At some point, you gotta let go, sit still, and allow contentment to come to you. - Elizabeth Gilbert
The three pillars of Positive Money are the principles, the process, and the practice. The principles become your guiding philosophy for practicing positive money habits. The process is about what you do when you encounter a challenge. The practice puts and keeps you in the Positive Money zone so you have what you need to respond in a way that leads to desired outcomes.
Positive Money Strategies
Positive Money strategies that foster a more positive relationship with money fall into three separate categories: Head, Heart, and Habit. Each of these dimensions of your being drives your doing. When they’re aligned -- the fourth principle of Positive Money -- you experience greater ease and flow -- not just in your relationship with money -- but in other areas of life as well. The practice helps you better understand these dimensions so you can jump in and course correct when you experience moments of misalignment.
Your money mindset is the set of beliefs and attitudes you have about earning, spending, saving, and giving. The better you get at identifying these beliefs and attitudes and where they show up, the more capable you will be in developing and maintaining a Positive Money mindset.
One way to learn about your mindset is to listen to the stories you tell yourself about what's going on. Is it fact or is it fiction? For example, the fact may be that you have $100 in your checking account. The story you tell yourself is that you’re bad at managing your money or that your employer needs to pay you more. You look for evidence to prove you’re right. You’re skeptical of anyone telling you otherwise, or you flat-out disagree. It becomes a vicious cycle of rinse and repeat, leaving little room for new perspectives or experiences.
Our emotions and feelings serve as powerful signaling mechanisms. We may think we’re making a Positive Money move only to discover that our body is sending a different message. The more we learn about these mechanisms and how to build our emotional intelligence, the better equipped we are to communicate our needs around money and to regulate and cope.
One of my favorite resources is an organization called Six Seconds, which provides an interactive model you can use to learn about emotions as well as an assessment. (Learn more at https://www.6seconds.org/)
Money habits are behaviors that repeat themselves whether you like them or not. These patterns show up in our relationship with money as both thoughts and actions. They can be so familiar that it never crosses our mind that they can be changed. Alternatively, we may have tried to change them and failed, and we’re not sure why. If they’re extreme or addictive, like gambling or hoarding money, they may signal more serious mental health issues that require a greater level of intervention.
A popular resource on understanding and changing habits is Atomic Habits by James Clear.
More on Positive Money Practices
Identifying habits of thinking and behaving is the first step toward changing your relationship with money toward the positive. I go into more detail about the practices and how to incorporate them in my book about Positive Money.