Everyone has their own money story, and I’d venture to guess that most of those stories have negative connotations that made their way into the mindset we hold onto as adults.
That’s true for me. With money always being tight when I was young, and hearing many arguments about money (and especially a lack thereof), it’s taken me a lot of work to get to a place where money doesn’t consume my every thought.
For so long I held onto this feeling that money was bad or was meant to be riddled with tension. There was so much fear around my parents doing even the little, mundane things like going grocery shopping or giving me money for school lunch.
- What if there isn’t enough?
- Do I really NEED lunch money?
- I didn’t want to go on that field trip anyway.
While some fear can be helpful (like when running from a wild animal), fear around something that we literally need in order to live in this modern world is incredibly unhealthy. Our fear and hiding from issues, especially when it comes to money, is our modern-day wild animal chase. But in this case, it’s not helpful at all. It impacts our neurological system and can cause many health problems.
According to an article on Harvard Health, “The autonomic nervous system produces your fight-or-flight response, which is designed to help you defend yourself or run away from danger.
When you are under stress or anxious, this system kicks into action, and physical symptoms can appear — headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, shakiness, or stomach pain.”
This anxiety and fear comes from traumas we’ve experienced in the past around money. And to be clear, we can feel these responses around all sorts of work-related stress. When we don’t feel safe around money, we can make decisions that cause even more stress, like saying yes to clients who aren’t ideal clients or spending money in hopes of getting a quick ROI instead of spending smart.
The quote from Henry Ford is true: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Your mindset, and your thoughts, can be the secret to feeling safe when it comes to your money. The more negatively you think and the more you use negative messages, the worse you’re going to feel. And, of course, the opposite is true too. Think more positively and you’ll be surprised at the results.
Of course, it’s not all about thinking positively. We must take action too. Here are just a few things that I’ve found have helped me with my own money mindset.
I started a daily meditation practice several years ago and it’s not only helped me with my mindset at work, it’s helped me be a better partner to my husband and parent to my two teenagers. I’m much more present in everything I do and it’s easier for me to focus during work time. My practice isn’t perfect, but I can definitely tell the difference when I skip this vital part of my morning routine.
Take Time Away
We cannot work 12-hour days and expect to be efficient and effective. Working reasonable hours and taking time away from work is key to doing your best work. That might look like taking a half day on Wednesdays to do something for yourself or committing to not looking at your computer on the weekends. Whatever this is for you, make it a priority. You’re not going to increase your revenue or profits by working 24/7; in fact, I think the opposite is true.
Talk About Your Feelings
Yes, I used the “f” word here. Having an outlet for talking about your feelings…about work, about money, about life…is so important. Sure, you can probably vent to your partner or friends, but investing in a good therapist might be just what you need. And if you need to talk about your business finances, a financial coach is a great investment in the future of your business.
You went into business for a reason, and using the right systems can help you feel more secure in your finances so you feel safe. It’s time we let go of the negative thoughts we have about money and stop stressing about all the things to come…because they may not come at all.
With some internal work and a positive outlook, so many things are possible.