Money. It’s one of those subjects that seems to be a bit taboo. It makes people uncomfortable. Not enough and you feel somehow that you are less than, that you aren’t doing as well as you should be, that you’re not succeeding. More than enough and you feel you should be embarrassed, not talk about it, guilty perhaps of having more than others.
This post may contain some affiliate links.
Despite this, I wanted to talk about money in a positive way and specifically, how I was able to shift my mindset from one where I felt I was trapped by my earning potential and panicking month to month to feeling really positive about my future, overcoming a lot of my money blocks and in turn, earning more money along the way. I’m not an expert at any of this stuff, by the way, but perhaps by sharing my own journey, I might help you too to start shifting that negative energy and finally earning what you’re worth.
Where Negative Money Mindsets Come From
Negativity around money is often something that’s drilled into us from a surprisingly young age. One of the very first things we are told about money as children? ‘Don’t put that in your mouth – it’s dirty.’ So our very first interactions with it are negative.
We then go on to pick up so many external cues from our family, from our friends, from the media and these become the stories we tell ourselves. Especially as women, we are told it’s okay to be successful, but you can’t be too successful because if you are, that must mean you’re a cold-hearted bitch.
As just one small example, look at the way women with money are portrayed in films and TV: When we see a fantasy timeline of Phoebe from Friends being a super successful businesswoman, she’s portrayed as a ruthless tyrant. Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada? Super Bitch. Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses? Well, the title gives it away. Women in business have been portrayed as ruthless and terrifying or perhaps even worse, desperate for a relationship and/or baby but have thrown it all away for the sake of their careers and now they are paying the price. If they do own businesses, it’s only okay if they are not doing all that well because it somehow makes them more likeable/human/vulnerable – think Annie’s bakery in Bridesmaids or Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character in the first season of Fleabag compared to her successful (but cold) sister Claire.*
*Although I’m just watching the second season and her business is doing well! Hurrah! Also, the show is amazing so please don’t think I’m slating it, just using it as an example.
And yes, of course, things are changing – slowly, but the tide is starting to turn. We’re starting to see successful women who are hard-working, inspiring, kind, philanthropic. But that’s not the message I grew up with.
Alongside the media, conversations in my own home were fraught with anxiety. My parents fought about money a LOT. My father was an entrepreneur but not a terribly successful one so it was a constant source of anxiety in our home. We didn’t have a lot growing up. We had a roof over our heads and food on the table which is more than many but we didn’t have much else. Despite my father’s businesses and my mother working away as a bookkeeper, there were no family holidays, no shopping days out, no spare cash for anything extra.
I grew up with a very loud and clear message: Money means conflict and it’s really hard to get unless you want to work every hour under the sun just to get by.
How Our Money Mindset Plays Into Wealth
Of course, everyone has a different experience and a different upbringing but there’s little wonder why so many of us think of money in a negative light. There are messages we’ve received over the course of a lifetime either directly or indirectly that affects the way we think about it. And the way we think about money often affects our ability to make money. When we are constantly telling ourselves that rich people are horrible, greedy wankers or that having very little money makes us humble and kind or that we don’t value ourselves enough to charge our own worth because we’re just not meant to be wealthy, you start to see how all the stories we’ve been telling ourselves about money get in the way of actually earning and keeping it.
And I’m certainly not saying that there are circumstances which might make it more challenging for some than others. Of course, some people are born into incredible privilege, others are just about getting by because of responsibilities in their lives and things they have little control over. But there are so many things that hold us back when we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve more, that having money just isn’t something we will ever have, that making money is hard and even if we did make some, it doesn’t matter because it would be swallowed up in an instant – and all those things only hold us back from our full potential, whatever that may be.
And there are plenty of examples of rich privileged people who lost it all and poor people who have battled the odds and created spectacular success and wealth in their lives. So despite the fact that I came from a pretty working-class background, I didn’t want to let that dictate what the rest of my life could be like.
How I Began To Shift My Money Mindset
Essentially, I started to recognise that mindset plays such a huge role in all of this and it’s something I’ve been exploring quite a lot over the last year or so. It started off with reading The Secret but I’ll be honest, I thought it was a bit ridiculous and I couldn’t really make sense of it. Then I started seeing and hearing more about The Law of Attraction from people I follow and from friends (like this post from Victoria at Apartment No 4) and I got curious about it once more. But it was only once I took part in Sarah Akwisombe’s No Bull Business School Money + Manifesting course, that things became a little clearer for me and I like to think that’s where my journey with having a better mindset around money started.
The course is loosely based on LOA but it really is just so much more practical than that, centring on what money blocks you might be experiencing and really digging into how you feel about money. It explores your current feelings about money – after all, money is just a thing and yet we attach so much emotion to it – and how once you recognise the negative thoughts and once you explore where those thoughts came from, it makes it so much easier to recognise how you may be standing in your own way from making more.
And that’s something I definitely found myself doing. First, I wasn’t valuing myself to charge what I was actually worth. Second, I was saying no to opportunities because, ultimately, I thought I wasn’t qualified or good enough to do. And finally, I was accepting freelancing work I didn’t really want to do but was so desperate to make cash that I was taking on whatever I could get. I didn’t believe I could be in a position to make more because I told myself that it would mean working lots more hours and I was leaning back on my old thinking that to make a lot of money, you had to be willing to work every hour under the sun. Basically, in putting in some of the work around unearthing these deeply held beliefs, I began to realise I was the one who was standing in the way of making any more.
