When it comes to building wealth, there are many technical steps and strategies you can follow. And if those technical strategies are what you are lacking, there is no shortage of expert information available.
One piece that is often forgotten, however, is the impact an optimistic money mindset can have on your financial success. It’s an important topic to discuss, as more and more research is showing just how beneficial a positive money mindset can be for building wealth.
What is a Money Mindset?
In general, your mindset is made up of your attitude and beliefs. Therefore, your money mindset is the attitude and beliefs with which you approach money.
Your money mindset is at the core of how you make financial decisions and whether or not you achieve your financial goals.
Your money mindset is incredibly personal to you, and there are so many factors that might go into it. In general, however, there are two basic money mindsets a person might have: an abundance mindset or a scarcity mindset.
When you have an abundance mindset, you believe there are plenty of resources (i.e. money) to go around. You’re optimistic about your financial future. You aren’t worried about spending your money, because you’re confident you’ll continue to earn more. You are generous with your money when it comes to helping others, but you’re also diligent about saving to reach your financial goals.
When you have a scarcity mindset, you believe there aren’t enough resources to go around. In this case, that resource would be money. You’re pessimistic about your financial future. When you see others making money, you believe there will be less left for you. You’re selfish with your money, but don’t seem to hold onto it for long.
How is Our Money Mindset Formed?
Many of our central money affirmations come from observing the subconscious messages we received from our parents. If your parents often made negative comments about their financial situation or spoke jealously about others who were financially better off than they were, then it’s likely that would have contributed to your scarcity mindset.
Your own life experiences since childhood have also played a part in forming your current money mindset. If you feel that money has not come easily to you as an adult, your experiences are reaffirming your scarcity mindset.
Why Your Money Mindset Matters
In general, a positive mindset about money is likely to result in better financial outcomes. A survey conducted by a University of Pennsylvania researcher, in conjunction with Frost Bank, showed that those with an optimistic mindset were significantly more likely to see financial health and to engage in healthier financial habits.
Let’s discuss a few specific ways in which your money mindset can influence your financial success.
An Abundance Mindset Leads to Business Success
Those with an optimistic money mindset are more likely to take financial risks, because they really believe they will reach financial success. Because of this, those with a positive money affirmations are more likely to start their own business or seek advancement in their current career.
According to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2010, those considered optimists are 40% more likely to get a promotion, six times more likely to be highly engaged with their work, and five times less likely to burn out. A different study done at the University of Pennsylvania found that optimistic salespeople considerably outsell those with a pessimistic mindset.
Though your level of optimism around money certainly isn’t something that can be quantified in the same way as the amount of money in your bank account or the size of your paycheck, there’s a clear trend that shows having an optimistic money mindset pays off.
A Scarcity Mindset Leads to Lack of Action
Someone who lives with a scarcity mindset feels that no matter what actions they take, financial success is not coming their way. Because of this, your mindset might be stopping you from taking any action at all!
If you truly don’t believe you’ll reach any financial goals you set, you’ll be less likely to set goals such as paying off debt or saving for a downpayment on a home. And by failing to reach those financial milestones, your mind will use that as evidence to reaffirm your already pessimistic financial mindset.
A Scarcity Mindset Can Be Harmful to Relationships
Those with a scarcity mindset believe there is only so much to go around. So when they see someone else reaching financial success, they are likely to believe, at least on some level, that the result is less money for them.
This mindset can, and almost certainly does, lead to feelings of jealousy and resentment toward those who are financially better off than we are. And when those we are feeling jealous and resentful of are our friends or family, this mindset can take a toll on our relationships.
How to Develop an Optimistic Money Mindset
Now that we’ve established how important it is to have an optimistic money mindset, you are surely curious about how you can improve your own money mindset.
1. Identify Your Current Beliefs About Money
In order to change your beliefs around money, you first need to identify the beliefs that have been holding you back so far. Try to write down all of your beliefs about money, and the role that money has played in your life so far.
What did your parents teach you about money? Do you believe that a lack of money has held you back from achieving certain things in your life? Do you feel a significant amount of stress about your lack of money or your financial future?
Remember, this isn’t about how much money you have. This is about how you think about your money. You might be surprised by the answers you come up with here, especially if you think of yourself as a relatively optimistic person, but find you actually have a pessimistic money mindset.
2. Rewrite Your Money Money Beliefs
You’ve completed an important step by identifying your current beliefs and mindset toward money. But you’re not done yet! Once you’ve identified your current beliefs, it’s important to challenge and rewrite those beliefs. You can replace your money blocks and create a new mindset that truly serves you and your bank account in the future.
Take each of your biggest money blocks and write a new, positive money affirmation to challenge it. Work on writing or saying those affirmations on a daily basis to help shift your mindset.
3. Show Gratitude for the Money You Have
By taking time to show gratitude for the money you have, you can focus on the abundance in your life instead of the limitations. Studies, including one done by Harvard Medical School, have shown that practicing gratitude on a daily basis can increase your happiness and optimism.
By showing gratitude for your money and by increasing your optimism around money, you’ll be able to boost your money mindset and believe that more money is coming your way.
4. Set Financial Goals
Those with a scarcity mindset worry that money is temporary and that they don’t have more money coming their way in the future. You can challenge those beliefs by setting financial goals for your future.
If your current mindset tells you that you’ll struggle financially and that your situation cannot be fixed, then believing in a long-term financial goal is likely far outside your comfort zone.
Sticking to these long-term financial goals will really force you to reevaluate and rework your current money habits, having a long-term impact on both your bank account and your mindset.
5. Practice Being Generous With Your Resources
Researchers with the academic journal Psychological Science found that the more generous you are with your time, the more time you feel that you personally have. They go so far as to suggest that if someone feels they don’t have enough time in the day, they could rectify this by giving some of their time away by volunteering or helping a friend. It gives you an abundance mindset about time.
We could apply the same principle to money and assume that the more money you give away, the more abundance you have around money. And by opening yourself up to even more money abundance, you’re setting yourself up for more financial success in the future.
Most of us don’t pay much attention to the mindset with which we approach money. But more and more research has shown that it’s an important factor in long-term financial success.
Having an optimistic money mindset allows you to set big goals for the future, invest in yourself, and truly live with the belief that financial success is coming your way.
Though it will take a lot of mindset work on your part, the steps above can leave you well on your way to a more positive money mindset.