Today on Episode 037 of Fulfilled – The Podcast we are talking all about money mindset! The older I get and the (hopefully) wiser I become… the more I have realized the power of a positive and intentional mindset. This can apply to all aspects of your life, but today we are going to focus on how your mindset is a key piece of your relationship with money. If you haven’t read or listened to Mindset by Carol Dweck, highly highly recommend it! Add it to your goodreads or your to-be-read list wherever that is for you.
In Mindset, the book it dives deeply into the difference between having a fixed and a growth mindset, why one trumps more than another and how to adopt a growth mindset. There are certain characteristics of your situation that you cannot control – you cannot control your genes, your experiences. Your mindset, however, is something that you have control over. Identifying your limiting beliefs, negative mindsets and changing them to be in the habit of a growth mindset with tools to help disprove those limiting beliefs is powerful.
In summary – people with a fixed mindset believe that you have a certain amount of talent and it will always be that way. These people believe that if you aren’t gifted in an area… say, money management, that you will always and forever be bad with money. They feel their skill is predetermined, like genetics, and there’s nothing to be done to improve this skillset.
Trying to avoid difficult situations is characteristic of a fixed mindset. That’s because the longer you spend time working on something, the less of an excuse you have to fail. Difficult situations, in fact, trying and trying and trying again is a characteristic of a growth mindset.
On the other hand – people with a growth mindset believe that they have the ability to change their skills and abilities. These things, like the ability to control your money and make wise choices around money, are able to be changed when you exert effort. As long as they are willing to put in the work, be dedicated towards the goal, and willing to try and fail along the way, they will see growth and improvement in their skillset.
Interestingly, we are all born with a growth mindset. Babies know no limits, they want to learn anything and everything. However, between the ages of 1 to 3 a mindset can already be determined. Babies with a growth mindset tend to try and help other crying babies, while it disturbs and annoys fixed mindset babies. In thinking back on my young kiddos – I could tell you that one of my kids had a growth mindset and one definitely had a fixed mindset in their respective toddler years.
The good news? Anyone can develop a growth mindset! That’s what we are here to talk about today!
First of all — you are not defined by the way that you have handled money in the past. Raise your hand if you’ve done something with money in the past that you wish you hadn’t… if your hand isn’t in the air you are either not human or not being honest.
We’ve ALL done things with our money in the past that the older and wiser version of ourselves wouldn’t do again. Maybe it was cosigning a loan, maybe it was borrowing more than you needed to during college and eating and drinking on that high roller budget – and now regretting it every time you send a check for those hueg student loans, or maybe honestly it was just being apathetic towards being in control of your money and spending years and years without having a handle on where your money was going. If you have ignored your money in the past or just made straight up bad decisions, none of that defines you. Mistakes with money, or really in any area of your life, just make you human and those mistakes in no way define how you are going to be able to grow to be able to handle money in the future!
Second of all – your family of origin does not define your future with money. However your parents or your grandparents handled money, you get to write your own narrative starting today and going forward. This is your life and your story and, although yes, you will be influenced by those experiences, but they are not the sole thing that defines the choices you make with your money going forward.
You have your own unique experiences that have created certain thoughts, feelings and you may even have doubts around your ability to handle money well and wisely. When these thoughts and feelings crop up, choose a phrase that you can say to change your mindset. Maybe it’s something like “I can’t change what I did in the past, but I am in control of my thoughts and actions in the future.” Or similar. Choose something that resonates with you. Have it handy for when these thoughts crop up.
If you’re struggling with this – think back on the culture surrounding money growing up at your house. Was money something that was talked about? Shared about? Shrouded in secrecy? Thought of as bad or evil? Working through the things you were taught either overtly or by observation surrounding money and identifying – are these things serving me? Is so important. Think of each of these “truths” that you believed growing up and decide if that’s a truth that is serving you going forward. Is this a Capital T Truth that you agree with and want to carry into the future? If it is, great! If it isn’t, release it and decide what you are going to believe instead.
Not only do you get to write your own internal narrative and revamp the way you feel about money… you have to be conscious about what you are doing – what are you modeling for your kids – what are you passing on? I am a huge proponent of age-appropriate sharing about your children with what’s going on.
If you are walking through a season where you have trimmed the budget to try to sacrifice to hit a financial goal, share this with the kiddos! Let them help celebrate the progress and the milestones along the way. Share with them WHY you are willing to sacrifice now to win with money later. Let me know how you feel about debt, interest, and paying cash for things.
Thirdly, identify what mental blocks you have around success with wealth and money.
If you can quiet things down and tune into that voice inside your head, you may hear some very significant negative thoughts, mental blocks and limiting beliefs.
I’ve heard my clients and followers in the past say things like “I’ve always been bad with money.” or “Credit cards are something that I NEED for Emergencies! What if something happens and I didn’t have a credit card to cover it?” or “I will never be wealthy” or even “I will always struggle financially because I always have.”
