It is important to understanding the psychology of money and changing your mindset because it doesn’t make sense to show you how to get out of debt unless you can change your mindset about what is possible for you. Once you change your mindset and you get out of debt, nothing can stop you.
Most of the time when we fail to achieve what we really want, there is an underlying belief (that we are usually not aware of) that is not supporting us. Have you ever experienced self-sabotage? Have you ever failed to follow through on something that you wanted to achieve? Most likely you had conflicting beliefs that were pulling you in different directions.
But what is a belief? A belief is a feeling of certainty about what something means to you. Most of our beliefs are generalizations about our past that are based on interpretations of our experiences. In other words, they are based on how we interpreted what happened to us at the moment. Let me give you an example. Twin brothers go to an amusement park and decide to take a ride on a roller-coaster together. One walks out of that ride feeling very happy and thrilled, and these effects will be positive over his lifetime. The other, however, walks out of that same ride full of fear and shock, and those effects will be negative for him over his lifetime. It was the same ride, but it was perceived differently by them. We all perceive and interpret our experiences in a different way.
Which brings us to another very important point that you should always remember: it is not what happens to us in life, but how we interpret what happens to us and what we decide to focus on that changes our life. We need to take responsibility for where we are in life, feel grateful for it, and move on. Blaming our situation or our “conditions” will only bring more of the same. By feeling grateful for what you have, whatever that maybe, you are actually impressing thoughts of abundance upon the Universe, and the Universe will deliver to you more abundance. It may sound strange to some people, but it is one of the immutable Laws of the Universe, the Law of Attraction.
But let’s go back to your beliefs and how they affect your life. They actually affect everything you do, since all your actions are the result of your beliefs. They are extremely important to achieving success in anything you do.
You see, from the day we are born, we are bombarded with negative suggestions. Not knowing how to counter them, we unconsciously accept them and bring them into being as our experience.
For example, we are told:
– You cannot do it / You can’t do that
– if you don’t wear a sweater, you will catch a cold
– You don’t have a chance
– Things are only getting worse
– You may get fired
– You are not smart enough
And so on. Get the idea?
Consider now the fact that in 2017, about 16 percent of the American population was 65 years old or over; a figure which is expected to reach 22 percent by 2050. Many of them are broke. They are depending on someone else for life’s necessities.
Why is it that in the richest country in the world, 95% of the population ends up broke?
If you ask these people, they would tell you that their lives were shaped by exterior forces or circumstances, by things that happened to them. This implies that they were not in control, that they were merely a leaf in the wind.
But as we said before, and it’s so important that it is worth repeating, it is not what happens to us in life, but how we interpret what happens to us and what we decide to focus on that changes our life. A person’s fortune can be completely wiped out, and he or she can build it again with the right mindset. It has happened millions of times, which proves that it is NOT what happens to you but how you react to it.
The main reason that most people never achieve financial independence is that we are not taught how to succeed. We are not taught how to achieve financial independence. We are not taught how to handle money. We are never taught that WE are in charge of our lives.
The educational system in place today was created in the 1800s and was designed to prepare us to work as employees. In high school, we are not taught how to handle money, how to invest it, how to create passive streams of income. We don’t learn it either in College or University. We grow up (most of us, anyway) believing that money is in short supply, it is hard to come by and that you have to work really hard for it. We grow up associating different things to money like “If I have a lot of money, I may lose my friends,” thereby, “money equals loneliness.” Other common beliefs are “money changes people, they become greedy”, “If I make a lot of money, I could lose my motivation”. Or, “If I’m broke (or poor) people will pay more attention to me”. And the list goes on and on.
The fact is that money by itself is neither good nor bad. It is what we associate with money that makes all the difference in the world.
Many people live most of their lives under a set of beliefs that controlled most of what have done. It might take you a while to identify those beliefs, but when you do, you will realize that they had such an enormous power over you that they controlled your focus, your ideas, and your acts. Before you become aware of these beliefs, you will blame your circumstances on other people or “bad luck”.
There are several ways to change beliefs on purpose. The following method involves associating a lot of emotional pain to the old belief, and a lot of emotional pleasure to the new belief. This is a process you do only once for the belief to be replaced with an empowering one of your choice.
Now let’s start the process of changing our old beliefs. Let me warn you though, that just reading this exercise will not change anything in your life! You DO NEED to complete this exercise. Believe me, it will be fun, and it will not take long. And you can do it as many times as you want, any time you discover a belief that is not empowering you.
