Assume you have a 12 year old boy who loves baseball and wants to be on the school team. He isn’t bad but doesn’t have a natural talent for the sport. He goes to all the practices, spends extra time at the batting cages, practices with his friends and works really hard to improve his skills.
On the morning of the tryouts you ask him, “how are you feelings?” He answers, “I’ll never make the team, everyone else is better!”
Given that he doesn’t believe in himself how will he show up at the try outs? How much effort will he put in? What are his chances of making the team?
If he doesn’t believe in himself he likely won’t make the team.
The same same can be said of our own personal finances. If we don’t believe that we can pay off our debt, buy a house or establish a strong savings account we won’t achieve any of those things.
So many of our current beliefs come from our past results. But, if we are going to get out of debt or buy a house then we are going to be doing something new. So, we’ll need to come up with new thoughts and a new belief. We won’t be able to base our current beliefs on past performance.
Creating new beliefs can be difficult, and that’s OK. I have two methods to help you create new thoughts/beliefs.
Let’s examine both with the objective of saving $100,000.
The first is called ladder thoughts. Initially a $100,000 may seem like a lot of money, something that is unattainable. Maybe you are thinking there just isn’t enough money at the end of every month or that it would take a lifetime to save that much.
Ladder thoughts allow us to break down the overall objective into smaller more manageable results. Maybe we start with saving $100. Then we do that a few more times. Once we have $1,000 saved we look back and see that all we have to do is continue on this path.
Our original beliefs begin to soften and we see that it is possible to save more than we originally thought. Once we’ve saved $10,000 we realize we are 10% of the way there and begin to take the $100,000 goal more seriously, now believing that it is achievable. This improves our results and gets us to our goal faster.
The second method is called bridge thoughts. We first write down our current thought: “I’ll never be able to save $100,000.” Then we write down the thought we want, “I can save $100,000.” While the second thought isn’t yet believable, we can come up with several connecting/bridge thoughts that will get us there. Some common/effective bridge thoughts include:
I may be wrong about X
It is possible that I could X
I’ve never tried it so I don’t really know
The goal of bridge thoughts is to take away the resistance/disbelief of the desired thought. As we create smaller more believable thoughts we begin to metaphorically walk across the bridge creating new thoughts until we can finally believe the desired thought.
Believing in our desired financial outcome has three benefits:
1) Achieve the financial results we desire
2) Eliminate financial stress
3) Help us grow as a person.
Aaron Huey said:
Your belief system saturates the space around you.