How To Understand Your Mind to Stop Past Experiences From Controlling You.
You think you know yourself, but do you know your money mind?
The conscious mind is organized and logical. It can make decisions based on rational thought, analyze past data, and interpret new information.
On the other hand, the subconscious mind processes all memories, experiences, behaviors, traits, and traumas, then you interpret them as best as possible.
We have our money mindset when we overlay financial decisions on top of our conscious and unconscious minds.
That’s where things get complicated.
Often we do not use our conscious mind for financial decisions, we use our subconscious, and our emotions dictate a large part of our relationship with money.
In my experience, there is one constant; people conflict with their conscious and subconscious minds when it comes to financial decisions.
This conflict is a mind virus.
Have you ever heard of a mind virus?
Mind viruses are hard to detect but necessary to reverse.
Mind viruses are those thoughts that interfere with your money mindset and keep you from achieving your financial objectives.
For example, if you have the mind virus “I don’t have enough money” personally, then you may not pursue wealth accumulation, and you may be less likely to save or invest.
Mind viruses are the Yin and Yang of our Money Mindset. Conflicts between positive and negative thoughts or beliefs about money.
This article is the first of a series into the role of mind viruses. Let’s start with Fear vs. Possibility.
Fear vs. Possibility
The fear of losing money motivates many people to save. They worry about their money and don’t want it to run out.
But identifying “the amount of money” you “need” is a very abstract concept that often conjures unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
This turns into phrases like “I can’t afford” or “when I’m able to,” or you stop dreaming altogether.
Like Langston Hughes’s poem “A Dream Deferred,” a life deferred makes the heart sick.
When we put off or delay our dreams, there are emotional ripples throughout the body. The “what if” game or the “if only” thoughts will make you sick.
The same happens when we defer life; what moments and experiences are missed while working away?
By defining “money” in this way, financial goals are intangible and indefinite. As a result, many people get discouraged with their finances.
To solve this problem, I recommend thinking about your money in terms of possibility.
Possibility allows us to think about outcomes, desirable actions, or behaviors.
Identifying the possibilities also removes the need to focus on the amount of money you need (which can be an arbitrary number).
Instead, the mindset shift allows you to focus on what kinds of things you want to do.
In this mindset, the goal is to turn a financial possibility into a physical reality.
Find something you enjoy doing — that is rewarding and reminds you of your possibility.
Here are five steps you can take to identify your possibilities
Start by identifying all your possibilities in life.
This can be challenging for many people. The goal here is to identify all the potential possibilities present in your lives right now.
What were some of your dreams? What were some of your realities? Remember, your goals should be based on reality.
Write down the most desirable outcomes from this idea.
Once you have identified your possibilities, the next step is to write down the outcomes to that idea that may be desirable.
In other words, what are some next steps you can take to work toward this vision?
For example, if you have a dream vacation in mind, the actions might look like this:
-What would I have to do to take one day off to read a book?
-What steps would I take to spend two days listening to the ocean?
-What are some ways to reduce the cost of a vacation
The actions don’t have to be big, but they should be actionable.
Identify the paths that you can take and prioritize those paths.
A path is a tool or a strategy you can use to travel toward your possibilities.
For example, if you dream of traveling the world, you might have a path that will look like this:
-Find a job that pays enough to sustain your travel dreams
-Take the vacation time you have
-Use travel hacking techniques to travel for less
Identifying a path for an idea can help you see the following steps more clearly.
Assess your financial situation.
I have found that the financial situation is 80% mindset and almost rarely relates to money, products, or services. Improving your money mindset is about
-Reflecting on the past
-To improve the present
-So that you can move forward into the future
Create a plan (with timelines).
Once you have identified your possibilities, identified your paths, and assessed your financial situation, it’s time to create a plan. Use the SMART method to goals and action steps towards achieving the goal.
George Blount coaches individuals on anticipating, preparing, planning, acting, monitoring, reviewing, and reacting to economic change and financial stress in their lives. Organize your financial life, nurture your money mindset, learn what you were never taught about money concepts. Get the Financial Foundation Checklist at: https://bit.ly/FinFoundationChecklist.