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Ep #24: Money Problems

Have you ever felt like money is one aspect of your life that is causing you issues and additional stress? Well, you’re in luck! Based on many requests from our listeners, this week, we are delving into the topics of money problems, scarcity and abundance and how our thinking directly influences them.

Tune in to learn about why money itself is not the cause of the problems. As a matter of fact, money itself is neutral.  It has no value other than what we give it. It is our thoughts and feelings about money that “stir-up” these seemingly negative issue. Don’t miss this episode’s practical tips and insightful advice on how to change your relationship with money and forever rid yourself of money problems!

Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!

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What You will discover

  • The difference between wanting what we already have and being grateful for it.
  • Why wanting something from a place of abundance will increase our chances of getting it.
  • How to look at our money results and trace them back to our thinking.
  • The importance of understanding the emotion that that drives us to save (or not save) money.
  • The challenges you can expect when start to change your belief system about money.
  • The power behind taking responsibility for all of your choices in life.

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the podcast. Stoked to be here today. I'm going to be talking today about money problems, and as most of you know, money is a circumstance. It is not a problem in and of itself. It can either be a circumstance or a result. When I say I'm going to be talking about money problems, I hope by now you know that I'm going to be talking about that problem between your ears, your brain and your thoughts about money problems.

I'm also going to be talking a lot about scarcity and abundance today, because they go right along with money. I've had so many requests from so many different people on so many different occasions to talk about money that I thought it was time to dive in. I'm going to start with one comment that I got on my blog and go from there. Let me go ahead and read you that comment, which, by the way, I really appreciate it when you guys take your communication with me to the blog on the comments, because then everyone gets the benefit.

I really appreciate this comment from Falk, and I'm going to read it aloud: "Hey, Brooke, I love your podcast. It has helped me on my way to become a better man and better me. I love your ability to clarify things and put them into perspective. The other part that I love is that I feel like you don't talk to an audience but to every listener directly. It feels like I have a conversation with you when I'm listening to you. I have a request for an episode or an email from you to help me dig further into this. In Episode 3 you mentioned wanting from abundance. I understand the concept internally and I believe I live it. The goal-setting exercise has helped a lot to make things for myself even clearer. What I'm struggling with is explaining the concepts to others and being concise about it. I'm currently writing a book to help men understand that being in their power is their responsibility and how to accept their own power. I've been using some of the concepts you speak about, but I would like you to talk about abundance in a little bit more detail. I'm sure that after hearing you talk about it, I'll be able to formulate my confused thoughts much better."

Well, dude, thank you so much, Falk, for this comment. It's so wonderful to get comments like this. They certainly make my day, and I really appreciate your comments about my podcast, so thank you, first of all.

Second of all, congratulations on writing a book. Writing a book is a process that will change you forever. It's an accomplishment you can always be proud of, and it's very challenging. My hat is off to you for sure for writing a book.

Let's first review the concept of wanting from abundance for those of you who way back in Episode 3 may not remember that I taught you how important it is to want from a place of having, right? Wanting from that feeling of abundance.

One of the exercises that we do at the school is writing a list of everything we want in our lives. Now, most of us when we do this we will write down everything we want that we don't have, right? Because we're trained to want from a place of scarcity, and that's why many people stop wanting anything, because it hurts when you want from a place of scarcity.

If I want $100,000 and I'm in a very scarce place believing that I'll never have that amount of money, then wanting that money will be painful. If I want $100,000 and I know that that will be easy for me to earn, wanting that money is exciting and feels good because I'm wanting it from a place of abundance.

One of the best ways to practice wanting from abundance is to want the things you already have, to want all the wonderful good things in your life and to feel that energy of wanting and having, wanting and having. It's a little different than being grateful for what you have. It's a different vibration when you really want something you already have.

Like, I really want to have a healthy son, right? When I think about my son, Connor, or my son, Christian, and I think about wanting them in my life and wanting them to be healthy and they are, it feels amazing to have that one thing, those two things, that I really, really want. That's what, when I talk about wanting from abundance, that's what I mean.

