"No problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness at which it was created"- Albert Einstein.
At first glance, it would appear that a money problem is naturally solved by a money solution. Not having enough money to… get out of debt, buy a house, feel a sense of security is clearly a money problem, and the obvious solution is to find a way to either earn more or spend less money, right? But has earning more or spending less money ever really put an end to your stress with money? Or, has your stress simply moved from one situation to the next? If you keep searching for solutions within the realm of money, you'll never get off this endless hamster wheel. I bet you have at least one problem right now that feels like it would definitely be solved by a large cash infusion. Why else would you be reading this? Would you like to read another boring article titled "how to start a side hustle" or "how to build a budget?" Or, would you like to know how to get off the money stress hamster wheel once and for all?
I have a free tool for you to use. I'll explain how to use this later in the article but I recommend you download it right now. I have personally been using this for over a decade. This is an essential tool for cultivating a healthy, rewarding, and stress-free relationship with money.
Your stress with money might be influenced by the external world, but it is caused by your internal relationship with money. I define this relationship as being the sum of three parts.
Your perspective on money
Your habits around money
Your goals for the future
If you have a disempowering belief system, self-sabotaging financial habits, or your goals are vague and don't inspire you, your relationship Is the source of your money stress, not money itself. Transforming your relationship is how you solve the root cause of your stress with money.
So how do you create a healthy relationship with money? This transformation doesn't have to be difficult. When you shift your perspective, you'll find that your habits and goals will follow suit. Follow my signature three-step process that can help anyone create a healthy money mindset and you and money will be BFF's in no time.
First of all, what does a healthy money mindset even look like? It looks a lot like my two-year-old daughter running through a grassy field. She is charging straight ahead, exploring, with no fear. She trips, falls down, and gets right back up without skipping a beat. She continues tromping over dandelions, laughing and screaming with a giant smile on her face. Courage, play, joy, laughter, curiosity, adventure, and resilience are qualities of a healthy relationship with money.
Can I, by any chance, interest you in a joyful, adventurous, and resilient relationship with money full of laughter and curiosity?
For this process, you will need the following-
Something to write with- You could use your computer, but I recommend handwriting these exercises in a journal. Don't worry if your handwriting looks like a deranged psychopath's senseless ramblings. You will likely not be reading over much of what you write. Writing will be used as a tool of exploration into the inner workings of your mind. You're going to discover things about you and money that would never be found in a conversation.
A small unique object- like a small toy, crystal, marble, or a unique coin. You will understand why later.
I recommend reading through all three steps before beginning this process.
Step 1) Identify your current relationship with money.
Trying to create a new money mindset on top of your old, stressful, ridged, rusty relationship with money is like putting icing on a mud cake. You can't create a new relationship on top of your old one. You have to see what's already there so you can clear it out and create a blank canvas. This will create space for something new and exciting to show up.
What is your mindset or attitude toward money? What are the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that repeat over and over in your mind around money?
Take some time to write about this in your journal. Below are some questions to help you see your relationship with money as it exists right now. Don't overthink your answer, just write the very first thing that comes to mind. Just thinking about this will not be sufficient. If you are committed to putting an end to your problems with money, I urge you to get out your journal and write out the answers to these questions. This exercise should take at least 15-20 minutes.
How does money make me feel?
What are the words I would use to describe money? Money is...
If money was a person, how would I describe our relationship?
This exercise may dig up some stuff you don't want to look at, but this is a temporary and necessary stepping stone on your way toward a free and happy relationship with money. You might find voices from your past, your parents, your friends (or frenemies), come into the fray. You are entering your "un-comfort zone," and this is where the growth happens. The truth is these thoughts, feelings and past experiences are always there. They play on repeat in the background whether you look at them or not. These subconscious thoughts have a particular frequency or vibration that gets manifested in your reality. They thrive in the darkness, but when you write about them, you shed light on them. They begin to lose their power over you simply by bringing them into the light.
Step 2) Discover what a new relationship looks like for you.
It's time to design a new attitude and mindset for your relationship with money. One not based on the past, but based on the future you want to create for yourself. Your old mindset is likely to pop up from time to time during this process, so let's prepare for that first. It might say things like "what are you talking about?, You can't think like that" or "you sound crazy, this is never going to work." If you feel or think these thoughts, you are on the right track.
When these thoughts and feelings come up, simply acknowledge them and then say, "thank you for sharing, ill certainly consider your opinion." We aren't out to demonize or make your old relationship with money wrong. In fact, it has probably helped you avoid pitfalls and overcome obstacles in the past. It simply doesn't serve what you want to be up to in life now. If you dream of owning a house, traveling for six months out of the year, painting more, recording an album… your old relationship with money probably isn't fully supporting your wildest dreams.
