When you have a major money decision to make, what criteria do you use to determine what is the right course of action? Most people don’t have a formal guide of intent for their money.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that most people don’t approach their finances with any kind of conscious intent at all. It’s almost as if they see money as this scary, living thing that they do their best to tiptoe around. Don’t wake the money monster, and maybe it won’t bite you in the butt.
But when you clarify your own money intentions, attitudes, and desires, you reverse that dynamic; money situations no longer simply happen to you, you create conditions where you are in control of your money.
Three money mistakes
The thing is, whether you’ve ever consciously thought about it or not, you have a way you deal with money decisions. And if you’re not aware of the way you behave, you’re likely wasting money or opportunities.
The first mistake I see is that people have never consciously thought about their attitude around money. Or maybe it’s just “More Money Good, Less Money Bad”? Everyone has something that drives decisions, even if you’ve never thought about it. For example, if you view your money (or lack thereof) as something dangerous or threatening, then your intention will be to protect it.
What you already think — consciously or unconsciously — is how you’ll behave around money, and those are the results you’ll get. And I hardly ever come across someone who naturally thinks of their money as fluffy kittens.
The second mistake I see is that people focus on the tools of money instead of the heart of it. People end up following arbitrary money rules because somewhere, someone told them that their money life was a failure if it didn’t look like everyone else’s money. Tools are great, and rules of thumb are useful, but only in the larger context of your individual, specific, unique life experience.
The third mistake is not realizing that the results you get with money are directly tied with how you show up in the world. Afraid of stepping out as a powerful bad-ass and speaking your truth? You won’t get paid what you’re worth, because you’re not owning it. Afraid of telling your loved ones what you really want – a 180-degree change from the life you have built together? Your prosperity will start to drain because maintaining the façade of your current life will start to drain you. Do you not feel deserving of money, pleasure, self-care, and pampering? Then your inability to receive life’s richness is going to hinder your ability to receive, feel, and redistribute actual wealth.
One thing I like to do is see what my values are based on my spending habits, and then adapt, or call myself out as needed. I was laughing the other day because I have been in a new place for 18 months and I STILL have not gotten around to getting drapes for the huge window in the living room. But I almost instantly spent the money to buy a Peloton bike when the pandemic shut down Orangetheory. I will get drapes eventually, but knowing what my attitude is BEFORE moving forward with different money decisions just gives me more peace of mind as I make them. My health is simply more important than my decor right now.
If you think you want help with clarifying your money attitude, I’ll be talking more about the elements to consider in next week’s blog post, and you can always sign up to be alerted to that as well as get access to my free library of workbooks and resources here.