You can accept change, address your fears, challenge your notions of discomfort, and let go of focusing on things that don’t matter while aiming for financial balance. To ensure this happens, you must change your thought patterns. It may seem like something that is not controllable, but it is.
The truth is your thoughts are what control your feelings and your actions, and if you can strike a positive mindset that serves you well based on the facts, you can accomplish so much more than you may have imagined.
Focus on What You Want to Experience
If you want to achieve financial success and live a debt-free existence, you’ll have to take the time to imagine what that will be like. How will it feel to you once you have paid off that last debt, added to your investments and savings, and are living the life you really want? Start feeling that and focusing on what you want to experience now.
- Control Your Thoughts – If you want to experience a happy life with financial freedom, then you’ll need to ensure that your thought process includes positive thoughts about this process. When you feel a negative thought coming on, turn it around to a positive one or at least a neutral thought. With practice, this will become automatic.
- Visualize Your Goals – When you think about yourself being financially successful, you want to visualize it strongly so that you can really feel it and experience it as real. The more accurate your visualization and representation in your mind about the reality, the more likely you are to experience it.
- Set Up Steps for Success – Once you’ve visualized your goals and learned to control your thought process better, you can now set up steps to get what you want to achieve. These smaller goals or benchmarks will also give you a boost of motivation to keep going on this path.
- Give What You Expect – One way to do this is to think about how you’d want someone else to react or do if you weren’t in charge. In other words, you need to be the person you want others to be. You’re the hero in your own life and probably in the lives of others around you. Give what you expect to receive.
When you give time to a situation that is not what you want to experience over what you do want to experience, it’s just a waste. Therefore, always give the most time to the things you want to experience. When you do that, you’re sure to experience more satisfaction and joy in life because that’s what you’re focus is on.
Believe You Deserve Success and Happiness
Depending on how you were raised, you may have received erroneous and insufficient information about happiness, success, and money that give you an attitude of loss and deprivation. Believe that you have a right to success and happiness and that if you take the right steps, you will experience it.
- Pursue a Fulfilled Life Over a Rich Life – Living a life without financial worry doesn’t mean that you go after money. Instead of focusing on earning more money, focus on what you do with that money that makes your life feel happy, successful, and fulfilled. Knowing those items and what they cost will help you achieve them, but you do need to know why.
- Concentrate on Purpose Over Power – It’s true that with money comes power. But power without purpose is dangerous for you and others. It’s also not very satisfying because of this focus on fulfilling your purpose over gaining power.
- Let Go of Envy and Focus on Gratitude – One of the worst emotions people have is envy or jealousy. The problem with this is that it is a way to focus on lack instead of abundance. Focusing your thoughts on the positives in life is always going to result in feeling a lot happier about your life regardless of how far you are from your goals.
- Focus on Building Inner Strength – It takes time to learn to change your thoughts mid-stream, and it takes experience to understand that action-taking gets results. The experience builds strength each time it happens. Give yourself more experience with success, and you will become much stronger.
- Learn to Forgive Yourself and Others – No one is perfect, including you. The more judgmental you are of yourself, the more you’re going to be that way with others. Focus on self-acceptance and moving on past your mistakes. Mistakes are simply experiences in life that teach you something about yourself and the world.
- Understand Your True Power – The truth is, you have a lot more power than you realize. You are in full control of your thoughts and your actions. Your actions result in seeing your goals come to fruition. As you accept your power, you’ll become even more influential in your life and other lives.
There is not one person born on this earth that is less or more deserving than you are to success and happiness. In fact, every person born has a right to go after what they deem is success and happiness. You do too. How you got started isn’t as important as taking action. You can achieve success if you know what it is, can visualize how to get there, and then take the planned steps to experience success.
Move on From Past Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes with their finances before they truly understand how money works. After all, no one teaches you in your standard formal education years about how money really works, and you can only learn by experience.
- Acknowledge the Mistake – Just accepting that a mistake was made is not dwelling on the mistake. Fixing a problem requires that you are ready to admit the problem exists and to accept that you have full control over it. After all, if it’s a real mistake, you have control over it. If it’s not something that you have control over, it’s not your error.
