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  • 2 simple ways to combat money stress and recentre yourself

    2 simple ways to combat money stress

    If you’re in a reasonably stable position but still generally fretting about savings or debt on a daily basis …  that constant low hum of money stress is exhausting.  

    I’ve learned the hard way that if all your mental energy is expended on immediate money worries and needs from day-to-day, you won’t have any left over to actually plan for the future, make good strategic decisions and focus on moving forward. If you’re anything like me, this spills over into other areas of your life like work (leading to underperforming) and relationships (leading to isolation).

    Worrying intensely about not having enough often distracts you from actually doing anything about it. Wallowing is easy; taking steps to solve the problem is harder.

    Don’t let those feelings overwhelm you!

    Here are two things I try to bring it back to…

    Concrete actions

    What can you do about it right now?

    What would you do if the Terrible Thing came to pass? And then what? And what next? And after that?

    See, you’ve probably got Plans A-D right there, stepped out already.

    Within reason.

    Contingency plans are important, don’t get me wrong. But when you’re too wrapped up in concerns about what could go wrong rather than considering what could potentially go right; if you do the same things and continue the same thought patterns – you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

    Fear is a constant companion to me. And rather than letting it steer, I relegate it to the backseat. In the passenger seat, I’d much rather have someone more upbeat.

    Your BEST case scenario

    What if it worked? What if this had legs? What if this were to fly?

    Think better thoughts. Ask better questions. Actively replace those gloomy visions with visions of your ideal outcome instead.

    What if it all went so right?

    A positive, future-oriented approach does wonders for your emotional state.

    And that starts with getting a handle on your fears and your thoughts.

    The thing is, our hypotheses are often way off. We can’t predict things. But we just can’t help ourselves, can we? Our brains are wired to focus on negative. Anticipate risk. Keep us on guard and safe. Which doesn’t serve us well in today’s world; a world where danger is less about mortal risk out there, and more about what we perceive inside our heads.

    And that is never truer than when it comes to money.

    But these two habits can go a long way to curbing the drama of money stress.

    (Liked this? Then you’ll probably love Money Groove, my digital course designed to guide you toward finding your own financial groove and slaying those money demons.)

     

  • What if you lost your wallet tomorrow?

    what if you lost your wallet tomorrow

     

    What if you lost your wallet tomorrow? How many different cards do you have? Do you keep any others anyplace else?

    I’m not sure I will ever have multiple credit cards. I like to keep it simple.

    But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s the importance of having access to money in multiple places, in multiple ways.

    I have quite a few scattered bank accounts (that’s the result of having had my mortgage with a couple of different banks). One of them, I have never activated my card for, as I only ever used it for online transfers.

    And I was never more grateful for all of them when my bank account was hacked. Otherwise, I’d probably not have been able to access any money at all…

    Likewise when I recently went through a weird patch of losing stuff. I managed to drop my credit card on the escalator at the train station – swallowed into the bowels of the moving steps. I lost my debit card somewhere else (I assume somewhere between the train station and my car). Then I somehow lost the card I got as a replacement for THAT card (much later found down the side of Spud’s bed – it must have slid out and fallen down while I was sitting reading to him).

    With all this going on, I was never totally cut off. I always had card access to at least one account.

    Having those various accounts (and splitting cards between my wallet and my phone holder) has built in redundancies and contingencies for me. And for that, I’m very glad.

    Also, maybe I should set up Apple Pay…

    How many accounts/cards do you have? What’s your system like?

     

  • Become a money boss with these 5 podcasts (there’s something for everyone here)

    This is not a list of your typical financial gurus. Rather, it’s a list of podcasts that will expand, educate, and even entertain you on your financial journey. All by badass broads. I’ve learned so much from women like them. Enjoy!

    Bitches Get Riches

    I can only ever hope to be a fraction as badass as Piggy and Kitty. Their podcast is packed with real talk and practical advice with plenty of sass, humour, and pop culture references.

    Art of Money

    I remember really struggling to grasp the concept of the ‘body check in’ from Bari Tessler’s book The Art of Money. These days of course, nervous system regulation and somatic work is just BAU for me.  

