Skill Level Appropriate for all
- While our brains are astonishing in their power and speed, our internal software has some quirks. The brain takes certain shortcuts in order to efficiently process the volume of information it encounters. For example, we are programmed to look for and perceive patterns in the world. When our brain encounters something new that seems to conform to a familiar pattern, we can act quickly, without having to think about it too much, which is great, except that we often perceive patterns that aren't really there. We can look at certain beliefs and assumptions that we make about money as an extension of our proclivity for patterns.
Sometimes our attachment to these beliefs and assumptions is so strong, it can be difficult to break through, even when there's evidence that the belief doesn't work, that the pattern doesn't hold. In this video, we'll examine two common misbegotten beliefs that rise to the level of money myths. For example, many hardworking, ambitious people actually labor under the myth of constant hustle. This myth says that the answer to any financial challenge is to work more, work harder, hustle more. If there's an available gig, take it.
Stay later at your desks, you can get the raise. If these myth followers think about the spending side at all, it might be just a basic rule, like be frugal. There are two problems with the constant hustle myth. The first is that we're people, with a finite amount of time and energy, not perpetual motion machines. Eventually, we run into the upper limit of how much we can work and when we're maxed out, but still don't feel financially secure, it's a draining and frustrating place to be.
The second problem is that it doesn't allow for adequate rest and replenishment. In the stress equals work more loop, it's difficult to feel comfortable spending money on recreation, convenience, or vacation, the things that might help us maintain that level of output. When we do spend on those things, we're likely to do so impulsively, and then regret it afterward. Next, we have the it is what it is myth. This myth tells us that larger forces control our financial life and thus any effort spent trying to manage it is futile.
This can be a belief based in optimism, that it will all work out, or it could be a more fatalistic sense, that the deck is stacked against us. Rents are high, incomes are flat, what can you do? People who adhere to this myth are often very present-oriented and either aren't concerned with or actively avoid thinking too much about the future. Beyond the obvious wear and tear this myth can have in your life, it can also wreak havoc on your relationships. That's because it is what it is believers often have someone in their life who's picking up the slack.
Whether it's a spouse, a parent, or an overly-concerned friend, there's someone in their orbit taking on a disproportionate amount of responsibility and at some point, that's no longer okay. How do we break through, though? One of the challenges to myth busting is even recognizing when we're laboring under a myth in the first place. If we remember that pattern preference is about efficiency and fast thinking, then the solution is to slow ourselves down. Step back and look at the specifics of how money comes in and goes out of your life.
And this isn't something that you do just once. Have a regular time to review and analyze what's happening. Next, identify your financial values and determine if those values are reflected in how you earn and spend. We've provided a financial values worksheet in the exercise folder attached. Finally, establish concrete goals. Having goals can help hustlers know when it's all right to take a break and make the future a little more concrete for those whose tendency might to be avoid it.