It all starts in your brain
Did you know that your thoughts create your feelings?
It’s true. Your thoughts cause your feelings. All of them. No exceptions. Forever and ever amen.
This is important because you can also choose your thoughts.
For real. You can choose your thoughts, which cause your feelings.
If you’re reading this thinking “well, duh”, congrats for already knowing the biggest secret to life!
If you were not aware of this fact, don’t worry, I wasn’t either. When I learned this it blew my freaking mind.
You’re welcome for changing your life in two sentences. Glad to be of service.
Your thoughts cause your feelings
Let’s say you won one of those “$5000 per week for life” prizes from Publishers Clearing House. You’d probably be pretty excited, right?
Due to the nature of how life works, you would have been selected as the winner before you actually find out about it. You don’t know instantly.
The company would know you won, there would be some amount of time where you were the winner before you knew you were, and then you find out that you won.
During that space between being selected the winner and someone telling you that you won, you were in fact the winner of this prize, you just didn’t know it yet.
The fact is you had already won. But since you didn’t know, your brain had zero thoughts about it and you didn’t feel excited, or anything about it, at all. Even though it was already true.
It’s not until your brain has the actual thought about the circumstance (winning the prize) that you then feel the feeling of excitement.
Why is this important?
Your thoughts cause your feelings, and your feelings drive your actions.
This is where it gets good.
Your brain has something like 60,000 thoughts per day. Obviously they’re not all conscious. You’re not aware of all 60,000 thoughts you have every single day. That would be bananas.
However, aware of them or not, they’re all there and influencing how you feel and by extension, the actions you take.
It’s why a pep talk from your best friend or your coach can actually help you get up and get going. When you get the pep talk you’re having different thoughts, which create different feelings, which drive different actions.
Different actions produce different results.
Rich is subjective
Now that we’ve established the very basics of how our brain works and how we create our results…
Merriam-Webster.com defines the word rich as “having abundant possessions and especially material wealth”.
You’ll notice there is no number anywhere in the above sentence. You don’t magically become rich when you have $100 or $100 million in your bank account.
To be rich is relative and subjective.
If I gave you $10,000, and I gave Mark Zuckerberg $10,000, you’d each probably have very different thoughts and reactions to the same exact $10,000.
Even “being a millionaire” is a little subjective. Being a millionaire at least has the quantifiable requirement of having one million dollars.
Is that a one million dollar total net worth, or one million dollars in your savings account?
If you’re married and have total combined net worth of $1 million, does that make you both millionaires? Or do you need to have $2 million for you both to be millionaires?
It all depends on the lens you’re looking through.
Be rich now
If “being rich” is so subjective, then why not just decide you’re rich right now?
Before you tell me that you can’t do that, that’s not how the world works, you’re not actually rich… why not?
There’s absolutely zero downside to believing you’re rich right now. With everything you have, and everything you don’t have.
Whether you have $10 or $100,000 in your bank account, you can decide you’re rich, right now.
If you did decide you’re rich, would you show up differently? In your life, in your job, with your family and friends?
There’s only one way to find out, but I’m betting the answer is yes.
Clean up your mindset
Now let me be clear. I’m definitely NOT suggesting you start spending money like you’re Mark Cuban. That’s not what this is about.
Having a rich mindset doesn’t mean you spend all your money willy-nilly and not pay any attention.
It does mean approaching your goals, your work, your life through the lens of a rich mindset. From abundance instead of scarcity.
Your thoughts cause your feelings, and your feelings drive your actions, and your actions create your results (or lack thereof). That means everything starts in your brain.
Your specific circumstance isn’t causing you to feel a certain way or have a specific result. Your thoughts are what do that.
If you intentionally think thoughts like “I’m rich now”, “I have everything I need for today”, “I always figure it out”, you’ll have different feelings, take different actions, and see different results than if you’re thinking “there’s never enough”, “I’ll never be able to do that”, “I can’t get there”.
This is why it’s so common for people who have money struggles to “relapse” into the same patterns and end up in the same place they started in if they try to force a budget and white-knuckle their way to saving more money and paying off debt.
Plus, it feels terrible.
It’s the same with weight loss and why so many people gain back the weight they lose in their latest diet.
Forcing different actions and trying to solve the problem with sheer willpower never lasts. With money, or weight loss, or whatever other habits you’re trying to change.
Solving the problem just by taking different action is like having a nail in your head thats causing you a major headache and taking Advil to stop your head from hurting.
Figuring out why you’re taking the actions you take, what thoughts you’re having to cause the feelings and actions, and then changing your thoughts, is like taking the nail out of your head, and getting rid of your headache for good and not even needing medicine.
Your brain is tricky, and quite frankly, sometimes a pain in the ass.
Google tells us confirmation bias is “the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories”.
You’ll notice that nowhere in that definition is the word “fact” or “truth”.
Your brain is constantly looking for evidence to prove what it already thinks is true. Not what the actual facts are, but what it thinks the facts are.
It’s like when you buy a new car and then see that car everywhere all the sudden. Those cars were always there, but your brain only recently decided it was important enough to point it out to you.
If you think you’re rich, your brain will start looking for evidence to support that thought. If you think you’re poor, or you could never be rich, or you don’t have enough, it’ll look for evidence to support those thoughts instead.
This is great news because with a little intention you can train your brain to find the evidence to support what you want it to believe, instead of just letting it believe whatever it wants.
The best analogy I’ve heard to this is letting your brain just think whatever it wants without your supervision and intention is like letting a toddler run around with a knife.
That toddler is totally innocent and doesn’t know any better. He’s not trying to hurt himself or anyone or thing around him, but guess what, if you let a 2 year old run around with a knife it’s not going to end well.
Take the knife away (remove the thoughts that aren’t serving you) and the outcome is much better for everyone.
Change your thoughts
Now that you know your thoughts cause your feelings, and that you have the ability to change them, the next step is to figure out which thoughts you have that aren’t serving you and shift them to ones that are serving you and practice them.
This probably sounds like affirmations, and it’s similar. However, the key difference is that you can’t just jump to thinking a thought over and over again that your brain doesn’t believe.
If you think you’re poor right now, and you tell your brain “I’m rich!”, even if you say it over and over again your brain is going to resist it.
You need to build a thought ladder, and climb it one rung at a time instead of trying to jump from the bottom straight to the top. Find a more neutral though in-between where you are and where you want to go, and start there.
- I’m terrible with money
- I’m bad with money now, and that’s ok
- I could learn to be better with money
- I’m learning to be better with money
- I’m good with money
- I’m great with money
In this example, you think you’re terrible with money right now, so you start practicing the next thought down the list. Practice it over and over again until you truly believe it and can move onto the next one.
On and on until you believe your “goal” thought.
You can create a thought ladder to start wherever you are and get you wherever you want to go. You can have three rungs, or ten. It all depends on where you are and what your brain believes right now, and how much you want to shift it.
The key here is you have to practice your new thoughts. You can’t just think it once and say “ok I’m done!” and wait for new results to show up.
Practice the thoughts you want to think intentionally, feel the feelings and take action in your life from that place.
If you’re trying to run a mile in seven minutes, and right now you run it in eight minutes, you’re not going to run one time and say, “ok I’m ready to run the next one in seven minutes!”
You have to practice it every day, and gradually your mile time will decrease until you hit your goal. The same is true for changing your beliefs.
When You’re Ready For More
Check out my free money mindset guide & workbook. I go into more detail about this process and help you identify the beliefs you have now and ones you want to create. You can get it here.
If you want more help or are ready to take it to the next level and eliminate money stress for good, learn more about my coaching program and schedule a free discovery call, here.