    Her podcast, like her book, embodies her gentle approach to personal finance. She’s a financial therapist, and the practices and rituals and stories she shares are so compassionate. No matter where you are on your financial journey, you will feel welcomed and safe.

    Get Paid

    We’ve all seen the gurus touting how much they make online and how you can too.

    Claire Pelletreau digs into the back end, interviewing online entrepreneurs about money and mindset. Lots of real numbers and a real, honest look at how people make money online today.

    Hello Seven

    I first heard Rachel Rodgers on the Get Paid podcast (as far as I can remember) and followed her off and on for a bit. I remember my mind exploding a bit when she and Emma Pattee (a name you might remember from the old PF blog days) teamed up on something – worlds colliding!

    Her belief that we should all be millionaires is everything and her podcast is full of motivation and coaching, strategies and systems to support you on that mission. Plus, being a member of The Club has helped me level up in so many ways.

    LITerally

    I really don’t know how I first came across business coach Lacey Sites, but I’ve been following her for a few years now. I love her framework (Mindset, Strategy, Execution), and her innovative podcast that gives you an intimate look at a 1:1 coaching relationship.

  • 3 ways to feel better about your money NOW

    3 WAYS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MONEY NOW

    For so many years, I had mostly negative feelings about money. There was never enough. Progress was always so slow. Stuff always cropped up. I had so much fear, scarcity, and resentment. Basically all my thoughts about money fell into one of those buckets.

    And all my interactions with money were basically the same. I’d get paid once or twice a month, but have to spend money on many more days per month. It’s hard to feel positive and abundant when you’re mostly focused on the money constantly leaving.

    Making more has given me breathing room. Space to step back, rethink and re-examine my relationship with money and how I handle it. I can see now that I could have changed a few things back then that would have helped. It wouldn’t have changed the bottom line, but it would have done wonders for my mental wellness. (I do credit myself for stepping back from the PF world years ago when things were super tight and I knew that reading and obsessing about money was doing me no good.)

    There are always things we can do to start feeling better about money right now, though.

    When paying bills…

    Imagine that money coming in instead. Landing in your account.

    (The power company is gonna get its due. That’s not changing. But what if you played around with how you think about this?)

    I used to resent paying bills. Now I try to flip that around, and feel grateful for having the money to easily pay the bills. I have that luxury now. That might be a stretch for you. Just try imagining that money coming to you instead.

    Hat tip to Denise Duffield Thomas for inspiring this one. I heard her hack for filling up at the petrol station  – as the number ticks up on screen, imagine that is your bank balance going up – and then adapted this to use anytime I paid bills

    Transfer money to savings as often as possible

    Sometimes quantity does reign supreme. It’s the psychological effect (like debt snowball vs avalanche). Lots of small wins = a big mental boost.

    Especially if things are tight. Transferring just $5 can be really meaningful.

    We’re always telling ourselves stories. This is one way to start changing your story to one where you CAN and DO save money. You’re a saver. Even if $5 or $10 doesn’t feel like much and might not feel worthwhile, it’s symbolic.

    That’s how habits are built. We start small. We stay consistent.

    Give when you can

    It feels amazing to give. Truly. I used to be sceptical. Having beats giving any day! Why would I want to do that?

    Then I started doing it. Being someone who’s generous is not an identity I ever aspired to or related to. I just never saw myself that way. But as I’ve become more able to, I’ve increased my giving back. Turns out I like it. It makes me feel amazing about money.

    I’d bet that the same would be true for you. Make a donation next time you’re feeling blah about money and see how you feel afterwards.

    If you liked this, you’ll probably love Money Groove, my self-paced digital course all about finding your own financial groove – it’ll be right up your alley.

     

     

  • Cryptocurrency: Why consider it now and how to get started safely?

    I recently received a request to write about crypto. Not my zone of genius! So when BitPrime, a crypto trading platform, got in touch, it seemed like a good time to team up on this topic. 

    What is cryptocurrency and how does it work?

    ‘Cryptocurrency’ – let’s break it down. Crypto is derived from words like cryptogram, cryptography etc. and means hidden/concealed. Currency is a unit of measure for money. Cryptocurrency is “concealed money”.

