If there is one distinguishing feature that separates those that manage and grow their personal wealth and those that don’t, it is in understanding the principal role played by our own mind in that process.
By this I do not mean to exclude the very long list of other elements that collectively influence our ability to grow our wealth. I will be writing about more of these in coming articles.
For the moment though, lets just examine (and acknowledge) the thought processes that both drive and inhibit our ability to grow our wealth.
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Run a random survey in any country and ask adults whether they consider themselves generally ‘rational’ or ‘irrational’ people. Almost all will be quick to respond that they are quite rational decision makers.
And yet, when it comes to handling money issues, we know that so many people are driven by their emotions rather than rational logic! This ‘logic’ vs ‘emotion’ often becomes the foundation for the different financial success people experience throughout their lives.
In childhood we begin to form our understanding for handling money from parents and peers. We learn from how we see, hear and experience the way others handled their money?
It is during this critical time that we start to unconsciously move into one of two general mindsets about money: Abundance or Scarcity.
Since the start of my involvement in Personal Development 15 years ago, I have been fortunate enough to encounter many successful entrepreneurs who came from humble beginnings.
These people are in business, arts, science, education and a host of other enterprises. All had struggled, failed, learned and struggled again to eventually find their success. However ALL had one part of their story that was uncannily consistent… Can you guess what it was?
When it came to making money they all had to fight to defeat their Scarcity mindset. A lifetime of conscious and unconscious negative attitudes needed to be purged!
Steps to change an unhealthy Mindset?
Let me raise my hand here and admit that this is one tough challenge. I have spent a long time working my own attitude to money, but I can now say without hesitation it is worth the fight.
First acknowledge that your mental attitude to money may need to be reappraised. Be brutally honest and write a (private) list of what you believe to be true about money. All the positive and negative emotions. Because that’s what they mostly are – Emotions, attitudes and assumptions. How well have these beliefs served you so far? Commit yourself to opening your mind to new ways of thinking rationally.
2. Commit to Learning about money:
I’m not necessarily suggesting taking some form of coursework, even though that may help some people. I’m talking about developing our financial literacy skills. There is a ton of free information online to get you started. The fact that you are reading this article tells me that you are already looking for information!
3. Visualize your new Mindset:
Great sportswomen and sportsmen will often say that they practice their shots in their heads a thousand times more often than they do in real competition. Why? Because our minds can be trained to believe in achievement before it happens in real life.
Yes, they still feel fear,… but their minds are focused on completing what has been mentally practiced again and again. We build a healthy mindset about money by visualizing our successful transformation while we are growing our knowledge. Please do not underestimate the importance of visualization in your journey!
4. Forgive yourself for past mistakes:
Why do we beat ourselves up so much for our past mistakes? Your past money mistakes must not be allowed to define who you are and especially who you are becoming. Most of the entrepreneurs I mentioned earlier have had to mentally draw a line under their earlier errors of judgment in order to ‘move on’ and succeed. We learn from our mistakes and then move forward again with Positive expectation in our minds.
5. Seek out role models:
Look for people who are already creating their own wealth. Particularly those who are open to share their experiences with you. Due your due diligence on them and make sure that they share your values and deserve your respect and time. The flip side of this coin is to avoid the well-meaning friends and family who will tell you it’s all too hard!
Sadly, they may feel compelled to ‘help’ you to avoid failure. Society prefers conformity and you must work hard to swim against the current. Share your plans and dreams with only those who understand and will encourage you. We all need a Cheer Squad!
Working on creating a healthy mindset to money is ‘ground zero’ in the process of changing a lifetime of bad money habits.
All the other skills like controlling our spending; setting a budget or up-skilling our qualifications should only be attempted after we have started work on getting our Mindset for Money on track. If we do not apply attention to our Money Mindset then all other well-intentioned efforts will likely struggle to succeed.
For more on personal development you may like this article.