When you were growing up and found yourself in a bad mood, did your mom or grandmother ever tell you to “focus on the positive” or give yourself an “attitude adjustment?” Those were phrases I often heard, and I suspect most of us heard them once or twice as we learned to manage our emotions.
Much like “you are what you eat,” there’s an argument to be made that “we are what we think,” too. Unfortunately, when we engage in negative self-talk (which many of us do without even realizing) it can damage our confidence and impact our ability to meet our goals. Since most of us don’t have the luxury of a cheerleader in our corner day-in and day-out, creating a healthy internal dialogue is one of the best ways to boost our mood. Especially when we’re working toward financial milestones, like attempting to pay off debt or land our dream job, creating a go-to phrase that keeps our spirits lifted can be a game-changer. We checked in with life and career experts for this 101 guide on how to implement an effective—and inspiring!—money mantra.
What is a money mantra?
Think back to previous yoga or meditation classes you’ve taken — you’ve likely heard your instructor repeat a sentence or paragraph a few times throughout the session. As defined by business coach Rebecca West, a mantra is a short phrase that can help us focus on our goals, direct our energy toward positive results, reduce worry and manifest the best possible outcomes. In short, West says they help to quiet all of the unhelpful ‘monkey chatter’ in our brain that creates doubt and offers self-defeating thoughts. A mantra replaces that negative noise with calm and productive messages.
How can a money mantra be effective?
Naysayers will argue that a mantra doesn’t actually make you rich. It won’t help you find the love of your life. And there’s no way it can bring a job opportunity to your doorstep. And we get it — you have to put in the work to attain all of these things. They aren’t just going to land in your lap after you repeat a few words. But clinical psychologist Dr. Sarah Schewitz says that our unconscious mind learns through repetition. If we say something enough, we start to believe it. Also, our unconscious has no sense of time, she notes, meaning, it doesn’t know if something has already happened, is happening now, or hasn’t happened yet. This is why most experts, including Dr. Schewitz, suggest creating mantras in the present tense, which says to your brain that your dream has already come true. “The more you affirm something as already having happened, the more your unconscious mind believes that is the truth,” she continues. “Our unconscious mind is what guides most of our behavior and holds our beliefs about what is possible for us. In order to change limiting beliefs, you need to consistently reinforce a new belief to ingrain it into your unconscious mind.”
Every time we think a positive thought, we build new connections in our brain that make it easier for us to think and believe that thought next time. “It’s kind of like exercising,” Dr. Schewitz says. “The more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.”
How we can use money mantras to uplift ourselves
Everyone’s mantra practice will look differently, and finding what works for you may involve some trial and error. Dr. Schewitz says some people like to read their mantras out loud in front of a mirror every morning, while others will write them on a sticky note and place them in a spot they see daily. (And if notes are too old school for you, try putting yours on your phone’s lock screen.) Others may even record themselves speaking the mantra and listen to it on repeat as they go to sleep. Whatever route you choose, executive career coach Elizabeth Pearson explains you should dedicate at least two to three minutes per day to repeating this mantra. You could even sing it in the shower or while you’re applying makeup. “Be sure to focus on drawing in positive energy and abundance while using your mantra, as well as visualizing your goal as you repeat it,” Pearson says.
Examples of effective money mantras
Your mantra is your own, and the more it can speak to you, directly, the better. In other words, don’t be afraid if it’s a little silly or highly specific to your situation. The goal is that it’s a positive reinforcement to aid you along your journey.
“I have everything I need right here, right now.”
Anxiety (including financial anxiety) stems from worrying about aspects of our life we don’t have control over. And often, when we think too far in the future, rather than focusing on what we have in the here-and-now, we feel much more stress than we should. That’s why West recommends this mantra to anyone who is nervous about what tomorrow will bring. This mantra will return us to the present, which is often a healthier place to be.
“If I practice my true passions, money and abundance will follow.”
If you’re contemplating taking a leap of faith into starting your own company or finally quitting a job you’ve outgrown, you’re probably struggling with the unknown. However, returning back to your ‘why’ will teach you to focus on your ability to turn your special gifts into dollar signs, according to physician and lifestyle coach Dr. Cassie Majestic, MD. This mantra focuses on a keyword: trust. And not in others but in yourself. “There are a million ways to bring life to your various passions, and when you do so, abundance will follow. You can recite this every time you come across a daily decision, or a decision within your career or goal path,” she recommends.
“I make $X every month.”
Since mantras should be set in the present tense, this can be a really impactful mantra because it’s sp specific. Figure out what your ideal salary would be, and then break it down into monthly paychecks. Now, Dr. Schewitz says to repeat this to yourself daily, as you work toward building your client base or creating a document to present to your boss that outlines why you deserve a higher income.
“I am wealthy.”
Really, this is a gratitude mantra that connects us to every area of our life — not just our money. When we are nervous about financial matters, it’s easy to lose sight of everything else that brings us joy, including our relationships, or even that first morning cup of coffee. West says this phrase can be effective because it puts money at the forefront of our minds, but also challenges us to breathe easy and count the blessings we already have. With this relaxed perspective, we are more likely to move forward with our goals and meet our benchmarks, without anxiety.
“I can create as much abundance as I want.”
The next time you are feeling limited in what you have, Dr. Majestic suggests testing out this mantra. How come? It challenges us to pinpoint the limiting factor in our success, which more often than not, is our own attitude. Because we are the owners of our thoughts and attitudes, this mantra is effective in helping us to free ourselves from these worries or doubts. It turns our internal dialogue and conversation toward abundance, rather than scarcity.
“The universe leads me to great opportunities.”
How often do you put your dukes up to battle the ‘what if?’ monster? “What if” are the two most common anxiety-inducing words, because when we say them, we often go straight for the worst-case scenario, rather than seeing the best-case outcome. With this mantra, Dr. Majestic says you turn your back on this villain and you create a ‘when’ mindset instead. “By knowing and feeling that the universe will lead you to great opportunities, you are manifesting those opportunities to come into your conscious mind,” she continues. “You will notice and consider more opportunities, and open your mind to things that you may not have otherwise.”
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