The modern entrepreneur community has long been fascinated with wealth consciousness and money mindset. What used to be deemed fluffy or surface-level content—something I would even admittedly roll my eyes at—is now considered mainstream and essential to an entrepreneur’s money toolbox, which makes every online business owner rethink the importance of mindset work in their creative and business pursuits.
But with so many people talking about wealth consciousness—that is, the idea that our mindset about money can directly influence our financial reality—it’s allowed a lot of room for discussion without much action. This leads us to the million-dollar question: What actually is a money mindset, and how can you start turning it into money habits to develop a lucrative asset?
My definition of a money mindset is this: getting rid of all limiting beliefs that prevent you from taking powerful action and viewing the world through an opportunistic lens in order to achieve unlimited abundance in your life.
Now, plenty of people will disagree, saying: “There is only one lens, Lena, and that’s the reality… I am broke!”
And sure, on the surface, this might be exactly what it looks like.
The truth is that most people hold on to limiting beliefs they aren’t fully conscious of, or they see as fact instead of an opinion they’ve been conditioned to believe since childhood.
For example, let’s say you were raised hearing your parents fight about money. As a result, you might subconsciously associate money with conflict, anger, resentment and pain. Those same parents would also judge your uncle Joe for having a six-figure income and would call him “shallow,” which taught you that having money made you a bad, greedy and selfish person. And if your uncle Joe then lost all of his money in the stock market and ended up sleeping on your parents’ couch, you would subconsciously see money as untrustworthy, unstable and instigative.
And who would try to attract that?
Basically, many people have an unhealthy relationship with money. And this is what prevents them from getting massive amounts of it.
When you heal your relationship with money, start appreciating it instead of resenting it and see it as an unlimited resource instead of one of scarcity, your reality will naturally transform as well.
Here are four tangible steps you can take to start strengthening your mindset muscle and achieving your greatest life:
1. Become a money mindset sponge.
One of the simplest steps anyone can take to begin building a healthy relationship with money is by surrounding themselves with others who already live those values. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so when you actively absorb content created by those who already have a strong money mindset, you’ll naturally adopt those qualities.
For those who are looking to learn about wealth consciousness in a digestible and fun way, I recommend Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass at Making Money and The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Commit to digesting one hour of money mindset content per day, whether that’s listening to a podcast episode at the gym or giving yourself an hour to read before bed at night.
Making this simple shift will drastically disrupt your perspective and begin to eat away at those limiting beliefs that are holding you back from making money. Change the people you surround yourself with and change your life.
2. Identify your go-to daily affirmations.
Try to find three to five one-liners you can repeat to yourself on a daily basis to pause, get re-aligned with your money-oriented goals and take powerful action to achieve the unimaginable.
For example, if you struggle with the idea that people with money are greedy—therefore you subconsciously self-sabotage by keeping low-paying jobs—a good affirmation worthy of repeating might be, “Having money and being a good person are not mutually exclusive. I give more back to the world when I have more money.”
If you were raised to believe money is a scarce resource that only certain people are entitled to, a good affirmation might be, “There is unlimited money in the world, and unlimited money is coming to me right now. I am deserving of it.”
Online platforms like Pinterest are littered with powerful affirmations you can keep a written record of on your bathroom mirror, your car dashboard, your wallet and your smartphone lock screen. Read them out loud daily, multiple times. And although it might seem ridiculous at first, don’t stop until you truly believe them. Repetition leads to results and what you focus on manifests into your reality, so shift your attention and get into the affirmation zone.
In fact, let’s start with this one right now (read it out loud): “I love money, and money loves me.”
3. Ditch the negative language.
Notice how most people spend 95 percent of their time complaining? It’s the easiest way to bond with someone, squash an awkward silence or experience some cheap, instant gratification.
Most of these low-level conversations revolve around the same four topics: a bad work situation (bad boss, bad paycheck); a bad relationship (friends, family, romantic partner); a bad money situation (college debt, the ridiculous price of Whole Foods tomatoes, overdue rent); and a bad health situation (can’t afford a gym membership, can’t stop eating crap, can’t get off the couch).
If this is you, pause and take in the great wisdom of Jen Sincero: “You have to want your dreams more than you want your drama.”
In other words, there are excuses and there are results. You cannot have both. And by allowing so many negative ideas to flow out of your mouth, fostering a sense of self-victimization and self-pity, you cannot take massive, powerful action. You’re keeping yourself exactly where you are.
Actively eliminate any and all negative language from your vocabulary and try to replace it with the positive flip side. For example, if you find yourself on the verge of complaining about the price of your sandwich, instead say, “Wow, this sandwich is so good! I’m so happy I went with the turkey instead of the egg salad!” If you’re about to complain about how rude your boss is, say, “I’m going to give my boss the benefit of the doubt and trust she’s going through something challenging that’s preventing her from showing up as the leader I know she can be. I’m going to talk to her about it in an open, compassionate way.”
Positive language, though seemingly cheesy at first, leads to positive beliefs and naturally attracts positive things into your life.
4. Get the right mentors in your corner.
Pause and think about who you typically take advice from. Your parents? Your partner? Your co-workers?
From now on, challenge yourself to only seek advice from those who have already achieved what you want to achieve.
That process begins with getting clear on what you want. Do you want to grow your business to seven figures in revenue? Do you want to get a new job? Find a boyfriend who thinks the world of you?
Once you gain clarity, actively seek mentors who have already achieved what you want to achieve and spend your time with them.
It’s hard to change the way you perceive the world when you’re surrounded by people who are stuck in a “meh” mindset. (Rule of thumb: If you find yourself regularly listening to rants on just about everything—from the rude salesperson at H&M to the cost of rent in Manhattan to the guy who never called your friend back—you need to switch up your friend circles.) Mentors who are truly invested in your growth activate change within you by sharing their mental roadmaps to success, helping you develop a new lens to view the world through and showing you how to turn that internal fire into strategic action.
Trust me, it’s much easier to follow in the footsteps of someone who’s already done it than trying to tackle these changes alone while listening to your college roommate rant about Kylie Jenner’s parenting ability.
Cut out the frustration, overwhelm, and trial and error that naturally accompanies massive financial change, and find the right mentors who will get you there in a fraction of the time.
The entire foundation for your success is how you perceive what’s possible. If you can cement an unshakable mentality and heal your lifelong soap opera with money, you will not only achieve the good, you will achieve the unimaginable.
This article was published in April 2018 and has been updated. Photo by @diana.ignaat/Twenty20