If you practice it enough and I mean really practice it, you can end up wanting something that you don't already have from a place of abundance, from a place of knowing that you will get it and that you have the ability to get it. From that place you will enjoy the process of earning the money much more because you believe you will have it, and the chances of you actually getting it are much higher because you're being fueled from a place of positive emotion.

Falk, when you are talking about this to the men that will be reading your book, one of the best ways to talk about it is to first talk about what abundance feels like. What is it? What do you feel when you feel abundant? And really explore that process with them of getting to the place of feeling abundant, and then have them notice the things they want in their life and do they feel abundant in the wanting of them, right? And kind of closing up that gap.

If when you think about wanting something you feel scarcity or you feel frustrated or you feel lack, that doesn't mean you give up wanting it. It just means you give up the way you're thinking about it, right? So you ask the question, "How does it feel to want the thing you most want?" And if it doesn't feel good, it's because of the way you're thinking about getting it, thinking about having it. Once you clear up that thinking, you can want the exact thing that you've been wanting from a much better feeling place. Of course, that will end up increasing your chances of getting it.

That's what we mean by abundance and that's what we mean when we say "wanting from abundance." The way that I would describe it in a book is I would be very concise and very clear about what is abundance and how do you feel it. The way that you feel it is by how you are thinking, and if you're not thinking thoughts that create the feeling of abundance, you simply need to change the way you're thinking about something. That really does sound simplified, but that really is the way it will be. That really is the way you change it.

When I talk to my son about his grades, he may say, "When I think about getting straight A's I feel stressed out and pressured and like I can't do it." I said, "Well, so what do you want to do?" He said, "Well, I don't want to strive to get straight A's because I don't like feeling that way." I said, "It isn't the wanting the straight A's that is causing you to feel that way. What's causing you to feel that way are all the thoughts about not being able to get straight A's. That's bringing up all the scarcity. So do you feel like you have the ability to get straight A's? Do you feel like you can do the work to get straight A's?"

He said, "Absolutely." I said, "Okay. So when you focus on it, the thoughts about it can be supportive and energetic and exciting in that belief, or they can be pressured and stressful and agonizing when you think about not being able to do it. It's simply a matter of how you're going to focus on your mind."

Of course children get this stuff so easily. He was like, "Oh, okay, well, that's good to know" and just moves right on. Then everything along the way will give you an opportunity to practice that.

Let's use the example of my son. If he gets a B on something, he can use that as a reason to believe that he won't get the straight A's and stress himself out, or he can use that as a reason to believe that he can work harder and he can focus more and he can talk more to his teacher in order to get the result he wants.

Now, when we're talking about money, it's the exact same thing, whether it's grades or money or a husband or a wife you're trying to get. Whatever it is you're trying to get more of, which many of us are trying to get more money, how are you thinking when you think about getting more money? Are you wanting it from a place of abundance and belief that you can get it, or are you wanting from a place of scarcity and believing that you can't get it? It simply is as simple as that, and don't underestimate the power of discovering how you think about money.

Money is absolutely neutral. I know that that's hard for some of you to believe, but money is just paper that just lays there. It's just a digital readout on your screen. When people say money isn't real, there is a lot of validity to that statement. If you think about how much actual money you have in your hand at any given time, it's not a lot. We have credit cards and debit cards and computer screens. We don't even really have the money in our hands. Even when we do have the money in our hands, it's only worth something because we've all agreed that it's worth something. That piece of paper, in and of itself, has no value until we assign it value and agree on that value.

That's really important to recognize, because everything else is just our thinking about it. I'm often reminded of the whole Bernie Madoff scandal and thinking about all of these people who went all of these years believing that they had millions of dollars in their bank accounts. They would look at the falsified reports. They would look at their screens, and they would see that they had all this money, and they were feeling very abundant, and they were feeling very secure.

