If your money mindset has taken a toll during the past few months of the pandemic, you’re not alone.
Having to restructure your life around a potentially deadly virus that the entire world is contending with was not on any of our to-do lists for 2020….and we are still not through it.
There are so many ways our lives have shifted that I can’t list them all and you’re living it.
Here are a few specific things that impact our thinking around prosperity during the pandemic. Many of them we’ve adapted to, but they are possibly still influencing our stress level, perceptions, and emotional capacity. (Feel free to skip over this part if you just want the tools.)
- Your patterns and habits were interrupted by a threat that seems to be constantly evolving and they haven’t “gone back to normal.” As a result, your primal brain and nervous system are still on some level of hyper-alertness. The “threat” is still present and the details are uncertain. This creates mental, emotional, and physical stress, all while we don’t have the usual coping mechanisms (socializing, gyms, vacations, etc.) to deal with the stress.
- At the same time all of this is happening, you are experiencing other kinds of potential threats. Depending on your race, gender, sexual orientation, geography, etc., you may have felt that your rights, safety, health, livelihood are under threat from all kinds of angles based on what has come to the surface and the political climate. The political polarity being expressed bleeds into decisions about masks, vaccines, etc.
- Isolation is a big deal for us social creatures. Parts of our brain believe we need to be in a “tribe” to survive. And we simply miss a lot including group gatherings, seeing others without masks on, freedom to travel, etc. Our worlds are smaller, especially the number of people we see without masks on.
- If you have children, this has doubtlessly been stressful. Having your children at home during the day in virtual school or sending them to school with a mask on and the limited social interactions are big changes for everyone. And the long term impact is uncertain. This article breaks down the impact on children in the SF Bay Area.
- Your work has likely shifted. If you have your own business, you may be struggling or you had to make some kind of pivot. Even if you have one of the businesses that is thriving, growth is also stressful. If you have a job, it has likely changed in significant ways. And if you’re unemployed, that’s a huge stressor in an uncertain market. Our sense of purpose, financial security(and money mindset), social life, and daily routines are all impacted by our work.
- COVID may have impacted your health and/or the health of loved ones or community members. You may have experienced loss due to COVID and without the usual options for visitation and rituals.
- You have been making countless decisions with unknown factors and changing information, often that impact others, and sometimes at what seems like high stakes. Whether it be as simple as what time of day to go the store, if you should visit your parents, or whether or not to get the vaccine, everything feels like pressure.
- Economic shifts have included entire industries shutting down. Certain businesses are growing exponentially. Digital currency is evolving(whether you’re in or out). The lack of consistent support from government (in the U.S. at least) and going through complex bureaucracy for to access what’s available, also add to our stress levels.
Scarcity is not just about money or even money mindset. It is a result of feeling disconnected.
A healthy money mindset, or prosperity mindset comes from feeling connected and safe, not just the amount of money in your bank account.
Prosperity thinking is not about excess, it’s about enough. Scarcity thinking comes from a perception of lack.
“When you make a difference with what you have, it expands. What you appreciate appreciates. You can’t get to prosperity through the portal of more…only enough.” ~ Lynne Twist, Soul of Money
The entire system of economics depends on “scarcity” at its core.
An economics textbook defines scarcity this way: “Economics is a science concerned with choosing among alternatives involving scarce resources.” In The Making of Economic Society, economist Robert Heilbroner emphasizes this point: “If there were no scarcity…economics… would cease to exist as a social preoccupation.”
The fact that economics doesn’t exist without scarcity is a big deal. It’s an aspect of the basis of our economic system. It’s our job to reprogram our thinking and to evolve our relationship with money & prosperity.
We are in a culture that programs us to believe that constant growth, excess, super-sizing, and having more are the best things ever. As a result, our culture is unsustainable, exploitative, and has a more and more extremely imbalanced income ratio.
The wisest part of me knows this entire experience is a reset. It’s an opportunity to heal, transform, connect, and innovate. So, onward we go.
In order to access more creativity, resilience, and to transform into the next version of yourself, it’s important that you take exquisite care of yourself and your mindset. Getting out of scarcity and cultivating a healthy money mindset or a prosperity mindset is key in reducing stress. Here are some powerful tools to do just that.
5 ways to reclaim a prosperity mindset:
1- First thing’s first. Take care of your nervous system. You can only grow or expand to the extent that your nervous system has capacity. It has been taxed for a long time and the layers of stress are underneath and on top of everything else. Check out this article about why you feel like crap months into the pandemic. And do any of the simple, free, and priceless exercises from this YouTube playlist I created for Stress Reduction including short and simple vagus nerve exercises.
You can only grow or expand to the extent that your nervous system has capacity.
2- Nurture an “enough” mindset. Get clear on what you have and what you need. Our “needs” are not just what we think of as basic, they could be emotional in nature.
Do you have enough right now? If yes, receive that and let it be enough. Express gratitude when you feel it.
If you need something, ask any of these questions that get you into possibility: If I had this, where would I look for it? Where would I find it? Who could help? Who would know where to find help? Is there another way to get what I need that I haven’t thought of yet?
(And if you are the kind of person who just said to yourself, “I don’t need anything” ask yourself again and listen to your inner child. See what she needs and find a way to give it to her.)
3- Notice when you see/hear scarcity thinking from others (including the media) and decide it doesn’t have to be your program. If you feel scarcity, consider affirmations such as “Whatever I need comes to me” and “I am more receptive every day.” (Both of these are from Tosha Silver’s book, “It’s Not Your Money.” Find more book resources here.)
4- Reduce “productivity shame.”
“Productivity Shame: the act of regularly setting unrealistic expectations for what you can accomplish, and then beating yourself when you fall short.”— Jocelyn K. Glei
This looks like less pressure and more self compassion. Have compassion for all that you are experiencing. And put less pressure on yourself. This may mean giving yourself more time to finish a project. It may mean asking for, receiving, and giving yourself more support. (Before you hire a coach read this.) Soften your relationship with “productivity” and do what you can for today.
If you want to take it one step further, write a list of your accomplishments (even small ones) at the end of the day. A lot of my clients find this simple tool especially powerful.
5- Connect with friends, acquaintances, and loved ones more often than usual. Reach out to others and connect.
This could be initiating private chats with people you know in a group Zoom meeting…just as you would say hello to them if you were in person. You could set up a weekly accountability/support call with a colleague.
Or it could simply be doing a video chat with family members when you would usually just talk. Just take it one step further than you have in the past. It pays off for you and others.
Nurture your nervous system, your money mindset, and your connections and you will have more capacity to create from what you have instead of feeling like you don’t have enough.
This is a powerful foundation which allows you to feel less stressed about having “enough” and focus more on doing what you need to do to take care of yourself and those around you. It allows you to be open to possibility and that it takes to thrive, rather than just survive.