Money is a currency that helps us live our daily life. Without it, we would not be able to afford food, shelter, clothing, access to transport and health care, and a ton of other things that we need and want in our lives. That is why money keeps people up and night, wondering how they’ll get their hands on more and attain financial freedom.
How you perceive money will affect the way that you go about in attaining it and interacting with it. We all say we want money, but our mindset is often limiting and askew, so we end up sabotaging ourselves and remaining in the same rut for years. That’s not your fault- most of us are instilled a scarcity mentality when you were young, and it is something we carry on to our adult years.
With this scarcity mindset buried in our subconscious mind, we end up doing things that keep us broke. We say we want to be wealthy, but our spending habits are telling a different story. How do you get out of this cycle?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. It all begins well by changing your mindset about money, not just on a conscious level, but on a subconscious level as well. Here, we’ll look at how your limited thinking about money is affecting your bank balance and how you live your life. We’ll also share exercises that you can adopt to bring about a shift in how you think about and interact with money.
Money Mindset Exercises you Should Adapt in 2021
Addressing your limiting beliefs about money
Whether we’re aware or not, our beliefs drive our behaviour. In essence, the action is what reaffirms what we believe in. If you think that family is everything and all that matters in life, your behaviour will reflect the same. If you believe that money is the most crucial thing in your life, you’ll neglect other areas, and your primary focus will be money.
A limit belief that most people have, and that gets in the way of their success, is on how to build wealth. Many people say they don’t know who to get additional revenue streams and are stuck in one job. When you’re in that space, you’re limited in the things you can do, and you end up sacrificing what you love for items that you deem to be more important.
Exercises to shift your money mindset
There are quite a few exercises that you can adopt to change your money mindset. Let’s look at a few top ones that you can begin to get you on the right track.
What money behaviours did you see as a child growing up?
When you asked for something, did your parents retort with “money does not grow on trees,” or did they provide you with whatever you wished for? Were conversations about money going on behind closed doors or were they open with you about cash flow and what it went to?
For this exercise, you’re simply to note what you picked up from your parents or guardians while growing up. See if there are any similarities between what you learned and what you’re doing now, especially if you have children of your own. Try not ascribing a habit or behaviour as negative or positive. Look at it for what it is and remain objective.
What is your behaviour around money?
You won’t have learned everything about money from childhood. There are people and messages along the way that come and changed or added to your existing perception of money. Now, the next step is to look at your relationship around money. You may note that you picked up some things from your childhood and others you learned along the way. Again, remain as objective as possible when making a list.
What are your feelings about money?
From the behaviours you’ve listed, create a story around it. For example, if you tend to spend your money on sales instead of paying off your student loans or saving for the future, what’s the story behind it? In this exercise, you’re going to talk about why you do what you do. If you are stingy with money, perhaps you can mention your parents were too, and you do it because you’re afraid it’ll run out. If you’re a big spender, the story could be that you grew around lack and now your mission is to spoil yourself.
In this exercise, be honest about your relationship with money. The purpose is to uncover what beliefs you have about money. Again, be objective in your reality; it is not good or bad. It is about unlearning and learning.
What beliefs are getting in the way of your success?
From the stories you have around your beliefs, look at which ones are getting in the way of your abundance and balance. Balance here speaks of healthy spending habits. Having a ton of money in the bank and spending none of it because you fear it will run out is not balance. You can spend money and still maintain a good bank balance. Also, we need to keep in mind that success is an individual. Of one, affording an annual trip to a different country is a success. For another, it is having a college fund for their children. For another still, it is paying for a new course for career advancement.
Therefore, there are two aspects to this exercise. Define what success with regards to money is for you, and then look at how your beliefs are getting in the way of you attaining the success you want. You will find that your responses to this either fall under the scarcity mentality, and the other abundance. Some things could be limiting your wealth creation, and others are working in your favour.
