Which of the following sentences is more likely to lift your heart and get you motivated about money?
‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE OVERSPENT AGAIN THIS MONTH, I AM RUBBISH AT MANAGING MY MONEY.’
‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I SIT DOWN EVERY MONTH AND LOOK AT MY MONEY, SOON I WILL BE SAVING. I AM DOING SO WELL.’
We can be so hard on ourselves.
Most people don’t realise how demotivating the first negative sentence is and add in words like ‘should’ and ‘must’ which make it worse!
Whether you start positively or negatively, your thinking spirals to more of the same. The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is the neurological reason why this works.
On a more practical level – to get motivated with your money, start by finding things you are already doing. Then talk yourself into it in a positive way. For example, ‘I do know how to do a budget so that’s a good start. I’ll just download my bank statements and start by looking for the positive in them.
You can literally talk yourself into and through doing money things, if you do it in a positive way.
Why not give it a try?
The World is Changing… Again
Before March 2020 people used to say to me:
‘THAT’S THE WAY I AM.’
‘I CAN’T CHANGE NOW.’
‘I’VE ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY.’
They were firmly in the denial stage of the Kubler-Ross Change Curve, as illustrated by the picture above. I completely understand. It takes a courageous reason or a global pandemic to move people through the more difficult stages of change to reach acceptance.
Especially with money!
Now people are saying:
Anger: ‘I am angry with myself for letting things get this bad.’
Bargaining: ‘Just give me some money and I will manage it better this time.’
Depression: ‘There is going to be a recession, there is no point hoping I’ll get a job or reopening my business.’
Feeling these feelings doesn’t mean there is no hope – only that you are going through a change. You don’t need to be so hard on yourself.
I recommend you keep on going, moving forward, until you reach the acceptance stage.
Do ask for help. We all get stuck sometimes.
Let’s look at an external subject, to take the pressure off. It is easier to see what’s going on and how the Kubler-Ross Change Curve works in practice.
Good News Stories
A useful example is the news.
I do surf the news websites every day. Whilst I feel for the tragedies going on in the world. By ending on a positive story, it brings me through the Kubler-Ross Change Curve smoothly and I don’t get stuck along the way.
From shock and denial, through anger, bargaining, depression and into acceptance.
There are always good news stories, even if you have to search a little harder for them.
My favourite one at the moment is a list of the famous businesses which started in global recessions:
Famous Businesses started in recessions
● Disney in 1929 during the great depression.
● Microsoft in the 1970s oil crisis.
● Airbnb in the 2007 credit crunch.
Alternatively, a easy way is to turn the numbers the other way around. Instead of 15% of the population have coronavirus. Try 85% of the population don’t have the virus. Phew.
All I am doing is focusing on the positive perspective, rather than the negative one – which sells newspapers and encourages us to click online. I am not avoiding reality, but dealing with it in the best way I know how.
What if we do have another financial recession?
People survive recessions.
My first successful business, Catering Linen Hire, was started in the 1992 recession. It was at a time of high unemployment and the interest rate was even higher, at 15%.
We have lost the illusion of certainty and that can be scary. The world was always uncertain but now we know it – and it is the forefront of our mind.
The certainty that the future will be better.
We can’t kid ourselves anymore and say things like:
‘I’ll be earning more next year, I’ll start saving then.’
‘It’s OK, my credit cards are on 0% interest.’
‘My money is FINE!’
That desperate hope that this month is the exception and somehow our money will magically sort itself out is gone – and that it is a good thing.
If we only did x, then our life will be perfect – the media sells that story well!
‘if you build it, he will come’.
Personally, I am celebrating the end of the era of ‘build it and they will come’, made famous by the 1989 film ‘Field of Dreams’ with Kevin Costner.
This film has been the bane of my life.
The most famous quote is ‘if you build it, he will come’.
Whilst it is a good film, winning academy awards but it has been immortalised into the entrepreneur world as:
I have a dream, it will make millions, no marketing, business or money skills needed!
No one has asked me for anything as sensible as a business plan in years!! This week I had six enquiries for business planning! Finally, it is time to build our dreams, one sensible step at a time – a method that has always worked!
And I am not the only one who thinks so.
Most of the debt support charities are busy recruiting to meet the demand of people coming to terms with their financial situation. Getting out of denial, whether it is debts or dreams and taking action is more powerful and effective that people realise.
Yes, you can build your dream. The same way journalists get a story on the front page of a news website. With research, planning, editing, reworking their headline and luck.
Action steps you are probably already taking.
Getting out of denial is the first step. So congratulations for reading this blog!
Then focus on the positive.
How much more do you know about your money situation now, than you did a few months ago?
You have been through a steep learning curve.
I am sure it probably feels uncomfortable right now, you are moving through the stages of change.
Please keep going and you will come out the other side stronger, wiser and with more money.