“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich
Guest post by Kate Phillips of Total Wealth Coaching
I LOVE that the first of Partners for Prosperity, Inc.’s 7 Principles of Prosperity is to THINK from a Prosperity Mindset. Financial strategies, tactics, habits and processes matter, but to choose the right ones, we’ve got to take a step back and look at the roots of our results – our thoughts and feelings about money.
In 2005, I started leading workshops for women called “Love Your Money, Love Yourself,” and it had a strong financial education component. I illustrated the rule of 72, the power of compounding interest, and other basic financial concepts. I asked them to track their spending. I asked them to interview millionaires (or, if they already were one, someone with substantially more wealth.)
We also did some more abstract exercises. We told our personal money stories. We visualized and journaled. We engaged in emotional dialogues that brought our financial frustrations and fears to the surface. We read liturgies confessing our money sins, and embraced each other where we were at. We played games designed to help us brainstorm a bigger life. We defined the purpose of money in our life with a cash prize contest. We role-played philanthropists, and we stepped into the shoes of our wise and wealthy future selves.
(Oh yes, and we danced to Motown song about money. Dancing always helps.)
Thirteen weeks later, the women in the class were transformed (myself included). I taught the workshop several times, and each time, I became more aware of this truth:
Information alone isn’t nearly enough.
Knowledge alone can’t lead us to financial freedom. There is no lack of information about how to budget, save, and invest. (Granted, some of it is lacking or downright wrong, but that’s another topic for another day.) At the most basic level, we all understand that spending less, saving more, and investing wisely will at least take us in the direction we want to go.
Do we act on what we know? Or do we take half-hearted action, for instance, saving 5% of our income when 15% might be needed?
Information and knowledge about money is useless unless we absorb it and apply it. And to do that, we need a prosperous mindset. We’ve got to go beyond financial education and information to get to the heart of the matter – our relationship with money. How we think (and feel) about money creates the foundation on which all else is built.
What does it MEAN to have a Prosperity Mindset, to THINK abundantly?
Nurturing a prosperous mindset involves many things-
Beliefs – Beliefs are a major influence on our bottom line. Of course, we don’t see them as “beliefs,” we see them as truths, or simply “the way things are.”
Four types of beliefs that are affecting your bottom line right now are:
- Your beliefs about Money. Does it corrupt people? Is it a blessing? Is it hard to come by, or does it grow on trees? Consider what you believe about money, and where those beliefs came from. What did your parents teach you about money? Your teachers? Your church? The culture? Most people have what I call a “love-hate” relationship with money, and that slows down our ability to create the wealth we desire.
- Your beliefs about People with Money. Are they dishonest? Lucky? Hard-working? Do you believe wealth comes from being in the right place at the right time, climbing to the top by stepping on others, or developing the habits, disciplines, knowledge and mindsets that others have used to build wealth?
- Your beliefs about Yourself. Do you believe you have the capability to become wealthy? Do you believe you are on the path now, and will overcome all obstacles? Do you trust yourself with money?
- Your beliefs about Life/God/the Universe.Albert Einstein said that one of the most important questions we could answer is that of the nature of the universe. Is it a friendly universe? Does it support us? Or is life just a series of challenges to be overcome? And what about our metaphysical beliefs? Do we conceive a God who is on our side where money is concerned, or do we pray about health but never wealth?
Emotions – Our past negative experiences with money, math, or even wealthy people can block us from being able to move forward financially.
Was money used to control you? Or have you experienced financial theft or loss? You may find yourself unconsciously avoiding wealth, not realizing that our experiences with money make you feel disempowered. You might even feel tight or unsettled in the “pit of your stomach” when you think of money.
Or did you have a mentor with a healthy relationship with money? Then money may feel like a natural outcome for you, and it may evoke feelings of confidence, positive expectation, fun and freedom.
Self-image – Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics,says that we are “unlikely to outperform our self-image.” Indeed, how we identify ourselves inwardly (and present ourselves outwardly) has an enormous impact on our wealth, and can either help us attract or repel prosperity.
Do you feel comfortable with wealth? Do you feel “worthy” of it? Do you feel comfortable with wealthy people? Do you associate with those who are where you want to be, financially? While self-worth isn’t the only determiner of net-worth, there is a relationship between the two.
Prosperous Words – Both a reflection of our mindset and a reinforcement of it, our language reveals what’s underneath the surface. You’re not likely to build wealth if you refer to yourself as “broke” or refer to your wealthy friends as “dirty stinking rich.” Is money “cold, hard, cash” to you, or a friend and ally? Do you find yourself saying “it takes money to make money,” or “money doesn’t grow on trees,” or are your words full of expectation, possibility, and gratitude?
Perseverance – While perseverance may look more like an action and less like a mindset, ask anyone who has run a marathon how critical mindset is in pushing past barriers and obstacles to your goals.
Countless heroes in business, sports, or entertainment have persevered beyond tremendous obstacles, even homelessness to even have a shot at success:
- Jennifer Lopez was homeless and slept on the couch at her dance studio until she got her first job as a dancer.
- Sylvester Stallone slept in a bus station for 3 weeks, and later reportedly turned down badly needed money for his “Rocky” screenplay until he found a producer that would let him play the title role.
- John Paul DeJoria of John Paul Mitchell Systems slept in his car while hawking his first hair-care products (created with a $700 loan) door-to-door.
What obstacles are you willing to push past on your road to wealth?
Dreams/ Goals/ Vision – 4 Hour Workweek author Tim Ferris taught people to create a “muse,” or a simple cash-flow business that doesn’t require them to trade their hours for dollars. Many who have followed his lead are now travelling the world with greater time-freedom than most people believe is possible. Robert Kiyosaki taught a generation to purchase income-producing assets, not just save in a 401(k), and those who took his advice created financial freedom while their mutual-fund-investing peers merely built financial security that supports them, but falls short of giving them true freedom.
Do you just take life as it comes (and spend money as it comes), or are you working towards a prosperous future that truly inspires you? Our minds create the blueprints for our lives.
Are You Thinking Yourself Rich, Poor, or Middle Class? If you want to transform how you think about money forever, I recommend consider traveling Prosperity Thinkers’s Prosperity Pathway. The Prosperity Pathway is P4P’s proprietary process for examining your finances in the light of the 7 Principles of Prosperity. You’ll go on a “deep dive” to understand exactly how to get your money working harder for you, building sustainable wealth with greater control and greater confidence.
A pioneer in the financial therapy movement and a financial writer, Kate Phillips considers herself a “Prosperity Therapist” who helps people think and feel differently about money.
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Disclosure: Our content is meant for educational purposes only. While it’s our goal to help you learn about building a life of prosperity, we do not intend to provide financial advice. Please consult your financial, tax or legal advisor before making any investment or financial decisions.