A way to identify a belief is this: they are usually found after the word “because”, on phrases you usually say. As an example, if you hear yourself saying something like, “I will always be fat, because my father and mother are overweight, and I have their genes”. Another example, “They wouldn’t give me that job, because I am not smart enough”. Or, “I could never succeed because I never succeeded before in my life”. Do you get the idea?
Let’s start with your limiting beliefs. Write down 5 beliefs that you have about yourself and what you are capable of. What are the five beliefs that have limited you in the past? i.e., “I could never make more than $50,000 a year”, “ I can’t get a better job”, “nobody would pay me that much”, etc.
Now you write down 5 empowering beliefs that can now support you in achieving your goals. Do not limit yourself in your new beliefs. Think big, think bold! Also, and this is extremely important, state your beliefs in the affirmative, never state a belief that negates what you don’t want. Example: “My life is abundant” is a great example, but “I don’t have any more debt” is not, since it is not positive enough, and your brain will focus on “debt” instead of the “I don’t”. These new beliefs will replace the ones that have limited you before.
Excellent! Feel grateful for taking this first step that can change your life for the better.
Now, get two pieces of paper. On the first piece of paper, write down the first limiting belief you are eliminating. What you are going to do first is create doubt. Once you start to doubt a belief, it becomes weak, making it easier to replace with another belief. Then, you are going to associate massive pain to have that belief, and a massive pain in the future if you continue to have that belief. In other words, you have to feel the negative emotions associated with living with that belief, and how it would negatively affect you. Then, on the other piece of paper, you are going to associate massive pleasure to the new belief that you want to adopt in its place.
This exercise is extremely powerful, so please, do yourself a favor and take it seriously. You can change your life now.
Let’s start with the first belief. You have already written this belief down on the first piece of paper; now ask yourself the following questions:
1- How is this belief ridiculous or absurd?
2- What negative consequences have you already experienced as a result of having this RIDICULOUS belief? What has it cost you emotionally, financially, physically, and in your relationships in the past, because of having this ABSURD belief?
3- What is it costing you now, emotionally, financially, physically, and in your relationships, because of having this WRONG belief?
4- What will it cost you emotionally, financially, physically, in your relationships, during the next 10 years, if you don’t let go of this belief now?
Write down everything that comes to your mind. Keep writing about all the pain you experienced in your past, all the pain you are experiencing right now, and all the pain you will be experiencing in the future if you don’t change this absurd belief now.
Make sure you feel as much pain as possible. Feel all the negative emotions associated with having this absurd belief. Close your eyes and visualize it, live it, feel it as if it were happening right now. I know this doesn’t sound very appealing, but believe me, you will be amazed at the results!
Once you are fully associated with the pain that having this belief has cost you and would have cost you your whole life, get the second piece of paper, and write down the new empowering belief that will take the place of the old one.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How will having this empowering belief affect my life?
- What benefits will I get from having this empowering belief?
- How will I feel and how will I act by having this empowering belief?
- Where will I be in 10 years as a result of having this empowering belief?
- Imagine yourself 10 years from now, and looking back at the last 10 years, how does it feel having lived with this empowering belief? Stay there for a while, feeling those great feelings.
While you are writing down each answer, make sure you fully associate with the positive feelings of having this empowering belief. Feel how much better your life is as a result of having this belief. Close your eyes and feel it in your body. How would you feel? How would you move? How would you breathe?
The key here is to experience as much pleasure as possible.
Now grab the first piece of paper containing your old beliefs, and burn it. As you see the paper burning, feel the old belief vanishing in your past, and feel the power of your new belief.
Congratulations! Feel grateful for having a great, empowering belief that will support you for the rest of your life.
Do the same with the next belief, and keep repeating until you finish replacing all your old beliefs.
This exercise was adapted from similar exercises by Anthony Robbins and Bob Proctor.
Another way to replace limiting beliefs
Another way to change beliefs and counter negative suggestions that I use very frequently. It is incredibly powerful and it could help you keep focused on what you want.
In the movie “You can heal your life” by Louis Hayes, a person who got cured of cancer explained that she was repeating an affirmation 400 times a day. Four hundred times a day! That’s why it worked for her; her subconscious mind ended up believing what she was affirming.
