You’ve heard of the law of attraction—the idea that positive or negative thoughts can manifest positive or negative experiences. And you may have seen books and seminars around the concept of thinking like you're rich.
But can you really think your way to prosperity? Possibly.
“How we think and feel about money has a huge impact on financial prosperity,” says Emily King, a wealth and abundance coach and founder of TheRichWoman. “As the saying goes, ‘seek and ye shall find.’ Shift how you think about money, and the results [may] start to shift as well.”
But what does it mean to bring a wealth mindset to your financial planning? Read on to find out.
What is a wealth mindset?
In short, the mindset is, "to believe that the opportunity to make more money is always available to you,” King says. “This way of thinking can then impact the actions you take and put you in the driver's seat," she notes. There's an emotional aspect to it, too. It's also about developing the confidence to pursue your goals and knowing that you’re worthy of success.
Is there science behind it?
A wealth mindset is a finance-focused version of the Growth Mindset, a concept developed by Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, after decades of research into how our attitudes and beliefs impact our lives.
People with a growth mindset tend to think their current state is a starting point for further development. They believe their potential is limitless, and hard work, setbacks, and challenges are steps toward success. Those with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, tend to think the hand they’re dealt limits their potential, so they tend to shy away from challenges and may give up more easily in the face of setbacks.
The same attitude can be applied to financial planning.
"Growth implies opportunity, expansion, and knowing that there is no 'one step forward, two steps back' that so many people get stuck in," says King. "You get out of the mindset that you're 'bad' with money, and learn to trust yourself, your intuition, and what you believe will lead to greater opportunity."
So, how do you apply a growth mindset to your finances? Try these strategies from King.
3 ways to help cultivate your wealth mindset
1. Visualize your financial success
Visualization can be a powerful tool for change. Research shows that our brain often responds to imaginary scenarios as if they’re real, so using visualization to help you “think rich” can make it feel real.
While you can take a passive visualization approach and simply picture yourself richer, King recommends active visualization. Active visualization means picturing everyday scenarios the way you’d like to see them, and then practicing living out that vision.
If you’re trying to reduce your debt, for instance, ask yourself how you’ll feel when you finally pay it off, King advises. Then, tap into those feelings when you look at your account statement. This technique can help you build intrinsic motivation (being motivated by internal payoffs), and you’ll be more likely to reach your goal. “Keep practicing little habits like that daily and it [can] make a world of difference for your money mindset,” King says.
2. Change how you think about barriers
Having a wealth mindset doesn’t mean that structural barriers to making more money disappear. The difference is in how you approach them. “Shift your mindset to see them as strength builders. Let it be a challenge that motivates you to rise above [them],” King states. Finding inspiration from those with similar life experiences can help, she says, so look within your community for success stories you can learn from.
3. Practice positive mantras
“Phrases like 'I can never get ahead,' or 'I'm so bad with money' [can] become learned [behaviors] and make us feel powerless," King says.
Instead of engaging in negative self-talk, acknowledge your efforts, and say affirmations, like “I’m overcoming a challenge that will help me succeed” or “I’m boosting my financial IQ each day.”
Part of having a wealth mindset means addressing how you think and feel about your money—and Upwise can help. Our app provides tools designed to help you work toward your financial goals and build more confidence in what your money can do for you—now and in the future.