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09.29.2015 Sharon Spano, Ph.D.

What Do You Believe About Time and Money?

Have you ever thought about what you really believe about time and money?

My guess is, probably not. In my ongoing research on people’s experience of time and money, I’ve come to learn many things. One of those things is that what you think matters.

It matters because what you think dictates your behaviors.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

Some years ago, I brought a colleague into my business who was one of the brightest leaders I’d ever encountered. I had high hopes for our working together.

This man came from a corporate environment, so I knew I had to allow time for his adjustment into an entrepreneurial arrangement. I also knew that he had a history of stops and starts in his career, and while I did have some level of concern about the nature of those transitions, I felt his expertise was worth the effort.

After months, dare I admit years, of working with him to achieve financial results, I finally got it. It didn’t matter how much time and energy I put into him. He was not able to produce one client or contract for the business.

One afternoon, in desperation, I asked him a pointed question.

“What do you believe about people with money?”

His response was astonishing.

“I believe they’re egocentric, greedy, and oppressive,” he replied.

I remember silently thinking to myself, “Well, no wonder I can’t get you to make any money. Why would you want to be like THOSE people.”

Our Beliefs Dictate Our Actions

Let me add that this gentleman is not much different than most of us. We all have a story about time and money, and while that story may be buried deep in our subconscious, it’s there all the same.

And, this story may be running, perhaps even ruining, your life.

Money isn’t the answer to everything, but it is the tool by which we measure much of what we do in life. It’s also a portal into other emotional issues that may be holding us hostage.

In my experience, our beliefs about time and money are deeply rooted, and they are connected to one another. If I’m right about this, it just might be important to examine what it is we think and believe about two areas of our lives that impact us on a daily basis.

One reason is because awareness of our beliefs can help us understand if we’re living from a paradigm of scarcity or abundance.

What Do I Mean by Scarcity or Abundance?

Abundance is a mindset or perspective that believes:

  • there are enough resources for self and others
  • resources are part of an ongoing cycle of renewal
  • I have the ability to produce what I need and want
  • I am worthy of such resources

This is abundance in its simplest form, and it represents a host of behaviors that result in greater
creativity, a sense of freedom, a spirit of generosity, and higher levels of self-efficacy.

Scarcity is quite obviously the opposite. When we operate from a mindset of scarcity, we operate from fear. There never seems to be enough, we believe ourself unworthy of what is available, we suffer from uncertainty, paralysis, and an unwillingness to contribute.

Scarcity perspectives also cause us to self-sabotage.

Scarcity and abundance are common terms, but, unfortunately, it’s difficult to know where we stand in the conversation.

More importantly, we’re never in one camp or another. As complex beings, we move in and out of scarcity and abundance all the time.

My Challenge to You

I’m going to ask you to do a little exercise that I often give my clients.

Get out a piece of paper and write down two sentences for each the following questions:

  1. What do you believe about time?
  2. What do you believe about money?

There’s no right or wrong answer. Where you are is where you are, but you deserve to know the answers to these two important questions. Then, ask yourself, do my responses reflect a mindset of scarcity or abundance?

If you want to learn more about your perspectives on time and money, I invite you to take the Money Meter assessment. The results are anonymous and strictly confidential.

Remember this: how and what you think about these two aspects of life often dictate your decisions and choices in life. You don’t have to chase time. You don’t have to be afraid of money.

We are called to be good stewards of our resources and generous givers along the way. Stay tuned to fine out how to do just that. It’s all about freedom!

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. September 29, 2015