Money Mindset: Choosing Your Attitude

an open road with a signpost pointing to different destinations, one labeled Freedom and the other labeled Limitations, symbolizing how our attitude towards money can either open up possibilities or restrict us.

Money is such an important part of the way our world operates. It’s a necessary component for doing so many things in our world. A lack of money prevents freedom, but having money opens up possibilities. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how our attitudes toward money shape our relationship with it.

Everyone has a money mindset. It’s the framework you use when thinking about money. You can be intentional about developing a resourceful money mindset that contributes to a useful relationship with money.

What is a Money Mindset?

In  Money Mindset: Understanding Money, we took a good look at what money is all about. We explored its historical roots and how our modern economy works. We also discussed how a proper understanding of debt and currency can shape our beliefs about money. Not only is there enough money in the world, but when we exchange it, we can create value.

With that foundation laid, I want to encourage you to be intentional about developing your money mindset. But first, let’s look at what that means.

Your money mindset is the way you think about money. You can build a relationship with money that is constructive and resourceful, but doing so depends on your money mindset.

If I give you the prompt “Money is…” and ask you to finish the sentence, what are you going to say? Your answer to that question reveals your money mindset.

person thinking "money is..."

Perhaps the first word that popped into your head was “challenging.” It may have been “hard” or “the root of all evil.” Maybe you transformed the sentence into “There’s never enough money” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Your money mindset will shape your relationship with money. If you think of money as challenging, then that’s the sort of relationship you’re going to have with money.

Imagine that I’m chatting with you about my wife Paige. I tell you, “Paige is hard. She’s challenging. She’s the root of all evil.” What kind of relationship would you think Paige and I have in the world? Probably not a very resourceful one!

The same goes for your relationship with money. Your attitudes toward it will determine whether you build a resourceful relationship with it or not.

Where Does Your Money Mindset Come From?

Whether or not you’ve ever intentionally thought about your money mindset, you have one. Everyone does. That’s because everyone has attitudes and beliefs about money.

Factors that may influence your money mindset include:

  • How you grew up
  • The ways that people around you talk about money
  • Your political beliefs
  • Your society and culture’s stories about money

It can be useful to abstract the beliefs you’re holding about money to see what’s going on in your head and, consequently, in your reality.

What Difference Does Your Money Mindset Make?

Your money mindset is your structural belief about money and the underlying story you tell yourself about it. It’s always running in the background.

Your money mindset influences your actions and your current money situation. It determines whether you are resistant to interacting with money or willing to do so. It influences how you spend money and how you make more of it.

You can grab hold of those unconscious beliefs you have about money — the ones that are always playing in the background — and examine them carefully.

As you extract your beliefs and look at what’s going on under the surface, you can create a more resourceful relationship with money. You’ll start to see how money can contribute to your sense of freedom and your ability to do what you want in the world.

Even more important than that, you can then develop new, intentional beliefs about money. Rather than sticking with your default conditioning, you can form beliefs about money that will help you obtain the kind of results you want in the world.

It’s the same as with any other thought work we do. How we think about something is how we act around it, and that creates the results that occur in our lives.

(For more on this idea, check out our article “Why Is Manifestation Taking So Long? Try It Like This.”)

What are Some Non-Resourceful Thoughts About Money?

As I talk to others, especially business owners, about their money mindsets, a few non-useful ideas come up again and again. Let’s address a few of them.

Scarcity is All Around

Concerns about scarcity may be baked into your ancestral DNA. Over the course of human evolution, food hasn’t always been easy to come by. There may be something deep down within us that says, “There’s not enough!” And so our genetic code encourages us to grab things when we’ve got ‘em.

That doesn’t mean that focusing on scarcity is useful in our modern money mindset, though. Rather, a mindset that focuses on abundance can be more resourceful because it encourages us to exchange money and add value to the world.

I don’t want to go into this non-resourceful idea too much here because we covered it pretty thoroughly in Money Mindset: Understanding Money.

Rich People are Greedy

I think that one of the most ubiquitous attitudes toward money is the basic idea that capitalism is inherently bad. It’s the worst thing to have ever happened to the world.

It’s a variation of an idea that I grew up with: Money is the root of all evil.

In either form, this idea often leads to the belief that wealthy people are bad too.

Often, when we hold this foundational belief, it’s because we think rich people are selfish. They don’t care about other people, and they don’t give and take care of people who are needy.

We may hold these beliefs while also saying, “Yeah, I’d love to have more money in my life.” Whoa, hold on a second. Do you see how these two ways of thinking are in opposition to each other?

It’s useful for us to recognize that if we, even on a subconscious level, believe that capitalism is bad and being wealthy is wrong, then we’re not going to let ourselves behave in ways that will get us more money in our reality. If we did that,

— loathing ourselves, even.

Often, this internal conflict leads to inaction. When we hold opposing beliefs, we’re more likely to take whichever action requires the least amount of effort. So by default, we end up not taking any action toward greater abundance.

But let’s try flipping it around. If you consider yourself a good and ethical person, then isn’t it your responsibility to make as much money as you can so that you can change the world? You can choose to go make money and then use it in a way that contributes to a world that you want to live in.

Charging Money is Selfish

Often, business owners feel tension over the idea of charging for their services. On the one hand, they feel they can offer their work only to people who have resources because they want to receive resources in exchange for what they’re doing in the world.

On the other hand, they may feel that charging is a sign of selfishness — that by charging they’re keeping important services from people without privilege.

I fully understand this, especially the second part of it. From my background in acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I know that a lot of healers feel that, because they’re here to help people, they can’t do anything for themselves.

If you’re currently living in this tension, I encourage you to think about being on an airplane. Before takeoff, the flight attendant will remind you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping a child. If you don’t do it in that order, you might both end up running out of air.

The same goes for work. Sacrificing yourself won’t allow you to help more people. Rather, if you fill your own cup first, you’ll also have water left over for sharing with others.

You can have a successful business and be a giving, generous person. Wouldn’t it be really useful to have a business that was abundant enough that you could donate? Just remember that you can’t build the business off of donating in the first place unless your goal is to be a nonprofit.

How Can I Shift My Money Mindset?

You may have recognized some of your own long-held thought patterns here. But if you’re ready to shift toward a more useful money mindset, change is possible.

Developing your money mindset is a thought process, much like any other thought process. If you decide that you’re going to change your thoughts and keep doing it, then you’ll get there.

There are ways to speed up the process. As you look through this site, you’ll come across many ideas.

In particular, I’m a big fan of affirmations, particularly when visualization is involved. For that, you imagine a world in which you already have a resourceful relationship with money and then rehearse your attitudes and your actions. Ready to try it? Go here to get started.

Through thought exercises, you can build a money mindset that works for you and helps create the reality that you want to experience in your world.
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