Welcome to Week 4 of Overcoming Financial Stress.
This week we are going to turn our attention to the future and stop reliving the stresses of the past. Every time we focus on what has already been we re-energize those emotions and actions that produced our previous outcomes of experiencing financial stress.
Last week we learned how to prime how we want our day to feel the night before so instead of waking up with the stresses of the previous day, you now wake up feeling loved and supported. When we experience financial stress it’s rarely a stress of the Here and Now and often stress that we keep replaying in our minds. Through the pre-work exercise, you now have evidence that you “have enough” so you are hopefully now drawing on that concrete evidence to dispel the stressful thoughts of lack as they arise.
Another reason that we often feel financial stress is because we fear that even if we feel as though we have enough right now, we won’t have enough in the future. We won’t be able to gift our children the legacy we’d like to leave them after our death, we won’t be able to provide them with the wedding, the college, the financial stability that we’d like them to have.
So in order to put these fears to rest we need to come up with a game plan of how to always know that we’ll always have enough, and that starts with wiring the mind to accept it and receive it.
Firstly, identify how much money you’re going to feel is “enough”. Have a very firm figure in your head and identify where this money will flow back out to.
Write that figure out every morning in the form of “I feel so happy and thankful that I have XXXXX safely set aside to XXXXXXX”
How does that statement feel in your body? If you experience any wobbles or disbelief you can change the statement to “I feel so happy and thankful at the possibility of having XXXX safely set aside to XXXXX”
If that still feels untrue you can take it a step further and change the statement to “I feel so happy and thankful that I’m choosing to believe that there is a possibility of having XXXX safely set aside to XXXXX”
It’s very important that whichever statement you say and write feels true on some level to start with the one that you can easily accept as a Truth and work up to the full declaration of having it.
Visualize having that amount of money and visualize at least one way that the money is being spent.
Spend 5 or 10 minutes doing this every day. To attract what we want into our lives we have to become a vibrational and energetic match for it and this exercise will help that to happen.
As stated previously, one of the reasons that we stay stuck in a place of financial stress is because our minds are fixated on the lack that we perceive. Our brain is very comfortable to replay these messages and when it does you’re actually activating the reward centers in your brain and releasing the dopamine and serotonin that helps us to feel good.
I know that ‘enjoying the stress’ sounds totally bizarre but your brain is thinking “well at least I’m doing something” even if that something is worrying and stressing. We get so used to the stress that as we work to release it, we become increasingly uncomfortable and even if there’s nothing “real” to stress about, our brains will create drama and situations that enable us to get back to our comfort levels of high stress so the brain and the body gets to experience the rush of chemicals like adrenaline and noradrenaline that it’s used to.
If you’ve experienced long-term stress, chances are that you’ve become as physically addicted to it as if you were a long-term drug user.
In Week 1 you identified your main stress triggers and responses when it came to your finances, (and if advised to through your Stress Test Results, you’ve applied the exercise to the other areas of your life as well), and you also thought of new, more empowering long term stress responses so your default behaviors towards stress will now have consciously changed. As a result of applying these new stress responses and adopting a regular meditation routine as advised in Week 2, your overall stress levels should now be starting to decrease.
However, our brains still have the biochemical cravings that we were feeding it with our addiction to stress so we need to give it something else to concentrate on that will relieve the pressure of the cravings.
We can do this by creating the feelings of curiosity and excitement. So instead of allowing our brains to focus on the fear and stress of the past to get its hits of dopamine, adrenaline, and epinephrine, we can set it a challenge to create new ideas which will also release those chemicals.
Because this program is focused on Financial Stress, every morning or evening come up with a list of between 5 and 10 new money making ideas. It could be selling something that you already own and no longer need or the creation of a new program or product. Maybe it’s the outline of a book or the idea of a painting that you can then sell. The purpose of this exercise is to train your brain to look for the possibilities of what you can achieve rather than focusing on the lack of what you want.
As you write out these lists, one idea will pop out and you’ll get a nudge from your intuition that that is the one that you should go for. You’ll feel the excitement in your body or your heart will feel full to overflowing so as soon as you get that intuitive hit take immediate action towards making it happen. Don’t sit on it, don’t think “I’ll do that tomorrow”, start the process now. You don’t have to know how to take all the steps to get the result, you only have to know the next one. If you’ve had the idea, you know the next step to take so open yourself to all of your potential possibilities.
As you know, throughout this program we have been focusing on Being the person you want to be and you’ve spent some time identifying exactly who this person is and how they want to feel. We’re now going to turn this on its head and I want you to identify the person you don’t want to be.
On a large piece of paper held in landscape, create 3 columns.
In column 1 write the heading This Is NOT Me
In column 2 write the heading This Is The Current Me
In column 3 write the heading This Is The Me I Choose To Be
Start with column 2 and write out your average day in bullet points. eg Get up, have a shower, get dressed, drink coffee, set intentions, start work, etc.
Then go to column 1 and write out the person you would need to be to become a poorer, less accomplished, more unhappy version of your current self. eg. Get up, drink beer, browse social media, etc.