Now is the time to construct a new attitude and mindset toward money that will bring courage, play, joy, laughter, curiosity, adventure, and resilience into your life. This new perspective is essential for moving into the next phase of your life without hanging on to old heavy baggage about money.
Answer these questions in your journal.
If I had Infinite resources, money, time, and energy…
Where would I live? What would my surroundings look and feel like?
What would my house look and feel like?
How would my work life and career look and feel?
How would I spend my free time?
What positive impact could I have on the world around me?
Don't worry about how you are going to accomplish any of these goals. So what if you don't achieve every big dream you have. If you set some really big juicy goals that really excite you, and then only accomplish 10% of them, that's still a very fulfilling and extraordinary life. Chances are you will accomplish a lot more than 10%, but you are sure to accomplish 0% if you never declare what you really want in life.
Your old relationship with money is probably trying to limit and control your answers to these questions. Thank it for sharing, and then keep on writing what you really want.
No… I mean what you REALLY want. Re-read your answers. Did you hold something back? If your answer didn't make you feel a little bit like, "is it ok for me to say this?" Then you might not be tapping into your deepest desires in life. If what you write down makes you feel uncomfortable, you're probably on the right track.
Example answers could be:
"I would live on ten acres of land in the blue ridge mountains."
"I would own a 5 bedroom cabin with a hot tub on the deck"
"I would have a thriving career as a fantasy/romance novelist and sign a movie deal based on my book- forbidden love of gnomes and giants."
"I would learn to play the guitar and perform live with a band every week"
"Every month, I would open a new school for underprivileged communities in a foreign country"
Now, picture yourself in the future, living this life that you just designed. Answer these questions in the first-person perspective as if you have already achieved your goals.
What thoughts do you think about money which helped you create this magnificent life?
What feelings do you have around money?
What beliefs about money helped you create this beautiful life?
What kinds of actions do you take with money?
What would your family and friends say about you and your relationship with money?
Example answers could be:
"I think creative, goal-oriented thoughts about money."
"I feel a spark of magic around money."
"I believe money can be used to heal the world."
"I regularly look at my bank accounts to create clarity and integrity."
"My family and friends know that my wealth is something I deserve. They trust and seek my advice around their own finances."
The answers to these questions will help guide you in the next step.
Step 3) Installing a new perspective into the computer of your mind.
So far, we have identified your current relationship with money and created what a new relationship could look like. The final step is to put in place a new perspective, one that naturally guides you toward the life you want to live.
If you look through blue-colored eyeglasses, at first, the world looks weird, different, blue. But after a while, you don't see blue. You just see the world and the "blueness" doesn’t stand out. You have become used to seeing the world from this new perspective. If you take the glasses off for a bit, the way you used to see the world may look very strange. This applies to more than just color. It applies to thoughts and beliefs as well. Put on a new thought, look at money through the lens of a new belief system, and soon you will naturally be thinking and acting differently around money.
Your mind reinforces your current mindset by repeating your thoughts and beliefs over and over again. Thoughts like "I'll never get out of debt," or "I'm going to lose everything," or "money is complicated" are playing on repeat in the background. They are like negative mantras you repeat consciously and subconsciously, and with each repetition, you support that reality.
Go back to step one and look at the thoughts and feelings you regularly have around money. Every time you feel, think or say anything that resembles your old, disempowering conversation around money, you must catch yourself doing it. Acknowledge that this thought or feeling is part of an old, unhealthy relationship with money that no longer serves you. Don't beat yourself up for worrying or thinking negative thoughts. Just be mindful of when they arise and acknowledge them. Imagine putting them in a giant bubble. Gently let go of the bubble and allow the old belief to float away.
At this moment, you have weakened the foundation of your old relationship with money. For the first time in possibly decades, you have the opportunity to think a new and novel thought about money. But what do you want this new thought to be? What thought would support and nurture the life you want to live? You get to choose. This thought must become your new mantra. If you want to create a new relationship with money, you need to feed your mind new thoughts.
Your mantra should be one or two sentences that really resonate with you in a meaningful way. I'm not a big fan of the typical "I attract abundance" mantras you see on Pinterest. Your mantra should be a radically new way of thinking about money. It's possible that in one of your answers to step 2 lies the perfect mantra. Your new mantra should not just inspire you but bring a sense of calm and ease into your relationship with money. If you aren't sure you found something that sparks joy, I've got something just for you.