    The first true cryptocurrency was bitcoin; created by an anonymous entity, Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi described bitcoin as a “purely peer-to-peer version” of electronic money.

    Many cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “created” by mining. Mining is the collection of resources like coal, metals etc., hence, the application of the term to cryptocurrency. 

    Crypto miners run powerful computers solving complex mathematical puzzles called cryptographic hashes. The purpose is to verify transactions and add them to a distributed ledger – a blockchain. The incentive for solving this puzzle is newly released “cryptocurrency”; essentially, a unique piece of code that can’t be duplicated or altered.


    But, how does cryptocurrency have value? This part’s simple:

    Choosing which cryptocurrency to buy

    There are more than 16,000 out there – know what you’re buying first. Research the crypto company/developers, read whitepapers on new coins and follow trusted industry news sources like CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph.

    Familiarise yourself with key industry jargon. Altcoins refer to any coin that isn’t Bitcoin. Stablecoins are those whose value is fixed to something tangible, e.g. USDT is pegged to USD. Investing in altcoins could yield an explosive return or perhaps not. Stablecoins might appeal to those with a lower risk appetite. 

    Bitcoin has the highest market cap while Ethereum ranks #2. 

    Market Cap = Current Price x Circulating Supply

    Due to its extreme volatility, cryptocurrency is considered high-risk, so ‘don’t invest more than you can afford to lose’ definitely applies here.

    At the end of the day, the best choice for you comes down to your comfort within the market, and your risk management, trading goals and strategies.

    Whichever you choose, learn how to track performance to know whether to sell or buy more. CoinMarketCap has a wealth of tools and information, including a free portfolio tracker. CoinStats is a paid portfolio tracker that connects to your existing crypto wallets, provides daily market updates and news.

    How can I buy, sell and trade crypto safely?

    Retailers and brokers offer the most suitable environment for beginner-intermediate users or professionals/institutions short of time. A fiat-crypto or crypto-fiat transaction occurs between the two parties. A broker is essentially the middle man between you and the buyer/seller, whereas you deal directly with a retailer like BitPrime, who have their own crypto supplies.

    With exchanges, you’re dealing with all other buyers/sellers listing on the said exchange. Pricing follows current market spot prices with multiple options to set the price you want to enter or exit. Exchanges are for more experienced investors or those who have the time to learn how trading exchanges work!

    Regardless of how you buy, you need to store your crypto in wallets. Crypto wallets come in two forms, hot or cold. Both hold the cryptographic keys that unlock your coins stored on the blockchain.

    Cold wallets are primarily offline until you’re sending crypto from them and include paper or hardware wallets. Hot wallets maintain an active internet connection and include software and exchange wallets. 

    BitPrime’s beginner’s guide to crypto wallets covers all of this in great detail.

    There are many safeguards you can put in place to ensure your crypto stays safe. The most crucial is ensuring you create a backup, write it down and store it in multiple, safe locations. 

    Familiarise yourself with the latest scams, learn the signs to be wary of and what to do if you’ve been an unfortunate victim in BitPrime’s detailed Scam Guide

    Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t believe someone who cold calls you or starts a random instant messaging chat promising the latest, greatest trading platform guaranteeing returns of 150% in two days – no one can guarantee returns.

    Is now a good time to consider cryptocurrency?

    In general, due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency, it can be hard to know exactly when the best time to buy and sell is. A study conducted by The Motley Fool stated, “looking at data from October and November, the very best time of day to purchase these popular cryptocurrencies generally was in the morning, and the earlier, the better.” However, it is important to note that analysis of historical data doesn’t dictate future markets.

    Crypto is evolving rapidly but it’s not too late to consider it as part of your portfolio diversification. Still, it’s essential to always seek professional investment advice tailored to your specific situation.Always be sure to purchase from a reputable platform, keep yourself up to date on industry news, learn how to detect and avoid scams, and most importantly protect your wallet and its backup phrases! 

    Disclaimer: 

    The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. Do not take this as personalised financial advice or investment advice. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the opinion of BitPrime or NZMuse.

  • 5 steps to crush your money goals this year

    5 steps to crush your money goals

    Looking back over my adult life, especially in the past few years, I’ve pulled off a few things that just didn’t ever seem within reach. Mostly financial, to be fair, but I’ve come to see that the process has always been the same – and I believe can apply to any type of goal.

