Money, Behaviours and Beliefs

If you aren’t getting the results you want in an area of your life, take a look at your behaviours.  Are they helping you or hindering you?  If you are up for the challenge take a step further back and examine the underlying belief that is generating the behaviour.

If you really want to make changes in your life, this is a very important equation to learn and more importantly, to implement.

Beliefs drive Behaviours.  Behaviours drive Results.

??????????My clients challenge me on this and ask, “Why should I examine my beliefs? I just want to spend less/save more.”

A belief is an assumed truth that we then make our reality; our beliefs become self fulfilling prophecies. So if life is going well for us then our beliefs are working and we don’t need or want to examine them; we may not even be aware of what the underlying belief is.

Let’s look at an example. I have a belief that exercise is good for me.  So even though it occasionally causes me physical pain (particularly after a personal training session),  I don’t question or challenge my belief because I know I have more energy on the days that I exercise and I know my health is much better than my pre-exercise days.  My belief is working for me.

It is when life isn’t going so well,  things are starting to get on top of us, we feel stressed so we start to look at the underlying issues that are causing us pain and the first place we look is at our behaviour.

I worked with a client who had stopped opening her mail, it was just too hard to face the bills so she let them pile up and put her head in the sand.  She was forced to face reality when her credit card stopped working and her power got cut off.  Something was definitely not working for her.

You need to ask yourself three questions and be very honest with your answers.

  1. What have you done?
    This isn’t the story you tell yourself, this is actually what have you done.  In the example above, she had stopped opening mail because she was scared of how much money she had spent.
  2. What are you doing?
    Quite often the answer to this question is nothing, you simply aren’t dealing with the issue, just carrying on as if it isn’t there, and hopefully it will all just go away.
  3. What are you going to do?
    This is getting to the action point, or the behaviour change.  Opening the mail would be a start, seeking advice from a money mentor (which is why she was sitting in my office), and getting some sound financial advice are all good starting points.

But it doesn’t stop there, this is the first part of the equation addressing the behaviour that gave us the result.

OK, I confess, I tried the blood type diet.  I lasted a couple of weeks and then fell off the wagon.  Why?  Well, I changed my behaviour. But I didn’t take the step back and examine my beliefs around diet and food that led me to decide to try the diet.  My underlying belief around food is that it is to be enjoyed, it is a very important part of our family life; I simply love food so anything that places restrictions on what I can and can’t eat just isn’t going to work for me.

So, where did this leave my client?  It was quite clear that being an ostrich wasn’t working.  We could address the practical side of opening mail, putting a plan in place to get her finances back on track, but we also had to deal with the underlying belief about how she got into this muddle so she could recognise the signs and not go there again.

As we worked together we identified some key beliefs that were holding her back, here is one of them.

As a child her father managed the household money, her mother (apparently) wasn’t capable of looking after it.  So the belief emerged that as a woman she couldn’t look after money.  This was reinforced in her relationships where her partner always looked after the finances, even in her business.  So when she found herself on her own, she lived out of that believe that she was hopeless with money.  It became a self fulfilling prophecy.

This isn’t an easy process and not one for the faint hearted.  Your beliefs have been around for a long time, so don’t suddenly expect them to change overnight just because you learn something new.  These beliefs have formed your habits, and you have to continually to reinforce the new beliefs so the process of change can occur.

Time for a bit of soul searching.  Be really honest and have a look at some of your results.  Are you where you want to be in your finances?  Your health and wellbeing?  If you are feeling a no bubbling up then it is time to delve into your behaviours and your beliefs and see if it is time to make some changes.

We are happy to help and answer any questions that you may have, so please feel free to contact us for more information.

Lynda Moore


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