What exactly is money? Printed pieces of paper, molded coins, and every way of charging to a credit card. Familiar to us all!
The inherent value of money, though, is our belief that money is money! And that it remains so. It’s a societal agreement that money has a value – that it had a certain value yesterday, that it has a certain value today, and that it will still have a certain value tomorrow. But why? Because we – you and I as individuals, those around us, society, and the global economy – have agreed to this fact. And we’ve done so for a pretty long time.
Without this agreement and the trust behind it, money would be nothing more than…some random object. Nothing more than colorful pieces of paper and molded coins. Money is in some way, above all else, emotional. We each have our own unique relationship with money, with finances, and with life issues such as earning money, spending, and saving.
- How would you describe your unique relationship with money?
- How do you feel about the topic of money?
- What first comes to mind? What kind of outlook do you have?
Each of us actually starts to develop our intrinsic money convictions very early on in life…and then we usually carry them around with us unconsciously like dead weight. When that starts keeping us from freely shaping our life and living it the way we want to, it’s high time to change these beliefs. Sound like it’s easier said than done? It is. But it’s worth it. Because more than anything else, this path is paved with practice.
It’s worthwhile at the outset to take stock of the typical money convictions that make up your individual outlook on money with a critical eye. This so-called money mindset influences and determines the decisions you make in the context of money and finances. It’s your outlook on earning money, spending, saving, and investing. This isn’t spiritual or esoteric in any way; rather, it’s the first step (and a super important one) to being able to invest successfully. Even if it’s tiresome and can grow to be increasingly challenging!
The following money mindsets are particularly prevalent and commonly encountered:
This mindset is generally centered around scarcity. It’s often about what you don’t have. And about the notion that you never have enough, regardless of how much money is in your bank account. Many people with this money mindset generally live by the attitude of YOLO: You Only Live Once. In accordance with this, they spend everything they have…as long as they have it. They do this because they’re convinced that there’s never going to be enough money anyway, so what’s there can be spent more or less indiscriminately. For them, money is something they can’t control anyway…so why make such a big fuss about it? They believe that although money can’t buy happiness, it absolutely can buy really good food, good drinks, wild vacations, and nice clothes. So why even hang onto money? Why ponder and worry over it? Best to spend it with both hands and have fun in the moment!
The typical outcome is pile after pile of credit card debt and an empty bank account at the end of the month. That in turn can be very stressful and further compromise an already negative outlook on money. And then that general gnawing feeling fortifies: I don’t have enough anyway – doesn’t matter what I do.
The opposite of the deficit mindset is that of abundance! People with this mindset see money as a vehicle that is positive to the core and as something that brings them freedom as well as security, because it offers endless possibilities. They are convinced that there’s enough for everyone. And that others being wealthy does not mean in any way that they themselves can’t be or become rich. They are convinced that the money they spend and share with others will come back to them, because there really is more than enough.
This money mindset is centered around gratitude. For what’s there. For what comes our way, for all the plans we make in life that come to fruition and work out. It’s a positive cycle, because gratitude for abundance and surplus nourishes a positive relationship with money. Those who focus primarily on what they already have inevitably see exciting and surprising new possibilities. Giving and sharing with a community usually come forth easily from this perspective, fostered by the belief that shared wealth will come back in new forms to those who give it away. Seen from the abundance mindset, the glass is always half full – never empty.
Now it’s your turn
A good starting point for changing your own money mindset is to work on your inner blockades – in this context, your financial blockades. These are all the thoughts rattling around in your mind about money, including the ones that were instilled in you – typical sayings, expressions, and convictions that your parents, partner, close friends, or colleagues express again and again.
A super easy and surprisingly effective way to clear these blockades lies in reformulating them! Write your own and anew and, above all, develop positive affirmations about finances and abundance!
Flip the statement “I can’t afford it anyway” on its head! Reformulate it in your mind as an open question instead: “What can I do to be able to afford this?” You can also use phrasing such as this as a way to empower yourself: “This purchase doesn’t align with my financial goals. My priorities lie elsewhere.”
Rather than condemning yourself to grandiose financial ambitions and goals, say to yourself, “I know my financial goals. This is the first step toward achieving them.”
Your personal attitude, particularly your thoughts, are crucial if you want to change your outlook on money and finances. Everything you think, everything you tell yourself again and again in your head, influences your feelings on the subject. These feelings in turn influence your actions, and your actions influence the outcome. Sound complicated? Oh, but it’s not! The beautiful thing about this process is that you get to determine the outcome yourself! How? By starting all the way at the beginning of the chain reaction and determining on your own what you think.
Early experiences in life steer our subconscious and affect our outlook – they determine that deep relationship we have with money. To learn more about your money convictions and open up the possibility of changing it, you could ask yourself these questions:
- How do you feel about money?
- How would you describe your relationship with money?
- Is there something you’d like to change about it?
- What’s the very first memory you have involving money?
- What was your parents’ outlook on money like? How did they handle money? What did they instill in you?
- What effects could that have had on your relationship with money?
Do you want to take control of your financial matters and change your money mindset? You should definitely explore the simple and thereby extremely effective tools listed here:
- Surround yourself with positive influences!
- Read a lot of books and educate yourself further.
- Empower yourself! Ask questions – be curious!
- Set yourself a clear goal regarding your financial future. Write it down and envision that it has already come true. If you truly believe that you will achieve it, your thoughts will follow suit.
- Display your gratitude! Every day, write three things you’re thankful for.
You’ll be surprised at the exciting changes these seemingly small steps can bring about.