    (One in the realm of theoretical possibility, that is. I’ll never be a pilot as I’m never getting back to 20/20 vision. Well, some might think it’s possible to heal one’s eyesight if one just believes enough; I’m not there. Nor will I ever be a pro athlete or musician. I’m not going to pretend that literally anything is possible for anyone.)

    So if you have big money goals, or other types of goals, here’s my best advice:

    Tap into your WHY

    Money needs a purpose. What is yours? Connect with the reason you want this money and build a laser clear vision of that goal. What will you do with it once it arrives?

    Decide that it’s a done deal

    There is a big difference between logically, cognitively knowing something vs deeply knowing and feeling it, all through your body and mind.

    You need to be 100 percent behind it. Locked and loaded at a bone, soul, deep level – knowing this is happening. If you can’t quite get behind it yet, adjust your goal to something that feels more aligned.

    You can feel that perceptible shift once it actually happens. Let go of the doubts and embrace your new commitment, trusting that success is inevitable.

    See it

    You need proof that it’s possible to keep you going. Find examples!

    Treat envy as evidence. If it can be done by someone else, you can probably have it too. Maybe not in the exact same way, but in another shape or form.

    Envy is often a signpost, signalling what you’re capable of and haven’t been tapping into.

    Feel it

    What if it was already yours?

    Let that certainty and knowing spread throughout you, cascading into every cell and permeating every corner of your mind.

    Imagine how great it would feel.

    Imagine how that version of you would go about things – how they’d think and act.

    Act!

    Probably the part you’ve been waiting for, right? Stop dithering and take the damn action.

    I recently took part in a money making challenge. In that time, I focused on income generating activities, like warm outreach to former clients, putting together proposals in response to project listings, and engaging in select Facebook groups (giving value while also communicating what I offered).

    None of these actions yielded any direct results.

    But suddenly things picked up pace elsewhere. Referrals started coming in fast – and for bigger pieces of work with awesome clients.

    The universe conspires to help you when you start making moves. Take steps towards your goal and even if those don’t pan out, you’re moving in the right direction. Other opportunities have a way of cropping up, crossing your path in the most surprising ways. The payoff will come.

    But don’t rush it. Getting those foundational steps in first makes all the difference.

    Most of this is about intention and energy.

    You might hear “Money is just energy.” This refrain is a common catch cry in certain spheres. Not sure I buy into that. But for sure, the energy behind our money stuff counts.

    Years ago when blogs were at their peak, I made a fair chunk of money off blogging. Sponsored posts helped fund a not insignificant part of my RTW trip. Yet it hardly ever felt all that good to me. I often felt like I was cheating the advertiser in terms of value exchange (sense of unworthiness/not enoughness). This also carried over into freelance stuff – not feeling like I deserved the pay.

    In comparison, these days I feel rock solid when I get paid for freelance work. I no longer feel a little electric jolt when I get a payment notification – a physical manifestation of the surprise “they like me, they must really like me, they actually paid me for my work!” Instead I see those invoices paid and think “yup, that’s about right.” I’m grateful and joyful but not shocked.

    Another example…

    I’ve given away a lot of money in my life. Most of it, reluctantly, to people I know. Begrudgingly. And most never repaid.

    A small portion of that I have donated to causes that spoke to me. And that has been an entirely different experience. I loved giving that money. And I have found that the more I donate, the more comes back into my life in unexpected ways. Every time, not long after, something good follows. The universe is mysterious that way. But perhaps opening up your hands to give also opens them to receive.

    Be generous if you can, act from abundance, as your richest self. It feels good in the moment – and it pays off in the long run.

    And outside of the financial realm, energy absolutely counts.

    As a parent, I live this every day. How I show up directly impacts how any given interaction or situation plays out. Deliberately choosing playfulness over frustration and control, whenever I can, shifts the vibe and the outcome. Kids are incredibly intuitive and they know, they sense, what’s under the surface.

  • “Money doesn’t buy happiness” – GTFO with your BS!

     

    Only two types of people say this. Those who have more than enough money, or those who don’t have it and never will.

