to become a success.
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