- Make Amends When Needed – If you have done something that affected your family or someone else, in a negative way, you owe it to yourself and others to make amends. Even if you only admit it to yourself it’s a good start in the right direction. However, at some point, you need to make amends to the other person/people who have been affected.
- Stop Making the Mistake – When you realize that an action is a mistake, stop doing it. That may seem simple, but sometimes some actions are done subconsciously without thought. Find a way to stop making it by finding an alternative that doesn’t cause problems.
- Talk with a Professional – If you need to speak to a professional about the mistake, do so. Sometimes that might mean talking to a lawyer, tax accountant, or even a professional life coach if you keep doing things that block your success.
- Focus on Today – Mistakes made in the past cannot be changed. Therefore, all you can really do is focus on today. What actions can you take right now that either reverses your mistake or keeps it from happening again?
- Keep Learning – Educate yourself about the mistake so that you don’t do it again either the same way or another way. For example, if you aren’t doing well sticking to your entertainment budget, do you need a better budget?
- Move On – Once you’ve addressed the issues you have control over, mitigated for your mistake, now it’s time to simply move on. Focus on today and the future and not the mistake. It can help to set a time limit on how long you can study the mistake so that you move on in a timely manner.
There are almost always lists of things you’d change if you knew what you now know about past actions. However, there is nothing you can really do. You can’t go back, but you can move forward. Learning from the mistake is the most important and most positive thing you can do so that you can focus on today and move forward in your life.
Understand Your Personal Money Mindset
Everyone has a mindset surrounding money based on how they were raised, and other subtle and not so subtle messages received as you grew and learned. Knowing your own unique beliefs surrounding money is essential. When you know that you’re prewired to behave a certain way, you can mitigate for it.
For example, if you know that you spend more money in a group shopping setting, you’ll do better if you set strict budgets for yourself or avoid those situations to start with. It really doesn’t matter why you spend more in the group setting, we can make assumptions about competition and feel less than in those situations, but sometimes it’s just because it’s fun to spend money without thought.
But the truth is, if you have a mindset of abundance instead of one of deprivation, it will show in your actions because you’ll be able to wait for pleasure instead of going for immediate gratification.
- Examine Your Actions – Look at how you act around issues of money. Does it make you nervous? Are you avoiding answering the phone due to debt collectors? Are you taking steps to improve, or are you still acting powerless?
- Let Go of Bad Money Lessons – As you grew up, you may have seen some horrible money mindset examples. For example, did you learn growing up that there was only enough money for needs and not wants? Did you learn that money is for bills, not savings, and certainly not for fun? Did you learn that money was scarce and hard to come by? Let those lessons leave your mind now. They are false.
- Let Go of Your Money Past – Whatever you did in the past regarding your money is over. You’re going to start fresh now and change your money mindset and your general mindset to one of abundance instead of deprivation and scarcity. Even if you’re in debt right now, you can still let go of the actions that go you here.
- Visualize Success – This is a recurring pattern of advice because it works. When you envision the success that you want to experience and plan the action steps for achieving it, you can also make it become a reality. Vision boards work wonders for this because seeing and feeling what that success feels like makes it easier for you to take the steps needed to achieve it because you believe it.
- Learn to Value Money – While you don’t want to focus on money, you do need to learn to value money. Money is not something to dread thinking about. It’s not the root of all evil. Money is a tool that you need in your life to experience the lifestyle you desire. The life you desire is the end, but money is often the means.
Get to know why you think the way you do about money now. Then learn how to think about it in a healthy way so that you can go after what you want in life. Once you learn, you can practice doing the things that lead to a healthy money mindset and, indeed, a healthy mindset for your entire life.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People
This advice comes with a caveat. The thing is, you do want to know how the average person is doing compared to you, but you don’t want to listen to anecdotal stories about how someone is doing and use that as your basis for judgment. You need to judge your own situation based on facts and data.
- Accept Yourself as You Are – Self-acceptance does not mean that you must accept anything less than your best efforts. For example, if you are overly emotional and reactive, you can improve while accepting who you are right now.