Now, they didn't really have the money, right? This whole time they were being lied to. That money had been long spent, so it wasn't having the money that was giving them this feeling of security, right? Because they didn't actually have it. The only thing giving them the feeling of security and abundance was their belief that they had it.

Why is this important to look at? Because it's really important to separate that it's not your money that you have in your bank account that makes you feel a certain way. It is your thinking about your money in your bank account that makes you feel a certain way.

People will say, "If I had a million dollars, I would feel secure." I say to them, "The million dollars doesn't make you feel secure. The million dollars just sits there. Your thought about what it means to have a million dollars is what makes you feel secure." Separating those out is so powerful, because I've had so many clients that do earn all the money, that do get the million dollars, and they still don't feel secure, because the money doesn't have the power to do that.

Now, it also goes the other way, okay? If you don't have a lot of money, you think the reason that you feel scarcity is because of your lack of money. You think the reason you feel stressed is because of the lack of money to pay your bills, but when you can see that it's not the lack of money, it's not your inability to pay your bills that makes you feel anything. It's what you think about that and what you make that mean that's going to cause you to feel a certain way. Your money is neutral. It's not how much money you do or don't have. It's how you think about your money.

I have done money classes before. Many years ago I used to do a lot of money work. I had a colleague and I, that she wrote a book on money, and we were working on it together … working with our clients together I should say. One of the things that we noticed that we were totally flabbergasted by was we could have a client that had literally $5,000,000 in savings and a client that literally had $500 in savings, and they could have the exact same fears and the exact same money mindset. It had nothing to do with the amount of money they had. It blows your mind just to even think about it.

One of the first things that you're going to want to do if you have money problems is recognize that those problems are mostly in your mind. You may think that the problem is that you don't have a lot of money, but I'm going to suggest that the only real problem is how you think about the amount of money you have.

Look inside your brain right now. How do you think about money? Remember, your thoughts create your feelings, which ultimately recreate your actions and results. So the result of how much money you have started with your thinking, right? If you have a thought, "I have to save at least 50% of my money that I earn," you're going to have a different amount of money than someone who thinks, "I don't need to save any money," or "I can't save any money because I don't have enough money" right? The person who believes that they have to save their money will have a different amount than someone who thinks something differently.

The person that believes they have the ability to earn more money will most likely be earning more money than someone who believes they don't have that ability. When you think a thought about money, that will create a feeling for you and that will create your action. The actions you take around money will create your results.

If you have a belief about credit cards being totally fine and you feel free when you use them, you will use them a lot and you will probably have a lot of money on your credit cards. If you believe that credit cards are evil and you never will ever use them and you feel really committed to not using them, you probably won't ever use a credit card and you'll have no credit card debt, right?

I'm not saying one is better than the other at all. What I'm saying is how you think will ultimately determine your results. Most of us just don't pay any attention to how we think about money, so we don't have any idea that we are the ones creating the results.

Look right now at your money results and trace them back to your thinking and your belief systems. Here's how you can do that. Look at how much money you have in savings. Now, you'll be tempted to tell me that the reason why you have a certain amount of money in savings is because of all these external circumstances, but stay with me. I want to suggest that the reason you have that much money in savings is because of how you thought about money. What is the thought that you have about money that created that amount of savings for you? Trace it back, right?

“I had a belief that created a feeling that created the action of saving or not saving, and that's why I have the result of this much money.” Now, I don't want to suggest that if you don't have any money in your savings that that was a bad thing and you were having a bad thought or anything like that, and I'm not saying that if you have a lot of money in savings and the way that you saved it and the way you thought about it was great. What I am saying is that your thought most certainly did determine it. A lot of people have a lot of money in savings, but it came from a place of severe scarcity and they're still afraid about the number not being high enough; right?

