In my last blog I talked about our core beliefs around money and how these keep us safe. Beliefs are assumptions we make about the world and are often developed early in life and passed down subconsciously through the generations. In early childhood you take everything as fact so your beliefs are based on how you perceive things and may not be logical. Two people may have exactly the same experiences but perceive them in different ways and attach different meanings to them. There are normally a few powerful core beliefs that impact us the most.
Our unconscious mind (our narratives that we’ve grown up around) makes up more than 98% of all our thinking.
What are your core beliefs around money? We never really think about these beliefs or question them but when we do we learn a lot about ourselves and our behaviours and emotions around money. These next 5 questions will get you to think about your beliefs and perceptions around money and to think about how these beliefs have helped you and how they have challenged you in your life.
Grab a pen and write down your answers. Sometimes it's difficult to understand straight away the beliefs that you attach to these memories and experiences around money. You may find it useful to look at my previous blog about the core beliefs around money. It's good to be aware of your past experiences with money, positive or negative, and how these experiences have impacted on your relationship with money.
Writing down your answers around these 5 questions should give you your own eye opener moment!
We can't change the past but we can change the meaning we attach to those memories and experiences and move forwards with a more beneficial mindset that supports your goals and future self.
Another exercise which is useful is to keep a money diary and write down the situation you experienced and how it made you feel at the time. Think about the emotions it brought up and what you were saying to yourself at the time. What is an alternative way of thinking?
The most significant part for me when I was doing the diary exercise was the "What else could you be telling yourself?" part. It challenges the way you think and makes you think in an alternative, more helpful way. I had arranged a meeting with a client and an investment manager and the meeting didn't go well at all. The client didn't like the approach the investment manager took during the meeting and said he never wanted to see the guy again. I felt so bad after the meeting and I felt like I had let the client down. It sounds a little crazy I know, but I couldn't stop thinking about how I'd let the client down. When I wrote this in my money diary and what I was telling myself, I then wrote down alternative ways of thinking such as "it's not a reflection on you" and "these things happen, you weren't to know" and I instantly felt much better about the situation.
Our unconscious mind (our narratives that we’ve grown up around) makes up more than 98% of all our thinking. Our thoughts are automatic and we don't usually question them or even acknowledge them. Our thoughts affect how we are feeling and our emotions which in turn drives our behaviours. We therefore need to change how we are thinking about a situation. So next time you feel anxious, sad, guilty, ashamed or any other negative emotion, write down the situation which triggered the emotion, what you are telling yourself about the situation (which is making you feel this way) and another, more helpful and positive way of thinking about the situation. You may have to keep telling yourself this new thought as it's so easy to go back to telling yourself that unhelpful thought. It takes time and energy to keep telling yourself this new thought but it's so worth it as it will change the way you feel. Keep practising and you should notice a positive shift in your feelings and behaviours.