Strategies for Breaking Free from Financial Prison
In the last day or two, what types of conversations have you had about money? Perhaps you complained to a friend about how poorly business is going. Maybe you were up all night thinking about paying your mortgage or handling the credit cards this month. Looking back at the last 24-48 hours, can you honestly say you’ve had optimistic thoughts or conversations about money?
With the headlines about economic downturn, joblessness, tax changes, and unpredictable financial markets, money is one of the top areas of stress and uncertainty for most people.
Typically, about a third of my new clients come in quite upset, either from the effects of drowning in debt, job loss or business failure. Some folks got overleveraged in their businesses, many were affected by the drastic real estate downturn and others were trapped in a corporate standstill, unable to use their strengths, unleash their passions and grow their careers.
With all this transition, what can we do to stay positive and put ourselves in the best position to create more abundance and prosperity? We can’t change what happened yesterday, but we CAN make a difference in how we live today by changing the way we think. We can work on having a different money mindset!
Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth
We can master our “inner” game of wealth by understanding our financial mindset, which is the way we think about money. Our beliefs about money are so ingrained that it is hard to talk about them without a lot of emotion coming up. Most of us get angry when our money patterns are challenged.
T. Harv Eker’s Secret of the Millionaire Mind is one of the best books at identifying money mindsets that might be holding us back. He believes we all have a personal money psychology ingrained in our subconscious minds from money messages we heard during childhood, from modeling our parents and our own past experiences. And, more than anything else, our subconscious mind will determine our financial success.
We can know everything about accounting, stocks, economics, real estate, marketing, sales and the world of finance, but if our money psychology is not set for abundance, we will have a hard time experiencing prosperity and wealth—and if we do, chances are we will lose it!!
Revamping Money Psychology
In order to revamp our money psychology, we need to look beneath the surface—to our subconscious and deeply rooted emotions around money. Subconscious conditioning affects our thinking; our thinking affects our decisions; our decisions affect our actions; and our actions will eventually create outcomes.
For example, a limiting belief about money might be, “I enjoy spending because you can’t take it with you.” With that mindset, we may find ourselves bogged down in debt, or with little savings and investments for the future. Our financial freedom then becomes a fleeting concept.
A more positive money mindset might be one based on saving for the future: “The more I sacrifice in the short term, the faster I’ll reach my financial goals.”
Another limiting belief is, “I know all I need to about managing my money.” Along with that belief, might be deeper belief which is, “Rich people are greedy and corrupt.”
These types of mindsets completely limit us. First, having prosperity allows us to give to others in ways that can benefit hundreds of people and help change the world. And, regarding not asking for help managing our money, we need to remember that knowledge is power. A good financial mentor can bring options forward that we might not have any exposure to otherwise. And, the complexities and constant change in the financial markets also require us to depend more on experts who can advocate for us.
So, a more empowering belief than the ones above might be, “My income grows as I grow.” Asking for help and learning from mentors is an important aspect of overcoming this negative mindset.
Mentors are people who have already accomplished what we have set out to accomplish, and are currently living the life we want to be living. Conferring with these mentors helps us to continually transform our financial thought process from that of a common mindset of scarcity and struggle to that of a mindset of abundance and freedom.
One of the most basic concepts I’ve learned about money is that if we’re not focusing on it or responsibly managing it, we’re likely not making the amount we’re capable of AND we’re probably losing more than we know by mismanaging it!! This mindset might be, “Money is a burden to manage” or “I don’t enjoy or have time to manage my money.”
Of course, if we focus too much on positive thinking and we ignore many of the practical action steps necessary to create success, then this type of imbalance can impede any real forward progress or long-term results as well.
Experiencing the Benefits that Bring Personal Freedom
Your money psychology will always impact the decisions you make along the path to abundance and financial freedom. Some of the benefits of resetting your relationship with money include:
- Healing your family’s money legacy
- Forgiving debt and other guilty money issues from your past
- Claiming your money power
- Creating accountability and action
- Experiencing an improved relationship with money that creates prosperity
Only you can be accountable for changing your negative attitudes about money, which is really just adhering the powerful and life-changing Principle of Personal Responsibility. Doing so will enable you to reduce the mental blocks that are preventing you from effectively doing the work to create the financial stability and profitability that is truly your destiny!
Resetting Your Relationship with Money
To reset your money mindset, the first step is to genuinely examine and shift your inherently negative thoughts about money. Much like physical conditioning, your financial conditioning is something you must begin to self-manage and be attentive to for the rest of your life.
First, take some time to jot down your beliefs about money. See T. Harv Eker’s worksheet if you need some guidance. Then closely examine the list and truthfully asked yourself which of your beliefs are continually sabotaging you.
Remember the words of Napoleon Hill, “Both poverty and prosperity are the offspring of thought.”
Next, make a second list of how you would like to think differently about money. Start keeping those lists with you, preferably in your planner, wallet or at your desk.
Now, whenever you find yourself thinking a thought from the negative mindset list, stop yourself. Make a conscious decision to shift that thought to one of your new, empowering beliefs. Before you know it, your new thinking will become habit. According to research, this takes about one month! And, you’ll experience better money outcomes that will continue to support and energize your new money mindset!
Finding a Spiritual Solution to Money Problems
Maybe most important of all, we can challenge ourselves to view money from a more high-level, spiritual position, which sometimes helps elevate our thinking about the possibility of creating prosperity for the good of people and the planet. One spiritual source of positive prosperity thinking is found in the book, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life.
Remember Proverbs 10:22 – “God’s blessing is our greatest wealth; all our work adds nothing to it.” With the Prayer of Jabez, we tap into a much higher power than ourselves and release God’s supernatural ability to accomplish miracles and new beginnings despite hardship and improbabilities.
Reading List for Prosperity Thinking:
- Secret of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker
- The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life, by Bruce Wilkinson
- Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
- The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
What ideas can you share about prosperity thinking? Share your feedback here.