Our relationship with money is like any other relationship. If we treat it well, if nourish it and pour into it, it will treat us well, nourish us and pour into us. And the opposite is also true. If we abuse it, fear it, treat it poorly, ignore it or feel angry and resentful toward it, it will return the same to us.
So…how healthy is your relationship with money? Is it always MIA? Is it in your life and bringing you joy? Or are you trying to hang onto it while it runs away?
Money has always fascinated me. From a young age, I have been interested in how to make money, why some people have money and others don’t and how to monetize pretty much anything. It’s no surprise then that I have also always worked in some capacity or another. I started with babysitting in my early teens. Then I ran a candy store, worked as a camp counselor and handled the register at a deli. I’ve worked in the Garment District, and I’ve set up inflatables and traveling petting zoos at birthday parties. (I do not condone or recommend the latter unless the owners of the traveling petting zoo are conscious animal owners and lovers.) I have sold tickets to comedy clubs, shows and concerts (big money here for a 19-year-old, by the way), and I have been a teacher. I have, in other words, done so many things to make money that, if I keep listing them here, there will be no space for anything else.
Other than the ticket gig, I realized that the paychecks just weren’t going to cut it if I really wanted to develop wealth. In order to do that, I had to focus not on the paycheck but on my mindset around money in general.
This is where I should probably explain the why. (It’s important, trust me.) I am not focused on finances because I want material items or because I have some big ego around it. It’s true that, if I saw the newest home sauna or red-light therapy, yes, I’d want it. But that’s not what drives me. I am fascinated by money because of the power a piece of paper can have.
Think about how everyone has a different perspective on money. For example, two people could earn exactly the same amount of money, and one could see it as a substantial and very comfortable living while the other might consider it chump change. It’s all about the lens we use, and that affects our language, our thoughts and our attitudes/mindsets toward money.
I know this because I have had all sorts of relationships with money throughout my life. There have been turbulent times, times when there was real insecurity and times when things were just so good that it felt like it was flowing and never-ending.
But here’s the thing: Money is simply energy, and each of us has the ability to channel that energy into currency and abundance. Or not.
A lot of your ability to do this can be traced back to your upbringing. If you have a healthy relationship with money, if you’re not preoccupied with it and don’t invest your self-worth in it, you’re on the right path. For everyone else, there’s work to do in breaking out of the patterns from our childhood. This can be extremely difficult but also liberating and life-changing. And the only way to do it is to notice your thoughts about, feelings for and experiences with money. At the same time, you have to become conscious of and tuned in to your spending and saving habits.
Do you see the opportunities around you? Or are the old soundtracks of powerlessness and apathy on repeat? These might be:
- “This is my lot in life”
- “It would be nice to have more but I don’t really need it”
- “One day when I make money…”
- “I’ll never be able to keep up with these bills”
- “I don’t make enough to save”
- “It’s too expensive”
- “I don’t need that”
- “I’ll never have enough for that car/vacation/bag/shoes/restaurant/golf club/etc.”
- “Oh, that’s only for rich people”
- “What if I lose my job?”
If any of the above sounds familiar, it’s time to reset your money mindset. All of these mantras represent limiting beliefs around money. They impede your ability to make, keep and grow it. Like anything else, if you see abundance as a possibility, and if you take the action steps and work hard to bring it into your reality, anything is possible.
The thing about money is that it can be our best friend or our worst enemy. Money definitely makes things easier in lots of ways. Yet it also can make things extremely difficult, just as lack of money can make things difficult. Think of it this way: If we are good with ourselves then money can be an awesome complement to our lives. But if we aren’t fulfilled, and we use money as a way to try to fill ourselves up, we only set ourselves up for failure. Money can never fill those voids.
I am not saying that changing your mindset is easy or that everyone will turn into a millionaire. What I am saying is that everyone has the power and choice to turn their financial situations around and make them better then they currently are…so long as they are willing to do the work.
Want more advice? Then sign up for my newsletter! This month, I’ll be sharing practical tips on how to change your mindset around money and steps you can take to grow your wealth!