Oftentimes as Financial Planners, we can get caught up in the numbers and deeper analysis of financial concepts for our clients. As helpful as this is, there’s another component to helping you feel comfortable and confident around your money: working through your relationship with it.
Recently I was featured in an ‘Ask the Experts’ column for Womans World magazine where I addressed money fears and how we can tap into the bigger picture to move through them. Here are a couple of the questions I was asked in the interview, although not all made it into the article I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this topic with you.
How might we tap into a feeling of abundance rather than one of scarcity?
This all begins with gratitude. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t. If you’re constantly focusing on what you don’t have, you’re projecting a mindset of scarcity out into the world. And scarcity mentality sees limitations instead of opportunities. Catch your thoughts and your words.
I want to be clear here, this is very different from toxic positivity. We’re humans and we have complex emotions and we need to allow ourselves to feel it all. We can’t deny our feelings – all of them (the good, the bad and the ugly) – they’re there and they need to be recognized. The trick is, not staying stuck in them.
Self-awareness is critical here. We can begin to develop the awareness of how our own stories and beliefs and biases may be getting in the way. We just need to give ourselves the space so that we can separate out stories from fact.
Are there ways to gain a broader perspective and boost our optimism by tapping into the bigger picture?
Oh yes! An abundance mindset allows you to see more in your life: when we’re not closing ourselves off from possibility, we see more options, more choices, and more resources.
There was a really interesting study out of Harvard University that found that when we focus on one particular thing very intently, other possibilities that are right in front of us can go completely unnoticed. Which makes sense because, the brain can only absorb so much, so if your belief is limited or fixed and you say things to yourself like “I can’t do it” or “this is impossible” then that’s what your brain will focus on. You’re closing yourself off for other opportunities to even possibly exist.
This is where Big Picture Thinking comes in. Big Picture Thinking is where we think about the future and all the opportunities ahead of us. This is why people create vision boards, this is why people do exercises like visualizations – so they can bring those possibilities into their reality. So they can train their minds to create an expanded awareness.
But you don’t necessarily have to make a vision board to begin to tap into this. You can start by just asking yourself some questions. I say this all the time to women – just get quiet and ask yourself what you want? So often women play small – saying things like oh, I just want a pedicure, or a weekend away, or a good nights sleep. Sure, those things are great, but are they really, really what we want? I encourage women to Go big here…and ask yourself things like: if you had all the money and all the time in the world and you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do? Questions like that will help to open your mind up to that expansiveness.
And by doing this, by Having a big picture mindset, it helps us to put the little things into perspective. Things that stressed us out before, may not anymore because we see how it fits into the bigger picture.