What has happened doesn’t define you. The choices that you’ve made and the life you’ve lived this far has brought you to where you are, but they don’t define where are you are going from here.
Setting your eyes on a clear destination – both short-term and long-term – can help with getting past these mental blocks. Sometimes we have to prove to ourselves that these things aren’t true.
Let’s say that you think you can never stick to a budget because you haven’t ever had success in the past. Set a short-term goal to write out a 2-week budget for your next paycheck. Not even an entire month. Write a budget for the day you get paid and the 2 weeks that follow that until your next paycheck comes in. Be diligent and thorough. Check in every 2-3 days with the budget and your spending to see if you are on track. Prove to yourself that you can get a handle on spending within the bounds of the budget you’ve laid out. Then, repeat. Each time you do this you are disproving your limiting belief and proving that you can change your habits and, in doing so, your financial future.
These steps, starting with disproving one limiting belief at a time, can go a long way in healing your relationship with money.
Here’s another common mental block: Money, or the pursuit of money, is evil. Let’s break this down into money being evil and the pursuit of money being evil.
So money is an inanimate object. It isn’t evil. Money isn’t good or bad. Money is simply a tool that you can use. The dollars that you earn don’t have a say in what they are spent with – they can be used to bless those around you, to create shelter and safety for your family, to purchase reliable transportation, to feed your family or those in need – or they can be used for less noble pursuits. The money doesn’t choose, the person who obtains the money gets to choose. Money is simply a tool that you can use.
The pursuit of money – well, if you are someone who is living in a cave and just piling up stacks of cash to have it – if you are simply in the business of acquiring money just so no one else can have it, I suppose one could argue that that is an evil pursuit… but most people who are looking to accumulate wealth are trying to do it for the good of themselves, their family, and their communities. If you are one of those people who are looking to build a life where money is providing your family with blessings, you are sharing with those around you, and you genuinely have a good heart… then the desire to build wealth isn’t evil. It’s good! It’s what you want.
Think of it this way: You know that your intentions are good. You know that you are going to do great and wonderful things with the wealth that you accumulate. You don’t have evil intentions and therefore, building wealth and creating a life of financial freedom is not in-and-of-itself evil. The motives, not the money, are the important thing here.
Ok, I digress, so we were talking about negative mindset or that inner critic who is telling you lies and thoughts that aren’t a blessing – now that you’ve identified that, what do you do now?
The way to combat that voice is to replace this negative inner voice with positive money affirmations.
Yep, I said it. Positive money affirmations. Before you roll your eyes and tell me that that is just too woooo wooo for you, hear me out. Affirmations have been proven to help develop a growth mindset and reprogram that narrative.
Affirmations are simply positive phrases or statements that are used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. These can be a simple phrase or phrases that you choose and then repeat to yourself on a regular basis.
There is, in fact, empirical scientific data that the use of positive affirmations can, when used regularly and in long-term practice, make lasting changes in the way you think and feel!
Although the data varies, repeating the affirmation 3-5 times per day is thought to be the most effective for internalizing an affirmation.
I recommend choosing 1-2 affirmations that resonate with you and repeating them 3x per day for a couple of weeks. It’s a kind and gentle reminder to yourself and your mind that you can rewrite your inner dialogue around money.
Here are a few examples of positive money affirmations:
- I let go of my past and step into my new wealthy role.
- Money brings me freedom.
- I save and spend money with ease.
- I make great decisions around money.
- I am confident in managing my money.
- I deserve the best life.
- I am debt free.
- I find creative and fun ways to make money.
I have compiled a list of 24 Positive Money Affirmations as well as some information on how to integrate them into your everyday habits. You can download that guide at https://tracy-bingaman.mykajabi.com/money It has something for everyone – do NOT try to do all 24. Choose just one or two that speak to you and integrate those into your daily rituals and habits.
And just in case you are listening to this and thinking – that’s great Tracy, but you don’t know how dumb I’ve been with money, what I’ve ignored and what I’ve done – it doesn’t matter. I’m speaking to you. Yes, YOU! You have the power to change your story, your mindset and your financial future. It doesn’t matter how big the hole you’ve dug, how glaring the mistakes seem to you or what you would do differently if you were given the change to do it again.
You can’t go back… but you can go forward and do it differently this time.
Changing your mindset and healing your relationship with money are relatively soft skills, I know. Sometimes we get bogged down in the steps and the how-to guides and taking action and creating change in a tangible way. The numbers, the interest, the milestones, checking things off a checklist and watching payoff balances drop and investment balances climb, but unless you develop these “soft skills” of speaking kindly to yourself, getting your mindset right and changing the narrative inside your head… you won’t truly see the success of taking those steps.
Your mind is an incredibly powerful tool and harnessing that power for good, for encouragement and for getting in the right headspace is a tool! Utilizing your untapped positivity and mindset is key!