- Focus on Your Strengths – There are already great things about yourself that you should focus on. What are you good at that others know you’re good at? If you know, for example, that you’re very good at something, why not lead with that? No point in focusing on what you’re not good at unless you really need that skill for happiness.
- Celebrate Others – Instead of seeing other people as your competition, see them as other people. Celebrate their success and accomplishments as if they’re your own. When you celebrate, you let go of needing to compete or feeling less than. Instead, you feel happy for them.
- Learn to Feel Complete and Content Now – One of the words people don’t understand but should is the word contentment. Contentment means that you are happy, satisfied, and feel great about whatever it is you’re experiencing. Contentment is something to strive for in your life.
Comparing yourself to others is truly a wasted habit. The fact is you have no idea the truth behind what you see in the open. You don’t know if that blogger is really a millionaire at all – you also don’t really know if the actions they ascribe to success are real or not. Instead, when you want to figure out where you stand based on a goal, you’ve made use of real data and not anecdotal stories to guide you.
Focus on Developing and Maintaining Good Habits
Most financial experts describe good financial habits as acknowledging where you are, knowing where you want to go, working out a plan to get to where you want to go, and monitoring it as you go to ensure it’s working. It really is that simple.
- Educate Yourself – When you are focused on your finances, it’s important to understand what the professionals think about the financial climate today in terms of choosing the right accounts and making good choices based on data. You’ll want to understand the basics of tax planning, retirement savings, leveraged loans, and the right way to use debt.
- Practice Makes Perfect – When you learn something new, take the time to put it into practice. For example, if you learn how to nix negative thoughts from your mind, use that lesson often. The more you do the thing needed, the more you’ll benefit.
- Identify and Analyze Emotional Spending – Take the time to track your spending so that you can identify and analyze any spending you do that is emotional in nature. For example, if you tend to eat out when you get tired, this is not good for your bank account or your waistline. Find a way to mitigate this so that you don’t sabotage yourself.
- Design a Budget That Fits Your Realistic Desires and Lifestyle – When you set up your budget, it’s important to focus on what you want and not what someone else told you that you need to worry about. Your budget is about your happiness, and no one else’s. If it’s important to you to have a chef’s kitchen with all the tools of the trade, even though you’re not a chef, that’s what you should shoot for.
- Create a Vision Board – Take the time to really look at what you dream about when it comes to your life now and your life later during retirement. You want to have big dreams about your life so that you can define what success means for each aspect of your life. When you clearly see the results you desire, you’ll be able to set up the steps for success too.
- Focus on Gratitude – Whatever you focus on is what gets the most attention. By focusing on what you’re thankful for, instead of what you don’t have yet, you will end up a lot happier finically and otherwise. Even if you need to focus on the future date, four or more years from now when you’ll be debt-free, that’s what you should pay attention to.
Remember that rather than dwelling on the negative things such as overwhelming debt, working too much, or other issues focusing on making on-time payments that will eliminate the debt or taking other actions to get on the right track is always going to be more productive.
Now that you have the first six steps necessary to change your thought patterns so that you can experience a life with more abundance, let’s go over them once more so that you can get started on these tasks.
- Focus on What You Want to Experience – What you focus on is what you remember and what expands, changes, or is seen.
- Believe That You Have a Right to Success and Happiness – Get counseling, hire a life coach, read lots of books – do what it takes to really believe inside your heart and mind that you deserve success and happiness.
- Move on From Past Mistakes – Mistakes are just lessons that you need to learn. They aren’t a sign of flawed character. When you make mistakes, the only thing you can do is learn and move on.
- Understand Your Personal Money Mindset – Examine the lessons you learned growing up from your folks, from teachers, and society regarding money and correct your mindset to be one of abundance rather than deprivation.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Other People – While you do want to use data and research to make good choices in life, especially when it comes to investing and making money – you don’t want to use anecdotal evidence because it can steer you wrong.
- Focus on Developing and Maintaining Good Habits – When you can identify the good habits that lead to contentment, success, and happiness, it becomes all about what you can do, which is the only way to experience success truly.
Changing your thought patterns involves your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Because you are completely in control of these things, your success is within your grasp, depending on the choices you make. Choose wisely.
What are some things you will start today to Change Your Though Pattern?