Is Your Money Mindset Holding You Back?

Each week it seems that gas prices are on the rise, groceries are becoming more expensive, and it is getting harder to find an affordable place to live; all while wages remain flat. I know that many of you are feeling anxious or even panicked about your finances when thinking of your upcoming bills, groceries and other financial commitments. I know this because 21 years ago, I was in a similar position. That’s why I’m sharing my experience to help you move from anxiety to abundance. 

In 1999, my husband and I were looking at an almost empty bank account. Our financial plans fell through, our savings were gone, and we weren’t sure how we would support our two young children and ourselves.

We were broke. But we weren’t broken.

Despite these pressures, I felt confident that we could overcome our financial struggles and be better for it. I knew that we could change our financial situation by changing our mindset. I realized that I was holding onto four false beliefs about money that I needed to let go of to improve my financial situation.

Four beliefs that are holding you back from financial freedom:

  1. You are living in the moment. When it comes to enjoying time with our loved ones or practicing our hobbies, living in the moment is great. However, living in the moment will cost us dearly in the future when it comes to our finances. Be mindful when you’re making any purchases; ask yourself is this something you truly need or is something that will improve your life drastically and for the long term. Too often, we focus on short-term gains at the expense of long-term success. I also suggest saving a minimum of two percent of your monthly income (no matter how much money you make) to help with any unexpected expenses.
  2. Money = success= happiness. I had to work hard at unlearning this belief. We are all taught that being rich is the ultimate sign of success, that “money doesn’t grow on trees,” and that if we want to be rich (i.e. happy), we need to work at it. I looked at those around me, rich and not rich, and realized that money didn’t equal happiness. Once I understood that I didn’t feel bad about not being a millionaire.
  3. Seeking external validation. One of the most significant forms of self-sabotage is when we seek external validation. When it comes to finances, this behaviour often manifests itself in making purchases that you can’t afford (expensive cars, vacations, trendy clothing, etc.) to impress others or to elicit their validation and approval. Internal validation takes a lot of work and mindfulness and doesn’t happen overnight, but your bank account will thank you when it does. Once you focus on improving your life instead of proving your worth to others, you’ll be happier and falling into the trap of keeping up appearances.
  4. You are not giving to charity. Helping others feel good. Supporting those who are less fortunate than us can make us feel richer even when we don’t have a lot. You don’t have to give a lot to make a positive difference. Start by donating one percent of your earnings to a cause that’s important to you; not only will you be helping others, but you’ll feel good about it too.

Recognizing these four beliefs and putting in the work to let go of them will take some time, but I guarantee that the results are worth it. Changing my money mindset helped me appreciate what I did have and eventually led to a life of abundance. My husband and I positively changed our situation and today lead a life free of financial burdens and anxieties. If we can do it, you can too.