    This is what I’ve observed, over and over.

    I remember engaging in discussion once with someone who has been broke as hell and now does very well for themselves. She busted out this BS line – and threw something in about health (they always do, don’t they?!).

    Come on. Really. She totally failed to acknowledge how different it would have been if she had been struck down with that health situation in her younger, poorer days.

    It’s not just about the direct costs of care. It’s also about the fact that when you’re in lower paying, less stable jobs, you don’t tend to have as much leave, you might not get paid leave or have the option to take an extended absence, you might not have trauma/income insurance, you might not be able to work flexibly, all those surrounding factors play into your health experience.

    Clearly, this line drives me batshit crazy.

    Let’s be real. All things being equal, anyone would rather have the money.

    But why? What makes people spout this line that is so out of touch with reality? Have they truly forgotten what it’s like (obviously the silver spoon rich may never have known anything but privilege)? And more importantly, what’s the underlying emotion driving it?

    I suspect it might be guilt. For being comfortable, having more than others. Downplaying the status they’ve achieved (heck, it’s easy enough to get rid of money if you REALLY don’t want it!)

    At the other end of the spectrum, the motivation is probably clearer. Defensiveness, defeatism, despair. If you know you’re never going to have money, why even think about what it would be like? Why aspire to it? I don’t want it anyway. It wouldn’t make a difference. Reverse psyching yourself out, driven by envy. Proactively adapting your expectations or downgrading your desires to compensate.

    As someone in the middle – not broke, not rich – I struggle with both. Absolutely I experience envy of those with more. I also feel guilt about being better off than many (especially during pandemic times – the exacerbation of inequality is just terrifying).

    Nonetheless. Ultimately, neither serves me. Getting mired in either of those states just holds me back from my full potential.

    The truth is, the more I make the more good I can do and the more I can give back. The more I AM doing and giving back. Making bigger and bigger donations as time goes on feels freaking amazing. Hell, I can see why people might even aspire to become VCs.

  • Money porcupines: How to spot (and stop) financial self-sabotage

    how to stop money self sabotage

     

    Let’s talk about the sneaky, invisible saboteurs holding us back financially. Or, as I like to call them, money porcupines.

    They’re a defence mechanism. They mean well! They are there for our protection. To keep us safe. To keep us doing things the way we know best, to avoid pain that we learned a long time ago was best avoided. To avoid taking risks that might not pay off. To keep us in familiar patterns, in line with who we perceive ourselves to be and who others have dubbed us. They anchor us in what’s familiar, comfortable, safe.

    And… they may not be serving us any more. Money porcupines are prickly little beasts actually repelling riches from our life – self-sabotage. These deeply held beliefs are pushing away money before it even enters our orbit.

    These little devils play havoc under the surface. You’ve seen Inside Out, yeah? These gremlins are pulling the levers and stomping all over your intentions.

    Let me give you some examples from my own life…

    I can’t make money doing what I love. Why hello starving artist mentality! I thought I would have to compromise my creativity. Turns out I just had to think about it differently and channel it in new ways.

    People won’t pay me that much. Oh, yes they will. It took me years to work up the ladder but you know what? It wasn’t so much them. It was mostly me. I needed to build my own confidence so I could raise my rates. I have no doubt I could have commanded much more a long time ago if I truly believed I was worthy of charging more. The more I earned in my day jobs, the more I learned about what other people are actually making, and the more I saw from online entrepreneurs, the more proof I gathered … that’s what made the difference for me. Now I have the evidence – not just from others’ success, but from my own.

    If asked for money, I have to give if I can. A wicked twist on, can you really afford that? If I literally have the dollars in my account, shouldn’t I honour that request?

    You can see pretty easily how these money porcupines might show up in my life, shape my actions, and hurt the bottom line.

    They tend to lie dormant for years…

    When starting out and you don’t have two cents to rub together, struggling to make ends meet … who has time for this stuff? I didn’t have the time or energy to go any deeper. Day to day struggle consumed all I had – and more.

    Then things start to get a bit easier. You can breathe more freely and loosen up.

    You probably hit some roadblocks, get through the growing pains, and keep going. You learn that you can get through hard shit and bounce back strong.