When you think about the result of how much money you have in your savings account and you recognize the thought that caused you to have that amount, does that thought feel good? Is your money-saving process a process that feels good to you? Is it a process that you want to continue? Do you want to be driven by that emotion that you're creating?
For some of you it may be indifference. For some of you it may be fear. For some of you it may be commitment or determination, but I promise you, the amount of money you saved is driven by a certain emotion, and there's a thought that's creating that emotion. Understanding that is very, very important.

Now, it's also important to explore your beliefs around money to understand what is driving you. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to take out a pen and paper. If you're driving, probably ill-advised, but when you get home, finish these sentences: "Money is ..." "Money was ..." and "Money will be ..."

When I work with a client, if they complete those three sentences, I can completely understand what is going on in their money life. Now, for some of you, if you want to focus on a different topic around abundance, you can replace the word "money" with anything, “weight,” “relationships,” “career,” whatever.

"Money is ..." Finish that sentence. "Money was ..." Finish that sentence, and "Money will be ..." What will money be for you in the future? Will it be a problem? Will it be wonderful? Will it be your nest egg? Will it be fantastic? Will it be exciting? What is going on for you when you think about money?

Now, for some of you, these questions will be really challenging. You're going to try to answer them, and you're not even going to be aware of your own belief systems. What I want to suggest is that you live the questions for a while. If the answers don't come up for you immediately, be patient enough to allow them to come up so you can explore them. Because understanding your money mindset, understanding what's going on in your brain, is so important in understanding what the results are you'll eventually get.

When you look at your "Money was ..." belief system and then you look at the current results in your life, you can see how those belief systems may be creating your results now. Or if you changed your belief systems, maybe you used to have a certain belief around money and now you have a different belief around money, you can see how that changed the results in what you were getting.

It's very tempting here to roll your eyes at me and be like, "Come on. Some people just can't get enough money. Some people aren't in the same circumstance that they can change their money situation," and I just want to suggest that that may not be true. It may be that the way you think about money changes everything, because you can look at people that have the exact same childhood, they grew up in the same neighborhood, they had the same opportunities, and because they have different belief systems, they completely created different lives for themselves, and it's all because of the way they were thinking about money.

Regardless of that being true or not, here's what I want to suggest. First of all, it's very important to be aware of how you think about things, because how you think about things determines how you create problems for yourself and how you create results for yourself.

First of all, understand why and how you think about money, and then decide, is that how you want to continue to think about money. You could say, "Well, that's just the way I am. I'm just very conservative with my money, and that's how I've just always been raised and always thought about it." I can say to you, "Well, that's fantastic if you love that, if you like that, if you love the results you're creating, if the feeling of it that's driving it is exciting;" right?

I've worked with many clients who have said they're very conservative about money and they save their money and they're very frugal but they have this huge desire to become entrepreneurs and take risks, but they're holding themselves back because of this conservative mindset that they were raised with. I suggest to them that it's up to them to change that mindset if they want. They're not locked in just because that was the pattern that was programmed into them when they were younger.

The opposite is true too. I've had people that are very free with their money and huge risk-takers and that they want to become more conservative and more frugal and they feel like, oh, it's just not my personality. Well, what it is is it's just not the way you're choosing to think about it. You get to decide how you want to be with your money. If you're conservative and you want to be more of a risk-taker, that's totally up to you. If you want to be more conservative and more careful with your money, that's completely up to you. But the first step is you have to understand why you are the way you are right now; what is your thinking about money right now. That's determining your results.

Have a look. Decide what your thoughts about money in the past, money in the present, and money in the future, and then decide, do you want to keep thinking that way, or do you want to change your belief systems and think something different?

Then once you have decided how you want to think about money and how you want to feel about money, you're going to bump up against all of your old belief system evidence, and I watch this happen with clients so many times. They decide, "I want to believe I'm capable of making $100,000 a year;" okay? Their belief system that they had before was, "I'm not capable of making more than $15 an hour," right? So that's a huge leap.

