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“You’re only a failure if you give up; if you stop trying to find solutions.”

That was what my father told me when I called him for help during a mental meltdown of epic proportions.

I didn’t have enough in my account to pay my car payment and I was feeling lower than I had in a long time. I was so stressed and focused on my worry that I couldn’t think about anything else. The stress was so intense some days it was making me physically ill to the point that I couldn’t get out of bed some days – which of course only made my financial difficulty worse.

Which led to my meltdown and the subsequent call.

After hearing my story, he cut in on my avalanche of fearful thoughts when I said that I thought that I was a complete failure.

“You’re only a failure if you give up; if you stop trying to find solutions.”

What an incredibly simple and incredibly empowering to shift your mindset from constantly worrying about the problem to instead actively finding solutions. Shifting from a place of fear to one of hope.

I soon found out it’s the difference between having a wealth mindset – and a lack one.

But what is a wealth mindset? And why does having one matter?

The easiest way of describing what a wealth mindset is is by describing first what it is not.

The Lack Mindset

The opposition of the wealth mindset and the place that many people start in is the lack mindset. The lack mindset comes from a place of fear. It pits people against one another because there is a sense of not enough or competition. A lack mindset sees others as a threat; that they are out to get what is yours. People coming from a lack mindset are busy hoarding anything they have – whether it be money, resources, love, and more – trying desperately to keep themselves from facing the dire consequences they fear is around the corner.

Living with a lack mindset keeps people on a hamster wheel, grinding out more and more to achieve an ever-increasing goal. They often believe that when they reach the goal, they can consider being more generous or open to others because they will have more resources. The truth is, living with a lack mindset makes people scared and miserly and reaching their goals doesn’t usually stop their habits. If anything, they become even more protective of what they have since they worked so hard to get it.

The Wealth Mindset

Wealth mindset is the term generally used to describe a positive relationship with money, but it is so much more than that as well. A wealth mindset absolutely includes a clear understanding of your family’s budget and spending habits, but the core idea is deeper than profit and loss. It’s about being generous, having an open mind, and being inclusive.

Beyond money, a wealth mindset also applies to your health, your relationships, and work. Having a wealth mindset means believing that there is more than enough and the more you share, the more you have. It means making decisions from a place of hope, not fear.

I’m going to focus on the financial aspect here though because I’ve found that being fulfilled financially opens up opportunities to do more, be more, and give more overall. Finding wealth in your bank account often leads to wealth in all areas of life.

How to Shift From a Lack Mindset to a Wealth Mindset

Making the switch from a lack mindset to a wealth mindset isn’t like flipping a light switch. In order to combat years of lack thinking, a deep dive into the mindset and habits has to be done. The good news is – it can be done!

Get Honest

The very first thing you need to do to begin shifting your mindset is, to be honest with yourself. Most people develop a lack mindset over time and it will take time to change your automatic responses to adversity. Recognize where those Lack thoughts are coming from and question them ruthlessly.

A change in thinking won’t happen immediately but it starts with recognizing that a lack mentality is not a good way to show up day-to-day. When you feel yourself slipping into a lack mindset, remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for or feel lucky to have.

For example, I don’t care for my current living situation. I don’t enjoy living in a stationary travel trailer, especially when I know that it’s my best option right now that I can actually afford.

However, when those are the thoughts that I start to dwell on I remind myself that this is actually a great opportunity for me to get back on track financially and that it will not last forever.

I may lack the home of my dreams, but if I’m honest with myself, this is period of my life is about building the foundation that I need to be able to start building for my life.

Get Educated

Once you take an honest look at your thought patterns, the next thing you can do for yourself is to get educated on the things that can help you improve. Follow some wealth mindset influencers. Hire a life coach.  Find someone that you resonate with that makes tough concepts easier to incorporate into your lifestyle.

As much as I would love to be your one stop shop on all things wealth mindset, my methods might not be ones that work best for you. Take advantage of the digital age that we are living in and find the person that speaks best to you.

Some of my favorites are:

Paula Pant from Afford Anything

JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly

Mr. Money Mustache from Mr. Money Mustache

Each of these thought leaders have very different approaches to money management based on their unique philosophies. All of them however share the ideals of the wealth mindset.

Take Action

Knowledge becomes entertainment if you don’t act on it.

Find a mindset buddy that will help you get back to a wealth mindset when you start to fall back. Make a vision board with words of affirmation to help remind yourself of all the things that you have to be thankful for or are working towards.

More impactfully, be the light for someone else. Don’t horde your positivity, share it with people who need to see it and hear it.

The core ideas of a wealth mindset are being generous, having an open mind, and being inclusive. Every day find something that you can do to live up to at least one of them.

The Takeaway

If your mindset about money – or any other area of life – hasn’t been as healthy as you’d like, it can be changed. Moving from a lack mindset to a wealth mindset is completely possible. Through honesty, education, and action you can create a healthier and more wealth-minded way of thinking. Go out there, face your fears, take your risks, and overcome your setbacks. You are equipped, you are worthy, and you are capable. I believe in you!