    Then you get to the point where you’re living within your means, saving and investing … but somehow you feel stuck.

    Tripping up over old money wounds rooted in the past. Getting wound up in anxiety and fear about the future. Leaking money here and there through weak (or nonexistent) boundaries. Doubting your worth and worrying about losing what you’ve built. Feeling guilt about having what you have, yet still wanting more.

    That’s where I was a few years ago. And then shit really hit the fan. It was a make or break moment. The biggest financial/personal crisis I’ve ever faced. And I wallowed and wavered for far too long. Seriously.

    But eventually I 100% committed to finding a solution. One day, I just knew that’s what I was going to do. How? Meh. I simply felt the shift inside me that came with the certainty of what I would achieve.

    I started looking around. Waking up. Facing the whole world within me that has been driving the show from under the surface. It was finally time to unlock it, face it, and integrate it. If I wanted to change things, break cycles, and make more money than I ever had before, I had to get this foundation right.

    I now know I can use my skills to earn a good living. I’ve banked the evidence.

    I now know I can handle rejection and ghosting, and that not every opportunity is for me.

    I now know that other people’s money problems are not mine to solve, and I need to put myself first – always. It serves no one if I give grudgingly.

    I faced my bullshit, ploughed through, and I still keep clearing the path as more keeps blowing back and building up.

    Breaking self-sabotaging money patterns and beliefs

    Isn’t it funny how we always tend to doubt our instincts? Come up with an idea or solution and then, the next thing that crops up in the mind goes something like: will that work? Is that really true/possible?

    And yet when the opposite happens – when fears or doubts arise – we don’t question them. We just take them as gospel. Shy away, shrink back, avoid looking too closely at them.

    What if gave them equal treatment? What if we were just as sceptical of our doubts as we were of our instincts?

    Cross examine the belief. That’s really all it takes.

    If we were to simply apply the same philosophy, play devil’s advocate, often we find they don’t stand up to scrutiny.

    I don’t deserve this. Why not? Is that really true? Or is this belief a hangover from old hurts that it’s now time to cut loose?

    Get curious about those prickly porcupines. Notice them. Sit with them. Interrogate them. Disarm and dismantle them.

    With a new perspective, you can then try on and eventually adopt a different belief. It might simply be the exact opposite of the belief you just took apart. Or maybe it’s something in the middle. If the opposite feels like too much of a leap, try:

    “I’m learning to…”
    “I’m becoming…”
    “I’m on my way to…”

    And keep sticking with it. It takes time to embed a new belief. Habits aren’t built overnight: they’re anchored in with practice.

    Money porcupines don’t just go away. You don’t get fit and healthy once, then coast for the rest of your life. Your mental hurdles don’t, either! If anything they are even more pervasive and stubborn. Acknowledging and then rising above them is a lifelong practice.

    The good news is, every time we do the work to send them back to where they came from, we strengthen that muscle. The next time, it gets a little easier to say “not today” and carry on to channel your most abundant self. Once you recalibrate, and question the validity of each money porcupine, you can ask the real question: What would the wealthiest, most self-assured version of you do? Let the answers come to you, and let them guide your next move.

    (NB: Our thoughts and beliefs are powerful. So are wider forces and circumstances beyond our control, too numerous to count. This post is solely about the former – the part we have influence over.)

    Got a love/hate relationship with money?

    Get ready to ditch your financial baggage and make peace with money at last. Join us in Money Groove, write yourself a whole new financial blueprint, and start making bigger moves. 

  • What are you feeding your mind? Hacking your brain like it’s the Facebook algorithm

    hack your brain like the fb algorithm

     

    Humans. We’re complex and unpredictable. Yet deep down we all just want a few basic things – to feel seen, heard, understood. Our minds are so incredibly powerful and yet, the base operating system is … well, pretty basic.

    It’s at once humbling and amusing to realise this.

    Your brain basically has a nifty little Facebook-like algorithm powering it

    You can shape, feed, train it to support your goals. I mentioned the reticular activating system in my last post – this is what is always working to show you what you want to focus on, bringing you the best stuff, surfacing new opportunities that you can capitalise on. Helping you get where you want to go.

