Did you happen to see this quote on Facebook? ‘Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion. What we should have been taught was how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.’
You probably won’t be surprised that my brain went right to: ‘…and when it comes to money, it’s an even more taboo topic!’ Mostly we don’t even talk about that we don’t talk about it, and the aforementioned ‘lack of understanding’ around money is monumental. I truly do think it’s the MOST taboo topic on the planet.
And the person we talk to the least about money is actually ourself. Sure we have money conversations in our head. Most often they are rants about what we are doing wrong — judgements of our short comings. These aren’t actual conversations where we listen — really listen — to what we are saying about money. This is unexplored money self-talk.
The important thing here, is that what we say is what we believe. Our internal dialog rules our brain. If the primary belief we have is that money is this awful, scary stuff that we can’t actually get a handle on and don’t understand, we will make that the truth and act accordingly.
A large part of my job is to really hear what people are saying, both out loud and in their heads. I try to clue in on when I hear someone using internal and external language-based judgement, criticism, and just not feeling good about ourselves. Some of the words that we use around money that tip me off to this are: enough, earned, value, deserve, frugal, broke, wasteful. Other words that strike even deeper show how we judge what we are doing — how we ‘should’, ‘must’, ‘have to’, and ‘got to’. It’s often pretty subtle stuff. And I’m pretty much all over my clients, encouraging them to thinking in terms of ‘wanting’ or ‘choosing’ to do things instead of all those other options.
The real reason for that is that coming from that more self-directed positive place is just plain more effective. All that negative nattering distracts us from the task at hand, and that limits our abilities.
How about you find a way to have a couple of heart-to-heart money conversations with yourself? I know it sounds a bit ‘out there’ but why not? Tune in and notice when you say a negative thing about yourself, about you and money, even about your expectations of what is possible in your life. Why not start by making a simple list of your self-talk phrases and then noting if they are positive, negative, or even neutral.
What’s going on there in your head? You can absolutely shift it. You can learn new words and hold new ideas. You even can learn to ‘correct’ yourself when you say something like, “I’ll never make it!” You can choose to follow it with “…unless, of course, I do!”
There is a bit of sneaky science behind this idea. It’s all about neural pathways. The ones that get more use get stronger, the ones with little use diminish. You get to choose. What are you reinforcing? See what you can learn about what you really say about money. And how, with just a bit of noticing and language focus, you can change your money thinking — really, you can!
Shell Tain, the Untangler
If you’d like to some support in hearing your internal messages and making these change give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com.