Then go to column 3 and write out the version of you that has everything they want and is truly successful according to your definition of success. eg. Wake up, visualize the day, repeat affirming mantras, conscious streaming journaling, get up, exercise, shower, get dressed, meditate, etc.
Each night before you go to bed, look at this sheet of paper and decide who you were most like today. Were you Column 1, 2 or 3? If you find that you mostly behaved like the version of you in Column 1, ask yourself why that was the case. DON’T beat yourself up for it. We all have off days, we all sometimes need time out. And choosing to have a day off is great. Choosing to have, what we call in my house, A Pyjama Day. But making the conscious choice about how you spend your day is very different from living unconsciously with the default programming you’ve developed. So decide who you choose to be tomorrow. What do you choose to be true about you?
When you wake up in the morning, look at the sheet again and reaffirm to yourself, who you choose to be today. As you go through your day become very conscious of every decision you’re making. Is that decision in alignment with the version of you that you decided you wanted to be today?
During the Pre-Work exercises and in last week’s exercise, you started to create the person that you want to be.
We’re now going to get more specific as to who that person is in the 6 key areas of Finances, Family, Fun, Fitness, Faith, and Future.
In your journal write out some metrics that you can use which means that your daily actions have been working in favor of achieving the life you say you want for each of the categories.
To address Finances: Promote and ask for the sale of my product.
To address Family: Spend at least one hour of very present undistracted time with my loved ones.
To address Fun: Spend time doing something that makes me laugh.
To address Fitness: Exercise / Drink 2 liters of water
To address Faith: Visualisation and meditation.
To address Future: Take steps towards big picture legacy.
As you go through your day make a mental note of at least one thing that you have accomplished for each of the categories that means that you are able to tick off that area of your life, and at night, acknowledge to yourself either in thought or in your journal that you did indeed take steps in every area of your life to creating the life you want.
The very first step to paying down any debt you have is to first create some savings.
As quickly as you possibly can, create a Peace of Mind fund in a separate bank account to your normal banking. I got the name of this fund from one of my mentors Michelle House. Other people call it a Rainy Day or Emergency fund but I absolutely refuse to attract a rainy day or an emergency into my life and I think that calling it a Peace of Mind fund is more accurate because that’s exactly what it gives you.
This account will be an absolute minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of whatever you make but having 6 months living expenses is ideal. This means that if the boiler breaks or the car needs new tires, or you find yourself closing your business or being out of work, you’ll have Peace of Mind that you don’t have to go into credit card debt in order to survive. This account should be easily accessible but it should remain untouched unless you absolutely need to access it.
To build this Peace of Mind fund or to create any form of savings account, scroll down and apply Step 1 in the process below.
Once you have a nice Peace of Mind fund, now it’s time to pay down the debt you’ve accrued so you’re no longer paying interest on the loans.
The first thing to do of course is to acknowledge the debt you have. As we discussed before, debt is neither a good thing or a bad thing, it only has the “good or bad” meaning that you give it.
Because we get more of what we focus on, we want to always be focusing on our financial abundance and wealth creation but if we choose to no longer be in debt, we need to have a system of paying it down that feels easy and good to do.
Credit card debt is usually the most expensive so start there.
There are a couple of ways of doing this. You can either start with the card that has the highest APR rates, the card with the least amount of credit on or the card that you find the most annoying.
The advantage of paying off the highest APR first is that you accrue less interest payments.
The advantage of paying the card with the least amount on it is that you’ll see progress quickly which will help you to continue in your debt elimination as it’ll make you feel good.
And the advantage of paying off the most annoying debt is that you get to say “In your face sucker!” and that feels really good too!
This is a proven 3 step method of paying down credit card debt in the quickest and easiest way possible.
1) Take a look back at the work you did in Pre-work that determined that You Have Enough. Look at what you’ve got coming in and what you’ve got going out. Have every penny accounted for. Once you’ve included all of your expenses including some money for entertainment, how much do you have left over? It is this money that we’re going to use to start your snowball repayments to the credit card companies that have allowed you to borrow from your future self.
If you do your numbers and find that you don’t have any spare money at all, have a look around your house and decide if there is anything that you can sell to get your snowball rolling.
2) Write down the cards that you need to pay off in the order that you choose to pay them off in. You obviously have to keep paying the minimum payment off all the cards, but whichever card you choose to pay down first, whatever money you can “spare” overpay the minimum, apply it to your chosen card until it is cleared.
3) Then go to the next card on your list and overpay the minimum on that card by the amount you were paying the cleared card off with.
For instance, if you have a minimum payment of $100 a month on Card A, $120 on Card B and $150 on Card C, and you’ve managed to pay $140 a month to clear Card A, you’re now able to make payments on Card B of the $120 minimum payment PLUS the $140 that you were previously putting towards Card A. Once you’ve also cleared Card B you take the $260 a month and add it to the $150 minimum payment of Card C so you’re now paying Card C off at a rate of $410 a month.
Now that you are no longer paying off credit card debt you have at least (in this example) $410 a month that you can invest into your Peace of Mind fund or invest in the ways that you will learn next week.