Here is where we genuinely test those limiting behaviours. Let’s say you were earning your annual salary in one month. If your eyebrows are already raised in disbelief about that idea, then grab a pen and paper and state why it would be impossible to make that money. Once you’ve listed everything, create another column where you allow yourself to think of all the possibilities there are that can earn you that kind of income. Do you need to take extra shifts? Do you need to work hard and not smart? Rearrange your life until you can make the impossible possible. This part of the exercise will likely take a while because of research. Remember, don’t rush the process; you want to set yourself up well for the future.
Now, you’re faced with two columns. One is telling you that you can’t, another telling you want you can do to attain success. Which one will you choose?
If you choose to focus on what can attain your success, get moving. If you need a couple of hundred bucks to enrol for a new course to later create wealth, then save. Forsake having a new spring closet or buying coffee. Save and pay for the course. To get moving, you need an action plan. With everything listed, write down the things you can do to achieve the success you want. Do keep in mind that action plans do need to be time-bound. Indicate the time you’re giving yourself to reach the heights you wish to.
You know you are great when it comes to arts and crafts, and you’ve made some pretty good creations that you’re happy about. You want to see if you can turn your hobby into a business. Between achieving what is on paper and getting moving, there is a learning curve. What you venture into is likely new to you. That is where you need all the resources at hand to educate yourself on what you need to get from point A to B. You may have to listen to financial planning and investment podcast. You might need to hire a life coach to sear you in the right direction.
Whatever you need to learn how to do something is made available to you. Think outside the box, too; don’t limit yourself to one avenue of learning. You might not afford to do a finance course, but you can watch YouTube videos and amass a lot of information to get you moving in the right direction. Be open and willing to unlearn and relearn.
Mind your circle
You’re likely surrounded by people who hold the same beliefs of money about you. They are always saying they are broke, but they will not change their lifestyle. This part of the mindset exercise will be difficult because you’ll have to be clear about who holds your new-found beliefs and who doesn’t. Aim to be around those that advance your positive money mindset. It does not necessarily mean that you’ll have to change your circle of friends; you’ll need to be more aware of what beliefs you need to reject. That way, you remain on track to your journey of transforming and ripping the harvest of a changed mind.
If you have a negative thought, replace it with two positive ones. If you bought coffee and you’re regretting it, instead of beating yourself up and saying how you won’t do it again, look at it differently. Sure, it is something you don’t want to do if you’re saving for something, but instead, think of two ways that you’ve done a great job-saving. You skipped the sale, and you didn’t eat out. The purpose of this is not to reinforce or excuse habits that negatively affect your success. Instead, it is to remind you that you’ve had other areas of success, and you have the potential to be better even in what you’ve failed at.
When you’re kinder to yourself (talking as you would to a friend you love), you tend to move on from this faster and push yourself to be better.
Another area you need positive affirmation, especially when starting the money mindset journey, is for the current situation you’re in. If your bank balance is in the negative, don’t call yourself worthless for not being able to spend wisely. Instead, remind yourself your worth is not tied to your bank balance. It removes the pressure for your personhood and puts you in a place where you become more objective about money. That’s because you come to understand that it does not define you.
Giving as a way to change your money mindset is counter-intuitive. However, when you look at the wealthy people on the planet, one thing most of them are collectively known for is their generosity. Giving is a universal principle that allows you to create more wealth too. When we talk about giving, it doesn’t have to be financial, especially if you’re tight for cash. It could be giving your time to work at the shelter or providing your talents to those less fortunate and who need it. When you have a giving heart, you’re more open about money, and the relationship you develop with it is healthier.
We’ve looked at ten mindset exercises that you can use to transform the way you interact with money for the better. One thing to remember is that it took you years to develop the money mindset you have about money. It, therefore, will not take a few days or even weeks to transform your thinking and beliefs completely. With that, remember to be patient even when you deviate from the exercises stated here.
To avoid it becoming overwhelming, chop everything down to practical steps that you can take to get you from one place to another. Saying that you need to save more is excellent, but you need to go into the how, stating the steps you’ll take to achieve that. Overall, pull up these money mindset exercises every so often for a refresher course.