With so much money and information around, why do most people still end up poor? A wise man once said, “Success is a mind game first, then a physical series of actions.”
There are many reasons why we don’t get as rich as they can. Many are excuses we give ourselves to feel better when we don’t achieve our goals. Sometimes, it’s the belief that we can’t be rich or that wealth is morally bad. With some, it’s the absence of a good wealth plan, poor or weak mid to long term goals, a lack of needed information, negative friends/environment or the lack of consistency in taking the right actions towards wealth creation over time.
Perhaps the key reason many would never live a life worthy of their dreams and have wealth that can sustain desired lifestyles is because of wrong mental money programming from a young age.
We all have a mental self-image about money that we carry in our minds. Our mental model of ourselves or self-image is basically an internal idea of who we are to ourselves, in several key areas of life. The mind has constructed over time an image of what we believe we are, can do and can be. This self-image directs us at a subconscious level and dictates how we behave and respond to situations and issues. This self-image/self-belief is shaped in our brains as it watches us and listens to everything we do, say, hear or take significant interest in, over the years.
We are basically programming our minds with the conscious and unconscious information we give it and it in turn uses the information to build up an image of what it thinks we are like or want to be like, (whether it’s actually correct or not). Once this image is complete, the mind will then do everything to defend that idea of who it has decided we are and in all circumstances. For example, if we have programmed our minds to think that we are not really good at long distance running, our mind, once it receives this idea/info from us or from people telling us this repeatedly, will believe it and then take it as instruction to begin to model how we live and respond to all running or jogging issues from this perspective that we are not good long distance runners. As such, it will filter anything that comes to us in form of marathons, jogging etc negatively, by repeating back to us that we are not really good long distance runners, therefore we cannot perform well at or enjoy a marathon. It will prevent us from even thinking about trying to participate in a marathon, (regardless of if we are fit enough to do it, or whether we may even be good at it, or actually enjoy it.) The mind just shuts us down from having any interest as it believes we have told it we are not good at that sport and wouldn’t get any pleasure from it.
You may have heard people say things like; “I’m not a swimmer”, “I’m not really good at maths”, “I can’t drive at night”, “I am not a good dancer” etc. These internal ideas we have about our various abilities and words we choose to express them, come from our inner self- image, generated and upheld constantly by our mind, from tons of data we have fed into it, over some time. So, it is about money and wealth. Our money habits and ideas are not usually our conscious ideas, but an amalgamation of these various voices and inputs we’ve allowed to shape our minds to date.
So, we are creatures that have minds that are programmable. Programming the mind causes it to build a self-image about our abilities. These images once established then run on automatic and we are mostly unaware of this or that a self-image in our mind even exists. The running of these programmes causes us to absorb it as our habit and repeated expression of this habit forms a behaviour which goes on to form parts of our character. That’s how strong the effect of these self-image programs can be, once formed.
Actually, the mind is trying to help us. It’s designed to help us by building up ‘mini self-images’, to enable us form certain habits that it can easily run for us, so that we can be consistent with how we meet and address life’s challenges without much effort. It tries to make us handle things automatically, saving energy and time but it can only do that effectively if it knows HOW we would like to act, and for this purpose, it gathers information from us quietly and uses it to build an image of who it thinks we are and who we are trying to become.
Based on this, we all carry an internal money self-image level, and we are not aware that we do. Our minds will always go to work to make us behave in a manner that’s congruent with our money self-images. That’s why a person can be poor internally in their money self-image, and no matter how much money they acquire, they will always spend it all (somehow), till they come back down to their internal money level. This is why lottery winners win millions of dollars, but in a few short years, blow everything and even wind up in debt, (they were probably in debt before the winnings and the mind is comfortable being back there, and even if the person hates being there, the mind wins.) UNLESS THEY QUICKLY BEGIN TO RAISE THEIR INTERNAL WEALTH LEVEL or financial IQ.
We are all familiar with the saying “As within, so without”. This means as we are deep inside us, we will surely act to express that on our outside. We can never perform outside far above our internal money/ wealth self-image. Our minds WILL sabotage everything we do, till we fall into the level of wealth we believe we deserve, want, and can manage. This happens automatically and is called self-sabotage due to cognitive dissonance.
Now that we have an understanding of how the mind works and how what we think is important, we can begin to consciously take control of the process and begin to build the prosperous life we dream of.