Would you let a 7 year old drive your car?
Hopefully you answered no to this!
Which leads me to ask why are you letting a 7 year old drive your money decisions then?
According to research by age 7 we have largely developed our money beliefs and I don’t know about you, but at 7 I had some pretty strange views on life. Money came from the tooth fairy who strictly wanted “perfect” teeth, Santa only visited kids who deserved a gift for good behaviour, money didn’t grow on trees, someone called Rockefeller could have whatever she wanted and we weren’t Rockefeller and never ever talk about money, don’t ask mommy or daddy or anyone for that matter how much money they have. For some reason this was very, very bad which was very, very odd because apparently rich people were mean and greedy, and if you couldn’t ask if they were rich how could you know who the not so nice people were! And of course, rich people thought they were better than everyone else. To my 7 year old mind, it appeared they were correct because they were treated better than those who weren’t rich. Everyone else looked up at them and wanted to be like them, their money somehow made them special and deserving.
With these powerful 7 year old beliefs I was released into the wild to manage my money as an adult. As you can imagine it didn’t go well.
The thing about having a 7 year old in charge of your relationship with money is that it’s almost 100% unconscious and it’s likely the adult you, who has to live with the consequences of a potentially self-sabotaging belief system have no idea why you cannot get this money thing figured out!
If any of this resonates with you, it’s time to get the adult you in the driving seat to overhaul your money mindset.
Here are three ways to do so.
Uncover and understand the scripts behind your money story
“Awareness leads to understanding and that allows us to dismantle and replace the habits we don’t like” Bari Tessler Author of the Art of Money
Uncovering these hidden booby traps won’t fix all your financial problems immediately but becoming aware of them means you can start to piece together the puzzle of which are supportive of building your financial stability and which are sabotaging your ability to take constructive financial actions.
This is all about unpicking the emotions you feel around money, identifying the first money experiences you can recall that started building the stories and those emotions and the repetitive patterns in your money behaviour you developed as a result. Do you spend your money as soon as it hits your bank account, hoard it because you can never have enough or ignore it because everything about it feels over-whelming?
Journaling is one of the most effective ways for taking a closer look at your money scripts as you can start to uncover which beliefs are supportive and lead to empowering money actions and which are keeping you trapped in money fear, shame and overwhelm.
Replace the scripts with more empowering language and beliefs
“ Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. If you can change your thinking, you can change your life” Brian Tracy
Uncovering limiting beliefs is the first step to changing your relationship with money, the next step is to rewire these thought processes with supportive money scripts.
- Contradict your negative money beliefs. Find evidence that disputes the money stories you are telling yourself. So you believe money is scarce and hard to come by? Remember a time when money came to you easily, maybe you found money, received a gift or had an expected windfall. One thing to keep in mind here is that you are starting this process with a lot of negative bias which may make it challenging to begin with. Consider it a game that’s definitely worth winning!
- Change your language around money. A dead giveaway of limiting money beliefs is the language we use around money. “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, “ I can’t afford that”, “I’m bad with money”. The list is generally peppered with can’t, shouldn’t, never and a whole bunch of other negative phrases. The quickest way to change limiting beliefs is to start speaking in the positive which means having to start thinking in the positive. And our thoughts become our beliefs and our beliefs become our actions!
- Lastly what we focus on we attract and if we start to focus on all the positives we already have, and all the abundance we get to experience every-day we invite more of that to flow to us. Gratitude is the key to unlocking the abundance waiting to flow to us.
Take the actions that support your new empowered thinking
“Action is the foundational key to all success. “Pablo Picasso”
And just as you thought I was about to go all woowoo on you with that abundance flowing talk, I’m going to tell you the final step. And that is taking action.
Positive money thoughts need positive money habits and empowering money actions to support them. While 80% of your money relationship is driven by your money mindset, there is still the 20% that is all about what you do with your money.
This means getting clear on where you are financially now and where you want to be and putting plans on place for bridging the gap.
Finally, this is not a once done, and its dusted exercise, just as with any relationship that we value we have to continuously work on identifying and eliminating the negative stories that will emerge and most of all we are going to have to learn to be forgiving and patient with ourselves. Our relationship with money is a life-long partnership, we have our entire lives to continue nurturing it!
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