Remember that now-old, computer adage: Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO)? It’s even more crucial when we apply it to our thoughts. Our brains put like thoughts together in neural pathways. All our thoughts about any particular thing get connected together.
It’s really quite fascinating. For example it’s kind of like a bunch of cupboards. When you open the door to the cupboard there are all the goodies in there. Until you open the door you don’t actually think about what’s in there. For example, most of us have a cupboard we could call “Friends from childhood” — we don’t open in very often, but when we do we can see a bunch of people in it. Just think of the name of one kid you knew. Got ’em? Okay, now as you remember them the cupboard door opens wider and you can see more kids in there.
It’s a pretty cool system, and I think there is no coincidence that in many ways computers are structured in a similar fashion. Even though we may not have had all the brain science worked out when computers were invented, the style and method of our thinking influenced the design.
Okay, so what on earth does that have to do with money and what you say about it? The short answer is EVERYTHING!
What you focus on is what you create. You gather more and more fodder to support your position, and all that fodder makes the ‘cupboard’ bigger and bigger.
What exactly do you say about money? We know that the odds are your parents said things like:
- Money doesn’t grow on trees
- You’ll have to work really hard to make any
- There’s never enough of it
The irony is that because they believed that, they proved it — with one small but important caveat. See the use of the ‘enough’ word? Our brain pays no attention to the ‘never’ in that sentence. What it does do is focus on creating the enough word. The problem is enough is a ‘scarcity’ word. Think about it. One way or another there was always ‘enough’ — just enough.
The quantity of scarcity thoughts in the “money cupboard” in most of our heads is huge. That neural pathway is jam-packed with examples, reinforcement, fodder. Conversely, the money thought cupboard around the idea of plenty, or lots, is a tiny little cupboard from perhaps a doll house.
The result being that when it comes to money, just like when it comes to other thoughts and ideas, we reinforce what we have always reinforced. We are at the very least in the habit of thinking that way.
Changing that thinking, and thus the results you create, is both hard and easy. It’s as easy as being conscious of what you say and think about money, and changing from an ‘enough/scarcity’ to a ‘plenty/lots’ conversation. And that is also hard to do, mostly because it’s a very ingrained habit.
My suggestion is to institute a counter-balancing method. Start by being easy with yourself. Don’t give yourself a hard time when you use that scarcity word. And when you use it, and notice it, then immediately replace it with a more abundant word. At the very least balance it with a counter-balance statement. For example: “I never make enough money, except when I do!” It can actually be an amusing thing to do.
The reason that all this is so important is that you can’t actually create the abundance or security you want to get past ‘scarcity’ or ‘enough-ness’ until you can believe it’s possible. And you cannot be in ‘plenty land’ as long as you keep reinforcing the neural pathway that is a massive cupboard filled with scarcity thinking.
Here’s an example that might help. Did you take a foreign language in school? I took French. Most classes focused on you speaking the foreign language, right? We didn’t try to learn French by speaking English. That just wouldn’t work. And I found when I went to France on a trip, the longer I was there, the easier it was for me to understand the language. I had even started to think in French by the end of the trip. What was happening is that the French ‘cupboard’ was getting filled.
It’s the same with your money thinking and beliefs. You can change it, and it’s a simple and as hard as learning to do anything different. Remember, when it comes to money, what you say about it does matter!
Shell Tain, the Untangler
If you’d like to some support in changing what you say about money give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com.