I have written out my ten favorite mantras for transforming the way you relate to money. I've even designed them so they can be used as lock screen wallpaper on your phone.
I want you to have them, for free!
Every time you pick up your phone, you will instantly be reminded of your new mantra.
Have you ever seen the movie "Inception" with Leonardo DiCaprio? The simplified plot of this highly complex movie is that Leo's character travels into people's dreams to steal information. Because dreams feel so much like reality, it's hard for him to tell when he is in a dream or in the real world. He has a small object, a spinning top, that he keeps in his pocket. He is the only one who knows what it is, what it looks like, and how it feels in his hand. This way no one can trick him in his dreams. This totem reminds him that he is in the "real" reality.
You need a totem to remind you of your mantra and the new reality you choose to create. It doesn't matter what it is, but I have two recommendations.
Pick something small enough to fit in your pocket that has a unique feel or shape to it. A small toy, stone, pendant, or similar object works excellent. If you choose a coin, make sure it's not similar to other coins in your pocket.
Keep it a secret. There's something about keeping your totem a secret that has it feel a bit more mystical and powerful.
Hold your totem in your hand and read over the answers to the questions in step two. This is the future you are moving toward. Repeat your new mantra ten times out loud. Reading your vision and repeating your mantra while holding your totem will cause you to associate your totem with your vision and the wisdom you need to accomplish your goals.
Keep your totem in your pocket when you go out. Hold it when you go shopping when you raise your prices, when you file your taxes, or when you do anything with money. Every time you hold it, recite your mantra at least once, in your head or out loud.
Think this all sounds a little crazy? People have been known to do some pretty crazy things to solve their money problems. We avoid looking at our accounts, bend the truth, live in denial. I think the craziest thing people do is continuing to take the same actions over and over, hoping for a different outcome. Compared to that, repeating an inspiring mantra and keeping a totem in your pocket doesn't seem that crazy.
But if you are feeling skeptical about this process, just ask yourself, "what do I have to lose if things stay the same?" The average adult makes more than 35,000 decisions each day. How many of those decisions are impacted by your relationship with money? I would argue that every decision you make is influenced by your relationship with money. Who you choose to date, what you do for a living, where you decide to live, and the opportunities that are available to you are all deeply impacted by your beliefs about money. What is the impact on your well-being? Can you afford to live the next ten years of your life with a self-sabotaging, self-defeating relationship with money?
Even a tiny change can have a considerable impact. I have had clients do this exercise and report immediately feeling 50% less stress with money. But the real impact of practicing their mantra seemed to ripple out through their life in miraculous ways. I've had clients tell me that they suddenly received more exciting project proposals in a week than they get in a month. Some people find the dream job they had been wanting for years, in a matter of weeks. Like a field of flowers slowly blooming, solutions to money problems begin to reveal themselves.
The courage to face old money demons can come from your mantra. I’ve had people tell me they set up a payment plan for their credit card debt which they had avoided doing for years. Shame, guilt, and old behaviors start to melt away and you are left with the freedom to be and act any way you want around money. Your income goes up, your spending goes up, your debt goes down and your savings rate increases. This is why I swear by this exercise and have continued to practice it myself for over ten years.
The results will look different for everyone. The amount of time it takes to see significant changes will vary from person to person. But I
haven't encountered someone who gave this process an honest try and didn't have at least one surprising and miraculous result to show for it. When your thoughts change, your vibration changes, and that changes what you attract in the world. This is the law of attraction. The effects of this law only compound on each other over time. After a while, your only question will be, "how juicy, fun, freeing, and impactful am I willing to allow my relationship with money to be?"
Follow these three steps precisely as I have instructed and practice your mantra every day for at least one month before deciding if this practice really works for you. The more intentional you are and the more regularly you practice letting go of old beliefs and repeating your mantra, the better your results will be. When your life starts to transform, you will look back on this exercise as one of the most valuable experiences of your life. Transforming your relationship with money will improve not just your life but the lives of the people you surround yourself with as well.
Speaking of the people you surround yourself with… here is a bonus tip. If you really want to see a cosmic shift take place in your relationship with money, Take a look at the people in your life. Who in your circle of friends can help support you during this transformation? Who do you need to avoid because they might sabotage your efforts, drain you of your energy and trigger old negative beliefs about money? During periods of profound transformation, you must surround yourself with people who nurture your growth. Your new relationship with money is like a delicate seedling. You can give it water and sunshine and watch how fast it grows, or you can give it poison and kill it off before it has a chance to plant strong roots. Be gentle with yourself, be patient, and you will be greatly rewarded.