    If FB can serve you ads for all the things you want to buy and all the content you want to read, your brain can absolutely steer you likewise, bringing your attention to opportunities you want. Maybe that’s finding a new job. Turning your eye toward ways to make more money. Finding the perfect house or partner.

    The flipside of that, of course, is it can reinforce negative patterns. I’ve had to consciously work to let go of a number of deeply ingrained beliefs and replace them with more useful ones.

    I can’t make good money doing what I love >>> I get paid well and have fun doing it

    Oh hey, ex journalist over here with a starving artist mindset and pegged to poverty-level income from the beginning!

    This was a gradual process over years, but the data points added up and eventually, this shift happened for me too. As I truly came to see and believe what was possible, I made damn sure I pursued the money and steeled myself to ask for it.

    • My friend from uni who landed a $60k starting salary (obviously not in journalism…)
    • My colleague who went to a PR agency, constantly got told what a great job she was doing, and given a pay rise every 6 months.
    • My colleague who went on to do social media at a financial institution for $80k
    • Hearing about PR reps and media/comms managers on $130k

    I devoured salary surveys, staring at the numbers until they imprinted in my brain. I did the same with the salary bands on the intranet, burning those figures into my brain. If those people could make that much money, so could I. Why not?

    I shouldn’t spend money on myself >>> I get to have nice things if I want them

    My immigrant parents definitely modeled intense frugality. Honestly, I still have a mental anchor around $20 being what we spent on shoes and gifts. I bought a $25 swimsuit once and lied to them about what it cost. Shopping sprees – buying more than one non-essential item at a time? Get outta here! And on top of that, I had a block around having nice things, knowing they can be taken away (like when my mum gave away my Westlife CD to a friend’s kid, or the multiple times I’ve been burgled, or other people taking/using things of mine).

    I work hard and I deserve nice things. I know this gets some people into trouble, but I am more of the underbuying, self-denying variety 🙂 Little luxuries, like hand cream or nice cheese, elevate daily life SO much. You can’t be what you can’t feel, and pleasures that help me feel like a million bucks actually support my success.

    I’m not an ideas person >>> I know my stuff and I own it

    A particularly formative experience for me involved receiving unexpected, harsh criticism from a parent. That probably fueled my reluctance to put myself out there and to do anything to avoid the discomfort of going through similar pain. But of course, I wound up dating someone who told me, albeit jokingly, “I’m surprised you came up with that by yourself…”

    Until recently, the word “idea” was literally a huge trigger for me. I’d panic if asked for ideas. I’d panic ahead of “brainstorming sessions”.  Spontaneous ideation was not a thing for me, so I worked really hard to overcompensate and overprepare.

    Being asked to prepare presentations on my area of expertise at work was a daunting challenge every time. But each time, I was able to synthesise industry trends and formulate great decks based on my own knowledge, and surprise myself.

    Now, I embrace my subconscious and know that great stuff flows out from there when I relax and let it. I try not to overthink things too much before speaking up. I trust my value and power, because over time people have validated my contributions over and over. The data points added up. I now finally believe them.

    I’m a bad communicator >>> I am an articulate and thoughtful communicator

    My parents were terrible communicators. Not that they realised it. They told me I was, projecting their issues onto me. Everything was my fault. And of course, we gravitate to what we know, and I’ve experienced the same pattern play out with others since then.

    I communicate fantastically through writing. I’m much better at verbal communication than I used to be. I am often complimented on how articulate and thoughtful I am, and recently a colleague literally told me she learns a lot from I work and communicate. My communication style continues to evolve for the better as I heal, become more emotionally mature, and learn more about psychology and human nature.

    Clear your cache, upgrade your brain’s OS

    Where the hell did all that stuff come from, anyway?

    As you can see, it’s mostly shit we’ve taken on from external sources and formative childhood experiences. That noise is like retargeting – stalking you, haunting you, following you around. Whispering (or shouting!) at every chance it gets. 

    When you become aware of it and start to really observe what’s happening, you will realise that your brain is probably telling you mostly unkind thoughts. You’re stuck with it, even though it’s not that helpful. We’re stunted, frozen in time emotionally, playing in adult bodies.

