Your Habit of Financial Worry

Shocking I know…  almost sacrilegious… “a HABIT you say?”

“As if I would choose to have these troubles!”

I realize I’ve just lost several readers, but here’s the thing, you are where you are, doing what you are doing, because of choices and decisions.  How you think about what you think about is also a choice.

Yes, I understand that you have bills to pay, and appointments to keep, and maybe even dealing with, fighting off, accumulating a myriad of health issues, wealth issues and relationship issues.  My point is, your habit of worry, isn’t helping.

According to my favorite reference guides on the planet Wiki-pedia

Worry is thoughts, images and emotions of a negative nature in which mental attempts are made[vague] to avoid anticipated potential threats.[1] As an emotion it is experienced as anxiety or concern about a real or imagined issue, usually personal issues such as health or finances or broader ones such as environmental pollution and social or technological change. Most people experience short-lived periods of worry in their lives without incident; indeed, a moderate amount of worrying may even have positive effects, if it prompts people to take precautions (e.g., fastening their seat belt or buying fire insurance) or avoid risky behaviours (e.g., angering dangerous animals, orbinge drinking).

What if I told you that you could still think about the things you think about but if you tweaked HOW you think about them, you would feel better and some studies show might even be happier and healthier.

Let’s say, you have a car payment due on Friday.  Right now, on Wednesday, you don’t have all of the money needed for the car payment.  Which attitude is going to serve your better… “Oh my God! I can’t pay my car payment, what am I going to do, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!?!”  or  “Ok, let’s see, I’m $150.00 short on my payment, and then I’m still going to need some grocery money, so let’s call it $300.00 short.  What are my options?”

Still panicked?  Still like, “Yeah!  WHERE AM I GOING TO EARN $300.00 IN 3 DAYS!?!”

First, calm down.

When it comes to lean times, there are always 2 things I do.

#1) Call the company.  Call whoever you owe the money to and explain when you will have it and see if they can adjust the deadline.  Most of the time, this is possible and not only is your immediate deadline averted but your mind can replace the worry with thankfulness and gratitude.

If the deadline is firm

#2) Mindstorm.  Finding possibilities is all about taking your mind and broadening it to the different opportunities and possibilities.   They don’t say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” for nuthin!   I’ve found the easiest (and the hardest) way to broaden my perspective on an issue is the 10 answers method.  It’s a little exercise that goes like this.  On a clean sheet of paper you write your goal as a question.  Using our car payment scenario, it would be:

How can I earn $300.00 by this Friday?

and then….  You answer that question 10 ways.  The first 3 answers are probably going to be easy.  Off the top of my head, I would say, Yard Sale, eBay or CraigsList. (which is sort of cheating because they are all the same thing and you would still have to figure out what you are going to sell to make money… but I digress) ok, so you got your first three out of the way… the next 3 will be really hard, maybe you’ll write: clean houses, walk dogs, yard work… and those are really good answers… now my friend, the last 4 will be your mind expanding.

You see the first 4 – 6 answers that you write are your go to answers.  The things that you mull over in your head when times are tough and although you maybe dabble in those things, or perhaps you just day dream about them… your mind goes to them… and stops.

In order to really expand your awareness and come up with new solutions, you need to really think about it.

You see, when your habit is worry, then you probably also have a habit of blocking your possibilities. You get as far as thinking, “Well, I can sell something on eBay” and then you tell yourself, “No I can’t, I don’t have anything that anyone would want to buy”.  And that is your shutdown switch.  That is the moment that you stop thinking about possibilities and start thinking about the impossibilities.

The point?

Which way of thinking about your problem is more likely to result in a positive solution?

Worrying about it?

Doing something about it?

You know, I’m not saying,”Hey don’t worry about it, que será, será, what ever will be will be”  You know, I don’t believe that.  If you’ve ever read anything that I’ve ever written you know that I believe that we have complete control over what we allow into our lives and that is a decision, a choice.

It’s not easy to break the habit of worry.  The trick is to catch it early and work it out.  Recently a friend was in a bit of a financial bind, it wasn’t car payment big, but equally as important, she needed to pay for an upcoming Dr. visit that was scheduled months ago, and happened to land in a very financially lean week. She spent several days worrying about where she was going to get the $50.00.  She toyed with rescheduling and then remembered she just needed to think about other possibilities.  The fact that she didn’t currently have the $50.00 in her hand, didn’t mean it wasn’t possible to get it by the appointment.

In the end, she had the money.  She thought about it, and remembered she had some fundraising items she purchased for her kids that were sitting in her dining room.  She had bought them and paid for them but really didn’t want them.  She brought them to work, and sold them as the fundraiser they were.  She earned back the money that she had put out initially, which covered her appointment and more.

WAIT!  If you are struggling with a financial worry and you read something like that and your initial knee jerk reaction is to say, “Yeah, that’s great for her but I don’t have kids and I don’t have anything anyone would want”  Please understand that you are intentionally blocking your success.  You are telling yourself that you can’t, and therefore you can’t.   You literally won’t, and if you continue to tell yourself you can’t, then you probably won’t try either.

 

Personally one of the biggest helps for me is setting a goal.  It makes it easier NOT to spend, if I know how much I’ve allowed myself each week, and if I have that ultimate goal, that primary goal. MY ULTIMATE COMPELLING PURPOSE!

If you want to rewrite your journey a bit and work out your ultimate purpose, then I suggest performing the following exercise.

On a sheet of paper write down 10 very specific goals that you would want to accomplish in 1 year.  Don’t worry about how they will be accomplished… seriously, don’t worry about how you will be able to do them… just write them down.  1 – 10.

So on this sheet of paper you are going to write down the things, that if anything were possible, you would want to accomplish in 12 months.  (Remember be specific, if you are writing about financial goals, write a specific dollar amount, if you are writing about health goals, write a specific gauge like complete 5K marathon… be specific. )

Now, look at your list.

Pretend that all of those things will happen in 12 months.  That at the end of one year, you will have easily and naturally accomplished all 10 things on your list.  Circle the one item that if you accomplished it in 2 days would make the most positive and immediate impact in your life.  Pretend you have a magic wand, and you can wave it and all 10 things will happen in 1 year, which one thing would you wave your wand and have happen in 2 days.  Which one thing would help facilitate all of the other, which one item would change your life.

THAT is your Ultimate Compelling Purpose!

Whoooooo Hooooooooooo

Now that you have that, your path towards it will be A LOT easier.

Oh grasshopper, there is so much more to tell you about setting and achieving goals, but that’s it for today, make today amazing.

 

 

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