By Danielle Howard
Affirmations have been scientifically proven to help your mental and physical health, so why not your financial health?
I can't think of an area of our lives that is more inundated with negativity (OK, maybe body image): "I don't make enough money." "I will never retire." "I'm not good with math." "Corporations are greedy." "Money is evil."
What negative financial thoughts have you bought into over the years? If we don't consciously choose positive mindsets, our past experiences and the current media noise will set a negative script for us.
Three benefits of setting positive financial affirmations are:
Opens you up to possibilities: A new statement will feel uncomfortable for you. This is OK. The point is to open you up to a new way of thinking about what is true. When we make a shift, create, and repeat positive financial affirmations, we "kill the ANTs" (or Automatic Negative Thoughts, as termed by Dr. Daniel Amen.)
Empowers you to create a new belief system: Positive affirmations are exercise for our brains. It physically rewires our neural pathways and reprograms the unconscious mind for success. You are the captain of your financial journey and your thoughts are the fuel that will launch you on the right course. You get to choose what you think. You get to decide how this new belief will make you feel. You get to decide what you are willing to do to make it happen.
Motivates you to action: You can invest in a financial adviser who will help you determine a direction to move you to the future of your dreams and help you manage the life transitions that will unfold. Unless you have a positive mindset, you will likely not follow through with the implementation of advice. Positive affirmations will create new belief systems, which will lead to aspirational attitudes and beneficial behaviors.
When it comes to our finances, if we repeat our affirmations consistently they will help us maintain a positive monetary self-view. When the financial turbulence hits (whether in our personal life or in the markets), we will be less likely to succumb to negative behavior. You will be more resilient as your self-worth grows alongside your net worth.
Four steps in affirming your financial life:
Acknowledge your negative thought. "I'm not good with money" or "I don't have enough to retire".
Externalize it. I take clients on river rafting trips to experience how money flows through their lives." We write down a negative mindset, script or story on a small piece of paper. On the trip downriver, we go through a ritual of releasing it, and physically let the paper go in the water. Write it on a rock and throw it as far as you can. Write it on a piece of paper and burn it in the fireplace.
Replace it with a present tense, positive, short, action oriented affirmation. "I am making wise financial decisions" or "I am creating a life of no regrets."
Repeat daily. It's better if it is out loud in the presence of another person. Scary? Yes. Powerful? Resoundingly, yes.
You will find the biggest impact from creating positive financial affirmations when they reflect your core values. For example, claiming "I am making wise financial decisions" won't resonate with you unless you value foresight, discernment, or seeking wise counsel.
Four areas of your financial life to affirm are:
How money comes to you
How you share what you have
How you grow and protect your financial life
How you spend your resources
Some 10 years ago, one area of my financial life that I created a new affirmation around was "How money came to me." My career goes back over 20 years, to when commissions were the primary business model and, while not a wrong way of doing business, I found it lacking. The negative thought that consumed me was, "I don't like selling product for a living." I wasn't living in my financial authenticity. I wrote it down and tore it up - along with the old way of running my business. I affirmed that, "I will bring money into my life with integrity, dignity, competency, grace and joy." By affirming something that was meaningful to me, and taking action steps over the years, I now have a business model that I feel really good about.
I went back to school to get the designations and licensing to expand my fiduciary opportunities. I am grateful every day for the clients I work with and for the environment to create, learn and grow. Whether it is through my business, our family's real estate dealings, an inheritance received, or my husband's pension, we have taken the steps to make sure we are educated about our options, dignified in how we receive it, grateful for the flow, and intentional about our decisions.
About the author: Danielle Howard is a certified financial planner, author, speaker and financial thought leader. Read her book, Your Financial Revolution - Time to Recognize, Revitalize, and Release Your Financial Power. Visit her at Wealthbydesign4u.com or at Daniellehoward4u.com.