After the course, I delved into a lot more around money mindset. Jen Sincero’s book You are a Badass and subsequently her next book, You are a Badass at Making Money helped me to realise that mindset had held me back from recognising the great, positive things that were already happening in my life. I started to practice gratitude which is a huge part of the Law of Attraction. I’m never been that woo-woo a person to be honest but the idea that positivity attracts more positivity completely made sense to me. I genuinely believe when you start to look out for good things and when you start to believe good things will happen, they really will. When you start to think of your life as being abundant and when you start to view things from that place of abundance, abundance is something you’ll naturally attract.
And while I don’t want to focus too much on LOA and Manifesting in this post, there are parts of it that have really helped me to realise more of my money goals. One of the biggest changes to my mindset is keeping a gratitude journal. Any time I start feeling like I’m lacking in some way – whether that’s my bank balance or my self-worth – I will just start writing down all the things I already have. All the ways in which my life truly is blessed and I promise, when you start looking, you will realise just how abundant your life really is.
How LOA Works on a Logical Level
Creating a mindset where you view yourself as someone who has plenty and someone who has abundance in their life and you start to exercise that feeling of gratitude for everything you already have, you start to realise that everything you ever really truly wanted in your life, you probably somehow managed to get. And this is where the manifesting side of things come in. Starting my day with 5-10 minutes of gratitude and visualising the life I really want makes it feel as though it’s already here. Not only that, but starting your day with this abundance and gratitude mindset leads to recognising the things that are truly important to you – the things you know that you will go after and not let anything get in your way. You more easily recognise opportunities as they come your way and your mind is focused on your goals.
The way I now think about money is completely different from how I used to. I view money as a positive thing in my life – not something that’s dirty or not to be discussed. When you think about it, a lot of people in this world who do have excessive wealth also have a lot of power. And how much better would it be if those who are loving, kind, who want to help out where they can, have the money to do so? With money, we can implement all kinds of changes from within our own communities to worldwide, assisting those less or those who are disadvantaged with not just our cash but our time too. I’ve been able to increase how much I give to charity every month and I’m working towards having enough time to volunteer in my community on a regular basis.
Essentially, feeling as though we lack money creates weakness and dependency – the more we have, the more powerful we can be and the more we can shift and change things for the better. But it all starts with a shift in how we think about it. If we feel anger towards it or bitterness or resentment or desperation, we repel it. If we welcome it, we attract it.
I’m making it sound simple but I really have tried to put the work in and continue to do so every single day. It’s so easy to fall back into old ways of thinking but the more we reprogram our minds to think positively about money and to exercise gratitude, to visualise what we want our lives to look like and to just trust that the Universe has our back, the more abundance we’ll begin to attract.
How I Started Earning More Whilst Working Less
The biggest change for me in terms of my money mindset is that I value myself much more now. From being scared to tell people my rates or keeping my rates low for fear of not getting work (which came from a place of lack), I ended up simply working harder and harder just to get by. Now, I’ve raised my prices in line to what I feel is fair (coming from a place of abundance and gratitude) and you know what happened? People paid it. Willingly. No question.
After this, I was able to let go of lesser-paying freelance work and let go of clients I didn’t feel attuned to, left myself open to working with higher-quality clients and brands that valued me and ultimately, opened up that time I was spending to concentrate on the stuff I really loved doing and I got paid fairly to do. As a result, I’ve managed to create a much better work-life balance. I no longer work evenings and weekends and yet, I’m on target to earn more this year than I ever have since I went freelance 4 years ago – all whilst working fewer hours. So I’m finally getting over the mindset of making more means working more. I’m earning more and working less. Am I rich? Probably not by many people’s standards and being massively wealthy isn’t even necessarily a goal but it doesn’t seem as implausible and ridiculous as it may have in year’s past.
I also no longer panic about money – or rather, panic at the lack of it. I open myself to opportunity, I take action and responsibility and I go after things with a positive mindset. I just paid out £12,000 from our savings to our builder as the first payment on our building work and in years past, I probably would have felt sick to my stomach doing that. Now, I view money going out of my account with a sense of gratitude, knowing that the money was spent to allow me to go after the life I want. I make investments into my business without fear and in my mind’s eye, I realise that money flows towards me and away from me, like a river. And there’s always more coming. It’s not a limited resource – it’s a continually replenishing thing. Money goes out, money comes in, it’s just the way it has always been. It’s not something to fear.
I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface of this new way of thinking and while this post is plenty long enough, I wanted to share with you how much of a difference I’ve already had in my life by changing the way I think about money and how doing so, I’m attracting so much more positivity and abundance in to my life. And I still don’t consider myself very woo-woo but I’m opening my mind to things and seeing the results first-hand.
I’ve just finished the book Get Rich Lucky Bitch from Denise Duffield Thomas who I now have a massive woman-crush on and I’ve just started her latest book called, The Chillpreneur, which is all about rejecting the hustle and still creating wealth for yourself. Denise, in particular, really speaks to me in a way that feels completely natural for my personality and I’m planning on going to see her when she is doing her book tour in Birmingham in Autumn. I find her incredibly inspiring. And I’ll likely take her ‘Money Bootcamp’ course once that opens again in July.
If you’re just starting out or feel like this might be something you want to explore yourself, then of course, I’d recommend the NBBS Money + Manifesting course to start off with but while registration for that is currently closed, then perhaps start with Denise or Jen’s books which I’ve linked to below.
Have you ever used Law of Attraction in your own life? Do you have personal money blocks that you recognise in yourself? Do you think I’m completely barmy and woo-woo? Hahaha! Let me know in the comments (okay maybe not the last one but respectful comments are always welcome!)…