Think about the fact that the currency we exchange is nothing more than printed paper. It doesn’t really have any value at all except the value that’s been assigned to it. Why would we want to measure our personal worth against printed paper that has no value? And yet, this is the mindset that millions of people have adopted.
Look at the effect money has on the way we view ourselves. To some degree, our sense of self-worth and security tends to rise and fall with our income. And regardless of how we reason on it intellectually, the truth is, we all have an emotional connection with money because we always feel better when finances are not an issue.
Let’s adjust the picture a little
Imagine if the whole value exchange system had been built on something like strips of red ribbon. “Oh, I’ve got more red ribbon than you so that means that I am a more valuable person.” The whole concept is so absurd, it’s laughable. And yet, in reality, a strip of ribbon is probably worth more than a dollar bill.
A long time ago, currency was intended to represent a commodity like gold or silver, but is that still the case? No! There is no commodity to back it up – they just print up currency and put it into circulation. And because most people still hold a commodity based mindset about money, the whole economic picture is just an illusion. But it’s a picture that we are all involved in, so what can we do?
Obviously, we need some financial security in our lives. Sadly, the way we’ve been programmed to attract money is probably not the best way to satisfy that need. Let’s go over several false notions about the almighty dollar and its place in our lives, and consider some alternative approaches.
How we are conditioned to think and feel about money
From early childhood we are told that money makes the world go around. As a little kid we might have looked at our parents and said, “Can I have a dollar?” Then, if they asked why we would reply, “I need it to get one of these.” So right away, we learn to recognize that everything we want in life has a price tag on it. From that point on our mindset is that to get anything in life requires money.
As we get older we start to link our worth with our hourly wage. As a result of this emotional link, our sense of personal value gets all wrapped up in what we are able to earn per hour. Notice how this conditioning process unfolded. Initially, money had value because it represented what we could buy with it. But then, it took on a personality of its own.
On an emotional level money is linked to pain and pleasure
We all need money so we can pay the rent and put food on the table. The need is real and without adequate finances things can get very uncomfortable. This adds another dimension to our mindset about money. Now, lack of money equals pain and having money equals pleasure. Is it any wonder that it is almost impossible to avoid forming an emotional attachment with that worthless printed paper?
What happens to our emotional stability when the economy is floundering and personal assets start evaporating? Our sense of security can easily turn into panic and leave us wondering how in the world we are going to cope. That’s a lot of leverage for paper with no intrinsic value.
How can we avoid the emotional rollercoaster?
Independent of the economy or our personal financial status, a balanced perspective can go a long way toward neutralizing the emotional influence of money. Maintaining the right mindset will not only help us to get through tough financial times, it will also help us prosper in the future.
Let’s try looking at this whole monetary issue with a more empowering mindset. We can do this by ignoring the negative press and addressing our personal relationship with money.
7 ways to adjust your mindset about money
1. Don’t entrust your finances to others. Money management tools like Quicken.com are informative, but it is also important to have faith in your own ideas and take control of your financial future. Investments are often not as secure as acting on your own productive ideas. If you come up with a sound business idea, create a business plan and act on it promptly. Don’t allow limiting beliefs about your abilities to create income stifle your creativity.
2. Dare to operate from abundance instead of scarcity. Giving is a powerful way to attract what you need, and generosity opens the flow of abundance. I’m not saying you should give away your last dollar. But a mindset based on hoarding is a sure way to create scarcity. Remember, there are many ways to give outside the realm of finances. Could you give of your time or experience to help others?
3. Don’t put off enjoying your life and your resources. Planning for your retirement is not as powerful as living in the present with an awareness of your future. Putting enjoyment off until a future time is like pushing away your current prosperity. When you delay enjoying your life until your circumstances improve, you actually do yourself a grave disservice. A mindset built on postponement links your emotional happiness to your financial future.
4. Don’t expect money to solve all your problems. Money is not the path to happiness or fulfillment and maintaining this emotional separation is vital for a happy life. Money will not make your life feel more meaningful, or improve your relationships. Always remember that money only solves financial problems!
5. Let go of limiting financial beliefs. A belief such as, “money is the root of all evil” will only block your prosperity. There is no shame in a modest lifestyle, but there is also nothing noble about lacking money or anything else. Holding a mindset that allows you to be respectful of, but emotionally detached from money will help you make better decisions in every area of life.
6. Don’t be afraid to chart your own path. Scarcity is mostly a matter of mindset and so is abundance. Human creativity can solve any financial problem and find ways to profit along the way. If you can block out the negative feedback and learn to think and act differently than the struggling masses, you may be astonished at what you can accomplish.
7. Spend some money on things that make you feel good. Practical spending is valuable and prudent, but you also deserve to enjoy some of the fruits of your labor. When you buy something that helps you feel good, you encourage a positive emotional response to money and feed your abundance mindset. When you feel better about yourself, you naturally tend to be more productive.
Never allow yourself to be a slave to finances
An obsessive view of money can foster unhealthy responses like greed and dishonesty. This can be true whether a person has a lot or a little. When money has that kind of power in a person’s life, they become its slave.
When we have the mindset that money is just a tool, and avoid forming an emotional attachment to it, we are in control. Remember, it’s just printed paper with no intrinsic value whatsoever. You, on the other hand, are extremely valuable. The more you actively share your unique value with the world, the greater your sense of self-worth and abundance will become.
Do you view income as emotionally influential?
Does your sense of self-worth fluctuate with your finances?
The lines are open!
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