Tag Archives: scarcity

What You Say About Money Matters

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!

Ka-ching

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.

Rich Man, Poor Man

As many of you know, I do have a somewhat twisted sense of humor. I appreciate a twist of wit that rings true. May favorite comedians often had that way with words, and sometimes they even had brilliant and amusing things to say about money. A prime fieldsexample is the W. C. Fields comment: “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”

I have held a version of that comment forever. Money doesn’t make a person good or bad. It simply reflects who the person is. If you see yourself as a poor, no amount of money will change that. And if you see yourself as rich, no lack of money will change that. We can absolutely change those beliefs, but the change is an internal process, not one that will happen based on how much money we have.

This is a bit tricky, isn’t it? It might be that your belief of who you are changes, and as a result of that, your money position changes. That is truly possible. If, however, you think that money itself will change those beliefs about who you are, then you are putting the cart before the horse.

Money will mirror, or reflect, your beliefs about yourself, and everything else. That’s what it does, and that’s all it does.

The only thing I think that having a bunch of money really does is make a persons’ core money beliefs more visible. It doesn’t change who the person is, it just makes who they are easier to see.

If they have a world view based on ‘poverty’, scarcity and lack, it will show up in greed, fear, and anger. Conversely if a person is giving, hopeful and positive, then money will certainly reflect that.

Remember good ole Ebenezer Scrooge? He’s an example of both sides of that coin. Yes, it took a bunch of ghosts, time travel, hard truths and ego shattering realizations to bring him around. But what happened when he did? He didn’t become less monetarily wealthy did he? Actually, it seemed as the story ended that he was going to keep on making more money with his new view, didn’t it? But now he would be sharing his wealth.

And just to make the point even more clear, notice that his conversion to being a generous and happy man had nothing to do with acquiring money. It only had to do with changing how he thought about it.

It’s actually never about the money, it’s about how we think of it, and our beliefs about it, and the good news is that those are both changeable!

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

Ka’ching,

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Extremes

Do you find that your money always shows up in extremes?  For example, you get a lump of it at the beginning of the month, spend it and then find there is none until the next month.

If so, you may very well be trapped in the scarcity place (feast or famine, binge or purge, black or white, all or nothing…all the same stuff).  It’s a concept of extremes, and it’s exhausting.  Your little kid part that I often speak about is still in charge of your money.  extremesWhen the money comes in, she spends it…all.  She doesn’t think past this moment.  It’s part of being a little kid.

It’s all about that tricky balance thing.  You need to wrap your head around it differently.  Think of the middle, instead of the ends.  After all, the colors are all in the middle between black and white.  Emotionally, you need to make it more valuable to take care of yourself all month than to splurge…not from a sense of boring duty, but from a sense of self love.  This is the inside work.

Consider some outside structures that might help:

          When you get the funds immediately put 30 – 40% aside

          Every time you spend money put 15% aside

          Save some amount every time you get money – this is the crucial one.

Our brain needs to know that we CAN save.  It doesn’t matter how much, even one dollar is fine.  Brainwise, it’s the action of saving that is important, not the amount.

If you are spending it all, and then find yourself lacking, you are doing what ‘poor’ people do.  Poverty creates an interesting concept of quickly exchanging money for stuff.  The belief and logic is that someone may take money from you, but it’s harder for them to take stuff away from you.  So spend it all now, so that no one can take it away.  The trick is to establish the idea and process of saving, taking action to believe that it’s not just about today, but self-care for tomorrow.

Practice this and you will change the behavior and the beliefs…at the same time.

Ka-ching

Shell