The best way is to start the affirmations with “I’m so happy and grateful now that…” and fill in the blanks with whatever you want to achieve or get. Some examples could be:
“I’m so happy and grateful now that I’m driving my …. (name/model of the car you want)”
“I’m so happy and grateful now that I get up at 5:00 AM fully energized”
“I’m so happy and grateful now that I weigh 175 lbs (or whatever you want)
“I’m so happy and grateful now that my Credit Card is fully paid off”
“I’m so happy and grateful now that money comes easily and frequently”
Write down a list of affirmations and pick one to start with. Repeat your affirmation out loud, 200 to 400 times a day. It’s Ok to try different tones of voice since you will probably get tired after a while.
Changing your mindset
Remember what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
If you want things to change, YOU have to change first. You can be in control of your life by choosing what to focus on most of the time.
Successful people choose to focus on positive things; unsuccessful people focus on negative things by default.
So do what successful people do:
- Spend most of your time focusing on positive things, NOT on negative things.
- Focus on what you want to achieve, NOT on what you do not want to achieve.
- Focus on what you like, NOT on what you don’t like.
This does not mean you ignore your problems. Acknowledge your problems, but don’t dwell on them.
Be thankful for the problem since, most likely, it is an opportunity in disguise. You can find the greatest opportunities of your life “hidden” in your worst moments. That’s why all successful people see problems as opportunities.
Reframe every “difficulty”. That means that you find the good in a seemingly “bad” situation.
Always focus on abundance, not lack or problems. Focus on wealth building, not surviving. Focus on your next check, not your last one.
When you find yourself thinking about the negative aspects of your life, immediately replace the negative thoughts with a positive one, like a mantra. If you catch yourself saying, “I can’t afford it,” immediately say “I couldn’t afford it in the past, but I can afford it now. I just choose not to buy it at this time,” or something similar. You don’t have to believe it yet. You can “fake it ‘til you make it.”
Feel abundance in your life and be grateful for your abundance. What you focus on expands. If you focus on lack, it expands. When you focus on abundance, it expands as well.
Remember, abundance isn’t just about money. You may have an abundance of friends, health, faith, or ideas. Look at nature. Everywhere you turn there is abundance. Life, by its very nature, is abundant. Just open your eyes; open your mind.
Of course, this is easier said than done, so how to start?
There are several things you can do right away:
- Start meditating every day. Even if you don’t know how to meditate, at least find a quiet spot, sit comfortably, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Focus on your breathing. Stay like this for a few minutes, and avoid any thoughts; just focus on your breathing. Then visualize a goal you want to achieve, and feel as if you have already achieved it. FEEL what it feels like to have achieved that goal. Make it as real as possible. Touch it, feel it, smell it, see it. Stay in that feeling for a few minutes, and thank the Universe for having achieved it. This is probably the most powerful exercise you can do to become successful.
- Read positive books, every single day. At least read for 15 minutes, preferably for 30 minutes or more. I always read before going to bed, so I can go to sleep with positive thoughts and feelings.
- Listen to positive CDs in your car instead of music (or what’s worse, the news!)
- Avoid the news, negative people, negative movies, negative talk shows, and anything that will affect you negatively. Feed your mind with positive things every day.
- Feel genuinely grateful for what you have. FEEL deep feelings of gratitude. This is incredibly powerful, so do not take it lightly. Feel grateful for anything you have, your car (even if you don’t like it, still feel grateful for having it), your kids, your spouse, a flower, etc. Feel grateful every day. Write down a list of things you are grateful for, and as you are writing, feel the gratitude. Do it for 5-10 minutes every day. Make sure that as soon as you wake up, you think about things to be grateful for. It’s the best way to start your day!
- Surround yourself with positive people that inspire you. This is very important! One way could be to start a mastermind group, where all of you can share ideas and support each other. You can either meet at somebody’s house once a week or at a restaurant. You can even do a conference call once a week if some of you live in different cities. You can also find a mentor that can help you stay focused or new friends that share the same goals.
- Feel the abundance that surrounds you. Even if at this moment you don’t have the money you want, you can find abundance if you look for it. Abundance is not just money; abundance is everywhere. Maybe you have an abundance of love? Or an abundance of friends? Look for abundance in Nature. Look at the ocean, you will see abundance. Look at trees, you will see abundance. Just FEEL abundance instead of lack, and you will attract it.
- Take workshops when possible, take classes if you can. Find an Adult School. Their classes are free.
You can make your life a masterpiece. Just focus on it, every day. And always, ALWAYS, be grateful for what you have.
There is NOTHING that you cannot be, do, or have. You are a magnificent human being with unlimited potential. Do not settle for mediocrity, you deserve more!