We all have a relationship with money whether positive or negative. Many of the words we use around wealth have negative associations – greed, entitled, selfish, shame, fear of loss, pretentious, self-worth – and this can affect our mental state and encourages a limiting belief in how successful we can be (however you define success).
Jen Sincero talks about this in her book “You are a Badass – how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life” (more on this in a later post); specifically about how money is a tool which we need to thrive and we should be grateful for it, effectively developing a more positive relationship with money.
Dr Stephen R. Covey in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” defines an abundance mindset as “believing there is plenty for everyone”. There are many benefits to this:
- It develops positive relationships as it reduces envy and jealousy. Another person’s success does not take anything away from you and you can be genuinely happy for them.
- It supports living a full and happy life by reducing the fear and anxiety around scarcity.
- Finding the positive in difficult circumstances becomes easier as confidence increases – you are not in the driving seat of your life.
- Saving becomes easier because you don’t feel the urge to spend money straight away as there will always be more and you have less fear of losing it.
I feel like I have been developing my abundance mindset over the last year having spent 30 years in a scarcity mindset. Although my family were never in poverty, money never seemed to come easily when I was young. My dad had a few failed businesses and I remember him and my mum working overtime or multiple jobs to keep us going. In some ways this motivated me to work hard and get a secure well paying job but in today’s more fluid employment environment there are no “secure” jobs, no “career for life” and feeling the fear of potential loss can be limiting. I’ve come a long way by reading other people’s stories – from entrepreneurs, side hustlers and risk takers who have failures along the way but learn from them and try again.
Recently I’ve been looking into how to further develop an abundance mindset and I’ve come across some interesting insights:
- Focus on positive conversations with friends and family. Too often we fall into a pattern of complaining and it’s difficult to break this habit but we can try! Ask questions about their successes, what is going well and what they are working on that they are excited about. And don’t be afraid to share your successes too.
- Declutter your environment – tidy home, tidy mind – I don’t know who said that but it’s true! I always get a little boost when I see a tidy room at home or a tidy desk at work. I’ve made a start at decluttering at home in small steps – clearing the fridge freezer, emptying and reorganising a living room cupboard and ordering a filing cabinet to store all our paperwork neatly. This also allows you to see how much you already have in abundance and gives you the opportunity to be grateful for it.
- Limit use of social media which seems to be built to tap in to our desire for things we don’t have and increase feelings of envy. Either delete the apps or make them less accessible, define specific times to check social media and build that into a habit.
- Give more – your time, money, knowledge, skills. This reinforces that you have plenty and sharing won’t reduce that. Plus you’ll get all the positive feelings associated by giving, there are even studies showing that people who give more live longer!
- Keep an open mind to allow other possibilities into your life. I had never considered having a second job or a side hustle until I read about other people having big success with theirs and that encouraged me to consider other possibilities and new opportunities.
- Keep a gratitude journal. I love my 5 minute journal (I have the app) and I find it does focus me on the abundance in my life.
- Surround yourself with inspiring people. Read books, listen to podcasts, join online communities relating to your passions but don’t forget to speak to people in your real life too. Ask them about their achievements and goals for the future and just listen.
I’m already doing a few of these but the rest of this year I want to focus on having more positive conversations with family and friends, continuing to declutter my home and workspace and limit my use of social media.
Here are some more resources I used to write this post if you want to dive deeper into the abundance mindset: