I had a list…AND a budget…but then I walked into one of my favorite gift shops. I found the perfect Christmas gift for my husband. The problem was that I had spent waaaaay over the budgeted amount and I felt fully justified in buying it! One minute, I meditated on how he was going to LOVE this perfect gift. Then the next, I was feeling shame, guilt, and anxiety about blowing my budget. Then back to elation again. The cognitive dissonance was exhausting.
This happened many years ago but I still can recall the mental anguish I suffered like it was THIS holiday season. To be honest, I still feel some pressure, mental and emotional, when shopping this time of year. Years of action research, with myself as the main participant in the study, has taught me that every other task on the “to do” list (see links below) I’ve shared hinges on this final one.
Adjust Your Mindset
Now, y’all may not know this about me but I am a total neuroscience geek. I love incorporating new discoveries about how the brain functions into how I approach my work and life. Recent findings, proven through neuro-imaging devices, reveal that shifting the mindset, my thought life, triggers the development of new neural pathways in the brain. The more neural pathways at work, the more flexible and creative is the thinking (and therefore, the living).
So, when I suggest that you “adjust your mindset,” I am not being mystical or wishful. And I am not talking about empty affirmations and pie in the sky thinking. This actually works; it has been proven through scientific discovery.
“How?”, you ask. "How do I adjust my mindset?"
I begin with what I believe. As a man (or woman) thinketh, so is s/he, the proverb teaches. However, it’s critical to recognize that what we think is rooted in our beliefs. If you want to change your thinking on the subject of finances, you must dig deeper and figure out what beliefs have been limiting (or liberating) your thoughts about your money.
I ask myself a few reflective questions to locate my beliefs…Do I believe that there is enough out there for me…too? Do I trust that the work that I do is bringing value to others and therefore, I will reap what I sow into others? Do I believe that resources do not define who I am and what success means, thus I put them to work for the greater good around me? Do I believe I am "enough" for the task at hand that will lead me to the resources I want?
We live in a world of abundance. Yet, most of us struggle to resist the pervasive scarcity belief systems that tempt us to compete rather than complement those with whom we journey. For example, if you are crushing it and getting yours (as they say), that does not mean there's not enough for me to get mine! What it does mean is that I have an opportunity to celebrate you and to seek ways to support your pursuits. That type of mindset is born out of an abundance belief system. When you change your beliefs, you will change your thinking…and experience.
When I am feeling anxious about my finances, I go back to my beliefs about resources and rehearse them. I reset my thinking through reading books on the subject from different angles. This helps me to gain perspective and understanding. I meditate on my vision for my future. Then I speak my truth in the form of daily declarations. Hearing the truth rallies me. And I can (almost) feel my brain synapses firing! ;-) From that place, I can make decisions that are in alignment with my goals.
Then I bask in the peace of life congruence.
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of peace in your financial house. Try these “to dos” (assess, budget, save, reduce debt, and set your mindset). Don’t let this area of your life go unchecked and veer off-balance. Set yourself up to reach your goals in the new year…one task at a time!
Until next time…