Welcome to Day 19. If you missed Day 18, here’s the link.
On Day 17 we started an activity where I gave you an open ended statement and you had to finish it with something that was true for you – good, bad or ugly – relevant to that statement.
If your just visiting out of curiosity, the statement was:
I am not a millionaire because …
Set your timer for ten minutes. (Yesterday was seven minutes. Why seven or ten minutes? The reason for the timing is to create some urgency. Believe it or not you get a better result under timed conditions than if I left it open ended. The number is arbitrary.)
So your job now is to finish the statement. Here’s some examples.
… I am too old.
… I am not qualified.
… I have no money and money makes money.
… I don’t have seed capital.
… I don’t have a well paid job.
… I am blind.
… I am not smart enough.
… I live in a depressed part of the country.
… my parent were always broke too. We’ve never had money in our family.
… I’ve never been lucky.
… my business hasn’t reached ‘escape velocity’ and I’m still struggling to do that.
… my investment strategy has not reached its tipping point yet.
… my debt/asset ratio is too high.
… it would be too much work.
… I’m happy with my level of income.
… if I make a million my husband will find some way to waste it.
… my ex wife will hire a lawyer to sue me retrospectively.
… (Whats the point) I’ll just end up paying it to HMRC anyway.
… I’m not an entrepreneur
… I don’t have good money making ideas.
… I miss the trends
… I can’t control my spending or save money
… I’m not dishonesty enough.
Just brainstorm as many reasons that feel true for you and your circumstances.
How did this exercise make you feel?
You may have even recalled incidents.
OK, when the time runs out, stop writing and now read back over the list and tick, circle or highlight the items that feel heavy or have the most emotional charge.
In Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) a key tool is simply observing. Noticing. Paying attention.
I rarely encounter anyone who doesn’t have some emotional response, or a bodily sensation or the urge to race through this activity. You might even notice increased internal dialogue, negative thoughts … and then urge to get away from those thoughts quickly. If that is the case, notice them. Acknowledge them.
“I am having a memory about a time when …”
“I am having a thought that …”
“I am feeling uncomfortable …”
Normalise it. I often find people expend a LOT of energy try into control such feelings and thoughts.
But most people typically have a reaction to this activity.
For example, in a live event we put delegates in the hot sea with a microphone and get them to do this in front of the group. At first it’s shits and giggles but as we spend more time we start to tap into deeper issues. It is not unusual for someone to feel angry or sad or resentful or excited. The emotion starts to kick in.
For example, I once had a delegate get very upset because this activity reminded him that his parents were always broke … and never taught him how to make or even manage his money. He was chronically broke and in debt and life was a struggle. And he felt guilty because he was still blaming them for being bad parents or role models.
Just go with it. Notice stuff like this. Honestly, your brain has over 100 billion neurones and even though you lose 85,000 a day trust me your brain has not deleted early ‘life soft ware files’ you wrote about money. They are archived.
A woman said she would never be a millionaire because she wasted money. She could not control her spending. She was embarrassed and ashamed. Her life was very stressful because she was using credit cards to pay bills, she owed money to too many people and she felt her ‘I’ve was all about playing the cute, helpless or victim card.
Just like her mother. Her father used to fight with her mother especially when she went out shopping and spent money they didn’t have.
And this was exactly the same dynamic in her current relationship.
The thought of being a millionaire scared her because she ‘knew’ she would waste the money anyway!
So pay attention to the statements that have this level of charge. Or any back story.
You know what to do. Write the statement, set the timer for ten minutes and brainstorm. Then highlight any statements that feel heavy.