As they start thinking about this new mindset and they start taking action to really provide themselves with proof that it is possible to do that, all of the old evidence is going to keep coming up, right? All of the, "Well, I was never able to make more on this job, and then I got fired from this job, and the last time I tried to do that, it didn't work," and, "Oh, look at this. I just tried to launch this class and it didn't work, so I'm probably not going to be able to make $100,000 a year."

I just want to offer that when you're changing your mindset, you are going to face many obstacles along the way. You're going to be tempted to give in to scarcity, to give in to self-doubt, to give in to frustration, right?

If you know that going in, then you're going to know that is what is required to achieve a new mindset, right? To be able to go to the grind, to have the grit to stay committed to this new belief system and know that you will be challenged, that your brain has been trained to think something different and will want to think something different, that is when you have to stay the course and remind yourself, "Okay, I have this bill, this phone bill that just came in. I want to believe that I can make $100,000 a year, but I can't pay my phone bill. I'm not able to pay it right now.

“I can see that this belief that I can make $100,000 a year is not realistic. I need to focus on being real right now. I need to focus on solving my immediate problems of being able to pay my phone bill." And that is important, but most of us want to abdicate full responsibility for how we're thinking and go into scarcity panic survival mode at our own expense.

One of the things I’d like to suggest is, how would you handle paying the phone bill if you believed with all of your heart that you would make $100,000 in the next year but you just don't have it right now? How would you handle the phone bill if you were committed to believing that? Would it be different than if you believed you didn't have the ability to make that money, and which option do you actually like better? You have to find the thinking that will serve you.

People will say to me all the time, "Well, you have to be realistic," and I'll say to them, "Making $100,000 a year is very realistic. It really is, but you have to believe that it's realistic." Well, and somebody has to pay their phone bill today. Well, that depends. If they have the money to pay it, they will pay it or they can pay it if they choose to, and if they don't have the money, they won't pay it or they don't have to pay it if they don’t want to. But what you make that mean is everything. If you can't pay your phone bill, what you make it mean that you can't pay your phone bill is going to determine how you handle your relationship with money in the future.

If you make it mean that you're a failure and that you're incapable and that you'll never be able to take care of yourself or that you can't have a phone, whatever you make it mean about you, is going to determine your future action.

If you make it mean that you can't pay the phone bill a temporary situation, that you can solve that problem with something other than money and that you're creative and capable and this isn't a showstopper and it doesn't mean anything negative about you as a person or your capacity to grow, then you're going to have a very different reaction and a very different result.

You always, no matter what your circumstance is, have the choice how you're going to think about money and how you're going to feel about it regardless of the results that you're currently experiencing, regardless of the circumstances that you're currently experiencing. I want to offer that how you choose to think about money, first of all, completely determines your relationship with money but also is going to determine how much of your own creativity you can access.

If you shut yourself down and call yourself names and beat yourself up, you will lose access to the part of you that is unbelievably capable of solving problems and earning money and believing in yourself and taking action from that place.

For those of you who came to me through email or through comments and said, "I just don't have enough money," and you said that in a way that was really kind of, like it was a fact, like, "This is just the truth of the situation," I want you to think about that thought and how that thought makes you feel, because that thought is optional. "I don't have enough money" is not a fact. It's not.

Now, it may be a fact that you have a certain amount of money. Someone will say to me, "I don't have enough money to sign up for this training I want to take," and I'll say, "But that's not true, and when you say that you don't have enough money to sign up for the training, it's so defeating, but when you say instead, 'I have enough money to sign up for the training, but instead of signing up for the training, I'm going to pay my mortgage.” “I have enough money to take that trip that I really want to take, but I'm not going to take that trip because I'm going to pay for my child's education instead.'"

It's such a more powerful statement to state that “I'm choosing to spend my money on something else” versus “I don't have enough money to spend it on this thing.”

