The following post is from Melissa Batai
Your mind is a powerful tool. Perhaps nothing brings home this lesson more than athletes. After all, they train every day, but their minds can either bring them success or defeat. If they mentally rehearse and see themselves as winners, they are likely to be winners. If they feel unsure or intimidated by the competition, if they can’t get their mind to quit saying negative things, they will likely lose even if their bodies are stronger and more able than the competition’s.
So, what does an athlete’s mental training have to do with your own mind?
Quite simply, your mind and your thoughts, your perceptions, can make or break your financial state.
I recently read somewhere (I wish I could remember where!), that you can empower yourself and your financial choices by the way you phrase things in your mind. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford it,” try saying, “I choose not to spend my money on this right now.”
Do you see the difference? Instead of being a victim to your financial situation as “I can’t afford it” implies, you instead become a strong, confident, empowered money manager. “I choose not to spend my money on this right now.”
Think about your own finances. Sure, there may be a lot of things you can’t afford right now. I know for us there is a whole list—a new-to-us second car for our family, a new couch to replace our 13 year old couch, a vacation to the Grand Canyon. I would love all of those things, but they’re just not in the budget right now. If I think, “I can’t afford it,” I feel sorry for myself. If I think, “I choose not to spend my money on this right now,” my entire mindset shifts. I feel that even though I’m not buying these things that I really want, I am instead making better financial decisions for myself.
When you think, “I can’t afford it,” you feel limited, as if you have no money to spend at all, but that’s rarely true. Look at your monthly spending, and you’ll see that you are spending money on some things. Maybe you’re saying no to coffee shop coffee and meals out, but maybe you’re saying yes to buying healthy food that may be more expensive. Your spending is reflecting your current priorities. You’re saying no to some things so you can say yes to others that are more important to you.
Saying “I choose not to spend money on this right now,” can also help you identify where you’re wasting money. Are you choosing to spend money on something you really don’t care about, like cable television, for instance, which forces you to not spend money on something you’d really like to, like saving for a beach vacation? When you put the choice of what to spend money on and what not to firmly in your own hands, you just look at your finances differently, and you ultimately make better choices.
My Question for You
Do you use positive or negative language when referring to your finances? If you were previously negative but have adopted a positive attitude and language, did your finances change? If so, how?