Sometimes, your brain lies to you. It doesn’t mean to. It thinks it’s doing the right thing. It’s just trying to protect you and keep you alive.
And yet, sometimes it just flat out lies right to your face.
Your brain will look for evidence to support what you think is true. It’s called confirmation bias.
If you’ve been around here for a little while you’ve heard me talk about this before.
Confirmation bias is when your brain looks for evidence to support what it thinks to be true, not necessarily what is true.
You probably don’t even realize it’s happening. You just believe the things your brain is telling you to be true without giving it a second thought. Like you’re reading the weather forecast… it’s just facts.
But sometimes (potentially most of the time, if you’re not onto it) your brain is feeding you a bunch of crap and you need to call it out.
How I know you’re not bad with money
I know you’re not bad with money because you thinking that you are bad with money is just a thought in your head.
It’s like saying “I’m just a procrastinator”. NOPE. You procrastinate. You are not a procrastinator.
One is a thing you do sometimes, the other is who you are. They’re separate.
Actions you take and who you are as a person are not the same thing. Did you know that?
And here’s the best part: you can just decide to think something different.
I promise I’m not living in namby-pamby land. (Although if I ever was the queen of my own land, I would probably name it Namby Pamby Land, and we’d all live there and it would be fantabulous.)
If you think you’re bad with money, you’re probably looking at a mountain of evidence to support that thought.
You might have a pile of debt. Or have tried to stick to a budget before and failed.
Perhaps you spend more money than you make sometimes. Or every paycheck. Or you’re not saving enough money for retirement. (That’s also just a thought.)
There are a million reasons you could find to prove to yourself that you’re bad with money.
Here’s the deal though.
What if if was all just thoughts you’re having. What if none of it were actually true.
I know what you’re thinking.
“Of course it’s true. I have $xxx in debt. I don’t have any savings. I’m terrible with money.”
It’s all subjective, and therefore NOT facts
Let’s say you have $23,000 in debt of some kind. You think that makes you bad with money.
If I showed that number to someone with zero debt they may think “that’s a lot of debt” or “you’re bad with money”.
But if I showed that number to someone with $174,000 in debt, they’d probably think “wow thats amazing you only have $23k of debt!”
See the difference?
The circumstance is the exact same. You have $23k of debt. That’s it. Everything else is your thought about it.
To one person you’re in “a lot” of debt, and to another person, you’re a freaking money genius. Both of which are completely subjective.
What if you decided to agree with the second person and also think that you’re a money genius?
If your brain is hardcore resisting “I’m a money genius”, then try one of these instead:
- I’m getting better with my money
- I’m paying off my debt
- I will be debt-free one day
- I used to be bad with money but I’m learning how to be better with it
Any of those will feel so much better than “I’m terrible with money.”
Find a thought you actually believe right now, that feels good to you when you think it, and start thinking it all the time.
Shift your belief around your money.
Your brain will start to look for evidence supporting your new thought, instead of your old one. Help it look for evidence supporting what you want to believe on purpose.
When you start shifting your beliefs, you’ll feel different (probably better) and your actions will come from a different place. You’ll take action to support your new thought instead of your old one.
It’s kind of like magic, but really, it’s just rewiring your brain.
Choose what to think on purpose and practice thinking that over and over until its an unconscious belief wired into your noggin.
This is kind of like affirmations, but with one BIG difference: you have to actually believe the thought you’re practicing.
If you keep thinking a thought your brain isn’t on board with, it’s not going to work. Your brain will continue to resist it, creating more friction instead of less.
When you practice a thought you do believe, the more you practice it the more it will happen automatically over time.
Once you’ve taken that new thought on as “truth”, then you start practicing another new thought that takes you another step closer to where you want to be.
Find evidence you’re already good with money
There is some evidence, somewhere. I promise. You just have to find it.
Make a list of all the things you already do right now that would prove you’re good with money.
- you pay your bills (some or all)
- you always have enough for today
- you don’t buy $80k cars or $500 shoes on a regular basis
- you receive a paycheck regularly
- you haven’t filed for bankruptcy or been foreclosed on
Don’t take anything you do for granted or think it’s too small to write down. Nothing is “well everyone does that so it doesnt count”. It ALL counts.
Spend 10-15 minutes writing down (actually write it down on paper) all the ways you’re good and responsible with money right now.
Make a big fat juicy list of evidence for your brain to see and think about.
Borrow evidence from others
You now have a nice list of evidence to help you convince your brain, but if you want more, borrow some from someone else.
Use other people who have what you want as inspiration and proof that you can do it too, instead of using it against yourself.
Instead of being jealous of someone who has what you want, decide that if she can do it, you can too. Use her success as evidence for your brain that you’re just as capable until you have your own evidence.
There are more times I’d care to admit when I feel like I’m totally sucking it up as a mom (or any other role I have) I think “there are plenty of people way dumber than I am who are good parents, so I can do this too”.
Now, I’m not saying that’s the most perfect thought scenario, and I don’t think of specific people when I say that, but I’m not perfect, just like you’re not.
It allows me to have compassion for myself which is normally exactly what I need in that moment to keep everything together. So, mission accomplished.
Which brings me to my next point…
Be kind to yourself
One of the most important parts of this process is to be kind to yourself.
Don’t look at what past you did and think about how terrible a decision that was, or how stupid you were.
You can’t change it now, and beating yourself up about it achieves exactly zero, so there’s just no point.
Always remember that you made the best choice you could with the information you had at the time. Don’t Monday morning quarterback yourself.
It’s ok if you wouldn’t make the same choice again, that doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice at the time. In fact, not wanting to make the same decision again if you could do it over is a sign of growth!
One of my favorite thoughts is “we’re all doing our best, sometimes our best is a little shitty”.
I remember that when I’m trying to have compassion for myself and for others.
We’re all doing our best, but sometimes our best just sucks. Everyone can’t be 100% on, all the time. We are all humans, after all.