People say, "I can't get a job," and I'll say, "But you could get a job. You just choose not to get a job delivering pizzas. You choose not to get a job working in a restaurant. You can get a job but you choose not to," and that's a beautiful thing to own, because it gives you this place of abundance. "I have options. I have power. I am deciding what to do. I'm deciding to stay in this job so I can make money to pay my mortgage" instead of "I have to work," right?

One is coming from a place of power and abundance, and one is coming from a place of victimhood. "And I have to go to the job." You don't have to go to the job. You don't have to pay your phone bill. You don't have to pay your mortgage. You're choosing to do those things. You're choosing to pay your taxes, and that's a beautiful thing to own, because that's where your power comes from when you take responsibility and ownership for everything you do in your life.

When you believe in yourself enough, you will achieve your dreams. That's just how it works. If you have a desire to earn a certain amount of money, you take massive action, meaning you take action until you get that result you want.

Do you know how long it will take? Well, probably not exactly, but if you come from that abundant mindset, if you believe in yourself in a way that serves you, it will probably come a lot more quickly.

Ask yourself, how are you thinking about money, and do you like the way you're thinking about it, without changing any of the circumstances of the amount of money you have or the amount of money you're earning. Can you change the way you're thinking about it and solve your problem without changing the amount of money you have?

My suggestion is yes, you can. You absolutely can solve most of your problems in your life by changing the way you think about them and by accessing your creativity in your own mind by being positive and being clear and being honest with yourself and owning every single thought you have and therefore the results you have created.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are about money and what your beliefs are about money. Please go to thelifeschoolcoach.com/24 and share with me what you're currently thinking about money and if you like those thoughts and if you don't, what you want to change them to.

It's been my pleasure to talk to you all today, and I'll see you online. Talk to you next week. Bye-bye.

Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School Podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us at www.thelifecoachschool.com.

12 Comments

  1. As usual, Brooke, lots of wisdom and food for thought here. Great podcast!

    Here is an illustration based on two elderly widows I know:
    Person 1 is the most frugal person I’ve ever known. She meets all of her needs on a pension of around $35,000 a year, had a paid-off mortgage, and doesn’t use her savings because she doesn’t need to. She uses her credit cards to earn points, and pays them off monthly. Because her investments are doing well, her savings is now worth around $175K, and she thinks she is loaded!
    Person #2 has a pension of $50K and a small monthly mortgage of around $800. She is a spendthrift and enjoys shopping as a pasttime. She has around $500K in savings and investments. She is very worried about having enough money, and runs up lots of credit card debt because she is afraid she will not have enough money to support herself for the rest of her life.

  2. Again, I am grateful for your ability to share these ideas…

    I wonder, to change our belief system, do we choose thoughts we want to believe are true…and start reciting them to our mind…until they start to change our feelings and belief about our ability to earn more?

  3. Hey Linda-

    Yes. To adopt new beliefs:

    1. We need to understand what we currently believe.

    2. We need to see the effect of those beliefs in our life now.

    3. We make a decision that we want to believe something new

    4. We move to a new thought that we can believe and feels slightly better until we arrive at a whole new belief system.

    Brooke

  4. Hi Brooke,
    I am working through my money beliefs and very often say ‘I can’t afford it’, sometimes because I really feel that way and other times as an excuse not to buy something that I feel I am being pushed into’ I now try to say that I have other priorities for my money. I feel my scarcity belief stems from thinking that I have to work hard for my money because my mum worked three jobs to make our life a bit more comfortable.

    Your insights are great, I am really enjoying the podcast.

  5. Hello my friend! I’ve been listening to your Podcast for about a year now and have recently been exploring your early episodes. This one really hit home for me. Money has always been a stress trigger in my life and I’m excited to learn new tools on how to not let it rule my life. In this podcast you touched on a book that a friend of yours wrote on money. Would you share the title? I’m eager to dig further into this topic.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Courtney,

      Brooke recommends Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Hope that helps and thank you for being a loyal listener of the podcast!

      Carina

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