Busting the Scarcity Mindset: Behind the Scenes of Chapter 2

It’s time for the next sneak peek behind the scenes of our upcoming book on busting the scarcity mindset! Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2 on Seeing Money as a Tool:

“Each one of us holds a different view of money in our minds’ eye. This is often based on how our parents perceived and used money, or how we felt money may have influenced us and our families. In order to see money objectively so that we can effectively use it as a tool, we must examine—and in some cases unlearn—our old beliefs about money.”

Chapter 2 dives deep into how we see money, what it can do for us as a tool and practical ways we can use it to work for us. The sections below are adapted from the first part of the chapter on understanding our emotions around money so we can change our mindset and use it effectively as a tool.

busting the scarcity mindset, behind the scenes of chapter 2. money triggers

To Love or Not to Love Money: Understanding Our Emotions & Triggers Around Money

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10, King James Version of the Bible

Seeing money as a tool creates space between us and the money itself. Consider a hammer. As a tool, we do not love it, not the way we might love another person. We may like the hammer and what it does for us, but that is distinctly different than loving it.

As a result of this perspective, we become less attached to money, and do not “pierce [ourselves] with many sorrows,” as the Bible quote above says. Being unattached to money or the outcomes that may result from using it prevents us from experiencing an emotional rollercoaster in regards to our finances. We are free then to adapt and use money in the way that provides the most value—to ourselves and to others. One of the greatest benefits of seeing money as a tool and not loving it as such, is our ability to pivot when needed and change the way we use it.

Your Beliefs Around Money

While this may sound good in theory, it can be difficult to put into practice. Mindsets rarely change overnight! And many of us are knowingly or unknowingly quite attached to money. This attachment actually indicates a scarcity mindset and a belief that we must hold tightly to our money for fear there won’t be enough in the future. The transformation of a scarcity mindset into a prosperity one often begins when a person realizes why they believe what they believe and makes a conscious choice to change it.

In our new book, we recommend taking a quiz in order to better understand your current relationship with money. It will help you learn more about how you see and use money and how to work with your strengths. Knowing your strengths when it comes to money can be especially helpful when working with others.

In collaboration, we can multiply our money much faster and maximize our impact. Understanding ourselves and our current relationship with money is essential to overcoming any negative biases, unfounded beliefs, or even misplaced love of money. Then we can focus on the mindset we want to have about money going forward.

This can incorporate old beliefs (not all old beliefs need to be unlearned; some can be utilized!) and integrate them with new beliefs. It is not an either/or equation. It is a “yes, and” way of thinking. Yes, we have old beliefs about money that have driven our actions to this point. And with newfound awareness, we can see them for what they are and either employ them to help us along with our new beliefs or release them.

Emotion-Driven Action Regarding Money

All of our actions regarding money—earning, buying, investing, and donating, to name a few—begin with emotion. This is yet another vital reason to understand your emotions around money and what triggers you may have when it is time to take action. It is important to ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to take this action?
  • What is the best outcome? What is the worst? Am I okay with either?
  • Is a love of money getting in the way of making a sound decision?
  • What emotions do I want to feel about this situation?

You possess the power to change your mindset around money. Knowing this is the first step. It brings awareness to your emotions. Instead of judging yourself, just try observing what you feel when you:

  • Receive income,
  • Pay for a service,
  • Or look at a financial statement.

Noticing the feelings you have helps you understand that you are not your feelings, and you have the power to change them.

Using money as a tool is most effective when we operate from an aware place. Our motives must be pure and clear. When unaware of our emotions surrounding money, we may use the tool incorrectly or for ulterior motives. In order to act from integrity with our money, we need to know why we are employing it and, ideally, have transparent intentions.

When we say one thing and do another with our money, we are letting an underlying scarcity mindset rule us. And money, as the tool, will simply do whatever we direct it to do. It does not have an opinion—or an emotion, for that matter,—about what we do with it or what outcome it creates.

Your History with Money

Another section of this chapter explores your history with money and encourages you to do a creative exercise to see money in a new light:

“As a practical way to begin breaking down your own emotional barriers around money, take five minutes to journal about your personal and professional history with money. However, I’d encourage you to try a creative approach: write from the perspective of money, the tool. For example, your journal entry may begin with something like, “When you were 5 years old, you put me in a piggy bank where it was dark and I felt stifled and useless.” Taking this alternative perspective will help you see how you have used money as a tool in the past and identify ways you’d like to change your use of money in the future. Ready, set, go!”

Now that you’ve seen what your past use of money was like from the tool’s perspective, consider:

  • How do you want to change your use of it as a tool?
  • What might you do differently with money in the next year?
  • How will that impact your emotions about money?

Our closest relationships are deeply affected by our emotions around money and how we use it as a tool. Data collected from law firms show that 20-40% of all divorces are due to financial problems. If we could see money more objectively and clearly as a tool, would we take the time and devote energy to learning how to use this tool more effectively?

The first two Principles of Prosperity we teach Prosperity Thinkers are: Think and See. Both align perfectly with this first concept of understanding our emotional triggers around money.

They state:

  1. Think: Owning a prosperity mindset eliminates poverty; scarcity thinking keeps you stuck.
  2. See: Increase your prosperity by adopting a “big picture” perspective in which you can see how each one of your economic decisions affects all the others. Avoid financial “tunnel vision.”

When we think with a prosperity mindset and see money with a big picture perspective as a tool that helps us achieve our goals, we are free to grow. Our perceptions of money are powerful. When we know how to change them to benefit ourselves and others, we can change our lives, and ultimately, the world we live in.

I’ll end with several questions for you to reflect on that might spark a new perspective on seeing money as a tool today:

  • What triggers do you have around earning, spending, investing, or saving money?
  • How would you like to feel about money?
  • Is money a tool in your life now? If so, do you feel skilled in using it? If not, what function does money serve in your life now?

I invite you to comment below and let us know what you found most helpful in this post and what you’d like to learn more about in this upcoming book. Stay tuned for another post next month with sneak peeks into Chapter 3 with more helpful tips on how you can bust the scarcity mindset and live fully in abundance and prosperity!

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