    What if you flipped that around and nurtured your mind with encouraging thoughts instead? What could you do? What could you have? What could you be?

    Clear your cache. Each belief you shake up is like clearing your browser cache, emptying out all the accumulated weight. 

    Upgrade your operating system. Eventually, you’ll notice a dramatic difference. Rewire enough beliefs and it’s like running an entirely new OS. If you’re about my age, you’re probably still running something like Windows XP when now Windows 10 is available. We’re up to a WAY newer version and just haven’t updated.

    There’s a whole new world waiting on the other side. You may not look any different, but you will feel like an entirely new person.

  • Money, mindset, and manifesting: Why I’m now making mindset work a daily practice

    i'm working on my mindset like a full time job

     

    Years ago, I noticed something odd. Little windfalls seemed to come my way just after I gave money to a charitable cause. This happened over and over again.

    That really was the beginning of my journey in relation to manifesting.

    I’ve gone on to manifest lots of things, small and big. But my favourite example has got to be a tailor-made-for-me job (no kidding – a new position at a dream organisation that didn’t previously have a team in this department, let alone an office in my city). I truly believe in the power of setting an intention, then stepping back, and taking actions that flow in the right direction.

    Just recently, I received an email that I’d written to 2021 me, three years ago. No joke: I have everything I outlined in that letter, none of which I had achieved back then, and had no concrete idea as to the HOW – only the WHAT. That’s not to say my life is perfect. Far from it! There are some things I didn’t specify, didn’t touch on at all in that letter – and those are currently the most deficient areas in my life. They are worse than I could have ever imagined, to be honest.

    Now, I’m still not crazy about the word manifest. It’s a little too woo for me and I know it turns a LOT of people off. But the fact is, my experience has shown me that:

    • I can achieve what initially seemed like impossible goals once I DECIDE to go all in
    • The more I give, the more comes back to me

    Barring certain external limitations (physical, societal/systemic/structural factors, etc), what I need to succeed is already within me. And therefore on the flipside, all that’s stopping me is also within me.

    Sometimes you hear something phrased in a way that just clicks for you.

    We are mental health sanitation workers.

    (Courtesy of The Hello Seven podcast)

    It’s not all about money, although a lot of my goals have been financial. And let’s face it, most goals require money.

    In my quest to work my way up to six figures, I have had to do SO MUCH inner work, training my brain to absorb and accept new thoughts, ideas, and patterns. Moulding it to help me. Building those neural pathways. The brain is a muscle, and it has so much power to help or hinder you (as anyone with anxiety, etc knows). Opening my brain up to new possibilities helps it to see more opportunities and then to take advantage of them.  No wonder so many entrepreneurs treat working on their mindset like a full-time job. I’ve tried to adopt that mentality too. It’s what has helped me get through Covid, along with a ton of … other life stuff. I’ve made mindset work a daily practice, and I only wish I’d discovered it earlier.

    Getting my brain on board with change

    What really clicked for me was learning about the Reticular Activating System (RAS), a lovely big bundle of nerves that basically connects the subconscious and conscious part of the brain.  (This is basically the science that serves as the base for anything vaguely Law of Attraction-y.) When you learn a new word then start hearing it everywhere, buy a new car and start seeing the same model everywhere, or instinctively snap to attention when you hear someone call your name – that’s our buddy RAS kicking in. It tunes us in to the things we care about, filtering out all the masses of information that the brain is constantly taking in and processing and honing in on what it thinks we’ll be interested in.

    It’s basically nature’s version of the Facebook algorithm. It’s always looking for data points to back up and validate your beliefs. It shows what it thinks you want to see and what it thinks you care about. But it doesn’t actually know what you really want unless you explicitly tell it. And that’s where all the mindset work comes in – training it to prioritise stuff that will help you achieve your goals and help you become the person you want to be.

    Three things that have helped me a lot in the past year, and that I frequently return to, are:

    • I can choose a new thought any time (and everything that exists once began as a mere thought)
    • A thought just needs to be 51% believable
    • Envy = evidence. Take others’ achievements as proof of what’s possible

    Manifesting brings opportunities your way.

    After that, it’s up to you to do the work. Seize the opportunities, capitalise on them, and see how the results flow.